Friday, May 29, 2015

Trick Soldier by L. Ron Hubbard

An officer who meets an old nemesis, an enlisted man who hates to walk, and a temporary officer who is always losing things. These are some of the characters you will meet in this collection of three short stories from L. Ron Hubbard.

In "Trick Soldier" a spit and polish captain stationed in Haiti gets a new lieutenant only to discover that it is his old nemesis from his early years in the Corps. Now they are thrown together with a mutinous group of native soldiers on their hands. In "He Walked To War" we are introduced to Sergeant Egbert Zacharia Golingame, known as EZ Go to his comrades. All he wants is to get out of the infantry and into the air corps because he doesn’t like to walk. He gets his transfer and more than he bargained for. Finally in “Machine Gun 21,000” we meet Captain Blake who seems to have a knack for losing things. This time it is a machine gun. And the enemy has found it.

L. Ron Hubbard was one a very prolific author during the heyday of pulp fiction. Trick Soldier collects three of his action stories set in the jungles of Haiti and Central America. Hubbard’s writing was of his time, but he is not unsympathetic towards the natives that his characters face. The soldier’s are not gung-ho types. Instead they are realistic ideas of the type of men who served in the Marine Corps and went where they were sent and did their best in bad situations. This is a very good collection, though a little short.  It is well worth the time to pick up some old, classic short stories from the golden age of pulps and lose yourself in the fun.

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