Dick Tracy Stories – 1963

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Stealing Hearts – Olga and Smallmouth Bass (September – December)

A suspicious beating package is found in a bus station baggage locker and Dick Tracy and the bomb squad try to defuse it. They are astonished to discover inside the container is a still beating heart suspended in a refrigerated liquid all powered by an atomic power source. Tracy enlists Junior to watch the locker to see who shows up for the heart, but Smallmouth Bass, a smallish blond man knows the police have emptied the locker and does not return to it.

Smallmouth is the foster son of Dr. Orta, who is obsessed with the blood vessel system. The walls of his home are painted with large murals of the vascular system in glorious detail. Dr. Orta and Smallmouth Bass have killed a retired olympian named “Pigskin” Parson for his heart and enlisted Dr. Olga, a towering woman to perform a heart transplant for $6000. Without the heart, Olga still wants her money and Smallmouth Bass is very fearful but reassured his father that he would shoot the woman if necessary. When Smallmouth and Olga meet, Olga plays a recording for him revealing that his own father Orta wanted to swap his heart with the Olympian’s and give his to Olga. Bass is shocked and immediately sides with Olga and forcibly brings his father over to Olga’s medical lab.

Meanwhile, the police investigate is at a dead-end until “Pigskin” Parson’s body is found in the harbor without a heart. Tracy talks to Parson’s grieving mother and learns he was taking part in a heart study and was picked up from by a rented limousine. Tracy tracks down the rental company and finds modifications to the vehicle that would pipe carbon monoxide into the passenger compartment. He learns the car was rented to a Dr. Orta, but Orta of course is no longer at home.

Dr. Olga and Smallmouth Bass perfume a gruesome surgery on Dr. Orta, removing his heart. Olga then reveals to Smallmouth she is in possession of several hearts and introduces herself to a 91-year-old man called the General who is as healthy as an Olympian. Olga plans to use her heart transplant skills to keep those she wants alive forever and slowly mold the world into her own utopia.

Smallmouth schedules a car rental so he and Olga can dump his foster father’s body. Tracy learns this and hides out in the rental vehicle’s trunk before the deadly duo take the car for a drive, dumping Orta’s body before stopping at a secluded building in the country. There Tracy confronts the two as they try to burn down the building which contains records of Olga’s crimes. Tracy is tied up in a horse halter but is able to shoot Smallmouth Bass in the forehead with a gun in an ankle holster. With Smallmouth dead, Olga flees in her vehicle while Tracy calls for help, trapped in the burning building.

Nearly burned to a crisp, Tracy is rescued in time by Sam and Junior while Olga has trouble driving without headlights through a construction zone and pins her car inside a large drainage pipe. She is trapped until Dick and the police arrive to take her into custody for murder. A few days later a local farmer’s son finds the remains of Dr. Orta inside a scarecrow on his father’s property.

Undocumented Stories (occurring before the Smallmouth Bass and Olga story)
  • Mrs. Peak (January – May)
  • Thistle Dew and Uncle Punky (January – May)
  • The Pallette Twins (Mystery at Slingshot Mountain) (May – September)
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