The Home Is The Sailor/War Of The Toy Soldiers/"Stopover"/The Demon Spirit That Invaded Mark Merlin! wiki last edited by chalkshark on 09/07/14 09:43AM View full history

Home Is The Sailor

Lorelei Larkin's boat is capsized by a phantom galleon. The Phantom Stranger rescues Larkin from drowning. The Phantom Stranger escorts Larkin back to shore, then disappears in the mist. Larkin returns home, and tells her tale to her father, Jacob. In her terrible loneliness, Larken offers up her soul for love. As if on cue, there is a knock at the door. Hans Vanderdecker, a dutch sea captain, asks for momentary respite from the storm. Vanderdecker waits out the passage of the storm, then departs. Before he goes, Vanderdecker gives Larkin a black orchid, and ask to see her again.

Larkin's father is immediately suspicious of Vanderdecker. Larkin, though, will not be denied her chance at love. On the beach, the Phantom Stranger confronts Larkin's father, and councils him against taking rash actions. As suddenly as he appeared, the Phantom Stranger disappears. Vanderdecker tells Larkin a tale of the sea. Vanderdecker tells of an old sea captain, who took a wife, to end his loneliness. The old sea captain's insecurities, while away at sea, built to a jealous rage. Upon returning to port, the old sea captain murdered his wife, for imagined infidelities.

From that moment forward, the old sea captain was cursed to sail the seas forever, until he could find a woman who would love him, despite his horrific crime. Larkin, and Vanderdecker, are confronted by Larkin's father. Larkin's father demands Vanderdecker stay away from his daughter. Vanderdecker abandons. Larkin, but only for the moment. Larkin angrily runs away from her father. Before he can pursue her, Larkin's father is attacked by a monstrous sea creature. The Phantom Stranger intervenes, and saves Larkin's father from a ghastly, crushing death.

Larkin's father is more sure than ever that Vanderdecker is not what he seems. A sudden storm keeps Larkin's father from retrieving Larkin from Vanderdecker's ship. The Phantom Stranger, though, is not so easily deterred. The Phantom Stranger confronts Vanderdecker, now revealed to be the legendary Flying Dutchman. The Phantom Stranger battles against the Flying Dutchman, to save Larkin's soul. Larkin ends the fight, professing her love for the Flying Dutchmen, and her heartfelt intent to spend her life by his side. The Phantom Stranger reluctantly complies with Larkin's wishes, then breaks the tragic news to her father.

War Of The Toy Soldiers

This story was originally published in Sensation Mystery #111 (September, 1952). A plot synopsis for this story can be found at the link.

"Stopover"

Cultists ask Doctor Terrance Thirteen, the famed Ghost-Breaker, to bear witness to their summoning of a being from beyond the mortal realm. The "spirit" the cultists actually call forth, however, turns out to be a hostile alien. Thirteen attempts to subdue the alien, without success. The alien teleports away, using a strange device, worn on it's belt. The alien's device absorbs the atmosphere in the room, creating a vacuum. The house barely survives the passage of one alien.Thirteen surmises that had there been more aliens, passing through, the house would have fallen.

The cultists try to convince Thirteen of their success. Thirteen points out that there's nothing supernatural about the alien being. A trio of aliens begin to materialize. The moment they completely solidify, Thirteen attacks, and subdues, them. Thirteen removes their teleportation devices, offering to return them only on the condition that the aliens use them outside of the house. Thirteen also convinces the aliens that an invasion of Earth would be a terrible mistake. After belittling the cult's efforts one last time, Thirteen takes his leave.

The Demon Spirit That Invaded Mark Merlin!

This story was originally published in House Of Secrets #59 (April, 1963). A plot synopsis for this story can be found at the link.

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