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GUN COTTON

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Full Name: Gunston 'Gun' Cotton
Nationality: British
Organization: British Secret Service
Occupation Agent

Creator: Rupert Grayson
Time Span: 1929 - 1939

ABOUT THE SERIES

Gunston 'Gun' Cotton is an agent with the British Secret Service.

He is most of the time, in most of the recorded adventures that exist about this interesting man. He could also easily be labeled as an adventurer for while Cotton spends a good deal of his time working on behalf of the British Government in clandestine matters, he also is not adverse to going off on his own, well, usually in company with friends, looking for excitement and things to challenge himself.

On the first page in the very first tale we learn an interesting bit of information about him. "There was something unusually engaging about the man who now, leaning well back, stretched his legs across the [train] carriage. Lazy brown eyes, a mouth that seemed ready to smile - altogether an attractive rather than a handsome face. Even in the drab uniformity of modern dress, his delightfully careless manner - not to people but to life - gave him an air of almost insolent unconcern all the more interesting for the knowledge tht he could be surprisingly unconventional."

Cotton, we are told, came from money, as the expression goes. His family was quite well off and he enjoyed a very comfortable upbringing. That came to an end suddenly but luckily briefly when upon his father's unexpected passing Cotton learned that his father had left him just "a sheaf of debts". After a week of "disillusion and dismay" he learned that his father's brother had also passed away and left Cotton with a sizeable inheritance; "there was money now to keep his mother in luxury and still some over for him to squander". At that point, "the next few years he spend wandering from one country to another in pursuit of knowledge and experience, unknowingly preparing himself for what was to follow".

When he is actually working for the intelligence community, Cotton answers directly to a man high up in an unnamed department within that community, so secret in fact the identity of that man is not revealed; he is identified simply as 'X'. This 'X', "who learned his job from a certain 'C', was the one who first decided Cotton had what it took to be an independant operative. It was 'X' who approached him with the idea and, upon acceptance, got busy "preparing him for months in different branches of information, ['X'] knew that the seed he had sown in Cotton has been planted in rich soil."

This recruitment came after Cotton's involvement in the Great War came to a sudden and definite end. Being a renowned and capable airplane pilot, Cotton had been a valued asset in the nascent British Royal Air Force until "a deadly duel in which he had been worsted" put him on the ground for a time likely recovering, followed by the end of the War. The excitement and thrills Cotton had felt during that action had been intoxicating and the paucity of it afterwards had irked him. Even getting his own plane, a Moth, and winning a few Daily Mail contests had not sufficed. Hence his eagerness in accepting the offer from 'X'.

Cotton's first set of work was simply to continue his travels about Europe and just "have a look round. Why not do a little sketching?" After a time, the things Cotton would be asked to do would increase until he would become the highly valued and useful operative we find him to be at the beginning of those recorded missions.

BOOKS

Number of Books:14
First Appearance:1929
Last Appearance:1939

1 Gun Cotton: A Romance of Secret Service Gun Cotton: A Romance of Secret Service

Copyright: 1929

[plot unknown]

2 Death Rides The Forest Death Rides The Forest

Copyright: 1931

"Gun Cotton, gay and immortal adventurer, goes this time to the little-known principality of Ritzenhausen to rescue his friend, Greville Manning. Greville went on a serious mission - to return to the Prince of Ritzenhausen relics of his son who was killed in the World War - but he finds himself mysteriously side-tracked from seeing the Prince.
"Greville becomes further and further involved by falling in love - then Gun arrives! His friends, who have learned how high-spirited and clever a detective Gun Cotton is, know what to expect. He stumbles upon clues and secret intrigues, has several escapes that are hair-raising in their tenseness, and finds himself caught up in a kidnapping plot that gives the whole story a breezy build-up to an amazing climax."

3 Gun Cotton - Adventurer Gun Cotton - Adventurer

Copyright: 1933

"Two Englishmen, Gunston Cotton and Charles Casleton, visiting America during the late prohibition era, become involved with bootleggers. After a series of thrilling encounters with an unscrupulous gang leader, Gun finds himself "on the spot". A sensational part is played by a girl called 'Lonely'.
"In spite of gangsters and gunmen, this unusual story offers plenty of laughs - and just right amount of man-and-girl romance."

4 Gun Cotton, Secret Agent Gun Cotton, Secret Agent

Copyright: 1934

[plot unknown]

5 Escape With Gun Cotton Escape With Gun Cotton

Copyright: 1934

"Gun Cotton, working for the Secret Service, assists smuggling people out of Russia and then Finland, he soon has to show his mettle as he gets into one tighter corner after another, angry Russian government heavies breathing down his neck."

6 Gun Cotton Goes To Russia Gun Cotton Goes To Russia

Copyright: 1936

[plot unknown]

7 Gun Cotton In Hollywood Gun Cotton In Hollywood

Copyright: 1936

"Gun Cotton matching wits with kidnappers in Hollywood."

8 Gun Cotton - Outside The Law Gun Cotton - Outside The Law

Copyright: 1936

[plot unknown]

9 Gun Cotton - Adventure Nine Gun Cotton - Adventure Nine

Copyright: 1937

[plot unknown]

10 Gun Cotton In Mexico Gun Cotton In Mexico

Copyright: 1937

[plot unknown]

11 Gun Cotton - Ace High Gun Cotton - Ace High

Copyright: 1937

[plot unknown]

12 Gun Cotton at Blind Man's Hood Gun Cotton at Blind Man's Hood

Copyright: 1938

"Gun Cotton takes a brief holiday in one of the quietest and most secluded spots on the Sussex coast, where he comes in contact with the successors of the old smugglers who plied their trade along those shores, but now the contraband being run is human contraband. A clever plot to infest England with a most virulent and dangerous political disease - a kindly old Professor blackmailed into becoming an enemy to his beloved country - a beautiful girl ruthlessly murdered in a lonely cottage, and bullets flying in the night..."

13 Gun Cotton - Murder At The Bank Gun Cotton - Murder At The Bank

Copyright: 1939

Gun Cotton goes up against a fellow British man named Relff who wears "his geniality [as] a splendid cloak" but who is deeply involved in the matter of International Fascism.

14 Gunston Cotton - Secret Airman Gunston Cotton - Secret Airman

Copyright: 1939

[plot unknown]

MY COMMENTS

When I first heard about this series, I purchased two of the book and gave them a try. That was several years ago and I decided that I would hold off on adding the series to the site because I needed a book or two more because I had such a negative response to what I read.

Now a handful of years have passed and I have a couple more adventures and I decided to try it again. I was glad I did so I could be fairer to the author and the character.

Mind you, I still do not care for the character. He comes across as a bit of a egotist (okay, more than a bit). He also tends, IMHO, to pout and sulk and he is not about whining. Dang, the man sounds way too much like me!

Maybe I need to get a couple more adventures just to verify. Or not!

GRADE

My Grade: B-

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