The Warlock

The Warlock

by Marc Olden

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Overview

When a voodoo priest bewitches Sand’s beloved, the samurai goes on the warpath

Black magic orgies. Human sacrifices. Necrophilia. These are just a few of Augustus Janicot’s special skills. This charismatic sadist has built a formidable following, convincing politicians across Europe that his voodoo ritual can win them office. When they consent to his bloody rites, he films them, and uses the footage for blackmail. On the verge of obtaining unlimited power, the Warlock is about to make a fatal mistake.

Janicot’s next target is in Vietnam, and for Robert Sand, this is too close to home. An American trained in the ways of the samurai, Sand fears for the safety of Toki Jakata, the granddaughter of his late samurai master and the only woman he has ever loved. Sand has never been able to win Toki’s heart, but he will do anything to keep Janicot from pulling it out of her chest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453259863
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road
Publication date: 07/17/2012
Series: Black Samurai , #6
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 154
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent.  

A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history. 


Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent.

A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history. 

Read an Excerpt

The Warlock

Black Samurai (Book Six)


By Marc Olden

MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Integrated Media

Copyright © 1975 Marc Olden
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-5986-3



CHAPTER 1

TRAP


Robert Sand took two steps into the quiet living room, heard the small, sharp noise behind him, and spun around quickly ...

Ready.

Crouching, his strong fingers on the Colt .45 APC Commander hanging butt down in a black leather shoulder holster under his left armpit, he stared into the darkness toward the noise.

Soft yellow light dimly covered half of the room, and Sand's brown eyes didn't blink as he watched a silver salt shaker roll along a wooden dining table and fall silently to the thick gray carpet. Spilled salt left an uneven line of white grains on the table's highly polished dark brown wood.

"I kicked it. Me. I kicked it." A squeaky voice from the half of the dining table that was almost in total darkness. Could be a phonograph record being played at too fast a speed, thought Robert Sand. Could be, but it isn't. And that's what bothered him. Sounds coming at him from the darkness. They always bothered him until he learned who or what they were.

Spilled salt's unlucky, too, he thought. Another bad sign. He straightened up, arms folded across his chest, right hand near the .45, mind and body easing into a relaxed tension.

More sounds. Someone knocking slowly on a door?

No.

Someone walking.

A dwarf.

A dwarf in red leather—jacket, pants, boots—walking on top of the gleaming wood of the dining table. Christ, thought Sand, he's passed being ugly, this one. He looks like hammered shit.

In the dim light, the dwarf was hideous to look at. An oversized head with tan, oily skin sat on a small, misshapen body that looked as though it had been broken, then deliberately put back together the wrong way. His red leather suit caught jagged patches of yellow light. Stopping on the edge of the table, he leered at Sand, pulling back thick purple lips to show large yellow teeth. Bowing his big head once, he straightened up, placing his tiny legs apart, hands still behind his back as though giving a lecture. Arrogance oozed from him, and Robert Sand watched him carefully. Let's have your game, little man, thought the Black Samurai.

"Reinhardt," hissed the dwarf. "I am Reinhardt." He said it as though the name mattered.

Sand nodded, saying nothing. He hadn't come to the outskirts of Paris tonight to meet a dwarf in red leather named Reinhardt. The man he was to meet was Roger Aumont, who was to tell him about "the Warlock," a mysterious European using devil ceremonies, ritual killings, and orgies to blackmail government officials all over the world.

The Black Samurai had met Aumont once before. Reinhardt didn't look a thing like him. Reinhardt didn't look like anything Sand had ever seen except in bad dreams. After ringing Aumont's bell twice and getting no answer, Sand had come through the front door. The door had been unlocked and the Black Samurai hadn't liked that either.

"You're Mr. Williams and you're here to see Mr. Aumont." Reinhardt spoke rapidly, as though he couldn't wait to show off. The dwarf was feeling his power, and he stood on the end of the dining room table swollen with it.

Damn, thought Sand. That voice. Like fingernails across a blackboard. Worse, he knows my cover name and he knows about my meeting Aumont. I didn't tell him, and Aumont was too scared to talk with anybody except the Baron and one of the Baron's Paris contacts.

No, Aumont's not the gabby type. That leaves Reinhardt here, and his snappy patter. He was beginning to dislike this dwarf more and more.

Leaning his fat head to one side as though trying to decide what to do next, Reinhardt showed his yellow teeth again in what he used for a smile, then straightened up. He had reminded himself of his orders.

Cripple the black man, then bring him back. Bring him back alive, if possible.

If not, if he fights too hard and too well, kill him.

Lovely choices, thought Reinhardt. He would enjoy either one. No matter how big a person was, you give him pain and he stopped being tall. Better yet, thought the dwarf, kill him and throw him in a grave, then you can walk on him.

Smiling at the cruel wisdom of it, he sighed and said, "You don't talk much, do you Mr. Williams?"

I stay alive because of it, thought the Black Samurai. Aloud he said, "I came here to talk with someone else."

"Yes, yes, yes, I know," said the dwarf.

You're beginning to sound like a monkey with his ass on fire, thought Sand.

"Mr. Aumont, well, uh, he can't talk to you now." The dwarf showed his yellow teeth again, rocking back and forth on his heels as if he had just said something funny.

Sand shook his head side to side as though dismissing the strange thoughts speeding around in his mind. I'm in a Paris suburb on a warm July night, standing in a Frenchman's living room talking to a dwarf. Talking to a dwarf.

He didn't like Reinhardt or that remark about Mr. Aumont not talking to him now. For a little man, the dwarf in red leather created a very large tension, a tension that packed the room. Sand was uneasy.

"When do you think Mr. Aumont will be able to talk with me?" Let's play your game, little man in red.

Reinhardt leered, shaking his huge head in mock sadness. "Never, I'm afraid. Never. But, Mr. Williams, we would like to talk with you."

"We?" Sand leaned his head back, eyes on the dwarf, samurai instincts scraping at his nerves, warning him. We. He shifted, left side facing Reinhardt, fingers still touching the .45.

"We," said Reinhardt, rocking back and forth on his heels. Big man, he thought. Big and handsome, with muscles, two big legs, and none of it will help you, black man. None of it. "We have orders to bring you back with us, Mr. Williams." He said it as though it would be foolish for Sand to disagree.

The dwarf. Sand's eyes were on his face, seeing the oily skin pocked from acne, the thick purple lips and large yellow teeth, the leer used for a smile. Confident, thought Sand. He's as sure of himself as if he were fifteen feet tall. And he's a part of the killer cult. He's got to be. That's why I came here tonight, to talk with Aumont about Augustus Janicot and his Satan worshipers.

That's why the little dude in red is standing on the table coming on like a midget hard-ass.

Suddenly Reinhardt stopped smiling. Drawing himself up as tall as he could, and twisting his thick purple lips to one side, he stopped rocking on his heels. It was as though a special moment had arrived, as if he were sending a signal.

When he shouted in that grating, high-pitched voice, his bloodshot eyes were as hard and bright as small bits of black glass. "Now! Now!" Excitement made him bite his lip sharply, enjoying the warm, salt taste of his own blood.

To the Black Samurai's right, a closet door burst open, banging hard against a pale blue wall, smashing a small mirror and raining shiny slivers of glass down on the carpet. Screaming "Aieeee!" a muscular black man, head and shoulders covered by a leopard's head and skin, curled steel claws gleaming at the end of each hand, charged Sand.

Leopard man!

One of Augustus Janicot's killers. Leopard man. Part of little-known voodoo rites brought to Haiti from Africa. Red voodooists. The ones who needed blood for their evil rites.

Reacting swiftly, the Black Samurai cleared the .45 from his shoulder holster, crouching and gripping it with both hands. When he pulled the trigger, filling the room with the roar from the heavy handgun, the leopard man was only three feet from him. The bullet tore into the killer's chest, lifting him off his feet and throwing him backward almost into the open closet.

From the corner of his right eye, Sand caught the movement, the scream coming at him like a frightening, invisible weapon. Another leopard man—ignoring the .45 as though it wasn't there—was speeding at him, razor-sharp steel claws held high.

Sand's reflexes were switching to the leopard man racing at him when he heard the whistling sound to his left. Before he was able to deal with this new unknown, he winced at the knifelike pain in both wrists.

Reinhardt! He'd brought the whip down fast, expertly wrapping the hard leather around Sand's wrists, jerking hard and sending the .45 flying somewhere into the darkness.

Quickly wrapping the other end of the whip around his own waist, Reinhardt leered, turned his back to Sand, yanked hard, then began to run awkwardly back along the table, his grotesque small body waddling side to side on tiny bow legs. Going to bring you down, big man, down, down, down.

Gritting his teeth, sweat beading on his huge forehead, the dwarf dug his heels in and pulled, his back still to the Black Samurai.

Unbelievable! The thought flashed back and forth across the Black Samurai's brain. It's unbelievable, but thought was a luxury right now. Unless he acted, he'd die. Killed by a dwarf and leopard men.

Crouching, Sand wrapped the whip once more around his wrists and pulled it toward himself, using every ounce of strength in his powerful body.

The dwarf left the table, flying backward as though on wires, a surprised yelp coming from his open mouth. Before Sand could turn around, he felt the hot pain in his back, running from his shoulder to the small of his back. Spinning around, lips pressed tightly together against the pain, he saw the leopard man's claws again held high, this time wet red with blood. Sand's blood.

He kicked the leopard man in the balls, driving his muscular leg forward as hard and as fast as he could into the man's crotch, throwing his hip behind the kick, giving it all the power he had in him. The man squealed, spun around, and staggered sideways, falling to his knees and vomiting.

With a short, strong move, Sand pulled his wrists apart, freeing them from the whip, turning in time to see two more screaming leopard men charging him, steel claws held high. Both were black, bare-chested, strong, and in the dim light, the dead leopard head on their own heads seemed almost to come alive.

Reinhardt was moaning, crawling toward his whip. For the moment, Sand had to ignore him.

Samurai!

His fighting skills were all that stood between him and death. And his fighting skills were the best available to any man in the twentieth century.

Leaping high in the air, drawing both feet as close under him as possible, he yelled "Kiaaaiii!" turning sideways in mid-air to face the leopard men, and shooting his right leg out quickly in a powerful side-thrust kick. His right foot, tensed and hard, tore into one man's face, snapping his head to the left, driving the man backward on his heels, slamming his eyes shut with pain and filling his head with hot darkness.

The man staggered backward, arms flopping wildly for balance. Hitting the table hard, he crumpled to the floor and lay still.

Landing on the rug, his back to the other leopard killer, Robert Sand showed why he was chosen to be a samurai. Determined to survive, Sand moved quickly, each move blending into the other so fast that it seemed as though he had only done one technique.

He was crouched, back to the other leopard man, whose eyes gleamed with the desire to kill. He charged, screaming, ready to bring his claws down hard on Sand's head and neck. Suddenly, Sand dropped flat to his stomach, swinging his right leg swiftly along the ground, clipping the charging leopard man at the ankles, sending him high into the air.

As the man, eyes wide with surprise, hung in mid-air waving his arms, Sand scrambled to his knees, and when the man landed on the rug, the Black Samurai was crouched over him. Drawing his right fist back to his hip, Sand drove it down as hard as he could, into the man's throat, killing him.

As the Black Samurai looked up, still on his knees, he heard the whip whistling through the air, then felt it sting his throat and wrap itself around his neck again and again.

Damn! Sand's fingers clawed at the whip, and the inside of his throat felt as if it were jammed with rags. He couldn't breathe! Couldn't breathe! The whip was choking him.

He felt himself yanked forward and he fell on his face, fingers still pulling at the whip.

Reinhardt laughed, the high-pitched sound cruel and triumphant. "Big man, big man! You're my size now! My size!" He backed up, pulling on the whip.

Rage gave Sand strength. He'd had enough of Reinhardt. And whatever happened tonight, the Black Samurai was not going to die on his hands and knees, strangled to death by a goddamn dwarf.

Samurai!

Scrambling to his feet with all the speed he had trained for under Master Konuma, the greatest of all samurai teachers, Sand didn't resist the pull. He was getting dizzy, and what he had in mind had to be done fast. Fast.

Air. He needed air!

Mouth open, sucking at air that wouldn't come, fingers tight on the whip now wrapped around his throat like a leather chain, he let Reinhardt yank him once more, hearing that horrible high-pitched laugh.

"Big man, big man!" Reinhardt yelled, yanking again, enjoying the power he had over people larger than him.

Concentrating his willpower, feeling the hot pain from the leopard claws on his back, Sand raced toward the dwarf, putting all of his speed and strength into one desperate move for air and life.

His powerful legs sped across the carpet, both hands still clawing at the whip around his throat.

The whip slackened.

Reinhardt frowned, mouth dropping open, then desperately backpedaled, trying to tighten the whip again, then knowing he couldn't, and turning, trying to get out of the way.

Leaping high in the air, Sand aimed himself at the dwarf, both feet pointed toward the red-leather-covered freak.

When Sand hit his small body with both feet, Reinhardt screamed, eyes going wide with fear, feeling the pain in the back of his neck, hearing a dry snapping sound, then blackness swallowed him.

The Black Samurai breathed deeply, one hand rubbing his sore throat, the other turning Reinhardt over on his back. In death, the dwarf looked even uglier. His thick purple lips were pulled back from his teeth and his eyes were open as though taunting Sand.

A chill passed over the Black Samurai and he shivered, turning his head away from the hideous little man. He's dead, I know he's dead, thought Sand, straightening up. Broken neck. I know he's dead, and yet....

Janicot. Leader of a cult believing in ritual murder, devil worship, sadistic sex. Dwarfs and leopard men working for him. And who else. Who else?

Did Janicot have the power to bring back the dead?

Sand shivered again.

Seconds later, he found his gun and moved cautiously through the small house.

Behind him, one of the two leopard men still alive, groaned and rolled from side to side.

Roger Aumont was in the bedroom. Dead. His naked, bleeding body was covered in red streaks and gouges from the steel claws. He lay on the bed, on his stomach. One eye was missing, torn out, fluids leaking from the bloody socket.

Sand turned, now alert to the sound of the car pulling up to the small house which sat off by itself in the Paris suburb. Racing to the living room, he heard car doors slam and footsteps run toward the house.

Janicot's men. It had to be,

Racing across the living room, the Black Samurai moved silently into the kitchen, out the back door, and into the warm, dark July night.

Behind him he heard a shout from the house. "Reinhardt! Reinhardt!" And there was more shouting.

In the darkness, his throat stinging, his back pained and bleeding, Sand faced frightening thoughts.

He had walked into a trap.

Janicot's killers had learned Aumont was talking to him, and they'd murdered the French government official.

After killing Aumont, they had waited around to kill Sand, knowing even the name he was using. What else did they know about him?

In the back of his mind, something gnawed at his brain and wouldn't stop. Samurai training developed mind and body to peaks few people thought possible.

His training was pushing a warning at him—a warning that said the people who tried to kill him tonight had not decided to hang around and throw him in as an extra after killing Aumont.

His samurai instincts told him that what had happened tonight had been set up especially for him.

For him.

His instincts told him someone was trying to kill him and had no intentions of stopping until they did.

For the first time in a long while, he felt afraid. The one thing he had known would happen, but had hoped never would, had just appeared in his life.

Someone from a past mission was trying to kill him.

Arriving back in Paris, he changed hotels, using another name and passport. He put in a long-distance call to the Baron in Texas, controlling his annoyance when he found he wasn't there, and left a message. While waiting for his call to be returned, he sat facing the door, two blood-stained towels between his bare back and the easy chair, the .45 resting on his lap.

Dawn, and the Baron still hadn't called back.

Sand fell asleep in the chair. He slept badly.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Warlock by Marc Olden. Copyright © 1975 Marc Olden. Excerpted by permission of MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Integrated Media.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Chapter 1 TRAP,
Chapter 2 THE MISSION,
Chapter 3 TELEPHONE CALL,
Chapter 4 THE PARTY; THE MOTIVE,
Chapter 5 FACE TO FACE,
Chapter 6 ESCAPE,
Chapter 7 BLOOD RITE,
Chapter 8 CONVERSATION,
Chapter 9 CHALLENGE,
Chapter 10 NIGHT ATTACK,
Chapter 11 DOUBTS,
Chapter 12 TWO KIDNAPPINGS,
Chapter 13 DEATH CEREMONY,
Chapter 14 EXPLOSION,
Chapter 15 FIRE AND DREAMS,
Chapter 16 NIGHT PROMISE,

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