Dick Tracy Stories – 1946

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Diet Smith’s 2-Way Wrist Radio (December – March)

Irma was one of Diet Smith’s top researchers. She was bitter since Diet had profited off of her inventions (two way wrist radio) and kills Diet’s partner in an attempt to set him up. Tracy sees through the scheme, and goes to arrest her until Irma’s husband shows up, temporarily blinds Diet and Tracy with the atom light, and escapes with all of the wrist radios. Irma’s husband is later killed while stealing lithium, so in anger, Irma goes to Diet’s home, shoots him and then herself. Luckily Diet is saved by B.O. Plenty who had been working as his groundskeeper. Brilliant, Irma’s blind son and the real genius behind the inventions, finds out about his parents death and tries to kill Diet. It turns out that Tracy had tricked him into shooting an empty bed and after the anger is out of his system, he and Diet reconcile.

Rod & Nilon Hose (March – June)
Rod and Nilon’s aunt was about to marry a mail-order groom and when she did, all of her assets would go to him and not them.  Nilon had learned that this man was a con man and they knew that they must somehow prevent the marriage.  So they kidnap Mortimer, the future groom, and con B.O. Plenty into taking his place.  They hoped that she would see her “future husband” and be so shocked that she would refuse to marry, keeping their future fortune safe.  It worked.  The only kink in their plan occurred when the captive Mortimer has a heart attack.  Panicking, Rod and Nilon bury him under a gravel road which is about to be repaved.  In the meantime, B.O. happens to tell Tracy about the story, and shortly after Tracy gets involved, Rod and Nilon are under arrest.  They tell Tracy everything, and agree to take him to the spot where Mortimer was buried.  They show him, are arrested and handcuffed to one another, and while out there, Rod decided he doesn’t want to go to the chair.  So he runs in front of an 18-wheel milk truck, dragging Nilon under with him.

Shoulders (June – August)
Tracy stops to listen to a young girl street urchin named Themesong sing and has his pocket picked by her father, a man named Roach.  Tracy arrests Roach and word gets back to his boss Shoulders who becomes angry and sends the Fixer to pay Roach’s bail.  Shoulder’s also sent his moll, Honey Doll to police headquarters to find out if the police have further plans.  Themesong then shows up to warn Shoulders and her father that Tracy was now on the case.  Shoulders became angry and knocked Themesong out with a desk lamp and shot Roach when he came to her defense.  Shoulders then fled but returned soon after to kill Themesong to keep her from squealing.  When he arrived he found Dick Tracy was already talking to the girl and he knocked Tracy out and shot Themesong.  Honey Doll met up with Shoulders and produced two plane tickets for Vancouver but Shoulders refused to travel with her and travelled alone to a priate airport instead.  Piloting a plane by himself, Shoulders failed to gain enough altitude and burst into a fireball when it crashed into a gasoline storage tank. 

Gargles and the Mouthwash (September – November)
Gargles ran a strange protection racket where he threatened to destroy drug store fronts unless they bought hundreds of gallons of his cheap mouthwash. Gargles also develops a crush on local radio celebrity, Christmas Early, and decides to write her a letter. When a cigar band with his signature “G” is found in some of his mouthwash, Tracy notes that it matches the “G” on Early’s letter. Tracy uses Early to set Gargles up and this leads them to his hideout. Gargles escapes and is on the run for a while, killing Themesong’s mother along the way. He finally ends up in a plate glass warehouse in a shootout with Tracy. He trips and falls through several sheets of glass and is cut to ribbons.

Influence (November – March)
Influence was hypnotist and leg breaker who tracked down people who had failed to pay back gambling debts.  After killing a debter named Brine Douglas, Influence goes after Viamin Flintheart who owned him $20,000.  Influence hypnotized Vitamin and turned him into a slave.Influence thenuses Vitamin to sweet talk and old friend and actress, Florance Lane, into coming to him. Influence slowly weans her out of her fortune and once her bank account is empty, he strangles her. He almost kills Pat Patton along the way when Pat came close to arresting him. He places Patton inside of a refrigerator on top of a pile of burning garbage. Luckily Patton is saved with the use of his two-way wrist radio. The police surround Lane’s house that night, and Tracy goes in alone only to be subdued. Influence sneaks out in Tracy’s hat and coat with his partner and Vitamin at gunpoint, creating the illusion to the rest of the force that he is the real Tracy. Influence dumps both Vitamin and the coat after the escape, and it is found by a girl named Misty Water. She alerts Tracy and he soon catches up to Influence. Tracy prevents being hypnotized again by slapping Influence with a chain across the eyes and breaking his contact lenses.
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