Sexton Blake Bibliography: 1906

Blake: The detective spends a considerable part of the year in the United States where Tinker is taught the art of tracking by 'Indians.'

SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 4)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 239 · 6/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Two Chums at Oldfields by 'A New Author'; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Now having been promoted to fully-fledged guards, Blake and Tinker find themselves separated, each given his own duties. Once a week, however, their free time coincides and, on one such occasion, Blake reveals that he has received a note advising him not to go out with the 3.40 Langham express on the morrow. This note, written in a good approximation of Tinker's handwriting, also suggests that his true identity is known by the sender. Since the Langham express is not the train to which Blake is assigned, he feels certain that the note is intended to make him rise to the challenge and arrange to be on it. This, he tells Tinker, he will not do, as he is certain the note is a diversion. The next day, as the detective's Lantham-Headway train prepares to depart, an American makes a considerable fuss over having missed the Hartpool service. He is, he declares, Silas T. Trotter, and he is tasked with the delivery of documents from King Edward to the president of the United States. The stationmaster, Manners, is called and agrees to arrange a special for Trotter. The American asks for Blake to serve as its guard. Manners agrees to this but Blake outright refuses and is immediately sacked from his job. Tinker is transferred to the Lantham-Headway train which, halfway along its route, hits a deep snowdrift and comes to a halt. Sexton Blake on the Railway

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 5)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 240 · 13/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; Champion of the World by Allan Blair.

Notes: Tinker clambers along the footboard to the locomotive and is amazed to discover the footplate unoccupied, the steam off and the brakes applied. He immediately realises that the train has been purposely brought to a halt. Surmising that it has been stopped to allow some audacious crime to be committed, he tries to get the engine moving again but is dismayed to find that the carriages have been uncoupled. He struggles to reattach the locomotive and succeeds but is then held at gunpoint by Murphy, the well-known leader of a notorious gang of train thieves. Guided back toward the guard's van, Tinker is shown the driver and stoker, both of whom have been hit over the head and bound hand and foot. As he and Murphy proceed past the carriages, they encounter passenger's who have been robbed of their valuables. One elderly gentleman, in particular, is quite beside himself with fury and puts up such a ridiculous show of indignation that Murphy is overcome with the humour of it. Unfortunately for him, the oldster turns out to be a disguised Sexton Blake, and Murphy is quickly overpowered. He confesses that he has four colleagues aboard and that the man who called himself Silas T. Trotter will arrive in a car soon to enable their getaway. He also informs the criminologist that the principal target of the operation is a case of diamonds that is being delivered to Colonel Mereweather, the director of the railways. Blake has him call to his gang one by one and, as they respond to the summons, the detective captures them. When Trotter arrives at the scene, he is also rounded up. Blake then fires up the boiler and gets the train going.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 6)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 241 · 18/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; Vic the Ventriloquist by Mark Darran.

Notes: When the train arrives at Headway Station, Colonel Mereweather is waiting, there to take possession of his diamonds. He's astonished when the passengers mob him, claiming to have been robbed and demanding recompense. Then, however, Tinker leads the prisoners to him, and a hush descends over the crowd. Tinker declares that thanks to the coincidental presence on the train of "Sam Blake," the sacked guard, the thieves had been caught and all the stolen items recovered. Blake is made a guest at Mereweather's house until the following day when they travel together back to the London terminus. Station-master Manners receives a dressing down from the colonel and Blake is not only reinstated but also promoted to "Travelling Inspector." This position gives him the opportunity to examine every aspect of railway work, so that his knowledge is vastly increased. Tinker, meanwhile, much to his chagrin, is promoted to station-master at sleepy Midfield, a duty that doesn't give him much to do and which keeps him separated from Sexton Blake. However, he is considerably cheered up when he learns that Blake himself urged his assignment. The reason is this: recently, an unusual number of stops at the tiny station have been made by express trains, this being engendered by tickets worth in excess of £5 having been sold there. Looking into the matter, Blake has discovered that just one man is buying the tickets and boarding the trains when they stop. This mysterious passenger, Blake has observed, appears to be ill, is speckled with white powder, has hands covered in little cuts and scars, carries a gladstone bag that he refuses to let go of, and has a foreign accent. For three days after Tinker takes up his new role, nothing happens, then the suspect arrives to purchase his five first class fares. Tinker obstinately refuses to sell them unless the man tells him how he came to have so many cuts on his hand.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 7)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 242 · 27/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; The Fourth Form at Westmoor by Charles Hamilton; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Tinker loses his temper and refuses to serve the customer, though he knows that in doing so he is in the wrong. The foreigner, furiously indignant, departs, but a little while later Tinker finds him sitting waiting for the train to arrive. Upon checking with the booking clerk, he learns that the man has purchased just a single ticket, which is not enough to justify stopping the express. He tells the customer this but receives no response and, to his utter astonishment, when the train approaches, it suddenly slows and halts at the station. Its guard accuses Tinker of not knowing his job — the stop signal had gone up at the last possible moment. As the express departs with the foreigner aboard, Tinker races to the signal box and climbs up to its cabin. From there, he spots a man making his way across the nearby fields. The signalman, he finds, has been knocked senseless. When the porter catches up with him, Tinker tells him to put the booking clerk in charge, to get a reliable man into the signal box, and to summon the local constable. With that, he sets off in pursuit of the man in the fields. When he has him in his sights, Tinker slows and follows. The fields give way to moorland, amid which his quarry disappears. Tinker waits for him to re-emerge from his hiding place and, when he doesn't, proceeds to beat the gorse and brambles to flush him out. All to no avail ... except his hands become so scratched that they resemble those of the mysterious passenger. Suddenly, the youngster is grabbed from behind and thrown to the ground by the man, whom he now recognises as Jake Lawson, a local cabman who frequently socialises with the station porters. He is bound hand and foot and carried into a well-concealed tunnel in the hillside.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 8)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 243 · 3/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Champion of the World by Allan Blair; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Lawson pushes Tinker along the tunnel, which proves to be a seventeenth century escape route from the Earl of Bassborough's manor house. At its end, there is a room, roughly furnished, which Tinker immediately recognises as a bomb-maker's lair. Lawson takes a drink and Tinker provokes him into drinking more ... and more ... until the crook is extremely drunk. The young detective then turns and flees down the dark passageway. Lawson gives chase but Tinker hits the ground causing the villain to trip over him. He then reverses course, races back to the room, breaks a lamp, and uses the naked flame to burn through his bonds. He snatches up a sledgehammer and prepares to fight off his pursuer but the man who emerges into the room is not Lawson ... but Sexton Blake! The villain, it turns out, had fallen onto his own knife and been killed in an instant. Blake was in the train that had been improperly stopped at Midfield. He'd determined to follow Krantz — the man with the scarred hands — but upon witnessing the scene between Tinker and the train's guard had realised that something was wrong, so at the next stop he'd had Krantz arrested and the man's gladstone bag was found to be filled with bombs. His constant journeys, it emerged, were to distribute the explosives among his fellow Anarchists. The Russian ambassador was one of their targets, and he was known to be visiting Bassborough House that evening. Blake had quickly returned to Midfield and tracked Tinker to the Anarchist's hideaway. With the incident closed, Tinker is now placed in the station-master's office at the Trafalgar terminus, there to further "learn the ropes" in preparation for replacing Manners when he retires. The latter, already out of favour with Colonel Mereweather, is summoned and warned to treat the lad fairly. He hides his fury and, over the course of the following days, is thoroughly genial and attentive in his treatment of Tinker. Sexton Blake on the Railway

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 9)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 244 · 10/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Vic the Ventriloquist by Mark Darran; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: One day, Manners is too ill to come to work, and sends a doctor's note to verify his infirmity. Unfortunately, his absence coincides with the annual meeting of shareholders, and a huge amount of statistics require calculation. All this, in Manner's absence, falls to Tinker, and he simply doesn't have the knowledge or experience to cope with it. The pressure overwhelms him, he gives contrary orders, the result is terrible confusion, and he comes so near to the point of collapse that the general manager sends him home. Manners is summoned: "Come at all costs, well or ill!" He arrives, resembling a walking corpse, but in short order resolves the confusion, issues the statistics, and demonstrates such clear-thinking and cool resourcefulness that he is, by the end of the day, hailed as a hero. Tinker, by contrast, has been thoroughly discredited. Blake orders him to take a holiday — it has been arranged that he will spend a month at Colonel Mereweather's place, Hardway Hall. In the meantime, his position is filled by Blake. Manners recovers his health and when the detective starts to work for him, the station-master is surprised to find that he has a tremendously willing and subservient assistant. Days pass, with Blake fulfilling all that Manners asks of him, no matter how complex and time-consuming, but then there comes an occasion when the station-master is again taken ill, his claim once more supported by a doctor's note. Just like Tinker, Blake is inundated with work, but unlike the youngster, he's expecting it and manages it with aplomb ... so much so that he can afford to take an hour's lunch break. Departing the station in a hansom, he heads to a restaurant but is followed there by three men. They sit at his table and tell him that they're aware of his true identity and require his help. All three are British subjects but each has lived abroad for many years: Ford in France, Grantham in Germany, and Stanton in the States. They met for the first time last week in London, and are members of a secret society that has as its object the welfare of all men who are compelled to live outside their own country. Ford explains that he was sent to London to meet with two other members and was given a note containing further instructions but can make neither head nor tail of it. Stanton and Grantham received a similar missives. The detective combines the three notes and they suddenly make sense: the trio is instructed by the society to kill two prominent members of parliament. If they try and fail, their property will be confiscated. If they refuse, they will be killed.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 10)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 245 · 17/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Champion of the World by Allan Blair; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: The three men tell Blake that they are already being hunted by the society's avengers and appeal to him for help. Though he's fascinated by the society's strange mix of good and evil, Blake wonders whether he can take the case while keeping up with his railway duties. Then he thinks of Tinker and decides to assign the investigation to his assistant. He sends a telegram to summon the youngster to the house where the men are lodging before then accompanying them to their car. One of them points out a vehicle occupied by three watchers ... avengers! A car chase ensues, a cat-and-mouse through London's streets until, when it appears that they'll never shake off their pursuers, it is decided that each man should jump from the car at separate intervals and make his way to the lodgings. Ford will be left to either evade the hunters or hope that they'll run out of petrol first. The plan goes without a hitch and Blake is so thrilled by the experience that he begins to yearn for his "real life" and sees an end in sight for his railway work. A few minutes later, Ford joins them, having evaded the followers by slipping the car into a garage and leaving it there. The relief is short lived. The front door opens and the three avengers step in. A wild fight breaks out, Blake finds himself the focus of it, and before he can sort up from down he finds himself sitting on a packing case with his wrists and ankles tightly bound. It dawns on him that he's been well and truly duped ... his three "clients" and the so-called avengers are all working together. They inform him that his work on the railway doesn't suit them, demand that he resigns, then they push him inside the packing case and nail it shut. After addressing it to Colonel Mereweather, they depart. Meanwhile, Tinker receives the telegram and travels into London.

Trivia: In this issue, the editor answers a reader's letter which asks whether Sherlock Holmes ever lived. Stating that Holmes wasn't real but was based on a celebrated 'Scotch' surgeon — Dr. Bell — the editor then goes on to say the following: 'The same explanation also applies to that celebrated detective, Sexton Blake; so that I may say, without revealing a secret, that he is a real living personality. He was also at one time attached to the Metropolitan Police detective department. He found, however, that his connection with a Government institution somewhat hampered him in his methods, and therefore he resigned from the force, and is now perhaps the leading private detective of the world; in fact, many of his adventures form the basis of the stories of SEXTON BLAKE which are published not only in THE BOYS' FRIEND, but weekly in the "UNION JACK."

Rating: ★★★★★ Blake's love for his life as a criminologist is very well portrayed in this excellent instalment.


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 11)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 246 · 24/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Vic the Ventriloquist by Mark Darran; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin.

Notes: Tinker goes to the address that Blake gave him and encounters a delivery man waiting there to pick up a crate. The premises is empty but the front door turns out to be unlocked and, finding the crate in the hallway, the deliveryman takes it away, though not before Tinker notes that it was addressed to Colonel Mereweather. After searching the house and discovering nothing, Tinker exits onto the street and is approached by a man who tells him that he's been tasked by Blake to fetch the youngster. They board a hansom and set off for the Albert Docks but, after continually questioning the man, Tinker starts to think that he's been tricked ... and indeed he has, for the man is Grantham. With his suspicions reaching a pitch, Tinker kicks Grantham out of the vehicle, only to find that a big car has been following the cab, and into this the criminal dives, making a rapid getaway. The young detective looks for Blake but he's nowhere to be found. Then it dawns on him that his guv'nor might have been in the packing crate. Rushing to the goods yard, he initiates a search, the box is found, and Blake, who's in a bad way, is extricated from it. For a week, the criminologist recovers at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, then he and Tinker visit Colonel Mereweather to whom they reveal their true identities. Blake surmises that a large gang of criminals is using the railway to its own ends, and that Station-master Manners is the ringleader. Mereweather commissions Blake to investigate, so the following day, he and Tinker resign their posts at the Trafalgar Terminus. That evening, they receive a note from Ford, Stanton and Grantham congratulating them on a wise decision ... to keep out of it! Over the next few days, Blake and Tinker travel around the rail routes on the alert for suspicious activity. One night, they see a trolley car travelling the rails then mysteriously vanishing. This occurs again on subsequent nights, so they hide out in a tunnel and, when the vehicle passes into it, they derail it, knock out two of the six men aboard, take their place unnoticed by the others, help to lift the trolley back onto the rails, and the journey resumes ...

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 12)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 247 · 3/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; The Rival Factors by Unknown; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: The trolley continues along the rails, propelled by the six men's feet. When they are addressed by the leader of the group, each passenger is referred to as a number. Blake has taken the place of No. 5 and Tinker of No. 4. The gang guides the vehicle over points, into a disused siding, and down into a secret tunnel. Here, in absolute darkness, it comes to a stop and the leader orders his companions to disembark. They do so and then, one by one, ascend a ladder, pass through a trapdoor, and don a crepe mask that's handed to them by a waiting man. Not once, throughout this entire operation, have they seen each other's faces. Blake and Tinker are amazed to find that they've entered a manor house (later identified as Cheney Court), where a ball is in full swing. The premises is owned by the leader of the vast criminal enterprise, a man named Srennam ... Blake immediately perceives that it is Manners spelt backwards. Meeting with an individual referred to as the overseer, the six men are told that tonight they will rob the Moxton Bank, which is currently housing a delivery of gold that was taken there by rail. Its manager, Watkins, and chief cashier, Fisher, are guests at the ball. When the party ends late at night, these two are the last to depart, having been purposely detained by Srennam. They take a horse-drawn cab back toward the town of Moxom but, en route, the gang drives a car into it, destroying the cab's wheels. No.1 claims it was an accident and offers to give the two men a lift. Blake, sitting in the back seat and like all of them still masked, recognises the style of driving as that of George Ford.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 13)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 248 · 10/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; The Trick-Cyclist's Triumph by Unknown; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Blake, who is sitting next to Fisher, tries to warn him but the chief cashier proves to be remarkably dense in the matter of taking a hint and nearly gives the game away. When they arrive at the bank's private entrance — Watkins and Fisher both live in apartments above it — Watkins, clueless of any danger, invites the men in for a drink. Watkins and Fisher enter, Blake and Tinker follow, and, before the rest of the gang can pass through the doorway, Tinker bangs the portal shut and locks it. Suddenly, it dawns on the bank manager that something isn't right. He assumes that the two detectives are thieves and pandemonium ensues, with Watkins and Fisher putting up a terrific struggle, screaming for help all the while. When Blake finally manages to subdue them, Ford whispers through the door but receives no response. The detective hears him talking with the other three who are locked outside and it becomes clear that they all think the mission has gone wrong. None suspects that they've been betrayed. They proceed to drill through the door to break its lock. Blake tells Watkins and Fisher to hide upstairs but the bankers take advantage of this and go to the roof where there's a bell which they immediately start to ring while hollering for help: "Thieves! Fire! Police!" With the whole town awoken, Ford and his cohorts make a quick getaway in their car. A fire engine arrives and Watkins tries to stop Fisher from shouting "Fire!" as he fears the bank will be flooded if hoses are directed at it. Fisher, though, is in a blind panic. Desperately, Watkins produces a knife with the intention of cutting the bell rope but, when the firemen see this, they think the manager has gone mad. Instantly, the hose is turned onto the struggling pair. knocking them off their feet. Sobered by their soaking, Watkins shouts down that two thieves are inside. By this time, a crowd has gathered. The police approach the private entrance but, upon being informed by Fisher that the thieves are armed with revolvers, they rapidly back away, much to the crowd's merriment. Watkins, having come down a fireman's ladder, rouses the mob and they advance toward the door. He uses the key to open it but, by this time, Blake and Tinker have made their way up to the roof. Fisher, still there, is paralysed with fear until they have descended, at which point he alerts the crowd. The detectives hijack the fire engine and keep the mob at bay by dousing it with the hose. Stones and brick-bats are thrown in return. The battle rages but it's looking bad for Blake and Tinker until, suddenly, Ford comes driving to the rescue.

Rating: ★★★★★ This episode is both thrilling and utterly hilarious!


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 14)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 249 · 17/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Vic the Ventriloquist by Mark Darran; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Blake and Tinker leap aboard the car, which speeds away to safety. Blake implies that, if the other four had entered the bank as quickly as he and Tinker had done, the mission would have been successful. The car returns to Cheney Court, where it becomes plain that the estate is honeycombed with secret entrances and tunnels. Ford gives an account of the affair to the overseer, receives a severe reprimand, and is demoted from his position as a foreman. Blake and Tinker are then summoned, offer their account, and are both rewarded with the rank that Ford has lost. They are given a book of rules and instructions, badges that signal their position in what is now revealed as the League of the Railway Brotherhood, and a plan of all the secret entrances to the manor house. The next day, the detectives meet with Colonel Mereweather and show him the evidence. He is utterly astonished by the scale of the criminal organisation and is not only dismayed that it is run by Srennam — with whom he has shared a long friendship — but also by the fact that the man has managed to fool him for so long in the guise of Station-master Manners. Blake promises to bring down not just Srennam but the whole Brotherhood. The following week, while the detectives are waiting to be given their next nefarious task, there comes an extreme shock: Manners resigns! Shortly after this startling development, the expected orders arrive. Blake and Tinker are told to be at a certain place beside a railway line at a particular time. The criminologist notes that the location of the assignation is less than two miles from Colonel Mereweather's home, Hayward Hall.

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 15)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 250 · 24/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; The City of Gold by 'A New Author'; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Sexton Blake on the Railway

Notes: Blake sends a warning to Mereweather and tells Tinker that Manner's resignation suggests that the Railway Brotherhood intends to commit one final audacious crime before dissolving and sharing its accumulated loot among the members. On the assigned date, he and his assistant travel to the town of Loutham and hang about until the time of the rendezvous. Through secret signs, they establish that there are two gangs comprised of six men present. He will be the foreman of one, and Tinker of the other. Following the initial instructions, all twelve men make their way to a certain telegraph pole beside the railway track. Shortly after midnight, a locomotive delivers a thirteenth individual ... Manners! He asks for the foremen, Blake and Tinker step forward, and he leads them away from the others to a signal box. The signalman, a member of the League, is asked whether a message has come for Manners and when he replies that there has been none, Manners is puzzled. Something must have happened to Stanton, he muses, and Blake immediately recognises the name as being that of one of the men with whom he'd attempted the bank raid. It turns out that Stanton is Manner's second in command and should have met them there with the arms and ammunition required for tonight's mission. Manners tells the signalman to wire for his locomotive to be sent back. He then reveals to Blake that the plan is to attack and loot Hayward Hall, murder Colonel Mereweather, and burn his home to the ground. Blake proposes that Stanton might have gone on ahead to reconnoitre. This appears to be borne out a few minutes later when they hear the League's whistled signal of distress. Rushing to the top of a ridge, Manners, Blake and Tinker look down into the grounds of Hayward Hall and see Stanton being pursued by a number of men. They hurry to his aid and carry him to the waiting locomotive. All the other crooks join them and they make a getaway back to Cheney Court. The coup has failed. Manners leaves them, and the overseer, who turns out to be Grantham, takes over leadership of the group. He is plainly disconcerted that the customary masks have been dispensed with on this occasion. Blake and Tinker, fortunately, are wearing good disguises. George Ford appears and tells them they are each to meet the chief (Strennam aka Manners) one at a time for a minute per man. Stanton goes first, followed by Blake and then the rest. As they enter, they are pounced upon, handcuffed, and escorted to Manners and other men who form the League's inner council. Blake spots many high-ranking officials in the railway industry among them. Stanton is ordered to explain what happened at Hayward Hall. He confesses that he went to scout the estate though he'd not been instructed to do so. While there, he'd seen a force of policemen arrive and set up guard over the place. Stanton had hidden but then the Hall's staff started to search the grounds, forcing him the make a bolt for it. The League judges that, for his deviation from orders, Stanton should be put to death. He faints and is carried from the room. Manners then moves along the line of men and, when he comes to Blake, yanks off the detective's disguise and announces, "Sexton Blake!"

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY
(part 16)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 251 · 31/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Mystery Island by 'A Popular Author'; The War Trail by Cecil Hayter; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott.

Notes: Blake, exposed, is interrogated. Tinker, meanwhile, is overlooked. Manners asks the detective to describe how he infiltrated the League. When Blake does so, giving an account of how he derailed and got aboard the trolley, Ford is brought forward to explain why he didn't report this incident. His account is found to be inadequate and Manners sentences him to death. Grantham is the next to be hauled over the coals for his part in allowing Blake to join the criminal organisation and he, too, is given the death sentence. The interrogation continues but is soon interrupted by the sound of marching feet as the hose is surrounded by Scotland Yard men. Manners orders his people to take up their positions. Before he departs, Tinker manages to surreptitiously open Blake's handcuffs. When Manners thinks he's alone and safe with the detective, the latter springs into action and subdues him. Meanwhile, Tinker has drawn his revolver and forced the remaining members of the gang to their knees. "I just told them I was Tinker," he informs Blake. Leading the police to where he has left Manners in handcuffs, Blake finds an open trapdoor, another escape route, but the leader of the League of the Railway Brotherhood has gone down too fast, losing his footing and breaking his neck. With the long case at an end, Mereweather offers Blake a high-paid post with the railway. When it is turned down, the offer is made to Tinker. The youngster says he prefers to stay with Blake ... unless the latter is tired of him. "Young 'un," Blake says. "When I get tired of you, the sun will have ceased shining, and until that day comes we don't part ever."

Rating: ★★★☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 1)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 252 · 7/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Good old Sims! by Martin Shaw; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook.

Notes: From the editorial: 'In this number of THE BOYS' FRIEND I publish the opening chapters of Mr. Herbert Maxwell's new story, "Sexton Blake in America." Sexton Blake is at the present time undoubtedly the most popular detective character in fiction, and he is read by young men and boys alike. "Sexton Blake in America" will be found a story of life among the Red Indians of to-day. It contains no exaggerations, but gives a true picture of what life amongst the American Indians is like at the present time. Life on the reservations and on the far western plains as it is now will be fully and carefully depicted, with the result that I think I can claim for this new Sexton Blake story yet another success. Those of my friends who like Sexton Blake will find a complete story of his adventures each week in "The Union Jack Library," the paper published under my control every Friday, price 1d.'

This serial commences immediately after the end of SEXTON BLAKE ON THE RAILWAY (THE BOYS' FRIEND, issues 238 to 251) and begins with Tinker 'tinkering' with Blake's newly installed wireless telegraphy apparatus. He stumbles into communication with what appears to be a gang of American criminals who are dealing with someone called Li Ching. Blake interrupts at this point. He appears to know something of the case and manages to convince the person on the other transmitter that nothing is amiss. In the guise of 'Luke the Slugger', he receives instructions to board the California, bound for the States, using the pseudonym 'Reknit' (made up by Tinker — it's his own name backwards). The real Slugger is implicated in a massive forgery operation which, from Europe, has been flooding New York with counterfeit bank notes. Blake was told this by the American Ambassador, who has commissioned him to tackle crime in the Sates, even going so far as to give him complete authority over all the country's police forces and detective agencies. However, before Blake leaves, he has a last job to undertake in his home country. With consummate ease, he tracks down and rounds up the forgers who've been printing the money in their isolated hideaway. He then sets off across the Atlantic (Tinker has gone on ahead); the long voyage being dealt with in a single sentence that describes it as 'uneventful'. Immediately upon landing, the adventure shoots off in another direction. A rising of the Crowfeet Indians has suddenly occurred for no known reason. Blake is tasked with quelling their unrest while the US government gathers together a force to deal with them should it become necessary. Before you know it, he and Tinker are out in the wilds and surrounded by hostile natives.

Trivia: 1906 was obviously a year in which the detective experimented with new forms of communication. Not only does he install telegraphy apparatus but he also experiments with homing pigeons (see UNION JACK issue 156, BY PIGEON POST).

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 2)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 253 · 14/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); The King's Ransom or an Eastertide with Robin Hood and his Merry Men by Morton Pike; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; The Whaler's Peril by Cecil Hayter; The Chums of Chilcote by Charles Hamilton; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Jack, Sam and Pete's Quest by S. Clarke Hook; Ben Marker's Easter Egg by William Murray Graydon; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Revenue Man by 'A Popular Author'; The Greenness of Double F by T. C. Bridges; Under the Red Ensign by David Goodwin.

Notes: Easter double issue. The small band of redskins, lead by Eaglewing, have been sent by chief Hawkeye to kill Sexton Blake. They have received instructions from an unknown source, so it seems that Blake has already made enemies in America. He surmises that they might be rogue law enforcers who are jealous of his appointment and his suspicions point to Black Juan, his Mexican guide. The detective's quick wits soon calm the Indians and he makes an ally of Eaglewing who names him Lightning-Glance and Tinker Watchdog. When Black Juan and four of his men try to kill the Indians, Blake, with Eaglewing's help, overpowers him.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 3)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 254 · 21/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Storm Island by Allan Blair; The Circus Stowaway by Anon.; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott.

Notes: The Indians kill Black Juan and two of his men. The surviving two tell Blake that the redskins have been deceived into an uprising in order to bring US troops onto their reservation. Gold has been discovered on their land and the prospectors want all-out warfare so that the Indians will be wiped out, leaving the land free for mining. Blake needs to see Hawkeye to explain that he's been duped but the chief is guarded by five of the plotters who profess to be his 'servants'. To get past them, the detective and Tinker stain their skins red and disguise themselves as natives. At the village, Eaglewing tries to explain the deception to Hawkeye but his assertions are contradicted by the leader of the five white men — 'Ratty' — and he is condemned to death for failing to kill Blake.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 4)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 255 · 28/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; In Peril of their Lives by Morton Pike; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Blake organises many of the redskins into a resistance group who will attempt to save Eaglewing. The latter, meanwhile, suffers an ordeal in the lead up to his execution. But he is steadfast in his refusal to explain why he did not kill Blake and demands the right for himself, Lightening-Glance and Watchdog to face the five miners in a combat to the death. With the crowd supporting the demand, Hawkeye has no choice but to accede.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 5)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 256 · 5/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Detective-Warder Nelson Lee by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; The White Slave by Unknown; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook.

Notes: Blake, Tinker and Eaglewing are joined by two braves to make their number up to five. They then pair off with the five miners for combat. Blake's opponent is Ratty but first Tinker is up against his opposite number. Their gunfight is brief and the miner dies with a bullet through his head. In the second combat, the miner and redskin kill each other simultaneously. In the third, a win is scored by the palefaces. But before the fourth — Eaglewing's — battle commences, Blake reveals his identity to Hawkeye and exposes the miners' lies. The chief is convinced and ends the combat. Ratty attacks Blake but is killed by Eaglewing.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 6)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 257 · 12/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Fire-works and Water-works by Sidney Drew; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Having quelled the Indian uprising, Blake and Tinker now take on a new case. In the town of Seven Springs, Texas, six sheriffs have vanished mysteriously, one after the other. Blake arrives in the role of the new sheriff, accompanied by his clerk, Tinker. They settle in the official residence, next to the prison, and are immediately welcomed by the townsfolk. The house is maintained by a black servant, Remus, who can cast no light on the previous tenants' disappearance. However, when Tinker wakes from a doze one day and discovers Blake has gone without explanation, he realises that Remus is covering something up. His attempts to force information out of the servant draw a crowd of townspeople who threaten to lynch the black man. Terrified, Remus reveals that that Blake has gone to an abandoned ranch and that the local bar owner, undertaker and shopkeeper know something about the missing sheriffs.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 7)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 258 · 19/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Three Days of Peril by Unknown; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin.

Notes: The three men exposed by Remus escape on their horses and are pursued by Tinker and a number of the townsfolk. The chase leads to the abandoned ranch which the villains have set fire to with Blake inside. While the criminals make their getaway with an unidentified prisoner, Tinker rescues the detective. Blake reveals that the men are holding Silas Young — the long-presumed dead founder of Seven Springs — captive. They want five million pounds in ransom money but Silas refuses to pay, even after the gang have killed all the former sheriffs.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 8)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 259 · 26/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Long Arrow's Ordeal by William Murray Gordon; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Blake and his followers trail the kidnappers back to Seven Springs. He tracks them to the coffin shop where, after a fight, he discovers that the three principles are hiding in coffins which are due to be shipped to the neighbouring town. He sends the caskets to the prison where, with help, he emulates the sound and motion of a train. At the end of the bogus journey, the barman, shopkeeper and undertaker emerge only to find themselves in the hands of the law. Back in the coffin shop, the remaining two bad guys and their prisoner, Silas Young, are also found in coffins. All five villains receive the death penalty.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 9)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 5 Issue 260 · 2/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; A Gentleman Jockey by A. S. Hardy; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin.

Notes: With business concluded at Seven Springs, Blake and Tinker now travel by rail to Washington in response to a cursory summons from the president. Their journey is beset by perils: a herd of cattle block the track, a bridge collapses just behind the train, and a signalling error sends the engine hurtling into a siding. Blake correctly deduces that these aren't accidents; someone is purposely trying to do away with him. The train is then held-up by robbers. Luke the Slugger is among them and it quickly becomes apparent that the villains are after Blake and Tinker rather than loot. The detective manages to send the criminals packing and the train continues its journey. In Washington, he discovers that it's all been a ruse; the summons wasn't sent by the president. It appears that Blake has an enemy in high places.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 10)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 261 · 9/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; An Extra Turn by Reginald Drew; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: As guests of the president, Blake and Tinker are greeted with letters and gifts. Among them is a bomb, which the detective is warned about just in the nick of time. It blows up a wing of the White House and Blake and Tinker are presumed dead (though, in fact, they've left the building in disguise). As the news spreads around the world, in New York one man is particularly pleased. His name is Cornelius Sando, commonly known as 'the Man in Black'. A sadistic criminal possessed of strange hypnotic powers, Sando is the man behind the recent attempts on Blake's life. He has mesmeric control over Luke the Slugger, who had secretly sent a letter warning Blake of the bomb, simply out of hatred for his master. Sando has been torturing Luke after the latter's attempts to assassinate Blake failed.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 11)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 262 · 16/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Redcastle and Co. by David Goodwin; Entombed in a Volcano by L. J. Beeston; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Luke the Slugger's letter, which warned Sexton Blake that he had been sent a bomb, also exposes Sando as the evil mind behind most of the organised crime in America. Luke pleads for the detective to come and save him from the continued abuse of the Man in Black. Sando is torturing Luke when he is interrupted by his servant who announces the arrival of two chinamen. Luke believes that these must be Blake and Tinker in disguise. Under Sando's hypnotic influence, he admits his own betrayal but stops short at exposing the detective.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 12)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 263 · 23/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; The Exploits of Benjamin Barnaby by L. J. Beeston; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Sexton Blake and Tinker, disguised as chinamen, seek an audience with Cornelius Sando. They are placed in harnesses and hauled into an upper room where they are left swinging. Sando orders his servant to search them. Blake is afraid that Luke the Slugger's letter will be found but, with the aid of the ever-resourceful Tinker, manages to conceal then destroy it. Finally allowed into Sando's inner sanctum, he spins a tale about having seen the supposedly dead Blake alive and well and entering a house. Sando sends three aides to find the house to see wether it tallies with the description given. This worries Blake, as he has made the whole thing up. Hoping to make a grab for Sando's revolver, Tinker approaches the Man in Black but is suddenly frozen to the spot by the villain's mesmeric powers.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 13)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 264 · 30/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Bindley's Box by Sidney Drew; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott.

Notes: Under Cornelius Sando's hypnotic control, Tinker admits that he was going to grab the gun and try to attack. Sando, keeping the lad frozen, turns to Blake and, after a struggle, places him in a trance. His aides then return and confirm that the house where Blake was supposedly seen alive doesn't exist. Still believing the detective dead, Sando wonders who sent these two chinamen. He concludes that it was probably his brother-in-crime, Li Ching. Sando interrogates Tinker who manages to maintain his guise as a chinaman. The mesmerised Blake is questioned next and Tinker is terrified that the detective will give the game away. However, Blake is only pretending to be hypnotised and supports Tinker's story in every particular. It seems that they have passed the test and Sando allows them to stay overnight in the house. Next morning, the Man in Black's various gang members report that their search for Blake has been unsuccessful. Still suspicious of his two Chinese visitors, Sando calls for Luke the Slugger. Blake secretly reveals his true identity to Luke. The latter is relieved that the detective has responded to his written plea for help but when Sando promises anything he wants in return for the truth, Luke betrays Blake by exposing his true identity.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 14)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 265 · 7/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Against Shield and Assegai by William Murray Graydon; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Sando, upon hearing from Luke the Slugger that the two chinamen before him are, in fact, Sexton Blake and Tinker, dissolves into laughter. He cannot believe it and is soon laughing so hard that tears stream down his face. Blake and Tinker grab the opportunity and slip out of the room then out of a window. Unfortunately, they are seen by people in the neighbourhood and are mistaken for thieves. A baying crowd pursues them until, eventually, they fall into the hands of the police. When Blake reveals his and Tinker's true identities, the reaction is once again a bout of near hysterical laughter (most of this instalment is comprised of "Ho ho ho ho!", "Ha ha ha ha!" and "Haw haw haw haw!". There's even a "Whoop, whoop, whoop, wh-o-o-o-oop!"). This soon develops into a near riot as the crowd starts mocking the policemen. Violence breaks out and the detective and his assistant make their getaway in the confusion. Blake sends a wire to the president requesting authority over the local commissioner of police. It is granted and he quickly organises a raid on Cornelius Sando's residence.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 15)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 266 · 14/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Storm Island by Allan Blair; Jim the Stock-yard Boy by Hampton Dene; The Trapping of Robin Hood by Morton Pike.

Notes: Sando's house appears to be deserted. Upon entering, Blake, Tinker, the commissioner and his constables discover that it is filled with deadly booby-traps. Gingerly, they make their way through to Sando's inner sanctum. On the way, Blake becomes convinced that the commissioner is crooked and that he has had dealings with the Man in Black.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 16)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 267 · 21/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Jim the Stock-yard Boy by Hampton Dene; Brave Horatio! by Sidney Drew; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; Storm Island by Allan Blair.

Notes: Blake confronts the commissioner who admits that he has accepted bribes in the past from Cornelius Sando. He regrets this strongly but has been in the grip of the man's power for some time. He warns Blake that the final corridor they must traverse to reach the inner sanctum is heavily booby-trapped and tells him how to deactivate the trap. Sure enough, a whirling mechanical blade slices through every square inch of the space after a curtain is pulled back by whoever enters the corridor. Blake doesn't enter; he just watches the mechanism before turning it off. Inside the sanctum, the raiders discover that Sando and all his men have fled. They search the house for a secret exit but have little success. Then Blake hears a cry for help from Tinker.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ See issue 268 for review notes.


SEXTON BLAKE IN AMERICA
(part 17)
by Herbert Maxwell (W. J. Lomax)

THE BOYS' FRIEND · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 268 · 28/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Your Editor's Den (ed.); Britain Invaded! by John Tregellis; Storm Island by Allan Blair; High Jinks at Calcroft by Sidney Drew; Circus Pete by S. Clarke Hook; The Captain of St. Ninian's by Maxwell Scott; Jim the Stock-yard Boy by Hampton Dene.

Notes: Blake finds a note from Sando pinned to a curtain in the sanctum. It warns that Tinker has been captured and will be killed unless the detective leaves America within twenty-four hours. However, Blake surmises that the lad and Sando must still be nearby, probably in a secret room. He instigates a search and soon a hidden chamber is discovered. Sando is within and makes a run for it only to be killed by his own booby-traps. Tinker is recovered and, with that, his and Blake's adventures in America come to a successful end.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ This serial gets off to a weak start with a first instalment that totally changes direction halfway through. It's an indication of things to come, as the serial is really three stories loosely held together by the American setting. The Indian section is reasonably entertaining, the Seven Springs section is weak, and the final section is padded out with a lot of unnecessary scenes. Nevertheless, the case of Cornelius Sando is rather amusing and allows the serial to end on a high. Overall, though, this is a rather incoherent jumble.


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE OPIUM SMOKER
by William Murray Graydon

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 219 · 11/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: 'Gainst Wind and Tide by Arthur S. Hardy; From Your Editor's Chair (ed.); Imprisoned For Life by Henry St. John; Dick Stornaway by Anon.; Barred by the School by Martin Shaw, The Unknown Sea by Cecil Hayter; Tom Tartar Abroad by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE TWO LEOPARDS
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE TWO LEOPARDS

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 220 · 18/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF LORD AVENMORE'S PLATE
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF LORD AVENMORE'S PLATE

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 221 · 25/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF LORD ARMADALE'S BURGLAR
by William Murray Graydon

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 222 · 1/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: His First Term by John E. Finnemore; From Your Editor's Chair (ed.); Imprisoned For Life by Henry St. John; Honours Divided by Arthur S. Hardy; Dick Stornaway by Anon.; Barred by the School by Martin Shaw.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE GERMAN PRINCE
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE GERMAN PRINCE

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 223 · 8/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE CITY OFFICE-BOY
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE CITY OFFICE-BOY

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 224 · 15/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE RAILWAY-MANAGER'S SON
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE RAILWAY-MANAGER'S SON

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 225 · 22/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE EASTWICH MAIL-CART
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE EASTWICH MAIL-CART

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 226 · 29/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: HIS LORDSHIP'S VALET
by William Murray Graydon
HIS LORDSHIP'S VALET

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 227 · 6/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE MISSING HUNTSMAN
by William Murray Graydon
THE MISSING HUNTSMAN

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 228 · 13/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE CASE OF THE YOUNG SECRETARY
by William Murray Graydon
THE CASE OF THE YOUNG SECRETARY

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 229 · 20/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE FOOTMAN FROM FRANCE
by William Murray Graydon
THE FOOTMAN FROM FRANCE

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 230 · 27/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation. This story was reprinted in THE SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY, 1st series issue 145.

Unrated


ADVENTURES OF SEXTON BLAKE: THE OBSTINATE WITNESS
by William Murray Graydon
THE OBSTINATE WITNESS

THE BOYS' REALM · Vol. 5 · Issue 231 · 3/11/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Unknown

Notes: Date and issue number are currently conjectural, awaiting confirmation.

Unrated


A TRAIL OF GLITTERING GOLD
by Anon. (Unknown)
A TRAIL OF GLITTERING GOLD

THE JESTER · Issue 222 · 3/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE SCOURGE OF THE BUSH
by Anon. (Unknown)
THE SCOURGE OF THE BUSH

THE JESTER · Issue 232 · 14/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


ON SPECIAL SERVICE
by Paul Herring
ON SPECIAL SERVICE

THE MARVEL · Issue 133 · 11/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Unknown

Notes: This story features a detective named Shirley Steel of Scotland Yard who is (unofficially) assisted by a boy reporter, Dick Hope. Sexton Blake and Tinker feature in supporting roles. Blake makes it clear in this story that his relationship with the Yard is awkward — they block him, interfere and refuse to give him any credit.

Unrated


THE REPORTER DETECTIVE
by Anon. (E. A. Treeton)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 117 · 6/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane (cover) and H. M. Lewis (interior)

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 19 as THE NEWSPAPER DETECTIVE (1913).

Unrated


THE LOST CHIEF
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 118 · 13/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 15 as THE REDSKIN DETECTIVE (1913).

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE IN AUSTRALIA
by Anon. (T. C. Bridges)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 119 · 20/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: The author contributed the first story — 'With Pick and Lamp' — (non-Blake) to be published in the new series UNION JACK.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE — BEEFEATER
by Anon. (W. J. Lomax)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 120 · 27/1/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE, GAMEKEEPER
by Anon. (W. B. Home-Gall)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 121 · 3/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


UNDERGROUND LONDON
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 122 · 10/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 5 as THE STOLEN PLAN (1912).

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE — CONVICT
by Anon. (E. W. Alais)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 123 · 17/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 10 as THE CONVICT DETECTIVE (1912).

Unrated


THE DIVER DETECTIVE
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson)
THE DIVER DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 124 · 24/2/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: W. M. B.

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


TINKER, LIMITED
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 125 · 3/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: Given time off by Sexton Blake, Tinker sets up his own detective agency under the name 'Perkins', with ex-navvy Bill Adams as his doorman. He soon exposes a local pawnbroker as a fence. Concealed behind a disguise, he tells Detective-Inspector Spearing about the crook and the Scotland Yard man raids the shop, finding a stash of stolen property. Impressed, he gives Tinker an assignment: to find a stolen diamond. Tinker discovers that it has been purchased by Sexton Blake and so visits his master in disguise to claim the jewel. Blake hands it over, not revealing that he has seen through his assistant's make up. The Baker Street detective then commissions 'Perkins' to find Tinker, who seems to have vanished. Tinker comes up with a quick-change scheme that calms Blake's apparent concern (though, of course, his guv'nor has known all along where his assistant is). Next, Tinker is employed by Lady Lucern to recover her stolen jewels. He does so with ease but upon leaving her premises he runs into Sexton Blake who identifies the returned gems as counterfeits. The detective informs Tinker that Lady Lucern has faked the robbery, intending to sell the real jewels to pay off enormous gambling debts. When Tinker passes this information on to Lord Lucern, he forgives his wife. Back at his office, Tinker finds more clients and, after a night's sleep, embarks on their cases. The first wants him to find a lost will. Tinker succeeds in this but to the client's cost. The second wants him to find a lost dog and the third requires help in a claim against a mining company for fraud. These two cases are handed by 'Perkins' to Sexton Blake. The fourth case involves twins who want him to locate their wayward brother ... and Tinker has no idea how to start. He becomes so frustrated that he abandons his solo career and, instead, decides to work his passage abroad for a holiday. As news of a huge financial fraud breaks in the evening papers, Tinker boards a steamer and is engaged as the cabin boy. He is told to look after the vessel's sole passenger and is amazed to discover that his ward — Brown — is the man being hunted in connection with the fraud. As it passes the shores of France, Brown jumps ship and makes his way to Paris with Tinker hot on his heels. The boy sends a telegram to Spearing and then holds the fugitive prisoner until the Scotland Yard man arrives and makes the arrest. They all travel back to London where Tinker is reunited with Blake, who reveals that he knew who 'Perkins' was from the start.

Rating: ★★★★★ A lightweight but very entertaining tale.


THE THUMB-PRINT CLUE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 126 · 10/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Trooper and Bushranger by Cecil Hayter; The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter.

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 4 as THE FOUR THUMB PRINTS (1912).

Unrated


THE MOTOR DETECTIVE; OR, THE MYSTERY OF RAVENSCLIFFE HALL
by Anon. (Edgar Pickering)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 127 · 17/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE LOST SEAL
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 128 · 24/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 6 as SEXTON BLAKE, KING'S MESSENGER (1912).

Unrated


THE DISGUISE DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 129 · 31/3/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 21 as THE ANARCHIST TRACKER (1913).

Unrated


THE CIRCUS DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Cecily Hamilton)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 130 · 7/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Vincent Daniel

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: The first female author to pen a Sexton Blake tale. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 16 as THE SHOWMAN DETECTIVE (1913).

Unrated


THE TRAM-TICKET CLUE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 131 · 14/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Boys of St. Hilarys by T. C. Bridges; The Pride of His School by cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


NO CLUE
by Anon. (W. J. Lomax)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 132 · 21/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Boys of St. Hilarys by T. C. Bridges

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE, AERONAUT
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)Sexton Blake

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 133 · 28/4/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Boys of St. Hilarys by T. C. Bridges; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE FAR, FAR NORTH
by Anon. (E. H. Burrage)
THE FAR, FAR NORTH

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 134 · 5/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: W. M. B.

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE, K.C.
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 135 · 12/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE AT BAY; THE MYSTERY OF THE RED WAFER
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 136 · 19/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: W. M. B.

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


THE CAMERA DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 137 · 26/5/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Pride of His School by Cecil Hayter; Spy and Conspirator by Anon.

Notes: A young photographer named Lemuel Samson disappears while taking photographs by a river. Sexton Blake and Detective-Inspector Spearing begin to investigate and conclude that he has been kidnapped by a gang of forgers who want to make use of his skills. Blake sets about rounding up the gang. He first catches a man named Selby Strange in the act of replacing real notes with forgeries; he does this through means of a clock in which is built a camera that takes photographs with every sixth swing of its pendulum. After planting a false report that Strange has gone missing (when in fact he's in custody), Blake is asked by another member of the gang, Walker, to search for him. The detective agrees but then sets Pedro to follow Walker. The bloodhound has an automatic camera attached to his collar and through the subsequent photographs Blake discovers where Lemuel Samson is being held. He arranges for photographic plates to be delivered to the house. When Samson uses them, he discovers a message from the detective. He uses the plates and sends them to be developed. When they are, his reply is upon them: "Save me!" Blake and Spearing organise a raid on the premises, Samson is rescued, and the remaining members of the gang are captured.

Trivia: The rooms in Baker Street seem to have shifted about somewhat. Blake's bedroom, which is more usually on the same floor as the consulting room, is here on the floor above. He also has a darkroom on the floor below (presumably the ground floor).

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


THE TOILERS OF THE NIGHT
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 138 · 2/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: From the Quarterdeck (ed.); Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; Pride of His School by Anon.

Notes: None at present.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE IN ZULULAND
by Anon. (W. B. Home-Gall)
SEXTON BLAKE IN ZULULAND

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 139 · 9/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE, KING'S MESSENGER
by Anon. (E. W. Alais)
SEXTON BLAKE, KING'S MESSENGER

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 140 · 16/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


THE FISHERMAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Paul Herring)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 141 · 23/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: R. T. MacDonald

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE'S ORDEAL
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 142 · 30/6/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


THE COLLIER DETECTIVE
by Anon. (E. A. Treeton)
THE COLLIER DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 143 · 7/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 24 as SEXTON BLAKE, PITMAN (1913).

Unrated


THE AMERICAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)
THE AMERICAN DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 144 · 14/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: An American detective named Cyrus Deep asks Blake to assist him with a case of kidnapping. The 14-year-old son of a US millionaire — Elias Money — is being held to ransom. When Blake is then visited by one of Money's friends, James Carew, he quickly identifies him as the villain; all he needs is evidence. The next day he receives a mocked-up photograph showing the boy being threatened and a note telling him to cease his investigation. He traces the photograph to a down-and-out photographer who confirms that he was commissioned to fake it by Carew. Cyrus Deep continues to flounder as Blake's superior skills keep him guessing but feels a little happier when he's given the task to follow Carew, whom Blake expects to leave the country with his hostage in tow. Unfortunately, Deep is assaulted and left unconscious. Blake learns that the villain and his captive have departed on a steamer bound for America. He sends the recovered Cyrus Deep in pursuit on his own yacht, The Swift, but then learns that Carew has a plan to change ships during the voyage. He and Tinker set sail for New York, overtaking Carew to meet and arrest him at the port.

Trivia: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 26 as BROTHER DETECTIVES (1913). The review is based on a reading of that issue.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


SEXTON BLAKE IN CHICAGO
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
SEXTON BLAKE IN CHICAGO

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 145 · 21/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE IN JAVA
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
SEXTON BLAKE IN JAVA

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 146 · 28/7/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


FOOTLIGHT FAVOURITES
by Anon. (F. H. Evans)
FOOTLIGHT FAVOURITES

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 147 · 4/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: R. T. MacDonald

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 25 as ON THE HALLS (1913).

Unrated


THE CLUE OF THE MICROSCOPE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
THE CLUE OF THE MICROSCOPE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 148 · 11/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: Spy and Conspirator by Anon.; How Firkin's Tigers Played the First Eleven by Anon.; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE'S ROMANCE; OR, THE STRANGE STORY OF THE GLENISTERS
by Anon. (C. E. Pearce)
SEXTON BLAKE'S ROMANCE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 149 · 18/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: J. Adney Cummings

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


THE MISSING 13
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon)
THE MISSING 13

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 150 · 25/8/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 27 as SEXTON BLAKE'S WAGER (1913).

Sexton Blake

Unrated


THE PIERROT DETECTIVE
by Anon. (F. H. Evans)
THE PIERROT DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 151 · 1/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


THE STEWARD DETECTIVE
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
THE STEWARD DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 152 · 8/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 28 as THE RAJAH'S BODYGUARD (1913).

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE AMONG THE BRIGANDS
by Anon. (Cecily Hamilton)
SEXTON BLAKE AMONG THE BRIGANDS

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 153 · 15/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 29 as SEXTON BLAKE'S JEWEL HUNT (1913).

Unrated


THE GERMAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)
THE GERMAN DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 154 · 22/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: Sexton Blake is summoned to Germany by Kaiser Wilhelm II and is accompanied there by a German detective named Gustav Metz. A valuable document has been stolen from that country's war office and the Kaiser wants it back. Irritated by the presumptuous manner in which he is treated, Blake is leisurely in his response, thus earning the enmity of the Kaiser's aide, Colonel von Wortz, and, initially, of the Kaiser himself. After making a reluctant apology, Wilhelm informs the detective that the missing document is a plan for the invasion of England. Blake agrees to search for it but he secretly vows to make a copy for the British government. Given authority by the Kaiser, he proceeds with the investigation. The first lead comes from Detective-Inspector Spearing, who, without knowing the nature of the papers, is also looking for the document. He's been trailing a man named James Setton. Disguised as army officers, the two detectives go to Setton's hotel room where they find him in conference with von Wortz. Blake immediately realises that von Wortz is the thief and Setton the buyer — but rather than arrest them, the detective bluffs and leaves. The next day, with help from Spearing and Metz, he organises the capture of Setton. He then disguises himself as the prisoner and meets von Wortz who, convinced by Blake's mimicry, reveals that the document is to be taken to the fort at Schnellberg. Setton escapes and holds Blake at gunpoint. The detective is then taken to the fort and thrown into a dungeon. He's rescued by Metz and the two men immediately arrest von Wortz and Setton and leave them imprisoned. Blake searches von Wortz's rooms but cannot find the stolen plans. He decides to allow von Wortz to escape in the hope that the Colonel will inadvertently lead him to the documents. This plan works, von Wortz is re-arrested and Sexton Blake, disguised as the aide, takes the plans to Setton and frees him from the dungeon. Together they escape to a train station where Metz and Spearing swoop and arrest Setton. Unseen by them, Blake slips the plans to Tinker who hops onto the train and begins his journey back to England. Blake and Spearing then clap handcuffs onto Metz and leave him locked up while they make their getaway. Back in Baker Street, Sexton Blake finds evidence that Tinker has had the plan photographed as planned — but of his assistant there is no sign. The following day Kaiser Wilhelm walks into the consulting room. He has had Tinker captured and will not return him until the plans are handed over. Blake responds by having Spearing arrest his visitor on a charge of kidnapping. After spending a night in a police cell, the Kaiser relents and delivers Tinker to Baker Street, where a furious Metz is now waiting. Blake hands the plans to him and the Germans depart. Blake retains his copy of the document.

Trivia: My copy is missing the cover. At this stage of his career, Tinker doesn't speak German. This story was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 30 as IN THE KAISER'S SERVICE (1913).

Rating: ★★★★☆


THREE ON THE TRAIL
by Anon. (A. G. Pearson)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 155 · 29/9/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


BY PIGEON POST
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 6 Issue 156 · 6/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering.

Notes: Sexton Blake takes a break to visit his friend Godfrey Andover in Suffolk. Andover shares the detective's new found interest in homing pigeons (though Blake owned some two years earlier in CUNNING AGAINST SKILL, Union Jack issue 53) and helps him experiment by sending birds to and from Tinker who's at Blake's new pigeon cote on top of the Baker Street house. A message from the lad draws Blake back to London. On the way there, he witnesses a struggle on the train. He later discovers that one of the men involved — Captain Brand — was supposedly lost at sea the previous day along with the ship he captained. It was one of a number of suspicious sinkings that Blake has been asked to investigate. He soon discovers that Brand has evidence of an insurance scam and is being hunted by the gang responsible. The captain gives the evidence to his son, Horace, asking him to hide it. Shortly after, an attempt on his life leaves Brand in a state of amnesia and Horace is kidnapped. In a typical (of this period) Blakeian coincidence, it turns out that the villains use carrier pigeons as a means of communication, so the story soon develops into a struggle to intercept each other's messages. In one particularly good scene, Tinker, driving a car, races a pigeon from London to Yarmouth. Ultimately, Blake wins through and concludes that his homing pigeons will be very useful in future cases.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Contrived to the point where any sense of credibility is lost, this tale simply isn't engaging enough to stand out. It does, however, give an interesting historical insight into the difficulties and slowness of communications in the days before telephones and email.


GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
GUARDIAN OF THE LIGHT

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 157 · 13/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: The Wooden Walls of Old England by Edgar Pickering; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 3 as THE SMUGGLER DETECTIVE (1912).

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE IN GIBRALTAR
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 158 · 20/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound.

Sexton Blake

Notes: Learning from a blind Tunisian that an attack on Gibraltar is imminent, Blake traces the plot to a German spy called Eckstein. The agent is about to sail to the colony, so Blake purchases a steam ship — The Foam — and sets off in pursuit accompanied by Tinker and Detective-Inspector Will Spearing. However, even before the two ships have left the mouth of the Thames, a thick fog descends and they collide. Eckstein's ship sinks and he and his men are taken aboard The Foam where, not suspecting that Blake is on to them, they buy passage to Gibraltar. Upon arrival, the Germans bribe some of the ship's crew to put them ashore. Blake trails Eckstein to the Spanish mainland where he observes the spy's 500-strong army. Disguised as Spaniards, the detective, Tinker and Spearing infiltrate this army, promising to lead it past Gibraltar's defences. But a trap has been laid; once in the Rock, the force will be divided and captured by the forewarned British troops. While Blake is preparing the ambush, Tinker and Spearing steal Eckstein's plan of the military base and escape, leaving a message for the detective to meet them at a bullfight. In the ring, when the matador is injured, our three heroes leap in to rescue him, with Blake fighting and ultimately killing the bull. The detective then leads the assault on Gibraltar and traps the villains, as planned.

Trivia: There's a noteworthy description of Sexton Blake; we are informed that he has a 'slight' figure and a 'balding head'. This seems to run counter to the usual portrayal. Blake is tall and broad and slim rather than slight. The balding head is mentioned a number of times in the early tales, though, and was later supported by the illustrations of Eric Parker who gave the detective a deep widow's peak. There's an interesting description of Tinker, too. Apparently around thirteen or fourteen-years-old, the urchin happily puffs on a cigarette in one scene ... definitely not the kind of thing that'd happen in modern-day fiction!

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Lazily plotted, totally illogical and messily written, this story doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. Blake seems strangely distracted (and chain smokes cigars throughout) while Spearing, as ever, is a ridiculous figure with a tendency to utter incoherently abrupt sentences and with an unbearably grumpy attitude.


THE WATCHMAN DETECTIVE
by Anon. (Edgar Pickering)
THE WATCHMAN DETECTIVE

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 159 · 27/10/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound; The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.)

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


LOST PEDRO
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
LOST PEDRO

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 160 · 3/11/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Unknown

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 23 as THE STOLEN BLOODHOUND (1913).

Unrated


SEXTON BLAKE IN PATAGONIA
by Anon. (Cecil Hayter)
LOST PEDRO

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 161 · 10/11/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


THE LEGION OF HONOUR; OR, SEXTON BLAKE IN PARIS
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
THE LEGION OF HONOUR

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 162 · 17/11/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


BUTLER AND PAGE
by Anon. (E. W. Alais)
BUTLER AND PAGE

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 163 · 24/11/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Fred Bennett

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


CAPITAL AND LABOUR
by Anon. (Norman Goddard)
CAPITAL AND LABOUR

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 164 · 1/12/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover.

Unrated


FIVE YEARS AFTER
by Anon. (William Murray Graydon)
FIVE YEARS AFTER

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 165 · 8/12/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: Harry Lane

Other content: The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in the SEXTON BLAKE LIBRARY 1st series issue 105 (1919).

Unrated


HOT ON THE SCENT
by Anon. (E. J. Gannon)

UNION JACK · New series · Vol. 7 Issue 166 · 15/12/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: W. Watts (cover) and R. J. MacDonald (interior)

Other content: The Skipper's Weekly Chat (ed.); The Black Assegai by Singleton Pound.

Notes: This issue's cover features a beautiful portrait of Pedro the Bloodhound by W. Watts. The opening chapters are truly gripping. An American criminologist — Professor Potter — is visiting London on a lecture tour. Sexton Blake treats his theories with some scepticism but is nevertheless delighted to meet him. However, he quickly ascertains that Potter is schizophrenic (though this term isn't actually used by the author); when he's tired, criminal tendencies emerge ... and these are being employed, without the professor's knowledge, by the Peacocke Gang, which is led by the powerful Count Munsburg. The gang makes its money by bribing aristocrats, the latest victim being Lord Donwent. London is shocked when the latter is kidnapped, Potter disappears, Tinker is found unconscious and Sexton Blake is implicated in the severe wounding of two men. Of course, Munsburg is behind these events but, for a while, it's Blake who the police are after. Tinker tracks down Potter with the aid of Pedro (who's only 'hot on the scent' for one short scene) and the professor is sent to an institution to be treated. Meanwhile, Blake traces the Peacocke Gang to their hideaway. He and Tinker, aided by coastguards, mount a raid and capture the gang. The detective's final confrontation with Munsburg ends when the villain throws himself from a clifftop.

Sexton Blake

Trivia: At one point in this story Pedro is left behind in the middle of the countryside. Our heroes don't seem much concerned and the poor bloodhound has to make his way home alone!

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ After terrific opening chapters, this goes slightly off the boil but, nevertheless, it remains entertaining through to the end. A pretty standard example of early Blake, its plotting is rather slapdash and illogical with much padding and too many coincidences. Despite the marvellous cover illustration and the story title, Pedro only has a minor involvement.


LOST ON THE ALPS
by Anon. (Cecily Hamilton)

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 167 · 22/12/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: E. E. Briscoe

Other content: The Hidden City by Beverley Kent.

Notes: A letter, found in a secondhand jacket, is delivered to Sexton Blake two years after it was written. It's author, Anthony Ferrers, writing from the Swiss Alps where he was on holiday with his guardian, John Ward, and that man's son, claims that someone is trying to kill him, though he has no idea why. Blake finds that Ferrers is currently at Crossbrooks, his estate, and goes there to see him. Ferrers nervously claims to have no memory of writing the letter but John Ward informs Blake that the lad had been almost delusional two years ago after the death of his father. Dissatisfied, Blake leaves but his pony and trap is driven off the road by a ghost and the detective is pinned under the wreckage. The apparition, thinking him unconscious, rifles through his pockets and removes Ferrers' letter. As the supposed phantom makes away, Blake identifies it as Ward. After being rescued by local farmers, the detective returns to Baker Street and, with Tinker and Pedro, sets off for the Alps to investigate why the letter had been written. Ward follows and tries to assassinate Blake, first by shooting at him on a train, then by planting a bomb. The detective and his assistant survive these attempts. However, in Switzerland, as they climb up towards the mountain village from which Ferrer's letter had been addressed, they are betrayed by their guide, Kasper Ruegg, who sends them plummeting down a sheer slope. They land in soft snow and begin hiking towards their destination. After narrowly surviving various mountain perils, including an avalanche, they make it to a refuge hut and here find Ruegg, capturing him. A few hours later, John Ward arrives and liberates his henchman, both fleeing. Blake and Tinker pursue but fall into a crevasse. Here they find the body of Anthony Ferrers entombed in ice. Blake reveals that the man he had met at Crossbrooks is Ward's son, who has been masquerading as Ferrers in order to claim the estate. As hypothermia sets in, the two detectives despair of rescue. Pedro, though, has escaped from his keeper back at the hotel where his masters had left him and has followed them up the mountain. Encountering Ruegg on the edge of the crevasse, the bloodhound attacks. The criminal is driven over the edge and falls, landing at Blake's feet. The detective appropriates the dead man's ice axe and, with it, is able to climb to safety, with Tinker following. Returning to the nearest town, they spot John Ward aboard a sleigh and there follows a thrilling chase which finally ends when Pedro attacks. Ward, recoiling from the hound, falls beneath the runner of his sleigh and is killed.

Trivia: This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 33 as THE SECRET OF THE GLACIER (1913).

Rating: ★★★☆☆


A NEW YEAR'S MYSTERY
by Anon. (Cecily Hamilton)
A NEW YEAR'S MYSTERY

UNION JACK · New series · Issue 168 · 29/12/1906 · Amalgamated Press · 1d

Illustrator: H. M. Lewis

Other content: The Hidden City by Beverley Kent

Notes: My copy is missing the cover. This was reprinted in PENNY POPULAR issue 12 as THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY (1912).

Unrated