The Granite Island was a death-trap devised by the criminal known as The Dropper. He usually employed it against law enforcement officials. For a fee, he would abduct the victim and, using his private airplane, deposit them on an inhospitable deserted island near (pre-Communist) Cuba. There, the victim would supposedly die of thirst, starvation, or exposure. It was a cruel, slow death that left little evidence to tie the Dropper to the crime.
In 1958, the Dropper agreed to transport the fugitive Miss Egghead from Cuba back to the United States. For an additional fee, he agreed to dispose of the American detective Dick Tracy, who had been tracking her. Taking Tracy from the home of Chicory (where Tracy had been subdued), Dropper flew to the Granite Island. Tracy awoke, and was pushed out of the plane with a parachute by Miss Egghead. At the last possible moment, Tracy was able to grab Miss Egghead's purse, which contained her gun, money, and Tracy's 2-Way Wrist Radio.
Tracy survived the parachute drop and took his bearings. He evaluated the terrain, and found little potential for escape. He discovered the skeleton and parachute gear of a long dead victim of the Granite Island . He also found a source of fresh water, and was able to obtain some food by snaring some pigeon's eggs from a nest the bird had made in the rocky outcropping. Despite this, Tracy's prospects for survival were grim.
Unbeknownst to Tracy, he was being observed by Supt. John Whitehall, who had also been stranded on the island. Whitehall had survived for some time, and eventually revealed himself to Tracy. The men pooled their resources, which included some dried goat meat that Whitehall had been strictly rationing. Using Miss Egghead's gun, they were able to shoot another one of the goats that lived on the ridge high above the sunken island.
Soon, the men were forced to take shelter from the storm that was affecting the area. This proved to be their salvation. The nose cone from an experimental Army rocket landed on the island, and an Army helicopter soon came to retrieve it. Tracy and Whitehall were both rescued, and regained their strength on a US Navy crash boat.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The ending for this storyline was suggested by Chester Gould's then-Art Assistant Dick Locher, who was also an aeronautics enthusiast.
- The Deus ex Machina of the Army rocket is considered by some readers to be a jarring twist as Tracy's position was being homed in on and he likely would have been rescued soon regardless.