The windows were boarded-up, and the gang couldn’t see what was going on outside. However, Big Mike was posted on the roof as lookout so no one could take them unawares.
There was a sudden thump, and a body rolled out of the fireplace and lay still: a body in a slouch hat and long cape. Bullets poured into the body from around the room.
“Hold it!” one said. “It’s Big Mike!”
Laughter rolled from the ebon shadows, filling the hideout with a sound both sinister and cheerful – one might even call it jolly. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Narrow shafts of moonlight revealed a tall bearded figure in a heavy fur coat and hat – and a .45 caliber automatic in each gloved hand!
Muzzle flashes illuminated the darkness, but the laughing figure was deceptively fast. Their bullets hit nothing. Twin pistols barked from the other side of the room, and two members of the gang were no more. One thug reached for the weapon of his fallen comrade. “Santa” snapped a shot his way that sent the gun skittering out of reach.
“Only good children get toys! Ho! Ho! Ho!”
Another hail of gunfire. Two more foes were down.
“Now then, Children” intoned the bearded saint from somewhere behind them. “It’s Christmas, so I’m in a generous mood. You have a choice. You can drop your weapons and surrender, and I’ll scratch you off my naughty list. OR, I can fill your stockings... with lead! What’ll it be? Ho! Ho! Ho!”
- from "The Spider: Curse of the Christ Child"