Dick Tracy Stories – 1942

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Jacques (December – January)

A suspicious Bea Thorndike asks Dick Tracy for help watching her niece Debbie and Tracy soon discovers that Debbie is secretly married to a man named Jacques.  Even more alarming, Jacques is blackmailing her to keep the marriage hidden.  When Jacques finds out what Tracy knows, he throws the detective in a pit and pushes a boulder down on top to plug the hole.  Workers manage to reach and save Tracy through a tunnel below while Pat Patton manages to capture Jacques and his gang above.  Jacques escapes and flees to his club, the “Bird Club”, intending to kill Debbie Thordike.  Tracy is hot on his tail and keen to his plans, arriving in time to shoot Jacques down before he can do the same to Debbie.

 B.B. Eyes (January – April)
B.B. Eyes was the brother of Jacques.  Once he learned of the death of his brother, he kidnapped both Tracy and Debby Thorndike.  The two were tied up in the basement of an abandoned house and placed next to a boiler rigged to explode.  Tracy and Debby were saved by Debby’s aunt Bea.  B.B. Eyes and his lackey Silver went back to investigate only to get their car wedged and trapped in the basement when a clever Bea backed her car into theirs.  B.B. Eyes knocked Silver out and escaped through the car floor.  After that, Tracy was on to B.B. and his tire bootlegging racket.  He posed as a customer interested in tires.  B.B. managed to get the “customer’s” fingerprints, and realizing it was Tracy, set a trap for him.  Using a dead patrolman named O’Malley as a lure, B.B. got Tracy to his warehouse whereupon he captured Tracy and Patton under an avalanche of tires.  The two were encased in paraffin to keep them prisoner.  Tracy managed to get free by rolling his paraffin encasing up against a hot furnace and melting it.  After freeing Pat, the two started in on B.B.’s gang when they returned.  The gun battle that ensued led to the death of most, but B.B. was captured alive after a firm beating.  On the way to headquarters, B.B. managed to escape the patrol car as it passed over a bridge.  When he tried to descend the bridge, he fell into a passing garbage scow as it dumped its waste.  In a twist of irony, B.B. Eyes became entangled in a tire casing and drowned at the bottom of the river.

 Stage Love Affair (April – June)
Baron Yollman’s understudy, Clark Van Dyke, kidnaps him and has him put into a hypnotic trance so he and Yollman’s wife can continue their love affair and so he can make his stage debut. The plan goes awry, Yollman awakes from his trance and he kidnaps Van Dyke. He forces Van Dyke to act on the stage at gunpoint while he taunts him. In an accident, Van Dyke is stabbed, and thinking he’s dead, Yollman flees to the country and poses as a drama teacher. When he’s found out, he tries to commit suicide but survives, and later when he’s in the hospital, the three forgive one another.

 Tiger Lily (June – July)
When Tracy is on a train that was purposely derailed, he soon learns that it was done by Tiger Lily, a man who creates accidents so he can record the sounds and sell them to radio stations. Arnard, one of his buyers, catches on to his methods and squeals to Tracy. Tiger kills Arnard and flees to his private golf club. Junior and Tracy pose as workers for the resort and enlist the help of a war veteran named Frizzletop, to help them defeat Tiger’s plan to sell off the course. He’s managed to convince a local tycoon that the fields are rich in natural sulfur wells. Tracy exposes them, and Tiger and his gang flee down river until they reach a dam and end up stuck and easy to capture.

 Bullet’s Poison Gas (August – October)
After Tracy finds George Bullet dead from a mysterious gas, he goes to report the bad news to George’s son Cal. Cal acts broken up but when he gets his hand on the only piece of paper evidence, he nonchalantly sets it on fire with his glasses. Tracy was the only one who manages to see this act and decides to shadow Cal. He soon learns that Cal communicates to a nazi agent in the states via a jukebox request girl. It is for this nazi agent that Cal is creating a special, deadly, chlorine gas. Tracy arrests the request girl and has Frizzletop take her place. She tells Cal that the foreign agent (code name Boche) wants to meet with him. From there, Tracy merely follows Cal to the hideout of Pruneface. Pruneface becomes angry at Cal’s stupidity for leading the police to him, so he floods the house with the gas, killing Cal and almost killing Tracy who had become trapped in Pruneface’s basement. Tracy is later saved and Pruneface manages to get away.

 Pruneface (November – January)
Pruneface escapes and settles up at Mrs. Trueheart’s in the spare room that she’s renting out. She and Junior soon learn that Pruneface is planning to destroy a local war plant, so they gather evidence and then Junior takes it to headquarters. Pruneface goes after him but accidentally breaks his leg after slipping on ice. Pruneface goes to Dr. Rex with his broken leg and the doctor realizes something’s up and attempts to call the police. Pruneface keeps the doctor at gunpoint and from there Pruneface contacts his fellow agent Twenty. Twenty shows up and takes the two to an abandoned house to hide out at while Pruneface recovers. The police manage to catch up with them at the house and surround it. Twenty tries to sneak away, but Pruneface catches him and shoots him down. The doctor escapes and Pruneface remains as the police cut the heat to the home and break out the windows. After a few hours of the blizzard’s temperatures, Pruneface freezes to presumed death.
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