Dick Tracy Stories – 1934

Previous Year

Penfield’s Manuscript (January – February)
A young writer named Jean Penfield visits the station seeking an interview with Jimmy White.  Jean is writing a book on the criminal underworld and has already interviewed Big Boy Caprice.  Jimmy refuses until Jean bails him out of prison after which he gives his interview but is then convinced by his lawyer Ben Spaldoni to steal the manuscript back.  Jimmy breaks into Penfield’s home, knocks her unconscious and steals the first chapters and him and Spaldoni realize her book has names, places and many incriminating details of Big Boy’s organization.  They take the manuscript fragment to Big Boy and he demands the two eliminate Jean Penfield or steal the remainder of the book.
 
After failing in the theft of the remainder of the manuscript, Jimmy and Spaldoni try to kill Jean with a car bomb but she is saved by an insightful Dick Tracy.  Doing some detective work on her own, Jean spies on Spaldoni as he sets up a meeting with Big Boy and a number of his political contacts.  Spaldoni realizes Jean overheard the conversation but is unable to warn Big Boy before the meeting and the mob boss is arrested by the police.  Fearing for their lives, Spaldoni and Jimmy decide to leave the country, Jimmy for Canada and Spaldoni for Mexico.  The two promise to meet up with corrupt Representive Milrey on Feb 18th, 1935 in New York.  Before leaving the city, Jimmy catches Jean Penfield in her car and abducts her and the vehicle at gunpoint.  Jean accelerates and drives erratically, crashing the vehicle into a large fuel tank.  Jimmy was incinerated in the inferno but Jean managed to escape.

The Phantom Writer (February – March)
Following the fiery crash of Jean Penfield’s roadster, Dick Tracy and Pat Patton investigate the accident.  Charred clues and footprints in the mud lead Tracy to believe Jean is still alive but he has no proof.  Matt Page, editor of the News Globe begins to release hot stories about the underworld from a secret source called the Phantom.  An outed criminal named Alderman Zeld orders his men to stop the stories.  First they dump a body on the printing press with a warning and they follow that up with a bomb attempt by Tony the Bomber who Tracy shoots dead before he can blow up the News Globe office.  Finally when a henchmen named Eddie and his partner confronts Matt Page during the day, Tracy intervenes and a fight ensues.  The henchmen get the upperhand until a cleaning woman grabs a gun on fires on the crooks.  They run but are quickly cornered and arrested in the printing room.  The cleaning woman is revealed to be Jean Penfield.

Tess is Framed for Murder (March – May)
Dick Tracy is overjoyed that Jean Penfield is alive and Jean mistakes Tracy’s emotions as love.  Tess is heartbroken and angry when she catches the two of them in an embrace and even more so when Jean publishes an engagement notice in the paper.  The girls are soon fighting in the streets and the lawyer Spaldoni begins to hatch a plan.
 
Spaldoni wants revenge on Jean Penfield for Jimmy White’s death and plans to pin her murder on a jealous Tess Trueheart.  He calls back the corrupt representative Milrey from Mexico and has one of his men steal Tess’s prints from her home, which they place on a .38 revolver.  Then Milrey writes inflammatory letters to both women, trigger a confrontation between the two women at Jean’s home.  During the argument Milrey shoots Jean dead and plants the gun so that Tess is arrested.
 
Tracy of course believes Tess and notices the gun prints are in the wrong position and the letters are in neither woman’s handwriting.  He is able to match the handwriting to Spaldoni using a bail receipt the lawyer signed for Jimmy White.  When Tracy raids the crooked lawyer’s hideout, Spaldoni, Milrey and his men Mac and Mike shoot their way out and escape in a vehicle that Junior follows.  The four hideout in an old steel mill and when Tracy and Junior arrive a running shootout ensues.  Junior is briefly captured and used as a human shield and Tracy shoots Mike dead and then mortally wounds Spaldoni with a shot to the chest.  Milrey and Mac are both trapped in a pit and arrested.  On his deathbed, Spaldoni confesses his crimes and Tess is exonerated.

Larceny Lu & Mad Doc Hump (May – October)
Steve the Tramp escapes prison once again and runs to the hideout of Larceny Lu who calls for Doc Hump to treat his wounds.  Before he can arrive, Doc Hump is captured by Lu’s enemy Scotty Bumpstead who takes his place.  Lu captures Scotty and gives him to Doc Hump to experiment on but one of Lu’s men unwittingly lights one of Scotty’s cigar/smoke bombs, leading to their arrest and Scotty’s escape.After the arrests Larceny Lu tries to patch Steve up with her accomplice Mortimer and Doc Hump’s tools.  Steve is badly disfigured in the process.  Scotty Bumpstead catches up to them after escaping Doc Hump, but is once again captured and this time paralyzed by Lu.  Scotty’s mother Edith decides to hunt Steve and Lu down and almost killed them.  Steve, believing that he is dying tells Lu about Hank Steele and Junior’s true mother.  Tracy swoops in a captures Steve but Lu escapes and recovers.  Later Doc Hump was freed from jail and he went to his family mansion where he injected dogs with rabies and planned to kill Tracy with them. Doc went to test them on his butler, but Tracy showed up on time and rescued him. Doc Hump went to unleash another dog on Tracy, but when it sensed that Hump was the true enemy, it tore his throat out instead.After a while she and Mortimer decide to go pay a visit to Mary Steele, Junior’s mother and they propose to take care of Junior for half the money willed to her by Hank.  When Mary later sees that Tracy is taking very good care of Junior she tells Tracy about Lu and Larceny and Mortimer are apprehended at an amusement park.

Flashback to Cutie Diamond and the Arsons (November – May)
The following story occured before Dick Tracy became a Police officer.
Boris and Zora Arson plan to plant nitro in six safes around the country and simultaneously rob them before authorities can act.  The government is tipped off by mary Steele who is working as Boris’s maid and Tracy is deputized to deal with Boris.  Boris finds out about Tracy and tries to have him killed but fails.  Boris and his gang escape to an airport with Tracy and Pat Patton in pursuit.  One of Boris’s men, B-2, captures Tracy and Patton, but when Boris’s attention is elsewhere Patton trades places with a gang member and slips onboard the plane and stops it.  Enraged, Boris went to kill Tracy, but Tracy managed to get free and subdue Boris’ gang.

Later, in jail, Boris managed to get hold of Pat’s gun and shoot his way out of headquarters. He made his way to a hideout and had one of his men bring Mary Steele to him. He had Mary call Tracy to the hideout, but not one to fall for the ruse, Tracy came prepared with a police posse.  Boris soon found himself in jail once again, and shortly after, he began to receive coded letters from his sister Zora who advised him to carve a gun out of a potato and dye it black with iodine. Using this idea, he was able to break out once again, much to the dismay of Chief Brandon who had let him cook in his cell and have potatoes in the first place. Boris and Zora then decided that the best way for Boris to get out of the city would be to marry the daughter of Indian Chief Yellowpony and leave as a married couple. Yellowpony quickly saw through their scheme and found himself, along with his wife and daughter, hostage. He bailed out of Boris’ car and got Tracy, while Boris and Zora dumped the two women and went to hide out with Cutie Diamond.

Boris and Zora made their way to Diamond’s hideout in the Ozark Mountains. Heavily fortified, Cutie had been hiding out there for years. He even hasa hideaway in a cave guarded by two wildcats. It was this that he was showing the Arsons when Tracy, Patton and Yellowpony showed up. Unable to get past the wildcats, Tracy connected a hose to his car’s exhaust and pumped it into the cave. Zora and Cutie came running out, guns blazing, but they were shot down. Boris hid in the cave until Tracy fired a machine gun into it and a ricochet bullet caught Boris. Wounded, he was taken away.

Next Year

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