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Clan of the Fiery Cross, Chapter 9

The Adventures of Superman

Clan of the Fiery Cross, Chapter 9 

Jun 20 1946







JOE, of the Clan





ANNOUNCER: Faster than a speeding bullet!


ANNOUNCER: More powerful than a locomotive!


ANNOUNCER: Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound!


NARRATOR: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird!

ANNOUNCER: It's a plane!

NARRATOR: It's Superman!



ANNOUNCER: Kellogg's Pep! P-E-P! Pep! Kellogg's Pep, the Sunshine Cereal, presents--

NARRATOR: "The Adventures of Superman"!


NARRATOR: Today, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, captives of the Clan of the Fiery Cross, await their interview with the Grand Scorpion, puzzled as to how far the bigoted leader will dare to go. 


ANNOUNCER: Hello, there, gang. This is your pal, Dan McCullough. You know, they say that the golden sun shining over the ancient pyramids of Egypt is really a sight to see. And, gang, if you want to see a pyramid of good eating -- all golden and crisp and sunny -- try the Pep Dish of the Week for breakfast tomorrow. It's a Pep Pyramid! And here's how it goes. In the bottom of your bowl, pile up your serving of Kellogg's Pep, the Sunshine Cereal, in the shape of a pyramid. Then, around the base, scatter some fruit -- you know, like juicy red raspberries -- add milk and sugar, and pitch in! Believe me, Kellogg's Pep makes this a dish that's mighty easy to take. Pep is tender and crunchy and full-up with a sparkling sunshine flavor that gives your appetite the go-ahead every time. And Kellogg's Pep is good for ya, too. So you want to finish off every sunny flake in your bowl. 

And, gang, here's another angle. Nowadays, the cereal grains are being sent to help give good nourishment to fellows and girls all over the world. So you don't want to waste cereal. When mom brings Kellogg's Pep home from the grocer's, appoint yourself a committee-of-one to help guard against waste. Pour your Pep carefully and eat up every bit you pour out. Pass the word along to the rest of your family, too. Get hep to Pep, gang! Eat all your Pep! Don't waste it!


NARRATOR: And now "The Adventures of Superman"! 

When the Clan of the Fiery Cross -- a group of hate-mongers whose credo is "One Race, One Color" -- attacks Tommy Lee, star pitcher on Jimmy Olsen's Unity House baseball team, because he is Chinese, editor Perry White offered five thousand dollars reward to anyone who could identify the cowardly Clansmen. That night, the men in sheets and hoods seized White and Jim and carried them to a hideout in the hills, high above Metropolis. While Superman and the police searched for them, the gray-haired editor and the young reporter, their hands bound, were brought to a large cave before which burns a fiery cross, symbol of the Clan, whose leaping flames eerily illuminate the cave where Matt Riggs, leader of the intolerant band, stands, garbed in a long robe embroidered with a blue scorpion. A peaked hood, slit to reveal only his cold squinty eyes, covers his head and face. Arms crossed on his chest, Riggs stares at White and Jim as they approach.


WHITE: So! You're the high monkey-monk of this bunch, eh?

RIGGS: I'm the Grand Scorpion of the Clan of the Fiery Cross.

WHITE: The Grand Rat, you mean. And a couple of other names I could think of, you - you--

JIMMY: Chief, please. 

RIGGS: I advise you to control your temper, Mr. White -- and your tongue.

WHITE: I don't want any advice from you. But I'll give you some. Release us at once or, by heaven, you and every one of your hooded hooligans will go to the electric chair.

RIGGS: You're in no position to threaten us. By the time you're found in these hills, it'll be too late -- unless you come to terms first.

WHITE: Terms? Well, what do you mean?

RIGGS: You've got to agree to stop your attacks on us in your newspaper with your dirty lies! Stop standing up for those - those yellow foreigners!

JIMMY: They're not foreigners! They're darn good Americans. A whole lot better than you are.

RIGGS: Quiet, you young punk.

WHITE: The Lees are American citizens, entitled to the same privileges as any of us.

RIGGS: (SAVAGE) They're not Americans! They're foreigners! Their skin isn't white!

JIMMY: So what? The Indians who were here before us are red-skinned. Does that make them foreigners?

RIGGS: I'm not talking about the Indians.

WHITE: You're talking rot and you know it. The nation was founded by foreigners and built by foreigners. Everyone here either came from another country or is descended from folks who did. Don't you ever read your history, you - you stupid bigot?

JIMMY: That's tellin' him, Chief.

RIGGS: Now look here, you two! I warn you, I'm not gonna waste any more talk on ya.

WHITE: Well, good. Then you listen to me. I happen to love my country and what it stands for -- equal rights and privileges for all Americans regardless of what church they choose to worship God in or what color skin God gave them.

RIGGS: Now, you wait a minute--!

WHITE: The United States was founded on that principle, and we've just fought a second world war to preserve it. You and others like you with your diseased minds want to tear down what we've built and fought to keep! But you can't do it.

RIGGS: Blast you--!

WHITE: I'll fight you to the last breath, and so will every other American worth his salt. We'll flush you and your hate-peddling goons out from behind your dirty sheets and clap you in jail where you belong.

JIMMY: Attaboy, Chief! (TO RIGGS) Now put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Rat.

RIGGS: You fools. Do you think that you or anyone else can stop the Clan of the Fiery Cross?

WHITE: You bet we can! And we will!

JIMMY: We stopped Hitler, mister, and his outfit sold the same baloney as yours.

RIGGS: All right! I'll just show you how we'll deal with those who stand in the Clan's way. (CALLS) Joe?!

JOE: Yeah?

RIGGS: Tell the Brothers to start heating the tar! Get those feathers ready!

JIMMY: (NERVOUS) What? Tar and feathers?

WHITE: Easy, Jim; easy.

JOE: (LOW, RELUCTANT) Look, er, Matt, it might kill 'em, you know. After all, this old goat is no kid.

RIGGS: I don't care who he is or what he is. Do as I say!

JOE: Okay. You're the boss. (MOVING OFF) Ralph? George? [Fill the planter with that stuff. ?]

RIGGS: Now don't move, you two! We'll see how brave you are when the hot tar touches your skin.

JIMMY: (UNNERVED) Now - now, look. Wait a minute, you--

WHITE: Don't let him scare you, Jim. He wouldn't dare do anything to us.

JIMMY: I'm not so sure, Chief. I - I think they are gonna tar and feather us.

WHITE: Nonsense, nonsense. This fellow is just trying to scare us into doing what he wants.

JIMMY: Maybe, but-- Did you notice the way he looked just then? I mean, the way his eyes shone? I think he's cracked.

WHITE: Why, of course he is. All fanatics are. But--

RIGGS: Well, what's the matter, Joe?

JOE: There's no tar.

RIGGS: What?!

JOE: Yeah, Ralph says that last storm knocked the barrels off the ledge. They rolled down into the stream and broke open.

JIMMY: Oh, boy! What a break!

RIGGS: Well, what're ya waitin' for? Get some more tar.

JOE: How are we gonna get any tar in these hills?

RIGGS: Oh, I don't know. Look, I gotta go back to town, so you come along and ride with me. We'll pick up a barrel at home, bring it back in the morning.

JOE: Okay. What'll we do with White and Olsen till then?

RIGGS: The other boys can stand guard on 'em. They'll keep till we get back. Come on!


NARRATOR: Granted a few hours' reprieve, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White are returned to the small cave across the glade where robed and hooded Clansmen stand guard. Meanwhile, unable to find a trace of his friends, Superman, in his guise of Clark Kent, has returned to the Daily Planet where Lois Lane greets him anxiously. 

LOIS: Any luck, Clark?

KENT: No. The boy the police picked up was the wrong one.

LOIS: What's all this about a boy? You started to tell me before, but you didn't finish.

KENT: Oh. Well, you see, Lois, some unidentified boy phoned me the night the Clan grabbed Tommy Lee.

LOIS: Yes?

KENT: He told me the Clan was taking Tommy to the river bend to tar and feather him.

LOIS: I see. And he wouldn't tell you his name?

KENT: No, but he knew all about it, so he must know who the Clansmen are. (BEAT) Hey, wait a minute. I'm gonna try something.

LOIS: Try what?

KENT: What I wanted the chief to do the other day. Run an open letter on the first page of the Daily Planet addressed to that boy -- a letter explaining that-- Well, that - that not only Tommy Lee and Jim Olsen, but every boy in America who - who parts his hair a way the Clan doesn't like or who refuses to bow down to those bullies is in danger of his life.

LOIS: But, Clark--

KENT: I believe that boy must have a sense of honor, which prompted him to call me to help Tommy Lee.

LOIS: But why wouldn't he give you his name?

KENT: Oh, well, probably because he was afraid of being found out by the Clan. (BEAT) Yes, he must have taken a great risk even to phone me. And now I'm going to appeal again to his sense of honor and fair play.

LOIS: Well, you go ahead if you like, but I don't think it'll work, Clark. If he was afraid before--

KENT: I think it will work. Anyhow, it's our only chance. Look, Lois, you call Donovan, will you?

LOIS: Yes.

KENT: Tell him what's up and ask him to call the pressmen and get them down here at once.

LOIS: Okay.

KENT: We're gonna put out a special early morning edition of the Planet!


NARRATOR: Unaware that the mysterious boy is Chuck Riggs, nephew of the Grand Scorpion of the Clan of the Fiery Cross, Clark Kent composes an open letter to him to be displayed on the first page of a special edition of the Daily Planet. We'll be back in a moment to find out what happens! So stand by for the tense climax of today's episode!


ANNOUNCER: You know, in order to be hep nowadays, you have to feel hep -- wide awake and alive -- and you can't feel that good if you don't eat right. So, gang, give a good hearty breakfast a chance to show you what it can do to help begin your day. Start it with a sunny breakfast of Kellogg's Pep! There's a treat that is a treat -- so golden and crisp and toasty that you want to eat hearty. You see, Kellogg's Pep is called the Sunshine Cereal, and it's sure on the sunbeam when it comes to lively sunshine flavor. Not to mention the fact that these toasted whole wheat flakes are good for ya, too. So, gang, get hep to Kellogg's Pep, and be sure you finish off every golden spoonful in your bowl. Don't waste it. You see, the cereal grains have been picked out to help give good nourishment to fellows and girls all over the world. So this is no time to waste cereal. When mom brings Kellogg's Pep home from the grocer's, make it your job to see that there's no waste at your house. "Handle with care" is the idea if you pour your own Pep. And always make sure to eat all your Pep! Don't waste it!


NARRATOR: Working at top speed, Clark Kent and Lois Lane publish an extra edition of the Daily Planet. Early the next morning, Chuck Riggs -- the boy who indirectly caused the Clan of the Fiery Cross to attack young Tommy Lee and then, tortured by his conscience, phoned Clark Kent -- is at the breakfast table with his mother in the home they share with Chuck's Uncle Matt, secretly the leader of the vicious Clan. At his mother's request, Chuck bought a special edition of the Daily Planet from a shouting newsboy. Now, his eyes on his plate, he sits brooding while his mother picks up the paper.


SARAH: Eat your breakfast, Chuck. You'll be late for school. Now, let's see what this extra paper's about.

CHUCK: I've had enough, mom.

SARAH: Enough? Why, you hardly touched your eggs. What's the matter with you these last few days?

CHUCK: I'm okay, mom.

SARAH: Well, you don't act all right. Ever since you got dropped from the Unity House baseball team--

CHUCK: (SNAPPISH) Don't talk about that!


CHUCK: I'm sorry, mom. I didn't mean to blow up.

SARAH: Don't you speak to me like that again, young man.


CHUCK: I said I was sorry.

SARAH: Sorry? You're getting to act more like your Uncle Matt every day. Temper tantrums and brooding spells. I've got to take it from your uncle -- this is his house that we live in -- but I won't have it from you now. You understand?

CHUCK: Yes'm.

SARAH: Well, mind you don't forget. Now, let's see what's in this paper.


SARAH: I never knew the Planet to put out a morning paper before. (BEAT) My lands! Listen to this! (READS) "To the boy who phoned me the night Tommy Lee was captured by the Clan of the Fiery Cross. You know by now that another boy, Jim Olsen, and the brave man who dared to defy the cowardly Clan of the Fiery Cross, are in danger of their lives--"

CHUCK: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Mom, please! Cut it out! I - I already read that.

SARAH: Well, isn't it awful? That terrible Clan! Every one of them ought to be tarred and feathered instead of the decent folks they do it to. And this poor Jim Olsen-- Say, Chuck, isn't he the one who was the manager of your ball team?

CHUCK: Yes'm.

SARAH: And now his life's in danger, and some boy who could help him won't speak up. Chuck, did you ever hear of anything so terrible? Why, if I had a cowardly boy like that, I'd - I'd put him out of my house and never see him again, much as it'd break my heart.

CHUCK: You - you would, mom?

SARAH: Course I would. Think of a boy who won't speak up to save another boy and a fine man, and who doesn't think enough of his own country to want to protect it from ruffians like the Clan of the Fiery Cross! Why, that Clan's no better than those Nazis in Germany.

CHUCK: But - but, mom, if that boy did what Mr. Kent wants him to and the Clan people found it out, they - they'd do something awful to him. Maybe - maybe even tar and feather him.

SARAH: No. No, they wouldn't. Mr. Kent says he and the police would protect him.

CHUCK: But the Clan men might be watching Mr. Kent every minute. Nobody knows who they are. Why - why, gosh -- your own husband could be a member of the Clan and you wouldn't know it. Or your uncle.

SARAH: My husband wouldn't be a hater in a sheet and hood if he was alive. He'd be out lookin' for 'em to wipe 'em out. That's what your father'd be doin'.

CHUCK: Yeah, I-- Oh, golly, I don't know what to do.

SARAH: (BEAT) You don't know what to do about what?

CHUCK: Huh? Oh. Oh, nothin', mom. I was thinkin' about -- about somethin' else. But-- (EXHALES) I really don't know what to do.


NARRATOR: Caught between his conscience and his dread fear of the Clan of the Fiery Cross, Chuck Riggs hesitates, unable to decide what to do -- whether to go to Clark Kent and reveal the identity of his uncle, or to remain silent.

And while Chuck hesitates, Jimmy Olsen and Perry White, far away in the desolate hills, lose hope as no sign of rescue appears, and their ordeal at the hands of the men of hate and bigotry draws nearer.

What will happen?! Will Chuck Riggs contact Clark Kent?! Or won't he? Tomorrow tells the story! So don't fail to listen! Tune in -- same time, same station!


ANNOUNCER: And remember! For breakfast, it's Kellogg's Pep!


NARRATOR: For excitement, "The Adventures of Superman"!


ANNOUNCER: Superman is a copyrighted feature, appearing in Superman-DC Comic Magazines and is brought to you Monday through Friday at this same time by Kellogg's Pep, the Sunshine Cereal.


ANNOUNCER: If your dog is a softie, here's a little trick you can try to help give him lots of muscle. Mix Kellogg's Gro-Pup Dog Food in with his scraps of meat and fat. See if it doesn't make his eyes brighter, his coat glossy, and see if it doesn't give him lots of "Oof!" so that pretty soon he'll be able to "take it" and to scramble right along with the gang. Lots of champs feed on Gro-Pup, you know. So let your dog have his pick of Gro-Pup Ribbon, Gro-Pup Meal, or Gro-Pup Pellets. Just so's mother remembers, write Kellogg's Gro-Pup on her marketing list right now.

And be sure to be with us tomorrow for the thrilling adventures of Superman. 

This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.