The Wax Hand

I need your help. I hope I’m not imagining this. It does feel kind of like a dream. But I distinctly remember, at summer camp (Norwich University Summer Camp For Boys) picking up an old, dog-earred copy of a book titled something like The Ascent of The Wax Hand. The title page listed a couple other titles by the author, all with The Wax Hand in the title somewhere. I almost didn’t read it because it was late in the series and I was a purist back then. What I recall was a fun, pulpy adventure having to do with an Anarchist plot—that being my first brush with the word anarchist.

I can’t remember the author’s name and my Google-fu is weak, because I come up blank with all my searches. I think the book was from around the turn of the century —it had the same feel as a couple of the old Arthur Train books I own.

Probably was just a dream, or I’m becoming more insane. If you recall anything about that book or others in the series, let me know in comments, please. Thanks.

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6 Responses to “The Wax Hand”

  1. A couple years ago, I couldn’t remember the name of “Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet”, which I think was my first sci fi. My dad gave it to me one night when I had croup and couldn’t sleep.

    I posted to a google group, and the folks there had an answer for me immediately. I can’t seem to find that group again. It has been some years, is my excuse.

  2. Wow. That’s one of the fun (and sad) things about fiction. I remember being at a convention years ago (WolfCon 2) and Roger Zelazny said he’d read an article by H. L. Mencken mentioned four authors from the 1920s who were guaranteed to survive the test of time. Roger said he’d not heard of any of them, but he tracked books down, read them and felt they were okay, but nothing special. Go back another generation or two, and there were authors grinding stuff out for penny dreadfuls whose work has been lost to time.

    Kinda makes me hope my work makes the cut for the future.

    “Rip Foster Rides the Gray Planet,” eh? I can imagine that being the sort of book that would see one through croup.

  3. Well no luck yet. But I did find dipping your hand in hot wax for pain relief and a paper on how to raise large quantities of Boll Weevils in a lab.

    Then it gets weird.

  4. You could always write a book with that title and if someone sues you you have your answer 😉


    Bernard Capes
    ‘GILEAD BALM’ (1911)
    The quest of the Wax Hand
    What I got, anyway (besides an amazing number of wax hand pictures. (Wax on!Wax off!)

  6. The only thing I’ve been able to find is Gilead Balm (1911) by Bernard Capes, has a series of mysterious quests one of these is “The Quest of The Wax Hand”, page 135.