cover image Hell’s Legionnaire

Hell’s Legionnaire

L. Ron Hubbard. Galaxy, $9.95 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-59212-355-1

The title story of this Hubbard pulp fiction reissue isn’t actually the most interesting of the three pulse-pounding long short stories in the collection. That distinction goes to “The Squad That Never Came Back,” recounted in flashbacks by an unnamed corporal in the Foreign Legion stationed in Morocco. The opening pulls readers in: “Back in Sidi-bel-Abbès they still think that my squad and I died in a miserable outpost on the northern slope of the High Atlas Mountains.” The narrator reveals that he alone survived to tell the tale, and proceeds to relate how the remains of men dead only two years were found buried in an ancient Roman city after his squad became obsessed with buried treasure. The suspense is markedly more heightened than in “Hell’s Legionnaire,” which almost instantly presents an attractive woman falling into the clutches of a lecherous villain, who literally licks his lips at having her in his power. (Mar.)