Night of the Devil (1962)

Texts by Tom Tully

Drawings by Hugo Pratt

This story appeared in “Battle Picture Library” issue 62 (June, 1962), Fleetway Publications Ltd.

Seven men of a British patrol have been marching for hours through the hell of the Burmese jungle to blow up a bridge on the border with Siam. The heat, fatigue and tension have brought them to the brink of exhaustion and the dark of night is approaching. They are led by Lieutenant Robert Salter who encourages them to go on, giving the men of the small group not the slightest let up, when they suddenly come across a clearing with an extraordinarily splendid temple that houses a large golden idol. A high-priest who emerges from the shadows tells the soldiers that this is the temple of Phya Yomaraj, the legendary king of devils. Lieutenant Salter, who is suffering from exhaustion, reacts badly and kills the monk. Is this why terrifying demons come out of the dark? Lieutenant Salter is shaken awake by his soldiers: thankfully it was nothing more than a dream. Once again they take up their march and two hours later reach a clearing with a temple of extraordinary splendour...