Ordeal on the Isle of the Everlasting Dead

"The four posts of the death-machine tipped off Lang's fate: They were going to tear him apart -- nice and slow!"

(Via Subtropic Bob)


    1. The woman is there to confuse him, but sending pleasurable signals alongside the painful ones.  It just adds to the agony if he is thaaaaaaaat close to a beautiful woman.  After all, he’s a man’s man.

      My favorite part is that he says his feet were like “fiery stumps of lead”.  I’m a sucker for that phrase.

      1.  The fact that no matter where he goes the woman are always voluptuous anglos either in bikinis or unbuttoned tops should be confusing enough to him.

        I like how the woman are drawn with leis on, like he got mugged at a luau.

    2. I’m not convinced one could be drawn and quartered by four men, even the sturdy gents portrayed here.  Didn’t they historically use horses for such a thing?

      Aw, but what do I know.  Maybe they’re the All-Islands Tug-of-War champions.

      I think their job is to slowly lower our hero onto the spearpoints, and perhaps the woman is there to make his feelings conflicted about the lowering.  That’s what he gets for, uh, defiling Damar’s secret.  At any rate, this warrants further investigation.  For God’s sake, somebody post the whole story!

      I don’t think it’s quite a spoiler to say that it looks likely Lang survived his… well, okay, “ordeal.”  Since he lived to tell the tale to Gene Channing.

      1.  “Drawing” means cutting you open from neck to groin and pulling (drawing) your guts out while you’re still alive. I don’t think a horse could do that very well. Then they’d burn or cook your entrails in front of you. “Quartering” involves removing all four limbs – quarters. Normally you’d be hanged first – well, half-hanged, actually, as they need you to be alive to watch your insides becoming your outsides.

  1. Is there a way to read the whole story? It sounds like a hoot. Of course that could just be because anything looks good in the middle of a long work-day of writing about avant-garde aesthetics and gender theory. What better to follow up on that than sexual titillation, xenophobia, violence, and no doubt some very manly vengeance. Not to mention all those phallic spears.

  2. the drawing is meant to be an homage to the romantic spirit of the western myth and a commentary on the arrogance of westward expansion. 

  3. Sadly, the story is probably a lot less interesting than the cover art shown here.  I’ve tried going back and reading a few of those old pulp stories just to see what they were like, and universally they have been terrible.  They’re basically action movies in book form.  Two pages of the hero finding some bad guys, a couple pages of fisticuffs, and then they run away or get killed and the hero goes and finds more bad guys.  Sometimes he is caught and has to escape over the course of a page or so to get into more fighting.  No plot, no character development, just the main character walking from setpiece to setpiece beating up bad guys with his fists until it abruptly ends in the most nonsensical manner possible. 

    There is no doubt some charm to those old pulps, but I’d say they’re best appreciated from a distance and through the rose tinted glasses of nostalga. 

  4. I believe I can read the lips of the woman on the ground.  Yes, yes, she appears to be saying, “Is this bugging you? See, I’m not touching you.  Is this bugging you?  I’m still not touching you…”

  5. I’m pretty sure that I saw that apparatus advertised in the back of a Penthouse from the 70s, without the spearheads.

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