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Doctor Forbes was a well-meaning derelict who had fallen on hard times. He claimed to be a graduate of the class of 1902, but was found to be living as a railway hobo in 1956.

Helping Joe Period[]

Forbes was riding in the freight car that "Nothing" Yonson had used to dispose of the unconscious body of Joe Period. Yonson had thought Period was dead, so he hid the young man's body in a bass violin case and deposited it on the train car.

Forbes discovered Period barely alive. He lit a fire to keep Joe warm and administered what medical care he could by stopping the bleeding. Forbes searched Joe and found the money Joe had taken off of Paul Pocketclip. When the train stopped at the next town, Forbes left Joe to acquire food, medicine, and other "provisions" (e.g. liquor).

While in town, Forbes found Joe's picture in a newspaper that identified him as a fugitive. Forbes decided not to turn him in as he believed Period to be a good person. Forbes returned before the train left and he continued to care for his patient. He also returned the remaining money to Joe.

Eventually Joe revived and regained his strength. He discovered that Forbes had taken some of his money and became furious with the older man. Forbes explained what he had used the money for, but Period remained enraged.

The recovering Joe tackled and quickly overpowered Forbes. As the train passed over a high trestle, Joe tossed the elderly man out of the car. Doctor Forbes died in the fall and his body was later discovered by Sam Catchem and Dick Tracy.

Joe Period was eventually arrested on three other counts of murder, but it is unclear if he was ever held to account for killing the man who had saved his life.


  • While a case could be made for Joe Period killing the armed and angry Pocketclip being self-defense and his stray bullet hitting Julie Marrlin being manslaughter due to Joe firing accidentally after being startled by her parrot, Joe's killing of Dr. Forbes was unquestionably murder. Period might have been able to get the charge reduced to manslaughter, since he would have been the only person who the exact circumstances of how Forbes was killed.
  • Based on Forbes graduating in 1902, he would likely be in his early-to-mid 70s at the time of his encounter with Joe Period.