Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"If You Use Your Intelligence, Gentlemen, I Think You Can Figure Out How a Man Can Be Made To Vanish Into Thin Air"

HERE IS John Dickson Carr at his devious-plotting best, as a newlywed is baffled and horrified by what happens to . . .

"Cabin B-13."
(a.k.a. "Honeymoon Terror").
By John Dickson Carr (1906-77).

Reprinted many times, including the EQMM Overseas Edition for the Armed Forces, May 1944.
First appearance: Suspense, CBS radio, March 16, 1943.
Radio play script (13 pages).
Online at (HERE).

     "A honeymoon in Europe! Three whole months with nothing to worry about!"

You just know when somebody says something like that there will be plenty to worry about ....

Typos: "Ann" appears a couple of times in the text.

References and resources:
- "happier peacetime days": An almost nostalgic reference to the time before World War II, which was well underway in 1943 and would last two more years.

- "the old Paris Exposition story?": The mystery underlying it is SPOILED by Carr in his play and EQ in his introduction; see the fine 2017 bare-bones e-zine article (WARNING! SPOILERS! HERE) for more background on the Exposition story.
- "Ambrose Light": A maritime navigation station in Lower New York Bay: "Various lightships held this station from 1823 until its replacement in 1967." (Wikipedia HERE).
- "the crash and hiss of water" and "clinging to the bulkhead rail in the dark": Carr makes use of imagery (Wikipedia HERE) and sensory detail (Wikipedia HERE) to reflect Anne's feelings and fears.
- "equinoctial gale": An ill wind under any circumstances, but especially so to sailors:
   "A gale is a strong wind, typically used as a descriptor in nautical contexts. The U.S. National Weather Service defines a gale as 34–47 knots (63–87 km/h, 17.5–24.2 m/s or 39–54 miles/hour) of sustained surface winds. Forecasters typically issue gale warnings when winds of this strength are expected. In the United States, a gale warning is specifically a maritime warning; the land-based equivalent in National Weather Service warning products is a wind advisory." (Wikipedia HERE).
- "the glass": You can tell a lot from a barometer; see Wikipedia (HERE).
- According to the Internet Movie Database (which ascribes 26 writing credits to JDC HERE), "Cabin B-13" was filmed in 1953 (HERE), for the Climax! TV series in 1958 (HERE), for The Unforseen TV series in 1959 (HERE), and a full-length TV movie in 1992 (HERE); beware of SPOILERS! in all venues.
- Our latest, but certainly not last, encounter with John Dickson Carr involved his brilliant story "The Third Bullet" (HERE).

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