Our story begins with Speed Saunders, Ace Investigator, busy with a Tong war in Chinatown. Tong conflicts were big in Golden Age crime drama; Mr. Lee Wong of the "Mr. Wong" movie series often went to consult the Tong leaders in San Francisco's Chinatown.
|Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939). Often enough that the studio noticeably reuses the footage, in fact.|
|That's PROBABLY a caption. But I'd much rather imagine that Speed got a special phone that doesn't ring, but instead repeatedly states out loud, "THERE IS AN URGENT CALL ON THE PHONE." It just seems like the kind of thing he'd do.|
|"THIS IS SAUNDERS. I'm the ONLY ONE. NO, my cousin, Slow, the Art Restorationist, doesn't count; he's adopted, we just haven't told him."|
|"I mean, if I can't stop it, who CAN? I'm The Saunders."|
|I know I do, just in hopes of seeing the car.|
|Much like my own place: unprepossessing from the outside, lavish on the inside, and actually a secret headquarters for a Chinese Tong.|
|"Um, hello..? CORPSE HERE?! Why are you shocked to see a buddha in CHINATOWN?! Can you please refocus a bit on ME, Honorable Sir?"|
|Doesn't look very hidden now, does it? Convenient.|
It's not a plot point; it's just convenient, because Speed doesn't have time to go discover the thing. If you want him to know about your stolen Persian jewelry, you damned well better drop it off at his dinner table in the first panels or he'll have already left.
|Someone shot him while the curtains were closed? Good shot.|
Or were the curtains and the window open but when his minion found the body he closed them to hide the situation, I guess? We'll never know, Speed has no time for that.
|Yeah, well, what if there was a mute Chinese drainpipe-climbing MIDGET involved, like in "Mr. Wong in Chinatown"? Didn't think of THAT, did you, Mr. Ace Investigator? I mean, sure, the chauffeur did it and not the midget but that's not the point.|
|You thought Batman invented "the hall of trophies"? Think again.|
Speed's entire house is decorated with stuff he's lifted off crime scenes, because who is going to question Speed Saunders?
|THE METROPOLITAN LIBRARY OPENS ITS DOORS TO HIM BECAUSE BRANCH LIBRARIES WILL NOT SUFFICE.|
|Ugh; least imaginative curse ever.|
|I assume by 'replace' you mean 'return' as in 're-place'. And wouldn't you expect Indians, not Chinese, to--oh, never mind.|
"What is your first step?" Ooo, good question, Commissioner Safetybelt. Tell me, dear fellow readers, given the situation, what do YOU guess Speed Saunders' first step will be...?