CHAPTER SEVEN



It was 11:27 PM when The Black Beauty approached The Daily Sentinel. Hiding in the shadows of a nearby alley, The Green Hornet and Kato watched for their quarry.

"No sign of him," Kato said.

"He still has three minutes."

"Is Scanlon ready?"

"He says everyone's in position. We're going to have to cut this one close."

The three minutes seemed like three hours. The Hornet started fidgeting in his seat. He realized he was going to have to get used to the long waits if he was to keep moonlighting as The Green Hornet.

"There he is," Kato said.

A car pulled up to the curb, and Gregory Masterson stepped out, followed by Cross and two other bodyguards.

"He didn't come alone," Kato observed.

"I never said he couldn't."

"Not that they'll be too much of a problem. But they may slow down our getaway."

"We'll just have to chance it. First…"

The Green Hornet activated his two-way radio. "Casey, it's time."

***

At the other end of the radio, Lenore Case was at her office desk. She immediately picked up her phone and dialed for the police. Speaking in a damsel-in-distress voice that would have won her an Academy Award, she frantically said "Hello, police? This is Lenore Case, from The Daily Sentinel. I just saw The Green Hornet and some of his men outside the building!"

She hung up and silently prayed, Britt, please be careful.

***

In the back seat of a police car, Frank Scanlon heard Casey's "cry for help" over the radio. "Sergeant, tell all units to move in," he ordered. "It looks like that tip was on the level."

The sergeant radioed the orders. Immediately, several squad cars headed towards The Sentinel, sirens blazing in the night. Good luck, Britt, Scanlon thought to himself.

***

"All right, Kato," The Hornet said. "Let's do this."

The Hornet and Kato emerged from the alley, walking quietly towards Gregory Masterson and his men. "I'll say one thing for you, Masterson. You're punctual," The Hornet said with a smile.

Masterson smiled back at him. "I keep my promises…as I expect you to do as well."

"Let's see the explosives."

Cross sauntered over to The Hornet and removed several sticks of dynamite. The Hornet nodded, apparently impressed, and smiled. "Okay, guys. Let's throw Mr. Reid a going away party."

Immediately, the night air resounded with the sound of approaching police sirens. Masterson and his men froze in shock. "It's the cops!" Cross cried.

The Hornet's eyes blazed with anger. "You set me up, Masterson!"

Masterson blanched at the sudden accusation. "No! I…!"

Masterson never had a chance to finish his sentence. The Hornet's fist slammed into his face, knocking him to the ground. Cross and the other bodyguards drew their weapons, but Kato leapt towards them, kicking both bodyguards in midair, and lashing out with the edge of his hand at Cross. The chop landed on the back of Cross's neck, hurling him to the sidewalk unconscious. The two bodyguards were still on their feet, but The Hornet knocked out one with an uppercut to the jaw, and Kato dispatched the second with a kick to the solar plexus.

Masterson crawled towards Cross's fallen pistol, but The Hornet kicked it away. "It's over. From now on, this is my city."

A shot of gas, and Masterson lay unconscious.

The police had now closed in, and were already firing on the now-fleeing Green Hornet and Kato. With amazing speed, they dove into The Black Beauty, and tore out of the alley. The police continued firing, until The Black Beauty was long gone.

Scanlon exited the police car and headed towards the fallen racketeers. A sergeant approached him. "Sorry, sir. The Green Hornet got away."

Scanlon made a suitably-annoyed face, then smiled broadly as he gazed at the unconscious Gregory Masterson. "That's okay, sergeant. We've got ourselves a consolation prize."

***

The next week, The Daily Sentinel's headlines read:

GREGORY MASTERSON FOUND GUILTY
CRIMEBOSS SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
GREEN HORNET STILL AT LARGE

By Michael Axford, Crime Reporter

After a fifteen-year reign as head of Detroit's biggest criminal syndicate, Gregory Masterson was found guilty of racketeering, and the attempted murder of Sentinel publisher Britt Reid. Although this is not the first time Masterson has been on trial for his alleged criminal activity, this is the first time he has been found guilty. Witnesses once afraid to come forward and testify against Masterson showed up by the dozens, and the jury said there was no possible doubt that merited a "not guilty" verdict. This, combined with the stirring case of District Attorney Franklin Scanlon, culminated in Masterson being sentenced to life without parole.

Although obviously pleased with the court's decision, Scanlon expressed his disappointment at being unable to also apprehend The Green Hornet, who was implicated in the attempt on Reid's life. There have been reports of a gang war between Masterson and The Green Hornet, and there may be a connection between the gang war and Masterson's apprehension last week. The Green Hornet is still at large and considered very dangerous.

Reid grinned broadly at the headlines. "Very nice work, Axford," he said. "I'm impressed."

"Thanks, Mr. Reid," Axford said. "You don't know how long I've been waiting to write this story!"

"And you don't know how long I've been waiting to read it."

Axford laughed, then turned grim. "What about The Green Hornet? We still have him to worry about! Ain't it typical? One guy moves out, and another guy just as bad comes along to cause more trouble!"

Reid nodded. "True, Axford. But look at it this way; at least you'll have plenty of exciting stories to write about. Besides, now you can look forward to writing about The Hornet's capture."

Axford grinned. "Yeah, they're gonna get him in the end! And when they do, I'm gonna personally unmask him!"

Reid smiled. "Of course you will. Again, great story. But a reporter's job is never done. Go talk to Scanlon and see what you can dig up something for the afternoon edition."

"You got it, chief!" And with that, Axford marched out the door like a conquering hero.

Casey nodded to him as he passed by, then came into Reid's office. "You did it, Britt. Masterson's gone. It's over."

"Over for Masterson. But for The Green Hornet, it's just the beginning."

Casey nodded sadly, expecting that answer. "And what about the police? And Axford? He's determined to see The Hornet brought to justice."

Reid shrugged. "Well, we'll worry about it when the time comes."

Reid got up, and put his arm around Casey's shoulder. "Meanwhile, I just realized I haven't thanked you for helping me trap Masterson. May I express my gratitude by treating you to dinner this evening?"

Casey smiled. "Oh, Mr. Reid," she said sarcastically, "what will people say?"

"That I'm the luckiest man alive to have someone like you."

Casey blushed and said, "How can I possibly say 'no' to The Green Hornet?"


THE BEGINNING