The Shadow as etext
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"Your life," said the stranger's voice slowly, "is no longer your own. It belongs to me now. But you are still free to destroy it. Shall we return to the bridge?"
"I don't know," blurted Vincent. "This is all like a dream; I don't understand it. Perhaps I did fall from the bridge, and this is death that I am now experiencing. Yet it seems real, after all. What good is my life to any one? What will you do with it?"
"I shall improve it," replied the voice from the darkness. "I shall make it useful. But I shall risk it, too. Perhaps I shall lose it, for I have lost lives, just as I have saved them. This is my promise: life, with enjoyment, with danger, with excitement, and - with money. Life, above all, with honor. If I give it, I demand obedience. Absolute obedience. You may accept my terms, or you may refuse. I shall wait for you to choose."
The words are from the first issue of The Shadow pulp magazine. Most of my trashy tastes have dropped from me. I didn't cast them off. One day I discovered that they didn't give me pleasure anymore. Hero and weird menace pulps are the big exception.
A man has kindly converted many old The Shadow pulps into text files freely available for downloading. If you share my taste for this species of simple-minded fun you'll want to visit.