The Jungle Patrol (story)

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The Jungle Patrol
Jungle Patrol.jpg
Start date: March 17th, 1952
End date: May 31st, 1952
# of strips: 66 (11 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Wilson McCoy
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Professor"
Followed by: "Bobo the Toy Dog"

"The Jungle Patrol" is the 45th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Wilson McCoy.

Plot summary

A gang has started to smuggle alcohol into the jungle, and the young cadett Smythe of the Jungle Patrol has been assigned to determine the identity of the smugglers.

The Phantom discovers that there is a gang that is smuggling the alcohol, using a destillator to create their own alcohol.

The Phantom realizes that this is a task for the Jungle Patrol and writes a message that he puts in the safe.

Smythe, now informed of that communication with the Commander goes through the safe, accompaniens colonel James into the Commander's office and reads the message.

The colonel decides to go with "all forces" and orders Smythe to participate in the chase. The chasing party turns out to consist of a sergeant, Patrolman Dave, and Smythe. Upon Smythe's question, they explains that this is what they call "all forces" as not the entire patrol would be needed to capture some smugglers; they can be as much as 15, 20 of them so just in case, the colonel sent three men.

Meanwhile, the smugglers decides to move their location as they have been at the current place long enough and feels it is unnecessary to take risks. However, the Phantom has left a jungle man at guard who observes their moves.

The three patrolmen arrives to the old location of the smugglers and encloses the place from different directions. Smythe is very scared but does not show it to the others.

They track the smugglers to a river, where they get troubles as the smuggler has travel in the river and it is impossible to see if they have travelled upstreams or downstreams. The sergeant decides to split and follow the river in both directions. Smythe asks if they should not get more people, only to get the answer that he is the Jungle Patrol now, not at any sewing meeting. Here they takes care of themselves.

Meanwhile, natives helps the Phantom to track the smugglers to the Green Valley, using drums to inform him. The smugglers wonders what the natives are doing.

The Phantom sends a mesage to the Patrolmen and informs them that the smugglers are in the Green Valley. The Patrolmen arrives to the Green Valley and start spying at the smugglers. The sergeant orders that they will surround them; Smythe from the south, Dave from the west, and him from the east. Dave wonders what they will do with the north; should they let the Commander handle that?

The Phantom watches as the three patrolmen encloses the smugglers.

Smythe notices that something is moving in the bushes and orders the presumed bandit to show himselves, he then shoots a shot and realizes that it was only a deer. The smugglers are, however, alerted to the presence of the patrolmen and a gunfight between them and the other two patrolmen erupts.

Smythe has terrified found some cover and does not shoot while the other two patrolmen are being captured. The smugglers understands that there must be another patrolman but their search for him is in vain. The smugglers decides to shoot the two patrolmen they have captured.

Meanwhile, Smythe watches as the patrolmen are to be shot, acknowledging that it is his fault. Then the Phantom appears to him and asks if he should not help his comrades. Smythe replies "What can I do?". The Phantom then constates that Smythe must be new in the patrol and that that explains a lot.

The Phantom instructs Smythe to run straight into the gang and shot all the time, then he rides away.

As the smugglers are about to shoot the sergeant and Dave, Smythe comes running. As the smugglers are about to shoot him down, the Phantom appears on Hero. The surprise attack creates panic among the smugglers and they run in every direction. The Phantom destroys the truck with the destillator machine by hitting it in the fuel tank. The two patrolmen joins the party in fighting the smugglers, whom all are overcome except their chief and Duke who escapes in a car. The Phantom takes up the chase of them while he orders the patrolmen to take the prisoners to the jeep and wait for him there.

When they are bringing the prisoners to the jeep, the patrolmen admits that they thought he had became frightened and runned away. They appologize and constates that he and the masked guy saved their lifes. Smythe feels very uneasy at this as he really had been frightened and runned away and it only was the Phantom who got him to turn around.

The Phantom captures the chief and Duke without too much difficulties.

Meanwile, Smythe goes in deep thoughts, thinking that he is a coward when one of the smugglers tries to escape. Smythe is immediately ordered to catch him. Without any doubts, Smythe runs after the smuggler and takes him down, while he is realizing that he is fighting without being scared and that the tough gangster actually is scared of him.

Patrolman Dave asks the sergeant what he now thinks of the new guy. The sergeant replies that he ought to take it careful with the criminals as the Jungle Patrol could get a bad reputation otherwise.

The Phantom delivers the chief and Duke to the three patrolmen. Then he speaks a few words with Smythe, telling him that he passed the first test with exasperation. He had risked his life to save his comrades. When Smythe asks who he is, he get the reply that he is the Jungle Patrol's friend.

Later, the colonel informs them that the Jungel Patrol is proud of them because they captured the smugglers. He is espacially proud of Cadett Smythe who showed exemplary courage at his first assignment. When the colonel then asks who the masked man was, Smythe replies that he does not know, but secretly outside the door of the unknown Commander thinking that he perhaps does.

The Phantom concludes that Smythe won over his fear in gallant way and that that deserves a reward, even though it might make Smythe suspect who he is, but certain he will never be.

The next morning, the unknown Commander has leaved a message in the safe, rewarding Cadett S. Smythe with the medal of courage at the same time as he receives his lieutenant commission.

A few days later in a cermony, the Commanders wishes are made true. Smythe Sr congratulates his son. The colonel asks Smythe if he has stopped wondering who the Commander might be. Smythe then thinks that he suspects who it is, but he only says that he has stopped guessing.

Appearances

Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • The sergeant
  • Patrolman Dave
  • Smythe Sr
  • The chief
  • Duke

Locations

Tribes

Organizations

Vehicles

Items

Old jungle sayings


Behind the scenes

Title panel.
  • The title "The Jungle Patrol" appears in the first strip of the story.
  • The colonel of the Jungle Patrol is called colonel James instead of colonel Weeks.
  • The former colonel and his son are named Smythe-Smythe. The son is mostly called Smythe, but also Smyth and S. Smyth.
  • The Jungle Patrol was founded "over 200 years" ago. Each nation bordering the jungle has its own patrol with its own chain of command. Over all patrols is a Supreme Commander, also called S.C.

Reprints

This story has been published in the following publications:

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