This month’s pulp story, The Rest Cure, comes from the pages of Adventure magazine from April, 1934. It was written by the great pulp fiction author and Foreign Legion story teller J. D. Newsom. The tale concerns two American gangsters who are on the run from a rival gang leader. They decide that nobody can find them in Paris but soon find that the mob has longer arms than the law. Inevitably they join the Foreign Legion with the idea that some time in North Africa is just the thing they need–it would be kind of a “rest cure” for the stress they have been under. From the start, it’s obvious that these two ducks are out of their element (and don’t know how to swim either). There is much humor in this story as the bumbling tough guys get eaten up by the Legion. They soon find themselves in a penal detachment as punishment for being in the wrong spot at the wrong time with the wrong officer. In the end however they redeem themselves and live up to the reputation of the Foreign Legion (if not the standards of discipline).
If the plot sounds familiar its because this story was made into the 1936 movie called We’re in the Legion Now!. Reginald Denny starred as Dan Linton–the smartest of the two plucky gangsters. You can watch it at the Internet Archive.