The Matchmaker

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The Matchmaker
Start date: June 22nd, 1953
End date: October 10th, 1953
# of strips: 96 (16 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Wilson McCoy
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Lady from Nowhere"
Followed by: "The Super Apes"

"The Matchmaker" is the 50th Phantom Daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Wilson McCoy.

Plot summary

Diana notices that some people are moving in their house and asks her mother Lily what they are doing. Lily answers that they are putting in a bed in the guest room. Diana immediately orders that it should be taken out as the room always is in reserv for him. The Lily reveals that aunt Elsie is coming and she likes that room. The entire house is being changed because of aunt Elsie's arrival.

Elsie is Lily's only sister, she owns the family money and her favorite is Diana. However, both Diana and Dave considers her problematic.

The first thing that Elsie does is to ask them not be so close as her dog, Didi, is so shy, and then she orders them to close the window. Aunt Elsie quite soon asks if Diana is not married yet. When her asked for tea comes she wants to see the room, taking the tea later. Elsie is surprised that she does not get her usual room and Lily explains that Diana keeps it in spare for a friend, who they never knows when he comes. Elsie immediately understands that it is a fiancé and asks about him. Lily, always being against the relationship, then shed some tears and explains that it is horrible, that he is always masked and weirdly dressed, living in a cave. She also explain that the window is always kept open because he comes in that way. Elsie wonders if Lily is mad who lets Diana hang around with such a strange man and immediately offers to help getting a decent man for Diana.

Meanwhile, Dave asks Diana what she thinks that his sisters might be discussing upstairs. Diana guesses "me".

Elsie concludes that if Diana wants to inherit her fortune, she must be a good party. She consults Lily for some traits of the masked man and then finds a rich, handsome sportsman.

Soon, Diana is introduced to Jack Blighton, the son of a female friend of Elsie. Jack Blighton plays tennis, golf, and polo, he swims and boxes. Diana asks about chess. As they are walking out, Jack carries one ball in each hand, explaining that he always is training to keep in shape. Diana constates tha aunt Elsie is mad about matching people.

Their dating consists of only sports activities, when Elsie asks Diana what she thinks about Jack, she replies that she is too tired to think anything today.

After a while Jack Blighton tries to kiss Diana, she then hauls him to the floor, he leaves immediately muttering to Elsie about her "little sweet girl" that is as strong as an ox.

Aunt Elsie then wonders if she perhaps would prefer a more thinking type, Lily saying that it is hopeless. Elsie then arranges a meeting the next day with Rodney. Rodney helds a one hour monologue with Diana that makes her sleep. Then follows a lot of other young men, all of whom Diana think is impossible.

Finally, Baron Cole arrives to the scene and for the first time, Diana finds someone who she actually thinks is interesting. He invites Diana and Elsie to a weekend at his yacht. As they are leaving, Dave thinks to himself that the Phantom must come soon, because no girl waits forever.

At the yacht, Diana thrives as it is just like the free life with the Phantom. The Baron explains that he is madly in love with her. Towards the evening, while dancing, Diana explains that there is another, Baron Cole asks for some time o make her forget him. Then he is called for by the captain. The captain says that they need money and that they must leave before anyone notices that the boat is stolen. Baron Cole reveals his plan to marry Diana for the money, but the captain is a little hesitant as that will takes weeks.

As he returns to Diana, the baron says that it only was engine problem.

Meanwhile, the crew is discussing their chief's plans, feeling a little bit uneasy about using marriage, instead of kidnapping as they did at Cuba.

At the deck, baron Cole proposes to Diana, while Elsie is secretly watching. Explaining that fortune means responsibility, he adds that Diana also knows it. Diana immediately corrects him: she is not rich, but her aunt is.

When aunt Elsie asks Diana what she thinks about the baron, she replies that he seemed shocked to hear that she was not rich. Aunt Elsie thinks that she must have been mistaken as he himself is rich, Diana hesitantly admits that she might have been mistaken.

Meanwhile, the baron discusses with the crew about a new plan. The baron then asks Elsie for one million dollars, Elsie then realizes that they are bandits. Elsie is sent to her bank with the captain with the threat that the crew would kill the still sleeping Diana if she tells anyone.

Meanwhile, the Phantom and Devil arrives to the Palmers and goes to sleep. At the morning, Dave explains about the tour at the barons yacht.

As aunt Elsie need her key to her safe deposit box at the bank to get any money by selling some stocks, she has to enter the Palmer house. She is instructed to slip in through the backdoor and come back straight away, trying no tricks.

As soon as she opens tha kitchen door, she sees the Phantom with a frying pan, making breakfast, as he has not been eating for two days. As the Phantom greets Elsie, Dave appear and welcomes her home, however, her strange behavior, not being willing to talk to anyone makes them realizes that something has happened to Diana and that Elsie does not want to talk about it.

The Phantom, follows Elsie as she and the captain takes her car to the bank and gets the money. They then takes the car to the beach, the Phantom following in a taxi. The captain notices that the taxi is following them and orders them to stop, then noticing that the taxi also stopped. The Phantom pays the taxi driver and tells him that does not need him anymore. The captain think that it is obvious that Elsie has talked to someone, but Elsie assures him that she has talked to no one. The captain confronts the Phantom with a revolver, asking him what he is doing, the Phantom, claiming only to have been wanting to see the sea, replies that he has no right to chase him off the beach. When the captain orders him to run away, the Phantom beats the revolver out of his hand and then knocks him unconsious.

The Phantom asks aunt Elsie to tell him everything, revealing who he is. Aunt Elsie explains everything and the Phantom tries to figure out something.

Meanwhile at the yacht, Diana, not knowing what has happened, asks after Elsie and is informed that Elsie went ashore at the morning in business. Diana notices that they have gone to sea and asks why, getting the explanation that it came a storm warning. She also remarks that the crewmembers look like bandits, getting the reply that they are tough-skinned boys. Diana grows suspicious about her aunts sudden departure, as aunt Elsie would not have gone ashore without telling her. Diana then overhears the baron talkeing to his men about what they are going to do when Elsie comes back, the plan of dumping Elsie overboard and keeping Diana is revealed.

When the baron next asks Diana what she is thinking of now, she replies that she was just about to take a swimming tour. The baron tries to dissuade her by informing her that there are sharks here. Diana only replies with the question if the are onboard or in the water, concluding that she rather takes the risk at those downunder as they are more fair while she is diving into the sea. The crew, however, manages to catch her and bring her back.

The baron asks her not to try swimming again as it is 30 miles to land. Diana then reveal to them that she knows everything.

Meanwhile, the Phantom understands that the captain is the only one who know where the yacht is. He orders James, Elsie's driver, to immediately get some newspapers. The Phantom and Elsie tears the newspapers into pieces the size of dollar banknotes, then replacing the real dollars with the newspaper pieces. James gets the real money and is ordered to take them to the bank.

The Phantom then hides in the little boat that Elsie and the captain used to get ashore with and with whom they are to travel back to the yacht with. The captain then wakes up, Elsie tells him that the man has disappeared and they start travel with the boat.

As soon as Elsie enters the yacht, Diana tells her of their plans, Elsie complains that they promised to let them go for the money but the baron wants to see the money first. Meanwhile, the Phantom slips into the water. The crew gets inside but to their great disapointment, there is no money in the package, and the captain is accused of treason. The captain tells them of the guy who knocked him out. Elsie is then summoned and asked about the man, but she denies everything. The captain accuses Elsie of lying and show the spot where he was hit, the baron then sees the Skull Mark. The captain then concludes that it must have been the Phantom, but baron Cole refuses to believe him. Baron Cole explains that they have to dispose the women and orders a crewman to get Diana. When the crewman, Diana refuses to to come willingly and when the crewman tries to bring her with him with force, the Phantom shows up and knocks him out. The Phantom instructs Diana to hide in a box with life belts and to stay there whatever may happen.

Meanwhile, the crewman Joe is discovered with the Skull Mark. The baron orders the crew to arm themselves and start searching for Diana and the Phantom, while tha Phantom takes them out one by one in the dark corridors. When the baron realizes that the Phantom are taking them out one by one, he orders them to go two and two, after a fruitless search and half of the crew knocked out the baron use the yacht's speaker system and threaten to kill aunt Elsie if Diana does not reveal herself when he has counted to three. The Phantom concludes that he must be bluffing and hopes that Diana will understand that. Diana, however, reveal herself.

The crew forms a ring around Diana and Elsie and gives the Phantom one chance to drop his guns and reveal himself or they would shoot the ladies. The Phantom understands that the baron will do it and swings himself right into them through the darkness battling them with his bare hands, the crew cannot shoot as they then would risk hitting their own men. The Phantom takes out the whole gang except baron Cole who is captured conscious. Diana suggests that they should escape with the motorboat before the other men awakes. The Phantom refuses to flee without the nice company. Aunt Elsie remarks that Diana's friend makes his stuff thorough, Diana answering that she could be sure of that.

The Phantom orders aunt Elsie to cut some ropes and Diana to take a rifle and use it if anyone should wake up. Elsie remarks that he gives orders as if he never has done anything else, Diana answers that in the jungle, he gives orders to kings. The Phantom assembles everyony while aunt Elsie ties everybody up.

The Phantom then contacts the harbor police and asks them to meet a motor yacht at sea with two dozens of handcuffs. The harbor police comes and the crew gets to prison.

At the Palmers, aunt Elsie has a total changed attitude towards Diana's financé, from time to time claiming that if she would have been 20 years old, she would have taken him.

When Diana asks aunt Elsie if she thinks that she is stupid who waits for him, Elsie says she is not and that she herself would have waited the entire life, adding that if Diana would not marry the Phantom, Elsie would leave her without any inheritance.

The End

Appearances

Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Aunt Elsie
  • Didi
  • Jack Blighton
  • Rodney
  • Baron Cole
  • The captain
  • James the driver
  • Joe

Locations

Tribes

Organizations

Vehicles

Items

Old jungle sayings


Reprints

This story has been published in the following publications:

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  • "La casamentera", El Informador August 17, 1953 – December 6, 1953

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