Read The Hydra Monster Online

Authors: Lee Falk

The Hydra Monster

The Story
of
THE PHANTOM
TIE
HYDRA MONSTER
PROLOGUE
HOW
IT
ALL
BEGAN
*
O
VER 400 YEARS AGO, A LARGE
B
RITISH MERCHANTMAN WAS ATTACKED BY
S
INGG PIRATES OFF THE REMOTE SHORES OF
B
ANGALLA.
T
HE CAPTAIN OF THE TRADING VESSEL WAS A FAMOUS SEAFARER WHO, IN HIS YOUTH, HAD SERVED AS CABIN BOY TO
C
HRISTOPHER
C
OLUMBUS ON HIS FIRST VOYAGE TO DISCOVER THE
N
EW
W
ORLD.
W
ITH THE CAPTAIN WAS HIS SON,
K
IT, A STRONG YOUNG MAN WHO IDOLIZED HIS FATHER AND HOPED TO FOLLOW HIS AS A SEAFARER.
B
UT THE PIRATE ATTACK WAS DISASTROUS.
I
N A FURIOUS BATTLE, THE ENTIRE CREW OF THE MERCHANTMAN WAS KILLED AND THE SHIP SANK IN FLAMES.
T
HE SOLE SURVIVOR WAS YOUNG
K
IT, WHO AS HE FELL OFF THE BURNING SHIP, SAW HIS FATHER KILLED BY A PIRATE.
K
IT WAS WASHED ASHORE, HALF-DEAD.
F
RIENDLY PYGMIES FOUND HIM AND NURSED HIM TO HEALTH.
O
NE DAY WALKING ON THE BEACH, HE FOUND A DEAD PIRATE, DRESSED IN HIS FATHER'S CLOTHES.
H
E REALIZED THIS WAS THE PIRATE WHO HAD KILLED HIS FATHER.
G
RIEF-STRICKEN, HE WAITED UNTIL VULTURES HAD STRIPPED THE BODY CLEAN.
T
HEN ON THE SKULL OF HIS FATHERS MURDERER, HE SWORE AN OATH BY FIRELIGHT AS THE FRIENDLY PYGMIES WATCHED. "
I
SWEAR TO DEVOTE MY LIFE TO THE DESTRUCTION OF PIRACY, GREED, CRUELTY AND INJUSTICE, AND MY SONS AND THEIR SONS SHALL FOLLOW ME"
T
HIS WAS THE
O
ATH OF THE
S
KULL THAT
K
IT AND HIS DESCENDANTS WOULD LIVE BY.
I
N TIME, THE PYGMIES LED HIM TO THEIR HOME IN
Deep Woods
IN THE CENTER OF THE JUNGLE WHERE HE FOUND A LARGE CAVE WITH MANY ROCKY CHAMBERS.
T
HE MOUTH OF THE CAVE, A NATURAL FORMATION FORMED BY THE WATER AND WIND OF CENTURIES, WAS CURIOUSLY LIKE A SKULL.
T
HIS BECAME HIS HOME, THE
Skull Cave.
H
E SOON ADOPTED A MASK AND A STRANGE COSTUME.
H
E FOUND THAT THE MYSTERY AND FEAR THIS INSPIRED HELPED HIM IN HIS ENDLESS BATTLE AGAINST WORLD-WIDE PIRACY.
F
OR HE, AND HIS SONS WHO FOLLOWED, BECAME KNOWN AS THE NEMESIS OF PIRATES EVERYWHERE; A MYSTERIOUS MAN WHOSE FACE NO ONE EVER SAW, WHOSE NAME NO ONE KNEW, WHO WORKED ALONE.
A
S THE YEARS PASSED, HE FOUGHT INJUSTICE WHEREVER HE FOUND IT.
T
HE FIRST
P
HANTOM AND HIS HEIRS FOUND THEIR WIVES IN MANY PLACES.
O
NE MARRIED A REIGNING QUEEN; ONE A PRINCESS, ONE A BEAUTIFUL RED-HAIRED BARMAID.
B
UT WHETHER QUEEN OR COMMONER, ALL FOLLOWED THEIR MEN BACK TO THE
Deep Woods,
TO LIVE THE STRANGE BUT HAPPY LIFE OF THE WIFE OF THE
P
HANTOM.
A
ND OF ALL THE WORLD, ONLY SHE, WIFE OF THE
P
HANTOM, AND THEIR CHILDREN COULD SEE HIS FACE.
G
ENERATION AFTER GENERATION WAS BORN, GREW TO MANHOOD, ASSUMED THE TASKS OF THE FATHER BEFORE HIM.
E
ACH WORE THE MASK AND COSTUME.
F
OLK OF THE JUNGLE AND THE CITY AND SEA BEGAN TO WHISPER THAT THERE WAS A MAN WHO COULD NOT DIE, A
P
HANTOM, A
G
HOST
W
HO
W
ALKS.
F
OR THEY THOUGHT THE
P
HANTOM WAS ALWAYS THE SAME MAN.
A
BOY WHO SAW THE
P
HANTOM WOULD SEE HIM AGAIN FIFTY YEARS AFTER; AND HE SEEMED THE SAME.
A
ND HE WOULD TELL HIS SON AND HIS GRANDSON; AND
his
SON AND GRANDSON WOULD SEE THE
P
HANTOM FIFTY YEARS AFTER
that.
A
ND HE WOULD SEEM THE SAME.
S
O THE LEGEND GREW.
T
HE
M
AN
W
HO
C
ANNOT
D
IE.
T
HE
G
HOST
W
HO
W
ALKS.
T
HE
P
HANTOM.
T
HE
P
HANTOM DID NOT DISCOURAGE THIS BELIEF IN HIS IMMORTALITY.
A
LWAYS WORKING ALONE AGAINST TREMENDOUS—SOMETIMES ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE ODDS, HE FOUND THAT THE AWE AND FEAR THAT THTF LEGEND INSPIRED WAS A GREAT HELP IN HIS ENDLESS BATTLE AGAINST EVIL.
O
NLY HIS FRIENDS, THE PYGMIES, KNEW THE TRUTH.
T
O COMPENSATE FOR THEIR TINY STATURE, THE PYGMIES MIXED DEADLY POISONS FOR USE ON THEIR WEAPONS, IN HUNTING OR DEFENDING THEMSELVES.
I
T WAS RARE THAT THEY WERE FORCED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.
T
HEIR DEADLY POISONS WERE KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE JUNGLE, AND THEY AND THEIR HOME, THE
Deep Woods,
WERE DREADED AND AVOIDED.
A
NOTHER REASON TO STAY AWAY FROM THE
Deep Woods
WAS THAT IT SOON BECAME KNOWN THAT THIS WAS A HOME OF THE
P
HANTOM, AND NONE WISHED TO TRESPASS.
T
HROUGH THE AGES, THE
P
HANTOMS CREATED SEVERAL MORE HOMES OR HIDEOUTS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD.
N
EAR THE
Deep Woods
WAS THE
Isle
of
Eden,
WHERE THE
P
HANTOM TAUGHT ALL ANIMALS TO LIVE IN PEACE.
I
N THE SOUTHWEST DESERT OF THE
N
EW
W
ORLD, THE
P
HANTOMS CREATED AN EYRIE ON A HIGH, SHEER MESA THAT WAS THOUGHT BY THE
I
NDIANS TO BE HAUNTED BY EVIL SPIRITS AND BECAME KNOWN AS
Walkers Table-for
T
HE
G
HOST
W
HO
W
ALKS.
I
N
E
UROPE, DEEP IN THE CRUMBLING CELLARS OF AN ANCIENT CASTLE RUINS, THE
P
HANTOM HAD ANOTHER HIDEOUT FROM WHICH TO STRIKE AGAINST EVIL-DOERS.
B
UT THE
Skull Cave
IN THE QUIET OF THE
Deep Woods
REMAINED THE TRUE HOME OF THE
P
HANTOM.
H
ERE, IN A ROCKY CHAMBER, HE KEPT HIS CHRONICLES, WRITTEN RECORDS OF ALL HIS ADVENTURES.
P
HANTOM AFTER
P
HANTOM FAITHFULLY WROTE THEIR EXPERIENCES IN THE LARGE FOLIO VOLUMES.
A
NOTHER CHAMBER CONTAINED THE COSTUMES OF ALL THE GENERATIONS OF
P
HANTOMS.
O
THER CHAMBERS CONTAINED THE VAST TREASURES OF THE
P
HANTOM ACQUIRED OVER CENTURIES, USED ONLY IN THE ENDLESS BATTLE AGAINST EVIL.
T
HUS, TWENTY GENERATIONS OF
P
HANTOMS LIVED, FOUGHT, AND DIED, USUALLY VIOLENTLY, AS THEY FOLLOWED THEIR OATH.
J
UNGLE FOLK, SEA FOLK, AND CITY FOLK BELIEVED HIM THE SAME MAN, THE
M
AN
W
HO
C
ANNOT
D
IE.
O
NLY THE PYGMIES KNEW THAT A DAY WOULD COME WHEN THEIR GREAT FRIEND WOULD LIE DYING.
T
HEN, ALONE, A STRONG YOUNG SON WOULD CARRY HIS FATHER TO THE BURIAL CRYPT OF HIS ANCESTORS WHERE ALL
P
HANTOMS RESTED.
A
S THE PYGMIES WAITED OUTSIDE, THE YOUNG MAN WOULD EMERGE FROM THE CAVE, WEARING THE MASK, THE COSTUME AND THE SKULL RING OF THE
P
HANTOM; HIS CAREFREE, HAPPY DAYS AS THE
P
HANTOM'S SON WERE OVER.
A
ND THE PYGMIES WOULD CHANT THEIR AGE-OLD CHANT, "
T
HE
P
HANTOM IS DEAD.
L
ONG LIVE THE
P
HANTOM."

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