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January 6, 2011 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Pulpfilter: Trying to find a story (possibly Doc Savage?) involving the protagonist buried up to his head and given only a fork-full of water/day to survive.

A "what book from my grandpa's childhood was this" kind of question.

I've been getting into the pulps recently and, after finding a copy of Doc Savage magazine at my local used book store, was reminded of this story my grandpa used to talk about. Every so often we'd talk fiction and super-heroes and he'd always mentioned this story and how it fascinated him as a kid. So I'm thinking it was published in the late 30s as he was born in 1928.

All I can remember from his description is that the main character was buried in the earth with only his head exposed. I think he was in a dungeon of some sort. All he was given to survive on was as much water as the tines of a a fork could carry. I'm pretty sure this was a Doc Savage story, as the Man of Bronze could easily overcome something like this.

Anyway, he passed away last year and I'd really love to find this issue, even if it's a reproduction. There's a chance it may have been a serial or radio show, but I'm pretty sure it was from the pulps.
posted by swashedbuckles to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sounds like it might be Beau Geste to me.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:13 PM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: Hmm... not sure. I searched through the text of the original story and there doesn't seem to be a reference to being buried in the ground. The 1966 movie seems to have a scene where Guy Stockwell is buried up to his neck in sand. But that's definitely too late for the story my Grandpa described. The 1939 movie with Gary Cooper is in the right time-period... but I can't find a reference to a burial scene happening.

It's possible my grandpa may have combined stories, or I may be remembering what he said as two stories combined. I have found a Doc Savage story, Land Of Long Juju that has Monk and Ham being buried alive. I've also found a story of The Shadow, The Serpants of Siva, that has references to someone being buried alive.

Nothing about being fed water from a fork yet, my google-fu has so far failed me there.
posted by swashedbuckles at 1:05 PM on January 6, 2011

Best answer: There's a Dick Tracy arc where he's imprisoned in a basement -- not buried, but tied up.

But the fork part is right -- the villainess (Mrs. B-B Eyes) tells Tracy, "Water? Sure, there you are, Mr. Tracy, all the water that will cling to a fork -- twice a day."

Published in late 1945; the fork first appears on page 49 of this collection.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 7:55 PM on January 6, 2011

Response by poster: That's got to be it! My grandpa was took me to see the Dick Tracy movie when it came out and we both definitely enjoyed the character. I'm betting one of us was remembering a combination of the Doc Savage story I found and that Dick Tracy story. Thank you so much!!!
posted by swashedbuckles at 7:47 AM on January 7, 2011

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