The Phantom Story Project

The Phantom's Mark

NAZI GOLD! - A new Phantom story in 10 installments.

Episode 1. by Stephen Baggs

For those who came in late...

Four hundred years ago on a remote Bengali beach a young man was washed ashore. The sole survivor of a brutal pirate attack. Found and nursed back to health by pygmies, he swore an oath on the skull of his father's murderer.
"I devote my life to destroying piracy, cruelty and injustice and my sons shall follow me..."
This was the first Phantom...
Our Phantom, grandson of the first - twenty times removed, now protects Bengali and remains the nemesis of evil doers everywhere. Believed by many to be the same man, man who cannot die....Ghost Who Walks!

The Skull Cave in the Deep Woods - the home of twenty one Phantoms and now the resting place for twenty of them. Also the home of the Major Treasure Room. The keeping place of many of the worlds greatest "lost" treasures. Alexander's diamond cup....Cleopatra's asp.... Also the key to many of the world's great mysteries....a piece of wreckage from Kingsford Smith's missing Southern Cross.
Perhaps within the Major Treasure Room lie the answers to mysteries whose questions are yet to be posed. One of the more unusual pieces. A solitary gold bar, stamped with the familiar eagle over swastika of Hitler's Third Reich....more unusual for how it came into the Phantom's possession than for what it is. Picked up long ago by a young Wambesi boy on a native trail, deep in the Bengali clue as to how it got there.

The Kohl residence on the outskirts of Morristown. The telephone in the study breaks the silence of a balmy April evening.
"Herr Kohl?"
"It's Davidson at the Morristown Geological Survey Bureau..."
"Yes Mr. Davidson."
"Herr Kohl, sometime ago you asked me to let you know if anyone ever came to the bureau asking about a Junkers 88 that disappeared at the end of the war.."
Kohl's pulse quickens a little.
"Yes, yes I did."
Davidson continues.
"Well someone has sir... a middle aged man calling himself Mueller, Pieter Mueller... he says he's the son of one of the pilots. I hope this is the sort of thing you want to know."
"Yes. Thank you very much Mr. Davidson. You've been most helpful."
Looking out over the sprawling Bengali jungle, Kurt Kohl stares thoughtfully for a few moments. He has always known this day would come and now there are plans to attend to. He carefully places the telephone receiver back into its cradle and the study falls silent again.

Pieter Mueller picks up the battered photo of his father and the small pile of papers that document the final few days of his father's life. Eighteen years' work. Asking around Morristown's survey companies, forestry bodies and government departments has brought a disappointing response. It seems that no one knows anything. This calls for a change in the plan of attack. Tommorrow he will march into Morristown's main newspaper office and tell them all about it . A missing World War 2 aeroplane loaded with Nazi gold might be just the thing to jog someone's memory. Anyway, it can't hurt.

A few days later, two tired flight attendants watch the last few passengers disembark the overnight flight from Cairo.
"Good bye Mr. Walker, I hope you enjoyed your flight."
"Yes thank you."
They watch the mysterious figure disappear into the arrival lounge.
"He was an unusual passenger!"
"Yeah. Hardly said two words in the whole flight....and that dog.."
"It's not a dog, it's.."
"Yeah I know... it's a wolf!"
Morristown's international air terminal is coming back to life after the night time lull. Kit Walker moves easily through the terminal. He's been here many times before.
"It's good to be home, Devil. Let's get a newspaper and catch up on what's been happening while we've been away."
Anywhere else in the world an unusual sight... a man walking with his wolf, pausing to buy a newspaper. A familiar enough sight here in Morristown. A sight not lost on those with cause to know.
"Phantom.... Ghost Who Walks.... here in Morristown...."
Yes, Morristown's police officers don't know it yet, but they will have an unusually quiet night tonight.
"This is interesting Devil. A man here in Morristown to find his father.... missing more than 50 years.... missing with a fortune in gold...."
"Devil, something here is tugging at my memory, something quite familiar.... and I can't quite pin down what it is...."
"Maybe it will come back to me after I catch up on some rest."

End of Episode 1.

The Good Mark


Episode 2. by Stuart O'Connor

Kurt Kohl smiles grimly as he thinks back on his life in Bengali these past 54 years. Thanks to the gold, he has managed to become a well respected member of society, mixing with all the right people - including the President, Lumanda Luaga, who considers Kohl a friend. He has also been a great benefactor to various museums and charities over the years. Strange how a little money can help a murderer gain respect. No-one has ever found the fortune in stolen gold he had stashed in the jungle ... every month or so he would take a trek to where it was hidden and return with a bar or two, which he would sell on the black market. The only hitch had been that Wambesi boy running off with a bar on that fateful night ... but he was a grown man now, with a wife and family ... his silence was assured.
Kohl shakes himself from his reminiscence and picks up the phone in his study. He dials the number of the Morristown Hotel.
"I believe you have a Pieter Mueller staying with you," he asks the desk clerk. "May I speak with him please?"
"Certainly, sir ... Mr Mueller is in room 42, I'll put you straight through."
Kohl taps his fingers impatiently as he waits for Mueller to answer.
"Is that Pieter Mueller," asks Kohl.
"Yes ... who is this?"
"Mr Mueller, my name is Dussander ... Helmut Dussander ... I believe you are here looking for information about your father, who disappeared during the war?"
"I am, yes ... all the leads I've followed over the years have finally lead me here to Bengali ... do you know anything about what happened to him?" asks Mueller.
"I'm not sure ... I seem to have some recollection of a Mueller when I was a soldier in Germany all those years ago ... but that was another lifetime. I am an old man now, and the memory often plays tricks, but I believe I have some information that may be of assistance. Would you be able to meet with me ... this afternoon perhaps?"
"Certainly ... where?"
"Come to my house, just out of town ... I'll send a driver for you. Can you be ready at 2pm?"
"Of course ... I'll be waiting in the foyer."
"I'll see you then," says Kohl as he hangs up the receiver.
Kurt Kohl opens the desk drawer and removes his dusty Luger. It will need to be cleaned, checked and loaded before this afternoon, he thinks ... it hasn't been fired since he killed Hans Mueller all those years ago.

The Phantom finally finds the volume he is looking for and takes it down from the shelf. He starts leafing through the leather-bound tome as he walks back to the Skull Throne.
"Did you find what you were looking for, Ghost Who Walks?" asks Guran.
"I believe so ... I thought I remembered an entry of my Father's concerning missing Nazi gold."
Kit sits back and begins to read his father's entry ...
"March 15, 1945 ... Young Wombo of the Wambesi came to me today with what he called a 'strange shiny rock' he had found in the jungle ... it was actually a gold bar, stamped with the markings of Adolf Hitler's SS ... Wombo could not remember the exact location where he found it, so how it got there will have to remain a mystery ... are there Nazis here in the Bengali jungle, or could it have come from a downed Luftwaffe aircraft? ... I'm afraid we may never know."
The Phantom closed the Chronicle and looked thoughtful for a moment.
"You know, Guran, I think that gold bar in the treasure room may somehow be linked to that man Mueller, who has come looking for his missing father ... Perhaps I should pay Mr Mueller a visit before he gets himself in a spot of bother asking questions in the wrong places. ... Guran, tell Diana I may be late for dinner."
"Aren't you always, Oh Ghost Who Walks?"

There are times, it is said, when The Phantom leaves the jungle and walks the streets as an ordinary man ... this is one of those times.

End of Episode 2.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 3. by Emile Lavigne

The Morristown Hotel lobby was empty as the desk clerk leaned on the desk top looking at the pages of a travel magazine, showing holidays in exotic places.
"If only", he thought. Suddenly he looked up and jumped back.
"", he stammered.
"I'm sorry if I frightened you", said the tall mysterious figure in the trenchcoat, "I'm looking for Pieter Mueller. What is his room number, please?"
"I....I....ah.... he's in room #42....., but he's not in".
"I see. Do you know where he went?", asked Kit Walker.
"As he was going out he said he was going to see a Mr. Dussander, but it was Mr. Kohl's driver who picked him up. I thought that was strange, but I know Mr. Kohl's driver and its none of my business so....." replied the clerk staring at the dark sunglasses.
"Thank you," replied Kit, "come Devil."
The clerk, his heart still racing, watched as the mysterious figure and the wolf left as quietly as they had entered. The Phantom entered one of the taxicabs parked in front of the hotel. He knew who Kurt Kohl was, but had never met the man although they had mutual friends.
"I wonder what's going on", he mused," but let's go and see Mr. kohl, Devil, and maybe we can get some answers".

A short while later a taxi stopped on the street in front of the Kohl mansion. Only the roof was visible over the high stone wall. Kit got out of the cab:
"Stay, Devil" and turning to driver said,"wait here".
Kit walked to the barred pedestrian gate and, pushing on the latch, found that it was locked.
"Guess he doesn't like visitors", he thought, and was reaching to push the bell button when he noticed some movement at the side of the house. Looking closely he saw two men carrying, what appeared to be a body, toward a parked car.
"That's strange" he thought, and watched as the two men put what he was now sure was the body of a third man in the trunk of the car. He turned and ran back to the taxi. Getting in he told the driver:
"Pull into that driveway over there and shut off your motor".
He watched quietly through the rear window of the cab as the black limousine drove out of the Kohl driveway and turned left toward the interior.
"Let him get ahead and then follow him" Kit said to the driver, "but not too close".
"Yes sir', said the driver who was a little frightened by this mysterious man and the large wolf.
Some time later the limousine turns off the highway onto an old dirt road which leads into the jungle.
"Pull over and wait here", says the Phantom as he takes off his hat and coat, "come, Devil, let's find out what's going on".
"Yes, Ghost Who Walks", says the stunned driver as he watches the Phantom and his grey wolf run quickly, but silently down the old road.
"They can't be too far", says the Phantom, "keep a sharp eye, Devil".
Suddenly Devil gives a low growl and the Phantom quickly slips into the vegetation at the side of the road. Just ahead he can hear some clinking and grating noise and, approaching closer, sees two men digging. The limousine is parked nearby and the body of the third man lies near the hole which they are digging.
"But he's still alive", says one of the men, "the bullet didn't kill him".
"That's okay" says the other man who appears to be dressed in a chauffeur's uniform, "If he's not dead now he sure will be when we shove him into the hole and cover him up. Anyway, if you're not happy with that, hit him on the head with your shovel and finish him off or else shut up".
The first speaker walks toward the body and raises the shovel as the man on the ground gives a loud moan.
"This will shut you up", he says.
Suddenly a shot rings out and the shovel goes flying from his hands. Both men look around bewildered and see a dark, tall figure approaching.
"Who....Wha....Whe..Where?" says the first man as he massages his stinging hands.
"Get him", says the man in the uniform as he starts to pull a gun from inside his coat.
Suddenly, a grey blur lunges at him and steel jaws clamp down on his arm making him drop the gun.
"Jump him, the two of us can handle him easily".
A fist, which feels like it's made out of steel, strikes each tough on the jaw, one after the other, and both sink to the ground unconscious. On their jaw, the imprint of the skull shows starkly against their white skin.
"The Phantom is rough with roughnecks", is an old jungle saying.
"That should hold them for a while, Devil, now let's see who this man is", says the Phantom as he kneels beside the body on the ground. Further checking reveals the man is in a coma and appears to have bled copiously from a chest wound. The man is breathing shallowly, but the wound has stopped bleeding.
"I don't know who he is, Devil, but he's seriously hurt and needs medical help right away, in fact, we may be too late".
The Phantom picks the man up and cradles him in his arms as if he were a child.
"Come, Devil, maybe he can be saved. We'll have to try and figure out what's going on later", he says as he hurries down the road.

End of Episode 3.

The Good Mark


Episode 4. by Richard Fry

Usually the Skull Cave is illuminated by torches but on this night a generator installed in a deep recess of the Phantoms ancestral home powers a bright halogen lamp in a spare room.
"He should be in a hospital," observes Guran as he carefully probes Pieter Mueller's chest cavity with a thin pair of forceps. "The bullet is so close to the heart that I fear to remove it."
"Guran," smiles the Phantom, "in the first instance you have saved my life so many times with your medical skills that I trust you above any other medical practitioner." Guran acknowledges the compliment with a slight bow of his head. His palm frond hat, grass skirt, pot belly and pigmy stature belie the enormous intellect and erudition of the Phantom's most trusted friend. While not qualified as a physician, Guran has `dabbled', as he puts it, in all forms of medicine. `Dabbled', in Guran's case, means serious and intensive study of a subject until there is no book on that subject which he has not read.
"Secondly," continues the Phantom, "it is important that Herr Kohl thinks this gentleman is dead and he so ordered."
As Guran carefully extracts the bullet from its resting place adjacent to Pieter Mueller's aorta the Phantom slowly turns a gold bar over in his hands. The embossed insignia of Hitler's S.S. glimmers Satanically under the bright light. There is much to do and quickly.
"Guran, Herr Kohl's driver and associate, they are safely spirited away?" asks the Phantom.
"Suture," demands Guran and the Phantom, now a surgical nurse, responds instantly. "Yes, Ghost Who Walks, our friends in Morristown have them and their car out of harm's way."
Guran places a healing salve over Pieter Mueller's wound and the two men stride out onto the grassy entrance of the Skull Cave. There, its engine throbbing in the hot jungle night, waits a black painted helicopter, the symbol of the Jungle Patrol barely visible in grey paint near the rear rotors.
"Guran!" shouts the Phantom above the din as he boards the helicopter. "Whatever happens now, one thing is for sure. Herr Kohl will head for the plane and try to destroy any evidence of its existence and remove any gold remaining. You must keep Herr Mueller alive and Herr Kohl under surveillance. I must find the plane!"

Wombo, now sixty years old, contemplates in a nanosecond his life since the day he found the gold bar and had taken it breathlessly to the Skull Cave. He had been too frightened to tell the Phantom that as he picked it up from the jungle track near a lone packhorse, a man had emerged suddenly from the undergrowth carrying two more of the shiny objects, had dropped them and started chasing the young Wambesi. He remembers that as a young man seeking his fortune in Morristown he had recognised the man by his deep guttural voice and, being a young naïve jungle boy with just enough nous to appreciate the situation, had brazenly attempted blackmail. He soon discovered why the S.S. were feared and despised by those who crossed them. He still bears the scars of painful but subtle torture and fears Kohl with an indescribable terror.
And yet the German had also arranged for a small but regular amount of money to flow into Wombo's pockets, allowing him to live in relative splendour in the main Wambesi village. With a young wife, then children and now grandchildren, it has behoved a fearful Wombo to remain silent. But now he is overtaken by a greater fear, a more exquisite terror. As he had stepped outside the village stockade to relieve himself while the village still slept he found himself facing that same Phantom from fifty years ago, unchanged, the mighty ruler of the jungle, the Ghost Who Walks, the man who cannot die!

"Wombo," intones the Phantom in an icy whisper. "Jungle boys know every track, every tree, every leaf. No more little boy's games. Where did you find the gold bar, Wombo, where?"
And Wombo's mouth opens against his will and he answers. This man has not touched him, has not threatened him. But this man has turned Wombo's blood to water and he sinks helplessly to his knees, sobbing.
"Beyond the swamp, where the track to Llongo sacred territory passes the chattering monkeys. My father would have been angry...I...I..."
And as he looks up to await punishment from his ultimate master on this earth, he sees no-one. The Phantom has gone.

End of Episode 4.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 5. by Bjorn and Barbro Harnby

The nightmare woke him up. The same dream haunted him night after night turning his nights into hell. In the dream he returned to the swamp and the night it all started. Kohl could feel the heat of the flames from the wreckage licking his frightened body. Suddenly he recognized the big animal that reared up in front of him. He couldn't move. He screamed. The sound of Hans' machinegun shut him up. But in his dream, he was the one who was shot, not the crocodile. Wet with agony and fear, he sat up in his bed. He held his head in his hands.
I'm old and tired, he thought, will I ever get any peace?
He realized that something was wrong. Why hadn't his men returned? What had happened to them? There was surely something supernatural about the whole matter.
He shook off his unsettling feeling. There was no time for hesitation.

Kurt Kohl rang the bell. Even though it was the middle of the night, his housekeeper didn't take long to answer his call.
"Marion," Kohl asked, "have they come back yet?"
"No, sir" she answered quickly and appeared very frightened.
Marion was a girl from the Llongo tribe and had grown up in the village. As all natives in the jungle, she was very familiar with the legend of the Phantom. She was also aware of what was going on in Kohl's house. She knew about the gold, but hadn't told anyone. Kohl had always treated her well, but she knew in her heart that he was an evil man. She started to tremble.
Kohl saw the fear in her eyes and asked; "What's wrong?"
"The Ghost Who Walks", she whispered, "the man who cannot die. It must be him, I can feel it".
All of a sudden, Kohl understood.
"Quick," Kohl ordered," get me the keys to the helicopter and tell Pete and John to meet me at the helicopter pad".
Kohl started to gather together the things that he needed to fulfill his plan. He had decided a long time ago what to do when the day came. He was prepared. The first step was to pick up the rest of the gold bars. There weren't so many left now, but sufficient for his final needs. The very thought of the gold being left in the jungle, wasted if he didnīt pick it up made him even more determined.

Usually he was very careful when he went for the gold but this time he didnīt care if anyone saw him. The helicopter was the quickest way and it was ready to start when he arrived. Despite his age, Kohl was still a vivacious man and he piloted the helicopter himself. He felt strong and knew that nothing could stop him now not even the Ghost Who Walks. It was dawn, the weather was clear. This would be his last trip to the jungle.

At that moment, not far away, a mysterious man reached the edge of the jungle.
"Hero, Devil," the man whispered, "come on, there's no time to waste."
The Phantom mounted his great white stallion, who moves on the wings of the wind. And they were gone - without anyone noticing. Only the wind could tell.

The race had started. The Phantom and Kohl were headed towards the same goal - the place with the hidden gold.

End of Episode 5.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 6. by Noelle De Guzman

Kohl watched the green sea of leaves below him as he piloted the helicopter further over the jungle. Where was the crash site? It had been years ago, and he had been retrieving the gold by pack horse. This was the first time he was coming for it by air. The jungle and swamp foliage had already grown back over the site, covering everything, save a tip of a wing. Kohl had allowed the regrowth, fearing that if by chance anyone flew over the site, they would find the plane... and the gold. He had already killed once to keep the gold for himself, and now with young Mueller, he had done it again. It was messy and tiresome. No, it would be better to have the jungle keep his secrets.
The sun was rising fast, the first rays already peeking out over the crimson horizon. As he scanned the foliage, the sunlight glinted off a reflective surface. Was that the site?
Kohl took the helicopter lower, its skids nearly brushing the tops of the tallest trees. It was now easier to make out what was reflecting the sunlight, and it was most definitely the wing of his plane.
He rubbed his hands together in expectation. He could almost feel the gold in his hands. But first things first: He had to find a place to land.


The Phantom rode fast, but not as fast as the thoughts running through his mind. The flight from the Deep Woods in the helicopter had given him some time to think. Mueller had been carried out of Kohl's mansion injured, and then those men had attempted to bury him. The Phantom had needed to establish Kohl's involvement in all this. He had to know if this was about the gold that disappeared with Mueller's father. He went over the dialogue he had shared in the early hours of the morning. He had missed Kohl by minutes.


Marion shivered as she thought of her employer. Mr. Kohl was involved with the Ghost Who Walks, and Marion was afraid. She was afraid because she had not told anyone about where Kohl's gold came from, or about the man who was killed right there in the living room where she now stood.
Suddenly the doorbell rang. Marion jumped in surprise, but recovered enough to do her duties. Though it was very early, she had opened the door and approached the pedestrian gate, prepared to make an excuse for the absence of Mr. Kohl to the person wearing a hat and trench coat.
"Who is there?" she asked.
"Someone to see Mr. Kohl," the figure behind the bars of the gate answered.
"I'm sorry, but Mr. Kohl is..." she fumbled for an excuse "...asleep right now. If you could come back later today..."
"I saw something a few nights ago that needs to be explained," the person said, and removed his hat. Marion's eyes widened as she recognized him.
"The Ghost Who Walks," she breathed. "I cannot lie any more." She opened the gate to the familiar figure, and in a rush of words told him everything she knew about the gold and the man who had been shot.
"He leaves once a month and returns with several gold bars, which he sells to a man who comes here a day later."
"Do you know where he gets the gold?"
"Only that it is very far away, for the horse he takes with him is very tired when he comes back. And the horse's hooves are always caked with swamp mud."
"Thank you. You've been very helpful. But next time..." the Phantom left the words unspoken, but Marion knew.
"I will not keep the secrets of an evil man ever again."

(Flashback ends)

The memory faded as the Phantom forced his mind back to the present. He was nearing Llongo land and needed to be ready for whatever happened next.


Kohl set down his helicopter gently, then powered down the turbines. His landing site was a long distance from the gold, since he had to avoid the swamp's marshy and unstable soil, but it was the nearest landing site he had found. Luckily he had the two grunts -- Pete and John -- to do the hard work of chopping the vines and clearing the path. But after that, he wouldn't need them any more.
"Bring the bags," he told the two.
It was a long trek into the swamp, but it was worth it as he finally saw the plane wreck through the foliage. He rushed up to it, his greed overcoming the pain from tired muscles and the sting of the tree branches slapping against his face.
"Give me the bags!" he ordered his men, who promptly threw him two sacks, into which he would put the remaining gold bars still hidden within the wreck.
As he picked up each gold bar, he caressed its shining glory lovingly, the filtered sunlight from above sufficient to reflect off the surface.
Pete and John stood and stared at him, their blind submissiveness giving way to marveling over the gold, and then finally to greed and envy that ate away at them.
Kohl handed each of them a bag. "Carry these back to the helicopter. I'd do the job myself, but this back of mine is too weak," he lied.
At first, the two men did the job willingly, hoping to get a share of the gold each. But as they neared the helicopter, it became more and more evident that Kohl would not offer them anything of the sort.
"Load those sacks into the helicopter, then climb in," Kohl said as he prepared to start the rotors spinning.
"Hey, don't we get a cut?" John finally said.
"Are you mad? Don't I pay you enough?"
Pete pulled out a knife that he had hidden on his person. "Forget the cut. I want the whole pie."
"Do you think I'm afraid of that... butter knife you're holding in your hand?" Kohl laughed at him. "Ha! I'm an old man. I've had my fill of the gold. You're welcome to split it with John there."
"I'm not splitting the gold with him," Pete said, and tried to grab the sack from John's hands.
"Hey! This is my half!" John yelled, and pulled out his own knife.
They dropped the sacks and circled each other, waiting for the opportunity to strike. Kohl watched as they jabbed and stabbed each other, then picked up the bags they had dropped and took them into the chopper with him. They were too engrossed in their petty 'battle' to notice. Kohl chuckled as the turbines squealed into action, catching the two men in the downdraft of the blades. As the helicopter started to take off vertically, John and Pete stopped fighting, realizing the trick Kohl had pulled on them.
Pete jumped and grabbed hold of the helicopter skids as Kohl took the chopper higher above the ground. John jumped onto Pete, intent on getting his share.
Kohl laughed as the helicopter rose higher. Soon enough, these men would get tired and plunge to their deaths. Once again, he would be the only one who knew the secret of the plane crash in the jungle.

End of Episode 6.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 7. by Sarah Baggs

The Phantom rode through the jungle hurriedly but cautiously. He had just passed the place of chattering monkeys. If those monkeys had been hell, swinging in front of him, only missing by inches, he didn't want to know what lay ahead just yet.
Hero ran on steadily, the unstable ground and the branches whipping his head and legs not disturbing him. Suddenly a strong breeze began to blow, whipping up dust and the loud whopping of a helicopter could be heard overhead.
A thought crossed the Phantom's mind. Kohl! I must be nearing the place Marion and Wombo have talked about.
The Phantom's thoughts were suddenly interrupted by several loud thuds and the sounds of breaking branches in the trees overhead and Hero reared up as a human body fell directly in front of them, followed by a shower of leaves. Dismounting Hero the Phantom moved towards the body. It was obvious that the fall had killed the man.
"Come, Hero" the Phantom murmured to his horse, "There's nothing we can do for him now. I will have the Jungle Patrol pick him up tomorrow."

The Phantom then walked Hero on a short distance until the scrub parted into a clearing where a plane lay rusted and deformed. A single hatch stood rusted open, a thousand answers to a thousand questions came flooding into his mind all at once: the plane wreck, the source of the gold and finally Kohl, it all fitted perfectly..... but what about Mueller's father?
Suddenly, Devil growled and ran to a tree. The roots of the tree had the earth inside washed away and pushed under the roots was a human skeleton.
The Phantom knelt down beside the tree and examined the skull. It had a clean hole in the back of it that could have only been made by a bullet. The Phantom wondered, is this Mueller's father? He was about to get up when he saw a glint in the rib cage of the skeleton. The Phantom dusted away the dirt with his fingers, revealing a pair of dog tags. The Phantom brought the dog tags right up to his face and was able to make out a name......."MUELLER"

High above the trees of the Bengali jungle, Kohl flew farther and farther from the town trying to lose Pete who still clung to one of helicopter skids. Little did he know that Pete was up to something......
Pete clung to the skid with one arm and stabbed at the helicopter with his knife until petrol trickled down his arm.
Suddenly Pete could no longer keep his grip and he slipped, screaming as he fell, "See you in hell, Kohl!!"
Kohl laughed, unaware of the damage inflicted on his chopper and checked his map. He had planned this day and the fuel stops, a new identity and a destination where no one would find him.

Far below Kohl, the Phantom entered the plane and made a brief examination of the fresh mud prints on the moulding floor. Then he made his way to the back of the plane. There was a rotting pallet with the skeleton of Colonel Gluck resting against it. Kohl had put him there to scare away any natives that might stumble into the plane. The Phantom expected the pallet was the keeping place for the gold. On the floor, slightly crumpled and torn, lay a piece of tattered tarpaulin imprinted with the emblem of Hitler's Third Reich. There didn't seem to be any thing of any value left in the plane, so after a quick look the Phantom left.
He would try to track down Kohl from the Skull Cave as he knew Kohl would not return to his mansion.

The Phantom sat across the table from Pieter Mueller looking over the documents the Phantom had rescued from Pieter's bloodied jacket pocket.
The Phantom was glad to see as he talked with him that Pieter's strength was coming back fast.
Suddenly......."Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom....."
Guran appeared.
"The Jungle drums, Oh Ghost Who Walks. From the Rope People....(boom boom boom) man-bird landing outside village....(boom boom boom) thunder sticks....(boom boom boom) man captured....(boom boom boom) thunder sticks destroyed.
Kohl... thought the Phantom. It must be Kohl.

Kohl hung upside down by his feet in a tree and wondered why he was there. He had been walking along looking for something to plug the hole in the helicopter's fuel line when this lasoo dropped out of the tree and bingo, he's hanging by his feet.
Then for the first time in his life, Kohl wished for some assistance, and passed out.

End of Episode 7.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 8. by Steve Panozzo

Flight Lieutenant Kurt Schmidt grapples with his attacker. The British flier, skilfully manoeuvring his Mosquito, had attacked his aircraft and they had both landed within the same field, surrounded by a bemused dairy herd. Confined by a headlock, Kohl desperately reaches for the cuff his left boot. Grasping the handle of his reliable knife, he swings wildly and manages to stab the Briton savagely enough to persuade him to let go. A swift uppercut to the man's jaw sends him into dreamland. A single shot from his trusty Luger ensures the hated enemy will never awake ...

... Jungle foliage swims into view. Kurt Kohl slowly opens his eyes and grasps his aching head. Where is he? Ah yes, it all comes back to him ... he is lashed by the ankles to a tree branch, high above the jungle floor. How did he come to be in this embarrassing position. He remembers having to land the chopper (thanks to that damned Peter!!!) and trying to make his way out of the jungle when the ground disappeared from under him and he found himself suspended in mid air like some upside-down Tarzan.

Thank God the Fuhrer couldn't see him like this!

Out of the corner of one eye he sees movement in the trees. People? Tree people? They must have set the trap. Perhaps they're cannibals! Looking around frantically, he sees sturdy vines snaking down the length of a nearby tree. Looking back the opposite way, he sees that the tree-people (would they be called that?) making their way towards him. It's now or never.

Moving his tired limbs, Kohl begins to swing his body in the direction of the vines. After three good swings, he grabs hold of one, but the cold sweat on his palms causes him to lose his grip. Another pass is more successful. Grasping the vine desperately, Kohl begins to reach for his left boot - old habits die hard, particularly if they have saved your life in the past. With a final desperate lunge he manages to grasp the handle of his knife, sliding it from his boot and slicing though the vine around his ankles in one smooth motion. The Fuhrer would be proud, he thinks as he lowers himself to the jungle floor.


The Phantom races like the wind through the jungle aboard his mighty white stallion, Hero.


Furtively looking around for any sign of Guran, Pieter Mueller gets painfully out of his sickbed. Hearing some humming, he spies Guran in the Skull Cave's kitchen. This place is remarkably well-appointed for a supposed jungle cave, he thinks. He really is grateful for the medical attention - but his father's murder comes first. Having heard the entire saga from The Phantom and Guran, Mueller is more determined than ever to avenge his father.

Near to his bed is the doorway to the Phantom's armoury. All he needs is a single bullet, from a single gun, and his father can rest in peace.

A scant few minutes later, a silent figure creaps from the Skull Cave, searching for the downed helicopter and Kurt Kohl...


Kohl finds what he was looking for as he hurries back to the chopper .. with his trusty knife he makes a cut in the trunk of a rubber tree and drains some of the sap - latex will be perfect for repairing the cut fuel line. After a few minutes' work Kohl has the line repaired - but there's just one hitch. He doesn't have enough fuel left to get out of the jungle safely with all the gold ... he'll have to hide half of the final stash and come back for it later.


The Phantom continues to race like the wind through the jungle aboard his mighty steed.
(It's a big jungle.)


After secreting half the gold in a hollowed-out tree trunk, Kohl takes stock of his location so he can find his way back later. He climbs back aboard the chopper and starts the engine with a splutter.
Suddenly a purple blur aboard a giant white horse comes crashing into the clearing through the undergrowth.
The Phantom has at last found his quarry!!
"I was wondering when the fabled Ghost Who Walks would put in an appearance," Kohl shouts above the noise of the rotor blades.
"Sorry, it's a jungle out there," replies The Phantom. "Now shut that thing off and give yourself up, Kohl ..."

End of Episode 8.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 9. by Barbara Bigelow

Pieter Mueller pauses and looks up into the trees. He has no idea where he is. Heading out and avenging his father has gone badly wrong. He has to face it.... he's lost!

"Sorry Ghost Who Walks," says Kohl with a confident grin on his face. "I have other places to be, other people to see... and you're just a little late... again!"
Cradled in Kohl's left hand is the helicopter control stick, and in his right hand is a Luger, leveled steadily at the Phantom.
With a polite nod in the Phantom's direction, Kohl increases the revs of the helicopter's engine and it lifts easily clear of the ground.
"Planning Mr. Phantom, planning and timing," Kohl chuckles to himself. "I will not be outwitted by a ghost... Farewell."

As the helicopter clears the tree tops, Kohl pushes on the control stick. The helicopter tilts forward gently and begins to move off over the jungle. An air bubble, introduced into the fuel system by the broken fuel line, reaches the injector pump of the helicopter's turbine engine, and the engine dies.
Before Kohl can utter a word, the helicopter's rotors and fuselage make contact with the trees and begin a sickening crashing through the jungle canopy.
The helicopter drops quickly from the Phantom's view.
"Always pride before a fall, Hero," he says as he dismounts and begins to run after it.
The Phantom stops short when he hears the tremendous explosion and feels the blast of heat as the helicopter hits the ground.
The Phantom carefully picks his way through the broken undergrowth to where the helicopter lies on its side, burning fiercely.

Pieter Mueller looks up as he hears the explosion. It is quickly followed by the sound of many birds squawking and taking to the air. The explosion sounds a long way off and slightly to the right of where he has been walking; but it does mean someone else is out here. He turns and walks in the direction of the sound...

Kurt Kohl's spinning head will not let him decide if he is the luckiest or the unluckiest man alive as he picks himself up out of the mud of the bog-hole he has fallen in.
Pain! Every muscle and joint aches as he stands. His body feels like it has been thrown through the windscreen of a helicopter and crunched into the ground from a considerable height. It has!
Kohl knows he must push the pain aside, ignoring it for now. He has to get away from the wreck before he is seen by the Phantom.

As the intensity of the burning helicopter diminishes, the Phantom moves closer to examine the wreck. He notices that the fire has spread into some dry grass on the other side of the helicopter. As he makes his way around the perimeter of the crash scene to put it out, he sees something that stops him dead in his tracks. At the edge of a bog-hole is the very distinct outline of a human body. Leading away from the bog is a fresh set of muddy foot prints shuffling off into the undergrowth. Kohl must be alive!

Pieter Mueller is finding the going hard. The jungle he is moving through is getting thicker and he has begun to use a large stick to help bash his way through the undergrowth. The stick is quite effective, but in his weakened state, he can feel his strength slipping away. But he must push on...he must be close to the source of the explosion...

Keeping moving is actually helping Kohl feel a little better. By the time he has travelled a few kilometers from the crash, his legs and shoulders are loosening up, he is beginning to think, to plan again. Time is short. The Phantom has found him once, it won't be long before the Phantom realises he is not in the helicopter wreck....

As Kohl begins to formulate a plan, his attention is attracted by a shaking and rustling in the undergrowth up ahead of him. He frantically looks around for something to defend himself with. If this is a cat, he is in a very vulnerable position. He cannot believe his ears when a few moments later he hears a voice swearing in German!

Pieter Mueller is completely unaware of Kohl's presence. That is until Kohl steps out from behind a tree and brings the end of a branch down hard across the back of Mueller's head, stunning him and sending him to ground.
"What a suprise. Young Mr. Mueller! You appear remarkably well... for a dead man!"
"Now let us see if you have anything of use with you," says Kohl as he quickly frisks Mueller.
"A pistol Mr. Mueller.... how thoughtful. We can't eat it, but it may prove useful for dispatching ghosts... So, now I have a weapon again, and a hostage."
He pulls the groggy Mueller up.
"On your feet," he growls, turning him around and pushing him stumbling back in the direction he has just come.

The Phantom quickly realises the jungle here is too thick to track Kohl on horseback. The Phantom must act quickly. He mounts Hero and rides the short distance to the great aerial village of the Rope People.
The chief rushes to greet his village's hallowed visitor.
"Chief of the tree dwellers," the Phantom appeals. "I must leave Hero with you while I bring the man who came from the sky to justice. Feed and protect Hero from the big cats until I send the Bandar for him."
"It will be done, Oh Ghost Who Walks," the chief replies solemnly.
The chief motions with his hand.
"Before you leave, Oh Ghost Who Walks, I think you may wish to see this. We took this from the sky man before he escaped."
The chief hands the Phantom a small canvas bag. The Phantom carefully opens the bag and peers inside. A grim look passes over his face.
"Chief, I had better take this with me," says the Phantom closing the bag.
"As you wish, Oh Ghost Who Walks..."
It is a very determined Phantom that turns from the villagers and runs off in the direction of the crash site. The chief turns to his people.
"Rope People. It is said: Only a fool crosses the Phantom*"
"I would not like to be the sky man...."

(*old jungle saying)

End of Episode 9.

The Phantom's Mark


Episode 10. by Bryan Shedden

Pieter Mueller stumbles forward in reaction to a vicious shove in the back from Kohl. "Keep moving ... or you'll receive the same treatment I gave your father" snarls the former Nazi pilot.
"You're an evil man, Kohl ... or should I say Schmidt?" snaps Mueller as he wades through the dense jungle that he'd parted in the opposite direction only minutes earlier. "Tell me ... what happened? Why did you shoot my father? I have to know."
"Ah, that pathetic swine. He would have betrayed the Fatherland" began Kohl. "When Colonel Gluck was killed in the plane crash, Hans felt he was released from a great tyranny. He repented our actions in the camps, and demanded to return the gold to the survivors. Can you imagine that?" squawks an incredulous Kohl. "He actually wanted to undo all our good work!"
Mueller's gut churns at the thought of so many millions of people butchered in concentration camps. This man is actually proud of that history? Pieter is pleased to learn his father shared his feelings.
"I hated your father from that moment," continues Kohl. "He saved me from being eaten by crocodiles in that damned swamp. But I was not dissuaded from what I had to do." With a wry smile Kohl concludes "So I shot him in the back of the skull. Pop! A fitting end for such a weakling."
What can Mueller say to this? With a groan he steps up a gear and forces his way even harder into the green wall ahead. Of course he makes no effort to shield Kohl from the slingshot of branches as the latter follows close behind.
Swish ... thwack! Slowly, the gap between the two men grows as Kohl is forced to avoid the incessant whipping. He glances ahead to see an enormous tree-trunk getting closer and then Mueller circles around it's side. Kohl's eyes follow the branchless trunk of the tree steadily upwards to the dense leafy canopy. It must be a hundred metres high. Strangler vines loop down from the upper branches in a desperately slow race to overcome their giant hosts. Kohl follows seconds behind Mueller and is astonished to find that his hostage has vanished. Where can he have gone? Kohl scans the surrounds ... left, right, up, down. Nothing but jungle! He turns to face the giant tree and with dread fear notices a small skull mark clearly imprinted on the mottled bark.
"Bah, it's that damned Phantom again" cries Kohl angrily. "But you won't catch me!" he screams into the steamy jungle air, and charges off ahead with the determination of a madman.

Pieter Mueller peers wide-eyed at his saviour perched quietly beside him in the lofty tree canopy. The Phantom loosens a thick rubbery vine from his ankles as he cautiously watches Kohl flee through the dense jungle.
"I don't believe it! You can bungy jump?" asks an incredulous Mueller.
"There's a first time for everything" replies The Phantom with a sly wink. "Now you wait here. I've an urgent appointment with Herr Kohl. Once I've seen to him I will send the Rope People for you."
"As if I would be going anywhere!" is Mueller's unheard answer.
Only a blur of purple in the corner of Mueller's eye is evidence of The Phantom swinging off on a strangler vine.

"Phantom moves faster than eye can see" ... old jungle saying.

Kohl has had enough jungle to last a lifetime, and frustration forces a change in strategy.
"That Phantom's a tricky character" he thinks to himself. "Tricky and clever. Well two can play that game. If he's coming, he'll find me ready for him. I think I'll get up in that tree."
With that, Kohl begins his laborious scramble up into the intertwined branches of a nearby tree. Finding a comfortable spot, he draws the pistol he'd claimed from Pieter Mueller, and fingers it with admiration.
"And when he comes, I'll see him first! There! There he is ... I can't miss him from here!!"

The Phantom stalks quietly, following the clear trail left by Kohl. Yes, he's getting close now. That branch there is still slowly recovering from being bent close to breaking. Kohl must have passed only minutes earlier. Must be cautious. The Phantom hears a faint stir in the leaves and in the same split second ... twists to one side, draws one of his 45s and shoots. To his great surprise, Kohl's hand is ripped sideways as his pistol spins from his hand.
"But how did you know? Nobody can shoot like that! You're not human!" babbles Kohl before he leaps from his hiding place and madly charges at The Phantom with fists flying.
"I was hoping you'd do that. It gives me a reason to do this" says The Phantom.
WHAM!!! Kohl is sent flying backwards at a speed matching that of his arrival. A swollen lump on Kohl's jaw highlights a fresh skull mark -- but it will be several hours before he is conscious enough to notice.
Standing over his captive, The Phantom says to himself "No matter how long they manage to escape justice -- it always catches up with them."
He drops the small canvas bag that the Chief of the Rope People had given him. The Phantom had been carrying it during his pursuit of Kohl. The contents had reaffirmed a great loathing for the human refuse that now lies at his feet. The bag lands with a dull jangle on Kohl's inert body, and as it rolls off, hundreds of gold teeth fall from the opening. Gold teeth that had been cruelly ripped from Jewish mouths five decades earlier.

A cool afternoon breeze wafts through the clearing in front of the skull cave. Devil trots up to The Phantom and nuzzles his hand in search of affection, which he receives with interest.
"Devil old boy! You missed all the action today. That'll teach you to go racing off in search of lady wolves!" jokes The Phantom, and then as an afterthought "... or maybe it won't?"
At that moment, Pieter Mueller hobbles into the clearing with an escort of three Rope People and a Bandar guard. Two of the Rope People are carrying sacks, and judging by the labour required, they're filled with the Nazi gold bars.
"Ghost Who Walks!" cries the first of the Rope People. "We found the gold. Some was in the wreck of the fallen whirly-bird. The rest was hidden in one of our pit traps. The foolish sky man must have thought it was convenient place to hide the gold!"
"Well done, my friends" replies The Phantom. "And thank you for helping Pieter down from his perch."
The Phantom takes the two sacks of gold and effortlessly tosses them to the feet of Pieter Mueller. "I guess you are the rightful owner of these now. What do you plan to do with them?"
Mueller's answer is solemn. "This is Nazi gold, stolen from Jews. I will return it to the families of holocaust victims. My father wanted to do the same. But what about Kohl?"
"The Jungle Patrol have picked him up" answers The Phantom. "He will be tried in Morristown for the murder of your father, and then I suspect that authorities in Israel may be interested in speaking to him on the subject of war crimes. Either he or Colonel Gluck were obviously linked with the concentration camps."
With the matter closed in his mind, The Phantom says "So Pieter, I hope that you have found what you wanted to find. The Bandar will escort you back to Morristown. Oh ... I nearly forgot something ..."
The Phantom dashes into the skull cave. He returns minutes later with the gold bar Wambo had discovered years earlier.
"Here take this" he says offering the gold bar to Mueller.
"The Major Treasure Room is home for many rare artefacts from important men of history -- Homer, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, King Arthur, Charlemagne, Shakespeare. Somehow I don't think a memento of Hitler has a place amongst those. Melt it down with the others."

End of Episode 10.

The End of NAZI GOLD!

The Phantom's Mark

Return to The Bandar Village.

The Phantom is © Copyright 1999 King Features Syndicate Inc.,
The Hearst Corporation