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I'm a transplant from the rain and beauty of northern England to the sun and desolation of Phoenix, AZ. I'm also a traveller through the world of film, exploring the medium from many different starting points. Whatever else I am is your opinion.

25 April, 2010

The Crabs: The Survivors

Another proposed Crabs novel from the Black Hill days, The Crabs: The Survivors was also projected at 60,000 words. However it suggests a much more gore drenched read than Crabs: The Flesh Eaters. Both were presumably aimed at continuing the story after Crabs on the Rampage.

The Crabs: The Survivors

Setting: The East Coast, The Wash, Wells-next-the-Sea and the Fens.

Chapter One

The crabs were wiped out by a cancerous disease (Crabs On The Rampage) but in all plagues there are survivors, just as rabbits survived myxomatosis. A handful of the giant crustaceans find their way to the Wash and take refuge in the marshes and mudflats. the summer is warm and they thrive, keeping hidden. A hunted species in a minority they rely on instinct but their lust for human flesh is insatiable and a lone boatman searching for mussels is their first victim. He is missed but the treacherous Wash quicksands and tides are blamed.

Chapter Two

Jack Clay is the last of a breed of East Coast gunners who rely on the fishing and wildfowling for their living. He lives in his old houseboat on the marshes and at night he hears the crabs, their claws scraping at the woodwork of his frail dwelling place. For some reason they do not smash their way in; a night of terror for the old gunner. In his younger days he had gone crab-catching on Breydon but it is incredible that crabs this size should be on the marshes. The next morning he renovates his old gunning punt which had been stored away until the winter months when the wigeon came in droves and he sets forth down the maze of creeks, the big gun loaded up with goose shot. These crabs will be worth money if... he comes upon one at a range of no more than twenty yards and opens fire. His aim is true and the heavy charge finds its mark, scoring the gigantic shell. Then the enraged monster turns on its enemy. Jack paddles for his life but the crustacean catches him up, splinters the boat to matchwood and the old gunner dies a terrible death.

Chapter Three

Still the surviving crabs are undetected and it is mid-summer. The marshes take on a deceptively serene appearance, attracting picnickers, birdwatchers. The Smithsons have come from Kings Lynn for the day and have wandered far out on the saltings enjoying the loneliness and the sunshine. They spread out their picnic on the banks of a wide creek. Suddenly the mud comes alive and the family are attacked by huge crabs. Their screams go unheard in this desolate place. Still nobody has seen the crabs as coastguard helicopters search for the missing family. Again the dangerous currents are blamed.

Chapter Four

Roy Summers has a conviction for stealing eggs from an eagle's eyrie in the highlands of Scotland. Now he is on the Wash in search of the prized eggs of the Bittern. He spies a crab in the dense reedbeds and is on his way to raise the alarm when another one cuts off his escape route. A terrifying manhunt takes place in the reeds, the frantic fugitive finally cheating his pursuers when he blunders into a patch of quicksand. But the crabs are intent on breeding. Basic instinct urges them to survive and multiply, to rebuild that terrible army that once brought havoc and death to the shores of Britain. Two females spawn and carry their young on their backs up the maze of creeks into the marshes, more active now that the moon is full.

Chapter Five

The crabs are spotted. Joe Dyke, a marsh warden, comes upon them and has a lucky escape, leaping across a creek and gaining distance on his pursuers. The alarm is raised and searching helicopters glimpse a crab. The terror is alive again and a phone call to London brings Professor Cliff Davenport, the old crab-campaigner, to the East Caost. His worst fears are realised - the disease did not bring about total annihilation of the crustaceans. But there are only a few of them; they can, and must be, wiped out.

Chapter Six

The mudflats of Holbeach are a practice bombing range. Much used in World War II, they are still used, and a pilot catches a glimpse of the crabs. He ignores his original targets and bombs the crabs, sees the creatures bowled over, their shells scarred and splintered. But miraculously they lumber on, the huge females shielding their offspring, hatred for Man stronger than ever.

Chapter Seven

The crabs leave the Wash, move by night further along the coast, Breydon Water, a haven for boating holidays yet as wild a place as any you will find in Britain, dense reedbeds and swamps, less open than the marshes in the Wash. A young couple are awakened one night by a scratching sound on the bottom of their boat. The craft lurches, threatens to capsize. They rush up on deck and are greeted by the sight of a huge crab trying to clamber aboard. Now the boat is overturning and the couple's screams are heard across the Broads on the still summer night air. The crabs have come to Breydon and brought death and terror with them. A mass operation to recall all holidaymakers, close off the area, but not before more have died.

Chapter Eight

John Dayle has been charged with a string of sex killings and is due to stand trial in a few days. He engineers a remarkable escape and as a fugitive heads for the Fens. Suddenly Breydon Water is becoming a very dangerous place. The offensive against the crabs is mounting with public pressure being put on the government for the annihilation of the crabs. Helicopters are constantly searching, Breydon Water is cordoned off and sightseers are kept back. Dayle falls victim to the crabs, and now the crabs are on the move again, escaping the net that has been cast for them, creating havoc and terror on Great Yarmouth beaches where some teenagers are moonlight bathing and then heading north. Where will they turn up next, Professor Davenport wonders?

Chapter Nine

The crabs and their young have disappeared. Coastguards on every stretch of coastline watch and wait. Have the monsters deserted British shores and migrated to warmer waters? It is mid-August now and within another month the climate will be getting too cold for them. A fortnight and then they show up again on the next full moon - at Wells-next-the-Sea, once the idyllic mecca of wildfowlers and fishermen, now a seaside resort with its front a conglomeration of amusement arcades and coffee bars. The crabs come across the sandbanks, wreck the seafront just as they once did at Barmouth, taking the occupants and holidaymakers by surprise. then the crabs retreat but Davenport knows they will come again.

Chapter Ten

Davenport devises a trap, an inspiration as cunning as when he used paraquat at Barmouth. Paraquat was found to be too dangerous, harmful to wildlife and fish close to the shore but now he has something which is much more controllable - a gigantic acid bath into which he must lure the enemy!

Chapter Eleven

A grain mill close to Wells harbour was wrecked by the crabs. Here there are deep corn pits, damp-proofed; they are filled with acid, a steaming bath of death for the unwary. But how will the crabs be lured into them? Davenport has the answer - he will be the bait!

Chapter Twelve

The moon is waning, after tonight the crabs will be inactive inland. Possibly by the next full moon they will have returned to warmer waters, spawning grounds where they can multiply unhindered, rebuilding their armies for a terirble vengeance on Mankind. Davenport waits on the landward side of the trap; the pits are covered with planks and branches which will not support the heavy crabs. Will they come? Will the ruse work? 2 am. and then the crabs come clicking their way out of Wells harbour.

Chapter Thirteen

The crabs see Cliff Davenport. They halt, regard him venomously. Could it be that they recognise him, by some strange instinct, as the enemy who has fought them in all corners of the globe? They surge forward and then they are avalanching down into the acid trap amidst splintering timber. Their end is terrible, and even Davenport, standing above viewing it, feels a pang of remorse that such a courageous enemy has had to be lured to such a despicable end.

But it had to be so, for the safety of Mankind.

Characters

Professor Cliff Davenport. Hero of several Crab encounters.

Jack Clay. An old Fenman who refuses to give up his way of life, fishing, dragging for mussels and wildfowling.

Roy Summers. Already convicted for theft of Golden Eagle eggs in the Highlands, he is out to steal Bittern eggs in the Fens.

The Smithsons. Their fatal picnicking expedition to the Fens.

Joe Dyke. A warden on the Fens, he is the first to see the Crabs and live to raise the alarm.

John Dayle. A dangerous psychopath on trial for murder, he escapes custody and hides out in the Fens.

Jill Franks. A divorcee holidaying at Wells-next-the-Sea, she becomes caught up in the terror.

Crabs: The Flesh Eaters

Guy N Smith wrote many books in many genres, though mostly fictional works in the horror genre. However he will perhaps always be best known as the creator of the Crabs, giant crustacean monsters right out of the days of the fifties monster movies but conspiciously close to home. They first washed up on the Welsh beaches in 1976's Night of the Crabs. The series ran to six novels, plus a number of short stories, a graphic novel and even a cute clockwork toy.

At least two further novels reached synopsis form, along with Crab Fury, which became that graphic novel. There may well be more as the Crabs were always a marketable commodity. Click, click, clickety-click! Crabs: The Flesh Eaters dates to the Black Hill days and would have run 60,000 words in length.

Crabs: The Flesh Eaters

Chapter One

Professor Hans Vogt is in charge of a marine experimental laboratory on the west coast of Scotland. The Press have vilified him for some experiments on live shell fish which he is reported to have carried out. As a result the laboratory is the victim of an Animal Rights raid. The places is wrecked, set on fire and Professor Vogt is injured. He seethes with fury because a valuable experiment has been ruined, one which would, if it had been successeful, have given him a place in history. Shortly afterwards he hears of a small bird sanctuary that has had to close for financial reasons and he buys it; ten acres of land with a wire mesh surround and a small lake. This will be his retreat, a place in which he can carry on his work incognito.

Chapter Two

The devilish giant crabs have been wiped out by a deadly cancer (see "Crabs On The Rampage"). However, Hans Vogt comes across two of them washed up on a rocky shoreline, young ones about the size of small dogs. He takes them secretly back to his new abode and thrills to the thought of an exciting challenge. Is he skilful enough to cure them of the disease? And if he succeeds would he be able to breed from them, create another monstrous strain of killer crustaceans?

Chapter Three

His only companion is his young assistant Jane Hart who has stood by him. Jane is 23, attractive, but has never really got over the death of her fiancé two years ago. She, too, has become a recluse along with Hans Vogt. Together they try to save the pair of crabs, fighting against the cancer with modern science, a battle that goes on for weeks. Finally, the Professor is euphoric, they have won! The creatures will live, they will grow... and they will breed!

Chapter Four

The crabs are confined in the lake which is surrounded by steel mesh and fed by a tidal creek. Conditions are ideal and there is also a heated aquarium section where they can live during the winter months. But nobody must know the secret of Dagon House for the authorities have bowed to public pressure to exterminate the mutant species which have wreaked havoc and death around the coastline since 1976. And then one day Hans Vogt has a called, an old colleague who has somehow tracked him down... Professor Cliff Davenport!

Chapter Five

Vogt hides his impatience. This is the one man he does not want snooping about the place, the man who has been the scourge of the crabs ever since they first shambled out of the ocean bed. Davenport is given a conducted tour of the Dagon grounds. The crabs are lying low for the spawning season is nigh. But the keen eyed Davenport notices a huge claw imprint in the mud on the shore of the lake. A familiar chill runs up his spine but he does not say anything to either Hans Vogt or Jane. Surely it is impossible, the crabs were wiped out five years ago and yet... He senses that Vogt is eager to be rid of him. He must return secretly in due course and hopefully allay his suspicions. Or else unveil a terrible secret.

Chapter Six

There is a nocturnal intruder in the grounds of Dagon House. Professor Vogt's savage Alsatian corners a man and at pistol point the Professor has no difficulty in recognising the prowler from recent photographs in the Press. Frank Innis has been released from a top security mental institution; convicted of rape and murder twelve years ago the doctors have declared him 'cured' and have instigated his release amidst a storm of public protest. Vogt takes his visitor inside; perhaps Innis is just the man he needs, a man strong and ruthless enough to preserve the secrets of Dagon House from those who might trespass here. As a result, much to Jane's horror, Innis is taken on as a 'minder'.

Chapter Seven

Hans Vogt witnesses the incredible spawning in his lake, the huge crabs now carrying their young up out of the water on to the small island. The night air is filled with their clicking. One thing worries him - is the mesh strong enough to contain these creatures? Also, can he acquire enough flesh to satisfy their hunger, to placate them. That task will fall on Frank Innis!

Chapter Eight

Sheep are stolen from nearby farms and thrown to the crabs. The waters of the lake turn crimson. But Frank Innis has other things on his mind, the crabs are of minor importance. Jane has kindled an almost forgotten lust and one night he creeps stealthily to her bedroom, forces his way in and rapes her. Hans Vogt hears her screams and is just in time to save her life. Innis is forced down to the lakeside at gunpoint and an age-old sacrifice takes place, behemoths coming up out of the water to claim their first meal of human flesh.

Chapter Nine

The crabs have tasted human flesh and blood and now they hunger for more. The steel mesh surround to the lake is twisted and buckled, it can't hold them back forever. Vogt knows the only answer is to keep the crustaceans happy with fresh meet but now he no longer has Innis to do his bidding. Jane is terrified, wants to leave, but the Professor tells her there is no way out. Dagon is like an impregnable bastion, an electrified fence and, even more dangerous, that killer Alsatian on the prowl in the grounds. She reads the madness in his eyes, knows that her boss has gone over the top. In his crazed mind he wants revenge on those who destroyed his old laboratory, hates the human race, and sees a way to conquer the world. She is a prisoner here, totally at his mercy.

Chapter Ten

Cliff Davenport has failed to gain entry to the Dagon grounds. He has climbed a hill overlooking the place and has a pair of powerful binoculars focused on the lake. Tonight the moon is full... Sometime after midnight he sees them, horrific beasts that come ashore and vent their fury on the fence that holds them back, throwing themselves at it in their desperation to gain freedom. Vogt appears, Judith helping him to drag something to the edge of the jetty, heaving it over the wire; a dead animal of some kind. The water foams, the crabs fight over this morsel. Davenport's worst fears are confirmed. Professor Vogt has bred some crabs and very soon they will be breaking out of their prison.

Chapter Eleven

Vogt is angry with Jane over her pleas to flee this place whilst they still can. He dare not let her go. He would silence her by feeding her to the crabs except that suddenly he finds himself lusting for her, succumbing to feelings which for years his devotion to his work had nullified. Once again Jane is raped and left sobbing in her room. Professor Vogt has come to a decision - he will free the giant crabs, return them to the ocean where once again they can breed and ravage mankind. He will unfasten the mesh gate which seals off the creek from the shore.

Chapter Twelve

Jane realises what the Professor means to do. She must stop him for the sake of civilization even if it means forfeiting her own life. In his study she finds the guns, also the switch which turns off the electrified circuit. As she hurries from the house she spies a car coming down the long drive, driven by Cliff Davenport. Even as he stops and gets out the vicious Alsatian is coming out of the nearby rhododendrons. Cliff takes the gun from her and kills the dog. They must hurry now if they are to stop Hans Vogt resurrecting the curse of the oceans of the world.

Chapter Thirteen

Vogt has reached the big creek gate, is already struggling with it. He shouts insanely at Davenport that the other is too late. But there is still time... Cliff empties the gun into Professor Vogt, sees the madman totter, fall bleeding into the water below where he is seized by gigantic pincers that rip him apart.

They have stopped him with only seconds to spare and even now they must hurry for the buckled fence surely cannot hold out any longer. A hurried phone call by Cliff Davenport to his old colleague of the Barmouth days, Grisedale, has a helicopter on the scene within the hour, fitted with an agricultural spray loaded with paraquat. It was this weedkiller which destroyed the crabs once before and now it puts paid to them once again. The threat is over but has it been eradicated forever?

Characters

Professor Cliff Davenport. Hero of several of the Crabs books.

Professor Hans Vogt. Has run a marine experimental laboratory. This is wrecked by anti-vivisectionists. A loner, he despises those who oppose his research. His experiments to discover more about the crabs takes a new twist; one day they could rule the oceans if they were allowed to breed unmolested. He could be revenged upon all those who have stood in his way.

Jane Hart. Vogt's young assistant. He has to convince her of his ideals and at the same time keep his new plans a secret.

Frank Innis. Released from a mental institution after five years amidst a storm of public protest. He is just the man Vogt needs to act as a 'minder'. Violent, the very man to dissuade those who seek to penetrate the grounds of the new marine laboratory.

22 March, 2010

Zombie Apache

Western horror stories aren't unknown, but they're rare in either books or films, even today, though with some traditional horror elements like vampires and zombies turning mainstream, we're likely to see more soon.

Guy floated the idea of a zombie western novel back in his Caerlaverock days, a 50,000 word novel called Zombie Apache. It was presumably never written but the synopsis survives and here it is.

Zombie Apache

Shannon, a notorious killer and gunman, is being pursued into the Arizona desert by Marshal Chris Brennon and his posse. Finally, the killer is run down in an arroyo, and after a lengthy gun battle he falls, his body riddled with bullets. Brennon leaves the body for the vultures, so great is the hatred for this man.

As the posse rides away, a lone Apache emerges from some rocks above where he has been watching. This is Satanna, the last of the 'free' Apaches. The Apache wars are over, and the tribes are peaceably installed on a reservation. Satanna has failed in his bed to rally them once more in an effort to drive the white eyes back into the sea. Even his magic, for he is the son of Cubillo, the greatest of all Medicine Men, fails to inspire them to follow him into war. With a grim smile of satisfaction on his face, he rides down and ties the dead body of Shannon on to his mount. It is a long ride, taking him until sundown on the following day, before he reaches his destination, a cave deep in the heart of the desert. Here Satanna has learned to survive, practising his black arts which he believes will eventually bring victory for his people.

Placing the corpse on a slab of rock, he begins a series of long rites and incantations. These go on for several hours, and every so often he feels hopefully for the fait heartbeat that will mean he has succeeded. At last, when he has almost given up hope, the corpse begins to pulsate with new life. An hour later it sits up. Shannon is alive once more, only this is the living-death. He can walk, hear and talk. He obeys instructions implicitly, but he is no more than a shell of humanity...a zombie!

"I need men who will fight for me", Satanna tells him with a maniacal gleam in his eyes. "Red men and white. You will go out and bring these men to me...dead. Then I will make them live again..and fight for me!"

Shannon sets forth on his quest, his .45 once more nestling in its well-greased holster. To all intents and purposes he is the same man - a born killer. But now he has a new motive. Dead bodies for Satanna!

---

The small township of Rock Springs is resting easy now that the Apache wars are over. Too easy. In the shadows of the main street lurks Shannon, watching and waiting for one man in particular. Joe Mangus was the best indian scout the U.S. Army ever had. One time a fierce Apache warrior, he changed sides when he saw that the redmen's plight was hopeless. Satanna has decreed that now he shall fight with the men he betrayed, and Shannon must bring him in. Mangus emerges from the saloon eventually, drunk and reeling. One bullet between the eyes is sufficient. Men come running at the sound of the shot, and are just in time to see the gunman riding away with the corpse across his saddle. Fear spreads through Rock Springs.

"Shannon lives. He has returned from the dead!"

Indian villages on the Reservation begin to live in dread of a black clad figure on horseback who rides the trails, killing their warriors and transporting the bodies to some place where they are never seen again. Braves are disappearing nightly.

Chris Brennon cannot understand how Shannon can be alive, yet the reports come flooding in of murders, both red and white. He finds tracks but they only lead into the desert where they become obscured.

Satanna now considers that he has the necessary numbers with which to begin his campaign. Two dozen zombie Apaches at his command, he rides with Shannon at their head on the first raid - Dawn Creek, a small settlement on the edge of the Reservation. The settlers are sleeping, but they are awoken to a horrific scene. Fierce Apaches with sightless eyes who kill ruthlessly, mutilating the bodies. One settler fires point blank at a brave with a sawn-off 10-gauge shotgun. Flesh is ripped away, bone splinters, but the warrior scarcely falters in his task, beheading the man with a super-human blow from a tomahawk. Dawn Creek is wiped out, every man and woman horribly mutilated, the buildings set on fire, and then the warriors of the living dead ride back into the desert.

---

Major Jenkinson is a hater of all redmen. It was his greatest disappointment when the Apaches surrender. Far rather would he have pursued them to the bitter end, and slaughtered every last brave. He cannot hide his delight at the fact that the Apaches are on the warpath again. His wife and daughter, Mary, have come out to join him at Fort Brant with the coming of peace. Mary begs him to investigate before making a counter-attack on the Reservation Indians but the Major is filled with blood-lust. Whole villages of indians are massacred, and warriors tortured in an effort to extract information about the raiders.

Two nights later the zombie warriors attack Fort Brant. A terrible nocturnal battle ensues. Even the hardened Indian Scouts cannot understand it. Normally, redskins never attack at night for fear that the spirits of the dead will wander off and become lost, thus never finding their way to the Happy Hunting Grounds. Everything is un-natural. The attacks seem immune to rifle-fire. The deadly gun of Shannon wreaks havoc amongst the soldiers on the battlements. Then, with the coming of dawn the attackers retreat. Major Jenkinson is left in no doubt that they will be back.

Satanna is well pleased with the way things are going. HE has struck fear into the hearts of the white eyes as well as killing many of them. Now he desires something else. A white woman, not only for his pleasures but as a means of furthering his ends against the enemy. Mary Jenkinson! Shannon is commanded to bring her in alive. The following night, he sneaks into Fort Brant, and successfully kidnaps her, knocking her unconscious.

When Mary regains consciousness, she is a prisoner in the cave of the redskin zombies. Satanna forces her to submit to him, and boasts of his army of living dead. He tells her that she will be his squaw, and that together they will rule once the whites have been defeated.

The occupants of Rock Springs move into the safety of Fort Brant now that the indian danger has flared up again. Chris Brennon descides to make another foray in the hope of finding either Shannon, Satanna or Mary Jenkinson. He decides to start at the point where he last saw the gunman - lying dead in that arroyo.

He comes across signs of many horses in the desert, but frequent sandstorms have wiped out any definite trail that he can follow. That night he makes camp in the desert, but his horse warns him during the nocturnal hours that someone or something is abroad. From the cover of some bushes he witnesses the war-party of zombies on their way to attack the fort. Satanna rides at their head, the Major's daughter sitting in front of him. At his side rides Shannon and Joe Mangus.

"The living dead", Brennon breathes, "Zombie Apaches. Somehow Satanna has raised all these people from the dead!"

THe marshal follows at a discreet distance. The war-party halts before the fort. The initial burst of firing ceases when the white-faced Major recognises his daughter. Satanna calls on him for an unconditional surrender.

From the cover of some nearby rocks Brennon suddenly realises that Satanna holds the key to this fearsome band of murderers. Without him they would be rotting in their graves. He raises his rifle, and then lowers it again. In the darkness his shot might hit Mary Jenkinson.

The gates of Fort Brant open. Jenkinson and a group of soldiers emerge bearing a white flag. With terrible cries the zombies ride down on them, hacking their bodies to pieces with knives and tomahawks. Then, with the Major's head impaled upon a spear, Joe Mangus heads the attack on the Fort. The gates are open, and the soldiers are at the mercy of the Undead.

Chris Brennon makes his way to where Satanna stands watching, Mary Jenkinson at his side. However the Apache's uncanny senses warn him at the last second, and the bullet intended for his head barely grazes his skull. He leaps at the Marshal, and they roill over in hand to hand combat. Meanwhile inside the Fort, soldiers and civilians are being horribly slaughtered by the zombies.

Brennon is no match for Satanna who has spent a lifetime in the wild. The Apache pins him to the ground, and gloats over him.

"You shall die slowly, white eyes", he threatens, "I shall let my warriors of the dead deal with you when they return!"

Mary Jenkinson had fallen in a faint, and lay forgotten. She stirs, and sees the Marshal's plight. Close by lies Brennon's .45. Slowly she reaches out, grasps it, and using two hands she takes careful aim, and fires. The slug smashes into Satanna's brain, killing him instantly.

The attack inside Fort Brant comes to a sudden halt. Zombie warriors in the act of dealing death blows, sink to the ground, and lie motionless.

Satanna's death has halted his army of horrors for good. The dead are dead once more...this time for good.

21 March, 2010

Bamboo Traitor

While Guy N Smith is best known as a horror writer, he did write one war novel. Bamboo Guerillas was published by New English Library in 1977 in two variant covers and is reasonably rare, possibly given that its subject matter lent it to be categorised in different shelves in book stores far away from where GNS fans went looking.

A comic strip version was later published in Adventure Strip Weekly, though this was just a beginning that was never continued, and it can be viewed online at David Zuzelo's Tomb It May Concern.

Surprisingly, especially given his usual subject matter, Bamboo Guerillas is one of Guy's goriest reads. Many fans lusted after a sequel, but to my knowledge one was never written. However one was proposed and a synopsis exists. This is my transcript of the Bamboo Traitor synopsis typescript.

Bamboo Traitor

British troops have been evacuated from Malaya prior to the fall of Singapore. However, some have elected to stay behind and form a resistance movement in the jungles. One such group has its headquarters in the jungle between Singapore and Kuala Lumpar. Captain Ross supplements his meagre force with Chinese and Malay bandits under the leadership of Yong, a notorious Chinese outlaw.

They fight a war of their own without outside help, blowing up bridges and railways and ambushing Jap patrols. Then, one day, a dozen of these jungle commandos are surprised by the enemy as they make an assault on a bridge. Only fore-knowledge on the part of the Japs could have brought this about, and Ross realises that they have a traitor in their midst. Is it one of the bandits earning blood money from the Japs or is it one of his own men? Do the Japs know the whereabouts of the guerillas hideout? If so, why have they not attacked before?

Ross realises that he must continue to fight his jungle war, and at the same time try and discover the identity of the traitor. He announces a secret mission, and hand-picks the men which he will personally lead. Eight of them set out: Ross, Yong, Sergeant Rhinehart, Corporal Richards and four bandits. Their first halt is at a Malay village, the occupants of which are friendly towards the British. Ross does not turn in with the rest of his men that night. Instead, he takes up a position from which he will be able to see if anyone leaves the village by night. In the early hours of the morning he sees a stealthy figure creeping away, and follows. Keeping his distance, Ross trails his man into the jungle, but about half a mile from camp a figure suddenly leaps on him out of the darkness. The man is armed with a knife and a desperate struggle follows. Finally, Ross overcomes his adversary, disarms him, and discovers that it is Corporal Richards. He takes him back to the village under arrest, and Richards makes known his hatred for the British army which conscripted him against his will. He had given the Japs the information which led to the capture of the twelve jungle commandos through a contact in the enemy force but had with-held the whereabouts of the hideout so that he could instil fear into his comrades who would be constantly fearing an attack and also to give himself time to escape before he finally parted with this information.

Dawn. Ross and his men, with Richards under close arrest, are bidding farewell to the villagers when machine-gun fire rakes the clearing in which the village is situated. The commandos dive for cover and a fierce battle follows. A chance patrol has stumbled on them, and perhaps others will hear the firing and come to swell the ranks of the attackers. Ross has to get his men out... quickly!

The mortally wounded headman confesses that the Japs have been forcing him to hide a consignment of armaments to be picked up at a later date. Machine-guns and grenades are stored in a hut on the opposite side of the street but to reach them will mean exposing the commandos to enemy fire. Suddenly, Richards makes a break towards this hut, running a gauntlet of fire. Wounded, he makes it, and begins flinging grenades in the direction of the enemy. The diversion enables the others to reach the hut. With ample armaments they drive the attacking patrol back into the jungle. The wounded Richards has stayed behind in the hut. Suddenly there is a terrific explosion.

Ross regards the wreckage of the hut wistfully. Richards has blown it up now that their task is accomplished, and himself with it. He was an expert in the use of explosives. His death could not have been an accident.

They set off back to their jungle headquarters in the knowledge that the traitor will betray no more of them.