RICHARD SALE “The House of Kaa.” The Cobra #2. Short story. First published in Ten Detective Aces, February 1934. Reprinted in The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, edited by Otto Penzler (Vintage Crime, softcover, November 2007). Collected in The Cobra: The King of Detectives (Altus Press, 2009).

   The pulp magazines were filled with all kinds of detective heroes, from cops to PIs and pure amateurs, but in their midst were numerous self-appointed vigilantes, long before Don Pendleton and Mack Bolan came along. Such a one is Dean Bradley, a common enough name, but in his guise as “The Cobra,” his penchant for killing the villains he meets is enough to instill the fear of sudden death into the minds of countless others.

   His favorite method of disposing of the various criminals he tracks down? Cobra venom, administered by poisoned darts propelled from a blowgun disguised as a cigarette holder. The miscreants in “The House of Kaa,” busily smuggling priceless jewels from India to England in the stomachs of royal pythons, are no different, and they are hardly a match for The Cobra.

   As for Richard Sale, the author, he later became well known as both a novelist (Lazarus #7) and screenwriter (Suddenly). Everyone has to start somewhere!

        The Dean Bradley aka “The Cobra” series —

Terror Towers (ss) Ten Detective Aces Jan 1934
The House of Kaa (ss) Ten Detective Aces Feb 1934
The Grinning Ghoul (ss) Ten Detective Aces Mar 1934