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McKay, Roderick. Roderick McKay was created by Arthur O. Friel (Job Briggs, Dugan (II), Lucio León, Pedro & Lourenço, Sixto Scott, Wallace Sparhawk) and appeared in four story serials in Adventure (U.S.) and four story collections from 1921 to 1925, beginning with “The Pathless Trail” (Adventure (U.S.), Oct. 10, 1921).

Roderick McKay and his comrades-in-arms Ryan and Knowlton are Rootless Veterans. After World War One they are unable to find honest work and turn to hiring themselves out to the highest bidder. They are hired to go up the Orinoco River in search of Rand, a lost millionaire. Rand is rumored to have gone native and be living with the cannibalistic native Red Bones. The trio of mercenaries run into an evil German named Schwandorf who is competing for the reward, and then pick up a companion, Jose Martinez, a hawk-faced Peruvian knife fighter of evil reputation who helps them in a fight. They rescue Rand after he rescues them from the cannibals. The group escapes, and in a final attack obliterate Red Bones and Schwandorf. Further adventures follow: searching for gold in the Langanati Mountains beyond the Tigre River, retrieving Rand after he has lost his memory and become the king of a tribe Jivaro headhunters, discovering a white Lost Race at the headwaters of the Orinoco in Venezuela, and so on.

McKay is Roderick McKay, a former Captain with the American Army. He’s tall, thin, with black hair and grey eyes, and has a commanding presence and manner of speech. Knowlton is Meredith “Merry” Knowlton, a tough blond and former Army lieutenant. Ryan is Tim Ryan, a former Army sergeant, a stocky, impulsive red-headed Irishman. Ryan isn’t as bright as the others but is good in a fight. They’re all good in a fight, actually, good with their fists and guns, as well as being willful and stubborn.

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