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Horror in Paradise

by James Cornell

[from the back cover] "For almost a month Mt. Pelée, the long-dormant volcano towering over the city of St Pierre on the island of Martinique, had been sending out warning signals: clouds of thick yellow-brown smoke, loud rumbles, avalanches of mud and rocks that crushed trees and rooftops in the surrounding countryside. At night the sky glowed with a brilliant ominous red. The experts poohpoohed these warnings. The Governor of the island listened to the experts. No evacuation of the city was ordered. Then, on the morning of May 8, 1902, at 7:50 A.M. Mt. Pelée awoke with a vengeance. An explosion heard for hundreds of miles poured flaming gases and jets of superheated steam down onto the sleeping city, turning it into a living hell. By 7:53 A.M. all but three of its 30,000 inhabitants were dead. Of these three survivors, two died within hours. The third was a convicted murderer awaiting execution in a dungeon deep beneath the city jail. The only survivor of St Pierre was a man condemned to die! 30 dramas of death and destruction. And they're all true!"

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