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The Republicans vs. "The Snake with the Diamond Eyes"


    Back in 1940, "I Love A Mystery" was back to the format of one 30 minute episode per week, with some stories taking 10 to 13 weeks to complete--almost a quarter of a year for some stories.  Despite this format, ILAM was extremely popular with the fans.

   Disaster struck the final episode--lucky number 13-- of one closely followed story, "The Snake With The Diamond Eyes".  The last half of this final episode, the very climax in fact was cruelly interrupted by an NBC "special news bulletin" of the delegate polling began at the the US Republican's Convention in Philadelphia (8:45 on June 27th, 1940). 

    Below, you can find a contemporary account of this mishap (thanks again to our anonymous web site benefactor!), as well as the synopsis (distributed by Morse who had been very unhappy about this mishap) for the last episode of the "lost" ILAM, "The Snake With the Diamond Eyes." 

    Fans of the show would have to wait nearly a decade later to listen for themselves for what really happened at the climax to this story.  Unfortunately for all of us, only announcer's opening to episode 2, and all of episode 11 are available for listening today...

::Brian::  


"I Love a Mystery-Solved"

(June 27, 1940 -- Magazine Unknown)

    "I LOVE A MYSTERY" ended its series in mystery - real, exasperating, frustrating.  And several million radio listeners who "love a mystery" wound up with broken hearts, bewildered brains and muttering darkly of dire measures, because Fate in the guise of the Republican elephant lumbered into the closing scene-and stopped the show. 

Here's what happened: For thirteen weeks listeners had breathlessly followed the adventures of Jack Packard, Doc Long and Reggie York in the jungles of Indo-China as they searched for the mysterious Cobra God.  For thirteen whirlwind weeks the Three Adventurers with Hanley and lovely Susan Wells had fought the menace of the Mystery Woman With Death Around Her Shoulders.  On the night of June 27 the stage was set for a climax and the ultimate solution of the great mystery.  It was the episode of "The Snake With the Diamond Eyes"-the thirteenth episode!  There were eleven mad minutes of the story, and then-"In the public interest" the scene shifted to another wild setting in the real world of prosaic politics, and Alabama was beginning a ballot at the Republican Convention in Philadelphia.

 With two-thirds of the climactic episode yet to be unfolded, the Three Comrades and several million regular listeners, all of whom "love a mystery", were left dangling in darkness.  Important though a political convention may be, the lovers of mystery deserve a better fate.  They demand satisfaction and fruition of their devotion.  And they shall have it.  In order that the conclusion of this justly popular series may be that its audience "lived happily ever afterward", we furnish herewith the all-important plot sequence which interrupted broadcast denied the listeners: 

The Three Comrades, refusing to help Hanley steal the Cobra God from its hiding place on the floating island where he had discovered it, were threatened with death by the maddened treasure-hunter.  Then came the Woman With Death Around Her Shoulders.  She warned Hanley away from the Cobra God, told him that if he touched the god he would die. 

         "Death .... death!" Hanley retorted.  "You're always talking about death.  I am going to touch it . take it  .... look, I'm touching the god." Suddenly a great rumble startled the Three Comrades and shook the roof of the cave.  The earth swayed, rocked, and gravel crashed about them.  Then a cataclysmic roar and shaking of the earth stunned them.  When they regained consciousness, the god was gone from its pedestal.  The pedestal was thrown down, and under the heavy rock was Hanley-dead. 

        Hours later, the boys managed to escape from the island, and returned to Dr. Wells' camp. There they told their story to Susan and the doctor and prepared to leave the jungle.  But the the scientist did not leave.  To him came the Woman With Death Around Her Shoulders, the mysterious priestess.  She promised to take him to the spot high on the mountain where the Cobra God now was guarded by the ancient ones.  All his life Dr. Wells has yearned to study the god, so he went - knowing he would never return alive.  Bidding him good-by, the boys and Susan started on their journey back to civilization. 

Only Certes remained with Dr. Wells.  He swore eternal fidelity to the scientist and followed him up the trail to the mountain home of the ancient ones-and the Cobra God. 

Thus ended "I Love A Mystery," fascinating favorite of millions of listeners-the strange tale of Three Comrades in the jungle seeking the Cobra God, that ended in Philadelphia with Taft, Dewey and Vandenbery trying to keep an elephant with a hypodermic under its hide and Willkie on its back from stampeding.


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