I woke up chained to a wall in a hut with the others in a like position. No sign of Mr. Hogan. No doubt he had gone for help, I thought sarcastically.
With us (Jim Barr, Lance O’Casey, and little Atom Blake, Boy Wizard) were other captives, too. One was a rugged brown-haired man in a torn but costly suit. His beard stubble showed that the Nazi troops had had him here for a long while before being frozen in time. His companion, for she gazed on him adoringly, was a stunning blonde. She was truly gorgeous, and a lesser woman than moi would have been jealous of her.
“Bulletman! Bulletgirl! Thank goodness you’re here,” she whispered while the man dozed.
“Who are you, miss?” asked Jim.
“My name is Carol Clews, and this man is my partner, Dan Dare!” she said.
“I’ve read about you two! P.I.s of a sort, right? You saved FDR once, but then vanished in 1943,” I recalled.
“What do you mean vanished in 1943? We’ve been here captives for only three days now. It just turned 1943 a few weeks ago!” said Dare, waking up.
I gazed at him sadly. How do you explain to a man that he has been frozen in time with a whole island for over thirty — or was it forty — years? The explanations could wait, since the Man in the Iron Mask entered at that moment.
“Greetings!” he said. “I rejoice to find you well. I know you pair are allies of the hated Spy Smasher himself. I’ll kill you for that reason! The volcano on the isle will serve as a most spectacular cause of death. Lava peeling your skin and all!”
“Great! A Nazi with aesthetic tastes!” snapped Dare.
Iron Mask slapped him as Carol cried out. “Oh, Dan!”
“Not you, my beauty. You will be my guest tonight, once you are more suitably attired,” he leered.
Atom Blake dozed on. His odd body chemistry required that the child sleep for long periods of time. He would be no help to us for a while.
And to think this started cause I wanted to dress up a little, I thought.
While Lance, Dan, Atom, and Jim were hauled up to the volcano tightly bound, I waited at the rim as the first lucky offering. Lucky me!
The Nazi leader was absent with poor Carol, to Dan’s dismay. As they prepared to toss me in, a whiz filled the air! The sound was repeated in rapid succession, and my arms and legs fell free.
Never one to look a gift whiz in the whatever, I tackled the head Nazi myself. “So, big boy, do ya bring all your dates to the volcano, or am I special?” I taunted as the hapless oaf grabbed for me, only to find empty air as I flew up and kicked him in the head.
Jim grinned and carried Atom, who still slept to safety, while Dan Dare and Lance O’Casey tore into the troopers.
The source of our rescue became clear when who else but the amazing Mr. Hogan cheeped into sight on the broad shoulders of a handsome young blond man with a bow. He had cut our bonds with remarkable skill, and his rapid-fire technique kept the Nazi troops at bay!
“Is that really you, lad?” asked Lance with a big grin, having recognized the newcomer.
“I am the Golden Arrow!” he said, and he lived up to the name by firing golden-tipped arrows through the ends of three Nazi guns.
Jim returned and bowled them over easily.
Dan was everywhere at once. “You dirty Ratzi dogs! I’ll teach you to mess with Americans!” he said.
“Somebody tell him the war is over!” I whispered.
“For us it’s still going strong,” said O’Casey as he swung across the narrow pond to tackle three Nazi gunners.
His fists lashed out with brute force, and a whistler he proved to be as he made a festive sea tune and clobbered the Axis forces. The monkey pounced from helmet to helmet and blinded the creeps for Dan and Lance to beat senseless.
Jim and I soared back in search of the weapon that had rocked us to the ground earlier.
“Sonics? Pure force? Fascinating,” he mused.
I kissed him and said, “Analyze after we free Carol.” He nodded, and we closed in on the machine. “A little force will work wonders,” I said as Jim examined it. I threw my back into it, and with the extra force my momentum gave me, I toppled it and watched it roll down into the water.
“Sue! I’d hoped to study that!” he exclaimed.
“Hubby of mine, the island is in the middle of D-Day Two, and you want to hold a lab?”
He agreed ruefully, and we led the eager Dan Dare to his partner.
We saw an amazing sight. Carol Clews, in a satin red gown and spike heels, was wrestling the Man in the Iron Mask near his cabin.
“Cursed Amerikaner spitfire!” he swore as she kicked him directly below the belt.
“What’s wrong, Fritz? Do I play too rough for the big bad soldier in the cast iron bedpan?” she cooed.
“Atta girl, Carol!” called Dan with relief.
Carol smiled and again proved she was more than a stunning body and gorgeous blonde curls by kicking Iron Mask down the hill.
“You wildcat! I was romantic, but you attacked me in the throes of passion!” he cried.
Dan spun him around and said, “Yeah, she’ll do that to ya every time!” He hit the Nazi (wisely in the stomach), and Jim scooped him up and tied him tightly.
“Spy Smasher will be glad to get you,” he said.
“Oh, Dan! That horrid man! I had to play up to him until he relaxed, then I let him have it!” said the radiant Carol Clews.
Atom Blake woke up to say with a yawn, “What’d I miss?” He blinked sleepily as S’ville and the others gathered to turn in the Nazi prisoners, who would find themselves forty years out of date.
“I think it’s time for an explanation,” Jim said finally, folding his arms like he meant business.
S’ville frowned as he searched for words. “Well, I was to blame for trapping all of us here on the isle in time back in 1953, but it really began ten years earlier in 1943. That was when those Nazi invaders showed up originally. They spooked me badly, and I had just enough time to work up a spell that sent them — all of them and a few besides — into the future. Well, Lance wasn’t too happy with me, but he understood my intentions well enough.
“By 1953, we’d almost completely forgotten about those Nazis, when all of a sudden they popped into our midst in mid-action! I guess I’d sent them exactly ten years into the future in that day in 1943, although I never knew when they were due to show up again! We were all unprepared, and Lance was asleep in his hut! I panicked, and I used a spell I had been considering for quite a while, based on my old time spell, as I merely wanted to preserve the old ways from the terrors of the approaching war with the Reds! It went wrong and froze us all — including the Nazis from 1943 — on this island, not aging or knowing a second had passed for almost thirty years!”
The Golden Arrow then walked shyly up. “Mornin’. Guess it’s my turn to explain. I’m Roger Parsons — a crime-fighter from out west in the U.S. I actually came out here seeking the legendary adventurer Lance O’Casey’s help. My last case concerned a freight-line owner named Cy Hardwick who was also running guns to some rebel Indian groups back home. (*) After I caught the buzzard, I learned he had also been running guns throughout the Pacific. We’d met only once before at a war benefit back in 1942, but I was hopin’ O’Casey could help me out and track ’em down, considerin’ I knew the sea was his field of experience. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See “Trail of Death,” Whiz Comics #154 (April, 1953) and “The Bumble-Brained Bridegroom,” America’s Greatest Comics #4 (August 12, 1942).]
“But as soon as I got here, I must’a got caught in that time-freeze. Some Nazi creeps got the drop on me and locked me up after we were unfrozen, I guess, until that monkey freed me and led me to y’all. I reckon I fell in a real soup this time by arriving here on this island in 1953 and winding up thirty years lost in time. And that gun-running case that brought me here is probably nothing more than ancient history by now.” He looked around at each of them. “So… is there still room in this modern world for an archer?” asked the sincere Golden Arrow.
Jim said, “There’s always room for four heroes like you all!”
“Five heroes, if you count Mr. Hogan!” piped up Atom merrily as we all laughed and the monkey chattered on O’Casey’s shoulder.