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Ghost Wolf — Epilogue
by Tom Nichol

Based on the episode of the same name from the
Adventures of Superman

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: I would caution the reader to bear in mind that this episode was filmed more than 60 years ago. Since that time, many changes have taken place in the lumber and paper industries, and in the laws related to those industries, as well as the criminal laws related to those industries. Enjoy!]

A week had passed since Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen returned from the Lone Pine Timber Company in Oregon, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Metropolis Daily Planet which supplied the newspaper with the pulpwood from which the paper used in the newspaper was made. They were now in conference with the Planet’s owner and Editor-In-Chief. As he had done more than a week earlier, Perry White had asked Clark to lock the door to his office, which the disguised Man of Steel had promptly done. As he took his seat, his employer began,

First of all, let me congratulate you for solving the mystery of the so-called “Ghost Wolf” and preventing that wretch Jacques Olivier from burning the whole forest down. Had he succeeded, the Daily Planet might well have been forced out of business!”

As the three journalists grimaced in response, Perry smiled and held up his hand. “Thankfully, however, Sam Garvin has informed me that all of the lumberjacks and other personnel who had quit were just as quick to return to work as they had been to leave once they learned the truth! As a result, pulpwood and paper production have both returned to normal!”

That takes a lot of the pressure off of you, doesn’t it, Mr. White?” Jimmy inquired, genuine concern written all over his features.

Deeply touched, Perry smiled warmly at his youngest reporter, then replied, “Not all of it, Jimmy, but most of it. Thank you for asking, however! I appreciate your concern—I really do!” As his two colleagues smiled appreciatively, the young ginger’s face glowed with pleasure.

A few moments later, Clark inquired, “What’s going to happen to Jacques Olivier, Chief?”

A lot’s going to happen to that schlemiel, Clark!” Perry shot back, his face becoming stern, his eyes beginning to blaze with understandable fury. “At the very least, he’ll be facing charges of arson, plus multiple counts of attempted murder—yours, Sam Garvin’s, and that of his now ex-fiance, Babette DuLoque, the daughter of the man from whom I bought both the forest and the lumber company!”

“That ought to get him a sentence of life without parole!” Lois commented.

“But I heard that Olivier was a Canadian citizen, just like Miss DuLoque,” Jimmy objected. “Wouldn’t that have some bearing on Olivier’s trial?”

“Your question is a valid one, Olsen,” their employer, who was a trained lawyer as well as a journalist, responded, “but in this case, the answer is no. Canada’s laws in this regard, and the criminal penalties involved, are virtually identical to those of the United States. As a result, the Canadian authorities have personally assured me that they will not interfere with Olivier’s trial here in the United States!”

“That brings up one point, Chief,” Lois put in. “What exactly was Olivier’s motive in all of this?”

“Two of the oldest motives in the book, Miss Lane – greed and jealousy,” Perry replied. “Sam Garvin told me that Olivier said that Babette had agreed to marry him, thereby giving him a chance to own both the forest and the lumber company, something he had long lusted after. He lied to Babette, telling her that we had stolen both the forest and the lumber company from her late father. He thought that he could persuade her to file suit against the Planet to have the sale nullified as a result. Sam, however, promptly set her straight on that score, telling her that the sale was perfectly legitimate and that he had personally deposited the money from the sale into her bank account – something that apparently she had never taken the time or the trouble to verify! When she realized that Sam was telling the truth, she instantly turned against Olivier, thereby frustrating his wicked plot – so he decided to kill her as well as Sam. He also figured that the two of you, and probably Clark as well, would perish in the forest fire he started!”

Yeah, but he didn’t figure on Superman putting out the forest fire – ” Then, flashing a grin in Clark’s direction, he added, “Even if it did mean your suit got soaked, Mr. Kent!”

Grinning himself in response, Clark replied, “Not to worry, Jimmy—a trip to the dry cleaner’s took care of that!”

“And if you’ll submit the receipt for that cleaning to the Accounting Department, Clark,” Perry added, “I’ll instruct them to include a reimbursement for the expense involved in your next paycheck!”

“Well, thank you very much!” Clark replied with an appreciative smile.

His smile grew even brighter when Lois commented, “You deserve it, Clark! You did your fair share of work in this case just like the rest of us!”

“Yeah!” Jimmy chimed in. With that, the meeting broke up, and the four journalists set to work writing the story of how the Metropolis Daily Planet had come so close to being forced out of business, and of how, once again, Superman had saved the day.

Posted: June 22, 2020

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