STEELEY AND THE MISSING PAGE
First Published in book form as 'DET FORSVUNNE DAGBOKSBLAD' in Norway in 1939 - 96 pages
First Published in book form in the English Language in 2000 - 187 pages
THE 2000 VERSION OF THIS BOOK CONTAINS THREE STORIES
THE MISSING PAGE
Which was originally published in THE THRILLER magazine (no. 454) on 16th October 1937
NAZIS IN THE NEW FOREST
Which was originally published in the WAR THRILLER magazine (no. 586) on 27th April 1940
THE RAVENSDALE MYSTERY
Which was originally published in the GIRL'S OWN PAPER - Volume 62 - in 1941 – Pages 289 – 292, 337 – 341, 372 – 378, 401 – 404, 449 – 451 & 458
THE FIRST TWO STORIES ARE UNCOLLECTED "STEELEY" STORIES AND THE THIRD IS UNRELATED
THE MISSING PAGE
This story was originally only published in book form in 1939 in Norway as
'DET FORSVUNNE DAGBOKSBLAD'
This had been the only previous book publication of this particular story. This first edition book itself is incredibly rare.
This book is the only foreign language edition first edition mentioned in the bibliography of W. E. Johns books at the end of the biography of W. E. Johns.
Tom Ridgely is visited by his wife whilst in the condemned cell in prison. He has been convicted of the murder of a policeman and is due to be hanged in a week. He tells his wife that his gang boss has framed him, a man called Croaker. Tom tells his wife that Croaker keeps a book, where he writes down exactly what everybody in the gang does, to ensure that he has a hold over his gang members. Tom suspects that the truth as to who really killed the policeman is written in that book and suggests that his wife goes to see a man called Steeley who works with Scotland Yard, Steeley being the only person he can think of who may help him. Steeley and Tubby investigate the matter after being approached by Mrs. Ridgely. They go to Chorlton House in Dulwich, the gang's headquarters. Here they discover a strange woman and also see a man visit and leave in a hurry. Breaking into the house, Steeley and Tubby search for the incriminating book. They find the place where it has been hidden, but the vital page has been torn out! They work out that gang member Alf Brommett must have torn the page out. He was the man who they saw visit the house. Enquiries reveal that Alf intends to give the vital information to Mrs. Ridgely in order to save her husband from the gallows. Steeley and Tubby go to the Cow and Partridge Public House to meet with Alf and he is quite willing to hand the evidence over to the police. However, on leaving the pub, Alf is shot dead by Croaker, an event that is depicted on the cover of the book. Steeley and Tubby know the vital page has been hidden in Chorlton House, but as to where, Alf's dying words are only to say "yellow room". Returning to Chorlton House, there is a shoot out with the gang members and the strange evil woman who looks after their house. Steeley and Tubby hunt high and low for the yellow room, but no room is yellow or could be described as yellow. With time running out and Ridgely facing the drop, Steeley and Tubby must use all of their wits to solve the mystery and find the vital evidence.
NAZIS IN THE NEW FOREST
This is the only book publication of this particular story which originally appeared in 'The War Thriller' (number 586) on 27th April 1940.
The first half of this story was rewritten by W. E. Johns and published in 1942 as 'Sinister Service'
with the Steeley character becoming Lance Lovell and the Tubby Wilde character becoming Rodney Lovell.
Steeley and Tubby are driving through the New Forest when they almost run over a woman who runs out in front of their car. Two men are chasing this woman, whose name is ascertained to be Julia Ashton-Harcourt. The two men are armed and dangerous. Taking Julia back to her house, Steeley and Tubby find out that she has suspicions about gliders silently landing in the night. On investigating her suspicions, Julia had then found herself being pursued by the two armed men. Steeley's car is stolen and our heroes are forced to use Julia's car. On returning to Julia's empty cottage a bomb is discovered in her kitchen. The following day, investigations are carried out and Steeley, Tubby and Julia go to Garthstone Manor, where they are suspicious of Mr. Smith, the owner, particularly as he has been burning things in his back garden, such as glider parts. After a meal at a hotel, Julia returns home alone to get her belongings as she intends to move out. When she doesn't return, Steeley and Tubby return to her house to find her car on the drive. Julia has disappeared and our heroes fear that she has been kidnapped. Steeley and Tubby take the car and intend to go back to Garthstone Manor to look for Julia but they begin to feel sleepy. Steeley realises just in time that an attempt is being made to try to gas them by turning the exhaust back into the car. After smashing the windscreen to get fresh air and then pretending to crash they are approached by a car containing two men. Steeley and Tubby overpower the men and find Julia tied up in the back of their car. Arrangements are made for a police raid on Garthstone Manor. Steeley, Tubby and Julia return to the Manor in advance of the raid and see a glider land and hear German being spoken. A shoot out occurs and the baddies escape in three cars. Steeley and Tubby manage to hijack a fourth car in order to pursue them. The chase leads to Conway in Wales where the Germans are planning to meet a waiting submarine. Steeley has managed to organise naval support and the Navy arrives in time to ram the German's submarine causing it to sink. The day is saved but there is still to be a surprise in store for Julia.
THE RAVENSDALE MYSTERY
This is the only book publication of this particular story which had originally appeared in 'The Girls Own Annual - Volume 62' in 1941
credited under Johns pen name ‘William Earle’
Joan Scott is a 16 year old schoolgirl at Bretton School in Kent. When she defies school rules and goes to the a mysterious sea cliff gorge called Ravensdale, she meets a boy called Jack Fraser, whose father has disappeared into the inaccessible gorge a few days before and not returned. Joan agrees to help Jack search for his father next week and they arrange to meet up when they have the necessary equipment. Back at school, Joan is suspicious of Mademoiselle Armande, the French Mistress, whom Joan has previously seen at Ravensdale. Secretly watching Mademoiselle Armande, Joan sees her receive some letters that she puts in a bucket and lowers down a well. On going to meet with Jack, Joan finds he is not there so she descends into the Ravensdale gorge alone. Here she is astonished to find Germans! Jack later descends and Joan is able to save him from being shot. Jack and Joan go into a cave at the bottom of the gorge. Jack hears his father's voice in the cave and goes running in to save him. Joan hides and overhears Mademoiselle Armande talking to a man referred to as Hauptmann Kliener. Mademoiselle Armande returns to the school via a secret underground passage and Joan follows her. The passage ends at the bottom of the well and Joan finds that there are rungs to enable people to climb out. Joan returns to the school to raise the alarm. Joan asks the headmistress to telephone her father who works at the war office. Mademoiselle Armande escapes and flees back down the well pursued by Joan and half the school. Leaving many girls with stones and bricks to prevent anybody climbing out the well, Joan takes a dozen girls back to Ravensdale gorge to attempt to block up the cave entrance before anybody can escape. This they succeed in doing. Soldiers arrive and the Germans are caught. The Germans are sailors who have come from a submarine, which is duly sunk by the Navy. Jack and his father are rescued.
Steeley and the Missing Page
Subtitle - & Other Stories
Publication Details - First book edition of 'The Missing Page' was originally published by Leif Borthen, Forlagshuset, Oslo, Norway, in 1939.
This collection of three stories was published by Norman Wright in 2000.
First (English) Edition