Dick Tracy Stories – 1938

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Stud Bronzen and the Slave Trade (January – May)

After his brief encounter with Bronzen While saving him from the Blank, Tracy learns that Bronzen is involved in the slave trade. He teams up with the Coast Guard Captain Shellbury and Chinatown Mayor Chiang to capture Bronzen and his boss, Lee Ting. Tracy and Shellbury locate Bronzen’s boat and follow it across he seas as Stud picks up his prisoners. As Stud is releasing prisoners off his boat at one point, Tracy suddenly catches up so Bronzen panics and kills the rest of the slaves. He gets away, but Tracy captures the boat of another slave smuggler named Rottur. They use Rottur’s boat to approach Bronzen as if to replenish his slave supply. Bronzen sees that it’s a trap, and a shoot-out occurs, and Bronzen is killed.

Mayor Chiang the Ramm Gang (May – July)
Tracy finds a woman by the name of Noana on Bronzen’s boat who was supposed to work for a man named Johnny Ramm. Tracy feels Ramm is the head of the smuggling ring and uses Noana and Patton in disguise to help prove it. They soon learn that Mayor Chiang is an imposter and Ramm’s boss when Ramm send Noana to him to be killed. Chiang is arrested and killed by an angry mob that storms the prison, while Noana is abducted from the hospital by Ramm’s men. Ramm uses Noana in his protection racket and Tracy pretends to snap and run off so he can pose as Pete Reppoc and infiltrate the Ramm gang. As Reppoc, Tracy leaves notes behind for Patton to follow until the timing is right and the Ramm gang arrested.

Jojo Nidle the Train Robber (July – September)
A wanna-be detective named Brighton Spotts arrives at headquarters with a severed finger. It belongs to Jojo Nidle, whom Brighton insists that Tracy investigate. Jojo robs freight from trains by switching car numbers and cleaning them out later, or by riding along and unloading the train while it’s in motion. Tracy ambushes one of their robberies and all of Jojo’s men are killed. Jojo flees for some time, escaping Tracy, but not Junior or Spotts. They catch up to Jojo on one of his later heists, but they’re captured and locked into a tanker of molasses. The authorities catch up and capture the remnants of his gang, but Jojo himself hijacks a train engine. Tracy gets on another engine on a parallel track, catches up to Jojo, and then shoots him down.

Poison Gas Plot (September – December)
Marro goes to Tracy with a tip that he should investigate the molasses shipment on the train that Jojo robbed. It leads him to Karpse, who is creating a poison gas from it for foreign powers. Marro had sent Tracy to Karpse out of jealousy, since Karpse had been involved in a female foreign agent named Halone. Karpse learns that Tracy and G-Man Jim Trailer are onto him, so he leaves with the gas and Halone, but they accidentally crash on the way. Karpse detonates a bomb on the plane and Tracy and Trailer are poisoned by the gas. Luckily, they find a well and hide out inside of it until they are rescued. Tracy is poisoned so badly though, that he goes blind and ends up in the hospital. Karpse gets back to the city eventually, after a long trek through the woods and losing Halone to a bear attack. He decides to take up a job as a baker at Mrs. Trueheart’s bakery, but ends up badly scalded when the water heater explodes and in the hospital with Tracy. When Marro stops off to see Karpse, and after Karpse burns the police sketch of himself in Tracy’s room, Patton and Trailer recognize who he really is. Karpse takes them hostage and locks them in a bureau and douses it with ether. He goes to burn it, but accidentally lights himself afire and dies. Marro manages to get away and Tracy regains his sight in time for Christmas.
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