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“Dangerous Business” by D. Campbell

Link - Posted by David on March 25, 2024 @ 6:00 am in

WE’RE back with a third of three stories featuring D. Campbell’s The Three Wasps—stories plagiarized right from The Three Mosquitoes! So instead of the young impetuous leader Kirby of the Mosquitoes, we have the young and impetuous Gary heading up the Wasps. Similarly, Campbell changed “Shorty” Carn to “Shorty” Keen complete with briar pipe and eldest and wisest Travis to Cooper. This time we have their first of five appearances in Harold Hersey’s Eagles of the Air, a short lived pulp that didn’t even run a year. From October 1929 to August 1930, Eagles of the Air had nine issues; The Wasps ran in five of them.

Oppenheim gave us a real nail-biter when he first wrote it—Campbell’s version is just as nail-biting. Important, time-sensitive information needed for an Allied offensive against the Boche has been hidden in the crotch of a forked tree down a dirt path in the woods on Field 23. Intelligence operatives have been unable to retrieve this information. As a last ditch effort, they figure a lone flyer may be able to land on the field, retrieve the information, and get out before the Germans in the area could stop them. Gary is this flyer. Landing in the midst of German troops and retrieving the info is the easy part, keeping his two pals—Cooper and Keen from tagging along is the hard part!

Death rumbled in the guns of the waiting German infantry—but death meant nothing to Gary. He swooped down on the scene and rode his quarry to the kill!

Editor’s Note: Although Campbell does try to make this one more his own by changing Field 21 to 23, he is already starting to get sloppy as he neglected to change “Mosquitoes” to “Wasps” in several instances. These have been highlighted in red when they occur.

And compare this to Oppenheim’s original version of the story with The Three Mosquitoes!

Stacked Cards

It was Intelligence stuff, and Kirby could not even tell his two buddies. He took off alone—for Germany—and how was he to know that the cards were stacked against him? Another of Oppenheim’s breathless thrillers.

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