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Who owns the store that Freddy holds up in the story "Ten Minutes"? (Answer at bottom of the page)

1949 was a year of experimentation for Eisner on The Spirit - he had the main character become a special deputy (see Policeman Spirit) and in this six part continuity (also known as the Peligros saga) sent The Spirit away to some mythical South Sea islands.

Some excellent Eisner artwork in this first story

The series starts off with some excellent art in Lilly Lotus (published 10 July 1949). The Spirit leaves Central City after he overhears Dolan and his daughter wondering out aloud what life would be like if there were no Spirit. Travelling to San Cedros under the name of Mr Smith, he bumps into wanted criminal Butcher Vaddis and his wife, the beautiful Lilly Lotus. Finding that Vaddis has Central City Judge Gavel as a prisoner, Mr Smith intervenes and frees the Judge. Trying to escape from the island, the two men return to the hotel where Vaddis is based and find Lilly waiting there. Lilly offers to help them, but whilst The Spirit deals with Vaddis' men who want the Judge back, Lilly is shot by her husband.

Cornering The Spirit, Butcher Vaddis prepares to shoot, but is interrupted by a distraught Judge Gavel:

Judge Gavel pronounces his sentence

"This was the beginning of an experiment to move The Spirit out of Central City," Eisner told Tom Heintjes. "I was always groping for a new angle on characters, and this was my attempt to move into new areas. After all, I was doing this thing week after week, and after a while you get to wondering whether the audience is going to sleep on you."

It is highly unlikely that any of Eisner's readers were asleep during the series, which continued with Sally of the Islands. This story tells of the villainous Kragg, and his wife, Sally, who are trying to get hold of a gold shipment being made to the island. Sally goes to the governor and steals the shipping routes for the shipment, handing them to her husband. Finding it difficult to live with Kragg, Sally goes off into the grounds to shoot herself (by this time it is apparent that Sally is suffering from some mental disorder). She is stopped by The Spirit, who tells her to inform the governor of what is going to happen whilst he goes off with Kragg and his men.

Sally informs the governor whilst The Spirit wonders if he has double crossed him

The governor and his militia get to Kragg and his men and corner them in a canyon whilst The Spirit is being shot at by Kragg near the edge of the canyon. The governor's men fire warning shots but this causes an avalanche which kills Kragg and his men.

The splash page to 'The Masked Man'

The Masked Man is the title of the 24 July section, which returns us to Central City where Ellen Dolan hires private investigator Willie Ankle to find The Spirit. Ankle announces to the press that he will get The Spirit back to Central City within the next 48 hours, which raises the ire of a group of criminals (as well as Ellen, whom Ankle has fallen for) who plan a major heist for the following day. The crooks warn Ankle that he will face grave danger if he proceeds with the case and throw him out - Ellen has been following Ankle and finds him sprawled on the ground:

Ankle tries to announce his love to Ellen

Disheartened, Ankle puts on a familiar blue domino mask and suit and visits the crooks again. This time they quickly surrender to the masked man whilst word spreads on the street that he has returned. Eustace Dolan and his daughter rush over to find Ankle in the suit - in the heat of the moment Ankle asks Ellen if she would consider marrying him - to everyone's amazement she says yes! Whilst Willie is telling the Central City newspaper of his joyous news, Ellen receives a letter from The Spirit announcing that he is returning soon - naturally upon reading this the marriage is off.

However, some early editions of the newspaper announcing the marriage are sent out overseas: The Spirit picks one up just as he is about to board the ship home. Upon reading the news he decides to stay on longer.

To find out what happens next, click here.

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Trivia Answer: Max.(For more information, click here)