Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The Ski Murder, Part 3: Life Model Decoy

When we last left Speed Saunders and Margot "Saunders-Girl" Lee, they were going to prepare a secret TEST for the suspected (and as yet unnamed) murderer of the ski-pole impaled corpse that Speed found (and carried three miles uphill in the snow back to the hotel).

"But... I was working on this magic trick where I pull a small fish out of my ear for the hotel talent showcase!"

Let's see what the ingenious snare is, shall we?

Ah; of course.

Yes, darts.  What better way for an Ace Investigator to determine whether a man has the strength to throw a ski-pole 50 feet at a moving target to pierce snow-wear and the human heart? Frankly, unless the man's dart throw EXPLODES a man-sized hole in the wall with its force, I'm not sure what playing darts will prove, other than that he's played darts before. Let's find out.



I guess we won't see. Not only did the (still unnamed) suspect not fall for the trap, he casually demeaned Speed in the process, which is no mean feat! Move over, Hapsu; could this man finally be the arch-nemesis Speed Saunders deserves?

Speed is utterly flummoxed; no one has ever defied his will before!

It's like Inspector Clouseau contemplating the Pink Panther thief.

But Speed is nothing if not RAPID and he comes up with a new and even more absurd plan almost immediately.

This is going to be oomphy.

Well, it's easy to imagine a basic trap: an avalanche, a tiger-pit, a bear-trap.  But they aren't trying to physically catch the guy, they are trying to prove he's the murderer.  What on earth could you do to--


I am...

I'm just too dumbstruck to react to the fact that Speed is making a ski-dummy of himself out of some sticks and straw and that he believes not only that it will SKI for more than one foot before falling over but also that it will fool our (still unnamed) murderer; I leave that reaction to you.  I will, however, express my amazement that even Speed would own TWO of those same horrible snow outfits.

I'd be amazed if he recognizes it as anything at all, Speed.

I don't know about you, but I intend to organize an entire vacation around trying to replicate this scene with sticks and straws and extra snow clothes. It won't work, of course, but it will give me something to do while David is skiing, and, who knows, I may catch an unnamed murderer. which always makes for a successful vacation.

Anyway, this next panel? This goes in the Speed Saunders Gallery of Fame.

Good luck, indeed, Margot.

Shortly after this Margo sent out her resume to Slam Bradley, Bart Regan, Larry Steele, Buck Marshall, the Crimson Avenger, and even Cosmo, the Phantom of Disguise.  Was she keen on being known as "Slam-Girl"? Well, no, but moving on was imperative, and people had been calling her "Speed-Girl" back her back anyway.

Somehow, Speed thinks that this ski-dummy will draw out the murderer, who will try to kill Speed simply for asking him to play darts.  This is completely ludicrous, of course, but because it's what Speed wants and he's running out of panels, it's what happens, in defiance of all logic.

"In time"? In time for WHAT, Speed? To save your ski dummy's life?

The Ski-Stick Assassin's aim is true, 

I must say, they did a good job with the hair.

and Speed's Life Model Decoy takes the hit!

If he'd only had a brain.

Then Speed and the (still unnamed) murderer duke it out on the cliff, using grawlixes they borrowed from Popeye & Bluto.

Um, falling 12, maybe 16 feet, into a pile of snow isn't exactly a 'death plunge'. Not with Speed's thighs.

Speed, running out of time, plants his thighs and ends it with an explosive haymaker.


The (still unnamed) murderer having been vanquished, Speed prepares to explain it all to you.

As always, it's just as Speed thought.

Here it comes: the Speedsplanation!

Black eye's a nice touch.

First of all, "M" is not an unusual initial.  SIGMA would be an unusual initial, Speed.  Second, the (still unnamed) killer has ANOTHER of Margot's handkerchiefs on him?  Just how loose with her hankies IS she? Or did he just buy his own pack?  

The part of Margot Lee will be played by television's June Lockhart.

Yes, I am certain people would believe the (still unnamed) murdered when he said you had the strength to impale Speed Saunders, who can carry a corpse three miles uphill in the snow, with a ski pole, lady.

That's the first thing Speed's said that's actually made any sense.

Look at that sad, imploring transquartomuralistic over-the-shoulder glance from the (still unnamed) murderer beseeching us for an identity: BUT WHAT WAS MY NAME?!  Sorry, Mr. Foxy, no time for that.  You thought you were going to become Speed's nemesis during your battle at Reichenbach Snow Ledge, but now you're just a faded line on Margot "Saunders-Girl" Lee's resume ("supported defeat of unnamed ski murdered by means of elaborate ruse"). 


Anonymous said...

"This is going to be oomphy."

Heh, the old classics never go out of style.

John C said...

Speed's first trap would've worked, if he had only listened to Margot and put a plate of "free bird seed" out in front of the dart board.

Really, though, I think the most shocking aspect of this story is that it reveals that the universe Speed Saunders inhabits is not a slapdash nightmare of Persian curtains and evidence getting randomly handed out. No, because if the Saunders Ski-Crow(TM) can make it down the hill believably, then Tommy Dell's murder...makes sense, I think. I mean, not the part where Jameson killed the kid fifteen different times, just the sled part.

Bryan L said...

I'm going to overlook the complete lack of any sort of real-world physics in relation to Speed's straw doppelganger. No, what I choose to focus on is the fact that Speed puts Margot in the line of fire as part of his "trap." If we accept Mr. Foxy can propel a ski-stick (I will forever call them that now) with sufficient force to impale a human, the stick could easily have struck Margot instead. Now, Mr. Foxy's aim might be impeccable, but what happens if the Checkered Scarecrow tips over, exposing Margot to the super-sonic ski-stick? Not chivalrous, Speed. And not too bright on Margot's part, either.

cybrid said...

"That's the first thing Speed's said that's actually made any sense."

Well, after all, he's on vacation. No one's paying him this time around. Sense may be common but that doesn't mean it comes cheap. ;-)