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University at Buffalo Libraries

George Kelley Paperback & Pulp Fiction Collection

The Dangerous One

cover image By: Ames, Robert (pseudonym of Charles Clifford) (male)
Publisher: Fawcett Publications, Inc. (Gold Medal Books 435)
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Catalog #: Kelley Box 193: PS3501 .M475 D3 1954
Contributor: A. Pierpaoli

General

Era: 1950s Author as on Cover: Robert Ames Geographic Locale: Central America, including Acapulco, Santa Rosa, Manzanillo, Tres Marías Islands, El Salvador, Nicaragua and San Lorenzo, Honduras Date of Publication: 1954  |  Original Date: 1954 Setting: other; the ship, Miranda, and its tropical ports of call Motives: Sheila is cut and burned by López because he wants to learn where the Miranda is bound so that he can find the treasure. López shoots Jodi in an attempt to prevent Boke from interfering with his mission, and he tries to blow up the Miranda to escape with the gold. Sheila kills Paddock by hitting him with a rock on the head because he tries to kill Anson after they find the gold. Sheila kills López in self-defense.

Plot Summary

After a failed quest for a gold-laden Spanish galleon off the west coast of Mexico, Boke Carey demands to be paid for his services, but his client, Roy Anson, runs off to Mexico. Boke meets up with Jodi Ray, who claims that Anson owes her money for breaking his promise of marriage, and the two band together to get their money. This proves to be a relatively simple task, for when Anson returns., he writes checks to both of them, and asks for Boke's help with his next treasure hunt. Anson has been summoned to this task by the Countess of Córdoba, alias Sheila Thayer, but she is in jail, and Anson wants help getting her out. Boke agrees, and enlists the help of a prostitute who has pull with the police, but she double-crosses him and Sheila ends up beaten and bleeding. Boke helps Sheila escape to the ship, the Miranda, killing two men in the process, and the search for gold is on. Soon, greed for buried treasure leads to adventure and murder before Boke, Sheila and Anson eventually save the day.


Major Characters

Boke Carey (uses the alias "Jack/Jackie Smith" at one point), adult male, glamorous tan, turquoise eyes, professional adventurer and treasure seeker

Roy Anson "Bull," adult male, big, hairy chest, famous promoter, philanthropist, big-game hunter and treasure seeker

Earl Paddock adult male, big shoulders, sleek black hair, sky-blue eyes, second in command to Anson

Jodi Ray adult female, big brown eyes, buxom, tanned to high heaven, white-blonde hair, 125 pounds, flat stomach, round buttocks, Boke's love interest until she is killed by López

The Countess of Córdoba (alias Sheila Thayer), adult female, Spanish, slim yet full body, satiny white skin, heavy-looking yellow blonde hair, vivid blue eyes, in search of gold to free her father from prison and aid orphan children of Spain, Boke's love interest

López (alias O'Brien), adult male, Mexican, big, broad-backed, dark stony eyes, pockmarked skin, dangerous Mexican Communist who pirates the Miranda to get the gold



Weapons

guns, knives, fists, knock-out drops, fingernails, and dynamite. Women also use tears and sex as weapons.


Level of Violence

violent scenes tend to be brief and described after the fact. In some cases, the consequences of violent actions seem unrealistic or there are no consequences at all. Boke knocks out both Jodi and Sheila to get them to do what he wants, and that seems to be a manly act, not a big deal. Rather than providing a full description as each incident occurs, readers are given just the bare facts.


Sexuality

Sexual encounters are brief, usually just a paragraph or two, and end without consummation. Either Boke decides the woman isn't worth it, or there is a knock at the door. Only in the final pages is there an implication that Sheila and Boke become lovers, and even then, it is only an implication.


Gender Roles

women are blonde, have big chests, and are considered nitwits, but they manage to get their way at times with whining, sex and tears. In contrast, Boke, the main character is a strong, adventuresome man who enjoys bachelorhood. The stereotypes do break down a few times; Boke cries at one point and he feels fear on several occasions. He is knocked unconscious three times during critical confrontations, and it is Sheila who ultimately saves Boke and Anson and kills the antagonist.


Ethnicity

there are quite a few Spanish phrases in the novel. Sheila is a Spanish woman and she is romanticized as such, mostly in relation to her appearance. There is also talk of the Spanish Communists, who are linked to the Russians. Newly acquired crewmen on the ship are considered "questionable Mexicans," and they end up pirating the ship. Boke seems to feel at one point that if he puts on a straw hat, he will be mistaken as an "hombre." López hides his true identity by using the name "O'Brien," as if a change in name will make him appear Irish instead of Mexican. Russian Communists are referred to as "Reds," or those "red plague lice."


Alcohol/Drug Abuse

Boke's favorite drink is Barbados rum; there is also mention of a big Habanero, sotol, cocktails, champagne, and brandy and soda. The characters on the ship seem to drink constantly, which is why Lòpez succeeds in knocking out almost the entire ship's crew by putting special drops in their liquor. In addition, Boke smokes cigarettes and López smokes cigars.


Law Enforcement

law enforcement does not play a role in the novel, in spite of the number of murders and other crimes that occur.


Added Features

the novel reflects post-World War II McCarthyism, speaking out against Communism and the Reds. It also includes prostitution and scenes at a whorehouse.


Subject Headings

Central America/ Greed/ Buried treasure/ Murder/ Mexico