The Sargasso Ogre (Doc Savage #18)
The Sargasso Ogre is the eighth story originally published by Street and Smith. The Bantam one I have is one of the first Doc Savage books I remember reading, bought from a now closed bookstore on Long Point in Houston.
The Sargasso Ogre picks up where The Lost Oasis ended, with Doc and his crew in Alexandria, Egypt, about to board a liner to take them and the diamonds they obtained in The Lost Oasis back to New York. An attempt is made on Long Tom’s life. Doc rescues him, but cannot question the kidnappers as they are killed by those who hired them. Doc and his time board the liner Cameronic, with the diamonds (as well as other valuables) under heavy guard. An article in the Alexandria newspaper about a bank clerk found missing gives Doc clues about the chaos ahead.
While at sea, many suspicious events lead to a search for a large man named Bruze, and to the poisoning of Monk and Ham (who Doc brings back from the dead). The radio is sabotaged, the ship is set of course as the captain is unknowingly held hostage and Bruze and his crew of forty men eventually try to take over the ship. They are stopped, but not before the permanently damage the engines.? The ship has been aimed toward the Sargasso Sea, when Bruze (the Sargasso Ogre) and his men have hijacked and abandoned several ships.? Bruze has a headquarters in the mass of ships and seaweed that make up the Sargasso Sea. Hiding there as well on a ship are a bevy of beauties (led by Kina le Forge) who have barricaded themselves in the ship that was once Bruze’s treasure ship.
Several battles ensue, with Doc matching his strength against Bruze, ultimately rescuing all of the stranded survivors and finding the secret way out (I won’t spoil the ending!).
My sortable table of Doc Savage books is here.
- Written by: Lester Dent
- Villain: The Sargasso Ogre
- Doc Gadget: skiffs crafted with cutters on the front to make going through the thick seaweed possible
- Doc Feat: swimming through the thick seaweed of the Sargasso Sea with a knife to cut his way through; running through the maze of flotsam
- Exotic locale: Egypt, and the Sargasso Sea, an area in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
- By the numbers: originally published October 1933; Bantam #18 published July 1967; Philip Jose Farmer dated Septmber 1931
As I kid, this particular book (along with the first episode of the “Jonny Quest” TV adventure cartoon; “Adventure of the Lizard Men”) created an indelible impression of the Sargasso Sea — one of floating wrecks of all ages and descriptions, including gold-laden Spanish galleons, all stuck in a green limbo of fog, becalmed water and massive growths of seaweed. I thought that there could be nothing cooler than to go out there and explore! So imagine my surprise (and disappointment) when I got alittle older, and found out that, aside from the great seaweed growth just below the surface, the real Sargasso Sea didn’t in any way resemble the one of books and television!
Michael, that Jonny Quest episode was excellent, and the whole series was a great cartoon (except it taught some young boys like me that it was okay to try adventurous things that might get you in trouble!).