D. E. Stevenson was a renowned Scottish author of romance stories. She wrote over 40 romance novels during her writing career. Her married name was actually Peploe but she wrote under the Stevenson name. Part of this was probably due to the fame of her first cousin, Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of “Treasure Island.” Readers should note that Lester Dent used the “Treasure Island” story as a basis for his very own pirate story titled “The Polar Treasure.”
Mrs. Stevenson has something of a following these days. Her novels revolve around relationships — sister, husband, or parents. One of her stories, Young Mrs. Savage, was first published in 1948 in England.
So why is this of any interest to readers of the Doc Savage series? This item first came to my attention thanks to a post by a fellow named Dan over on the alt.fan.doc-savage newsgroup back in January 2004. It sure was a good find by Dan and very nice of him to share it with everyone. This novel intersects the Doc Savage universe at a couple of points.
“Old Monk” as he is called, has hair growing out his ears. In a tale that gets larger with the telling, Old Monk has a pet parrot named Methuselah who is very dear to his heart. Yes, but his name was Mr. Monk. He was a funny little man, hairy like a baboon, with twinkling eyes and a heart of gold. Monk is often described as having twinkling eyes
Monk Mayfair’s description from “The Man of Bronze”: Only a few inches over five feet tall, he weighed better than two hundred and sixty pounds. He had the build of a gorilla, arms six inches longer than his legs, a chest thicker than it was wide. His eyes were so surrounded by gristle as to resemble pleasant little stars twinkling in pits. He grinned with a mouth so very big it looked like an accident.
Dan is Dinah’s brother. Dan seems to place little importance on his attire. However an incident arises showing Dan is very much concerned about having the right clothes for the right occasion. Ham Brooks in the Doc Savage series is known for the close attention he pays to his attire. He frequently changes his dress several times during the day.
Ham’s description from “The Land of Terror”: Ham’s dress was the ultra in sartorial perfection. Not that he was flashily clad, for he had too good taste for that. But he had certainly given his attire a lot of attention.
Clarke works for Malcolm and has a deep sense of loyalty to him. Dinah Savage, who is the Young Mrs. Savage, describes Clarke thus: Dinah had always thought of Clarke as a silent person. He had seemed to be automaton — scarcely human — but this evening her opinion was completely changed.
Doc Savage’s Description from “The Lost Oasis”: Only Doc was unmoved. He rarely laughed, unless for the purpose of putting some one at ease, or in playing a part — which did not necessarily mean he was perpetually gloomy. He merely did not show delight, just as he rarely betrayed horror, disgust or other emotion.
Pat is just a character in the story. The fact that she has the same first name as Doc’s cousin Patricia Savage makes her notable.
All this may have only been a coincidence. It does occur to me that Stevenson may have read “The Polar Treasure” and felt that turnabout was fair play. Regardless the reason, it would be nice to think that someone was giving a little tribute to the man of bronze and his amazing friends.