by L. Ron Hubbard
produced by Galaxy Audio
Approx 2 hours.
Once again we get the treat of some superb audio book production from another Story from the Golden Age from Galaxy Audio. Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been releasing the many short stories and novellas which were previously published in the pulp-fiction magazines of the mid-twentieth century into their own pulps and audio pulps.
I say audio pulps because that seems to be a fitting description due to all the audio book releases are about 2 hours in length and contain one or more stories within the many genres Hubbard composed his fictions during that time. Another thing that makes the moniker stick is the production. The sound effects, music and voice acting all meld to create a unique sound that hasn’t been heard since the early radio programs from that same era. Hubbard’s characters and stories are all over the top and larger than life (that’s what makes these stories so fun) and the actors voicing the characters act with that in mind. The music produced is perfect for each story and the sound effects are subtle, believable and unique.
This story originally was told in 3 parts in “Astounding Science Fiction”, September, October and November of 1938 and is the only story in this release. “The Tramp” begins with a police chase as a small town USA sheriff, after getting a heads up on gang activity among vagrants riding train cars through the Midwest finds “Doughface” Jack hitching on the rails. As Jack tries to run away the eager sheriff shoots and hits Jack in the head. The town’s doctor happens to be nearby and immediately takes Jack back to his office. There the doctor discovers the bullet aimed for jack has destroyed the top of his skull, being a small town doc and only able to work with what is on hand manages to fix Jack up. The surgery is a bit bizarre in that the doc has to sew the two halves of Jack’s brain together and then replace the skull with a silver bowl.
When Doughface Jack recovers a couple of days later, he wakes to find himself in the small room that can be called a hospital in this small town. In one bed a patient is dying of cancer and in another a woman is recovering after losing her eye and receiving multiple injuries after being in a car crash the night before. The nurse comes in and Jack “cures” her of a mole on her chin. Very strange soon Jack cures the cancer patient, the crash victim and causes the doctors body to regress to being 40 years younger.
The doctor realizes this may have something to do with his surgery process, but even more so to a process called “mitogenetics.” The explanation of mitogenetics is that in an onion field only onions grow, the onions “communicate” through mitogenesis and kill out weeds and heal each other. Some professors whisk “Doughface” Jack to New York to study him. The small town doc is worried because…not everyone is an onion.
True enough after venturing out on his own Doughface Jack discovers that not only can he heal but when he is frightened, he can also kill. When Jack meets up with a vindictive, formerly blind beggar woman his troubles begin. She seems to want to use Jack to get back at those that mistreated her. Soon Jack and the “Witch Woman” are on their way to Washington D.C. to take over the country. Can he be stopped? How do you stop someone with such a strong psychic power? Pick up this audiobook and enjoy the great story and find out.