Jacques (last name possibly "Eyes" or "Eislander") was an underworld figure, nightclub owner, and “boyfriend” of Debby Thorndike.
Exploiting Debby Thorndike[edit | edit source]
Debby was the socialite niece of Bea Thorndike, an old friend of Chief Brandon. Debby's drunkenness and fits of temper prompted Bea to ask Dick Tracy to chaperone her niece on a visit to Jacques’ establishment, the Bird Club. Jacques had another woman provoke a confrontation with Debby as an excuse to throw her out. He then followed Debby and Tracy back to the Thorndike home, where he abducted Tracy.
At this point it was revealed that Jacques and Debby had been secretly married some time previously. Debby believed that if the marriage became public knowledge, there would be a scandal. Knowing this, Jacques was blackmailing her to keep their marriage secret in order to support his failing business. He was planning to skip town before his club was closed by creditors. He and his gang took Tracy to a building site where caissons for a new extension bridge had been dug. They dropped Tracy down a deep shaft, then used a bulldozer to drop a huge boulder down the shaft on top of him. The shaft narrowed at the bottom which kept the boulder from crushing Tracy, but he was stuck with no light, little air and no prospect of rescue.
After the Caisson[edit | edit source]
Tracy discovered that the bottom of the shaft was made of wood planks, which were the ceiling of an underground tunnel that was being built at the same time as the bridge. What Jacques had assumed was a caisson was actually a ventilation shaft. Tracy heard the voices of workmen and called for help. They were able to cut the planks and rescue Tracy just before the boulder dropped the last few feet and crashed through the ceiling.
While Tracy was trapped, Debby had alerted the police to Jacques’ activities. They captured him at the building site (after a brief shoot-out during which Jacques was shot in the shoulder) and took him into custody just as Tracy was discovered alive and safe. Jacques escaped from jail and went to find Debby.
Death and Legacy[edit | edit source]
During Jacques' short time in jail, Tracy had learned that Jacques had faked the wedding ceremony, meaning that he and Debby were never actually married. Tracy joined Debby and her Aunt Bea at the Bird Club, which Debby intended to purchase and renovate. Jacques arrived and menaced Debby with a pistol, at which point Tracy shot him dead (Jan. 25, 1942).
Shortly thereafter, Tracy broke his leg as a result of slipping on some ice at the Thorndike home. Debby insisted that he stay there and convalesce. This left Tracy vulnerable when Jacques’ brother B-B Eyes came to seek revenge.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Like the other criminal members of his family (B-B & B.D. Eyes), Jacques had distinctive eyes. His were wide and light-colored, with prominent eyebrows, giving him a slightly manic appearance.
- His brother B-B Eyes was seen using the last name Eislander, but it is unclear if this is the family's actual last name or an alias.
- Jacques' use of the caisson in attempting to kill Dick Tracy was one of the most notorious “death-traps” in the strip's history.