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Silent, horrible as the crushing coils of a serpent were those unseen fingers that blotted out men's lives. A criminal of satanic proportions had risen - the "Black Master", whose victims fell with livid, hideous faces and protruding tongues that seemed a ghastly mockery of the fate they had suffered. Along this terrible murder trail Secret Agent "X" gambled with the Dice of Death.
His true face unknown, his identity forever buried in a secret government file, Secret Agent "X" came back from the dead to take on the sinister sadists and evil extortionists who prey on innocent Americans. A master of disguise who carries a non-lethal gas gun, "X" the unknown is backed by a cabal of wealthy citizens and is answerable only to the shadowy K-9 in Washington.
In his second recorded case, "The Spectral Strangler", the Man of Mystery is drawn into a chain of horror when his mentor from their Federal days, Bill Scanlon, is slain by a ghostly, disembodied strangler. How does this grisly crime connect with the disappearance of a chemist working for the Army's Chemical Warfare branch? What was Scanlon investigating that motived his killer to snuff out his life?
The trail of purpled-faced corpses points toward a shadowy mastermind known only as the Black Master. Through webs of horror "X" plunges, aided by Herald reporter Betty Dale and dogged every step of the way by Inspector John Burks, seeking to solve the wave of inexplicable deaths and avenge the slaying of his old friend. But does an invisible noose hang waiting at the end of the trail, to seize his naked throat in its gallows grip?
"The Spectral Strangler" originally appeared in Secret Agent "X" magazine, in March 1934, and is read by Milton Bagby.