The Suicide Squad - Targets for the Flaming Arrows - Emile Tepperman - ebook
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ON the seventeenth of August, a furtive Rumanian walked into the United States Consulate in Berne, Switzerland, and whispered that he had information to sell. Closeted with one of the attachés, he put on a mysterious air, and said that he could tell about the plans of the Flaming Arrow to wreck the United States war effort. The attaché frowned. "The Flaming Arrow? What are you talking about?" The Rumanian became more mysterious, and at the same time more furtive and frightened. "It is the name of the one who can win the war for the Axis. He has been in America now for three years. But only three men in all the world know who the Flaming Arrow really is. Those three are Hitler, Himmler, and Tojo, of Japan. The Axis has paid ten million dollars over to the account of the Flaming Arrow, and there are ninety millions more in banks in every neutral country which he can call upon. For that sum, the Flaming Arrow has agreed to destroy American war power completely.""You're mad!" said the attaché."Mad? You think perhaps that I dream this? Let me tell you: There is a school not far from Berlin, where the Nazis train the youngsters who are smuggled into America to enter the ranks of the Flaming Arrow!"The little Rumanian became eager, almost voluble. "But that is not all. In Formosa, there is a small island, in the middle of a large lake. None dares go near that island, for it is under the special protection of the Emperor. On that island other men are trained, men of a strange, vicious, mountain race. They are little, wiry men, taken from Korea as children, and dedicated to the service of the Flaming Arrow. These men, too, have been smuggled into America. All are ready for the day when the Supreme Plan of the Flaming Arrow is ready for execution. On that day the Flaming Arrow will wreck America!"The attaché was annoyed. "Look here, my man, you've been smoking opium!"

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THE SUICIDE SQUAD - TARGETS FOR THE FLAMING ARROWS

Emile Tepperman

ENDYMION PRESS

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy this book, please leave a review.

All rights reserved. Aside from brief quotations for media coverage and reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced or distributed in any form without the author’s permission. Thank you for supporting authors and a diverse, creative culture by purchasing this book and complying with copyright laws.

Copyright © 2016 by Emile Tepperman

Published by Endymion Press

Interior design by Pronoun

Distribution by Pronoun

ISBN: 9781531299118

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. THE SUPREME PLAN

2. TRAP...?

3. INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE

4. BEACH PARTY

5. THE DECISION

6. BLOOD AND FLAME

1. THE SUPREME PLAN

~

ON THE SEVENTEENTH OF AUGUST, a furtive Rumanian walked into the United States Consulate in Berne, Switzerland, and whispered that he had information to sell.

Closeted with one of the attachés, he put on a mysterious air, and said that he could tell about the plans of the Flaming Arrow to wreck the United States war effort.

The attaché frowned. “The Flaming Arrow? What are you talking about?”

The Rumanian became more mysterious, and at the same time more furtive and frightened.

“It is the name of the one who can win the war for the Axis. He has been in America now for three years. But only three men in all the world know who the Flaming Arrow really is. Those three are Hitler, Himmler, and Tojo, of Japan. The Axis has paid ten million dollars over to the account of the Flaming Arrow, and there are ninety millions more in banks in every neutral country which he can call upon. For that sum, the Flaming Arrow has agreed to destroy American war power completely.”

“You’re mad!” said the attaché.

“Mad? You think perhaps that I dream this? Let me tell you: There is a school not far from Berlin, where the Nazis train the youngsters who are smuggled into America to enter the ranks of the Flaming Arrow!”

The little Rumanian became eager, almost voluble. “But that is not all. In Formosa, there is a small island, in the middle of a large lake. None dares go near that island, for it is under the special protection of the Emperor. On that island other men are trained, men of a strange, vicious, mountain race. They are little, wiry men, taken from Korea as children, and dedicated to the service of the Flaming Arrow. These men, too, have been smuggled into America. All are ready for the day when the Supreme Plan of the Flaming Arrow is ready for execution. On that day the Flaming Arrow will wreck America!”

The attaché was annoyed. “Look here, my man, you’ve been smoking opium!”

“But no! I swear to you that this is all true. I alone have stumbled upon the clue, and I will sell it to you. Cable your government. Ask them. They know of the Flaming Arrow. Ask them how much you may pay me for information that will save your country!”

“All right,” the attaché agreed reluctantly. “Come back tomorrow morning at ten o’clock.”

So a cable in code went off to the State Department: “What do you know about Axis agent named Flaming Arrow? Am offered information in re above but believe it of no value. Are you interested?”

Then the attaché promptly forgot all about it. But he was awakened at two o’clock in the morning by an urgent radio message in reply: “Get all information possible. Urgent. Flaming Arrow greater menace than fifty divisions!”

Thoroughly aroused, the attaché dressed hurriedly and went to the address which the Rumanian had left with him.

He was five minutes too late. The squalid room in which the informer lived was a mass of flames. Firemen forced their way in, and came out bearing the body of the Rumanian. There was still a bit of flickering life left in him as they laid him in the street, with a two-foot arrow protruding from his chest.

The attaché thought of the name of the Axis agent whom this informer had wished to betray: The Flaming Arrow!

The shaft of the arrow was metal, charred and blackened from end to end. The Rumanian’s clothes were burned away from his body.

The Swiss fire chief exclaimed, “The arrow must have burst into flames when it struck him!”

And someone in the crowd whispered, “It is the mark of the Flaming Arrow!”

The word spread quickly. In a moment, the crowd had faded away. Even the firemen and police looked a bit fearful.

The attaché was unaware of all this as he bent over the dying Rumanian, listening to the gurgle of sound which trickled from the informer’s lips. Only a word or two was he able to distinguish:

“My brother... in America... find him...”

Then the man was dead.

Nine days later, a man sat in an office on the sixth floor of the Scanda Building, in Stockholm, Sweden. There were papers on his desk, and half a dozen photographs, as well as a roll of developed film. The photographs were weird things, showing a group of small and wiry men, all attired in similar fashion, with short leather jerkins, and metal helmets. Their faces were Mongolian, with such small eyes that they might have belonged to some species of reptile. Their hands were encased in leather gloves, and on their backs they carried a long bow and a quiver of arrows.

One of the pictures showed a group of these men marching down to a ship. The picture had been taken at night, apparently with a flashlight bulb, and it was remarkably clear.

The man who sat at the desk with these photographs before him jiggled the hook of his telephone and barked impatiently, “You must put me through to America at once. I want Washington!”

“This is the transatlantic operator, sir. Your connection is being completed. We will have Mr. Hedges in the State Department in a moment.”

“Good!”

Whatever the stocky man might have been about to say, he never said it.

The arrow thrummed its deadly hum of doom, winging through the open window. It thudded into his chest, carrying him backward in his chair, crashing to the floor.

His frantic grip knocked the telephone with him. He lay on his back on the floor, his knees in the air, folded over the chair seat, and the arrow protruding almost three feet from his chest. His body twitched in the throes of death.

From the receiver came an impatient voice: “Bardo! I say there, Bardo! This is Hedges of the State Department!”

There was a jiggling sound, then Hedges’s voice again: “Operator! There’s nobody on here. What happened to that call?”

The dying Bardo’s face became contorted with a strange and fearful effort as he struggled to bring his bloody lips close to the mouthpiece of the phone.

“Hedges!” he gasped. “Hedges, listen! This is Bardo...” He was silent for a second, then his voice erupted once more in a weird and frightful gurgle. “The Flaming Arrow... got me. Look out for the little... bowmen. They’re smuggling... thousands of them... planning something big... for September first...”

It was then that a strange phenomenon occurred; the arrow which was quivering in his chest, burst into bright and incandescent flame.

It was like the all-consuming fire of an incendiary bomb, unbearably hot, sizzlingly brilliant, hissing with the sound of burning magnesium. The flame raced down the shaft of the arrow, as if it had been greased with wax. In a moment, the man’s body was completely enveloped by the flaming holocaust, which had already spread to the rug, licking out hungrily at the rest of the room....

2. TRAP...?

~

“WHAT’S THIS I HEAR ABOUT a flaming arrow?” Stephen Klaw demanded, the moment he got into Dan Murdoch’s room at the Berkshire Hotel.

Dan Murdoch was in shirt sleeves. The window was open, but he had the blind pulled all the way down. He was examining a charred stick of metal, about three feet long. There was an arrowhead point on it, and that, too, was blackened as if from a bath of fire.

Murdoch grinned, and exhibited the stick.

Klaw took it, and turned it around curiously in his hands. “A steel arrow!” he exclaimed. “Where did you get it?”