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The Haunted LighthouseEpilogue
by Tom Nichol

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

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Contrary to what the original episode story may have implied, there is in fact a real Moose Island off the coast of Maine. It is part of Shackled Head State Park. Consult Wikipedia for further information. The reader should bear in mind that the screenplay for the episode under discussion varies considerably from the actual facts. I am using that screenplay as the basis for this epilogue. Enjoy!]

A week had passed since Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter and photographer for the Metropolis Daily Planet, had returned from his vacation to Moose Island, Maine, to visit his aunt, Louise Horne, and her daughter, Alice. As it turned out, however, that vacation had turned out to be much more significant and eventful than Jimmy had ever dared to expect. With the help of Superman, and his alter ego, Clark Kent, Jimmy had discovered that his aunt and cousin were being held as prisoners by his real aunt’s former housekeeper, Mrs. Ruth Carmody, her husband, Mack, and her son, Chris, who were operating a smuggling ring based in the abandoned and supposedly haunted lighthouse. In fact, only Superman’s timely intervention had saved Jimmy, his real aunt, and his cousin from being murdered by the smugglers after Jimmy had discovered what the three impostors were up to.

In the wake of their arrest by the United States Coast Guard, the three smugglers had made a complete confession, and had subsequently been tried and convicted on charges of smuggling, kidnapping, and, in Jimmy’s case, attempted murder.

The judge presiding over the case had thrown the book at the three erstwhile smugglers. He had, in fact, sentenced all three of them to death in the electric chair. Jimmy was now discussing the case with his boss, Perry White, who, as Jimmy was well aware, was not only an experienced journalist, but a trained lawyer as well. He was joined in this discussion by Clark Kent, Lois Lane, and Lieutenant John Harris of the United States Coast Guard, in Perry’s private office.

What I still don’t understand, Mr. White,” Jimmy was saying, “is why Mrs. Carmody, along with her husband and son, wound up getting a death sentence in this case, even though I know they tried to kill me once I stumbled on to their smuggling racket!”

“Well, you see, Jimmy,” Perry explained, “those three hoodlums were charged under the Federal statutes about smuggling. Such being the case, it was decided that they would also be charged with kidnapping under Federal law, since the Federal statute carries an automatic, mandatory death sentence. As I think I’ve explained to you before, in cases where both State and Federal criminal violations have occurred, the charges carrying the more severe penalties have first priority. Isn’t that right, Lieutenant?”

Exactly, Mr. White!” Lieutenant Harris replied, nodding vigorously. “Also, the two male offenders, Mack and Chris Carmody, have both made repeated and vicious threats against you, your aunt, and your cousin, in the unlikely event that any of them were to be released!”

“Well, that’s not likely, Lieutenant,” Clark put in, “given the amount of evidence that we uncovered!”

“I would hope not!” Lois piped up, her brown eyes flashing angrily. “The very thought of what Jimmy, his aunt, and poor Alice got put through by those wretches makes my blood boil!”

Now, now, Lois,” Clark commented soothingly, “they’ll be getting what’s coming to them in God’s good time!”

“Good!” Lois replied, still with a certain amount of vehemence in her eyes and voice.

It was at that moment that Jimmy handed his employer several typewritten pages. “This is what Mr. Kent, Miss Lane, and I have come up with so far in writing up this story, Mr. White,” he explained.

Perry took the proffered pages and looked them over quickly, nodding his approval as he did so. “This looks good, Jim,” he commented. “This should make an excellent story from both the crime and the human interest perspectives—especially since you were directly involved in exposing one of the most lucrative smuggling rackets we’ve seen in quite some time!”

At that point, Lieutenant Harris rose to his feet and pulled an envelope out of his inside coat pocket. As he handed it to Jimmy, he explained, “This is a reward check for $10,000, for your role in helping us expose and break up the Carmodys’ smuggling ring. Your Aunt will also be getting a check in a similar amount, as well as a check from the State of Maine for $25,000, both as reward and as compensation for the ordeal that she and your cousin were put through. All three checks, by the way, will be considered tax-free, by direct order of the President of the United States!”

At Perry’s direction, Clark took a picture of Jimmy accepting the check from Lieutenant Harris, along with a warm hand-shake. As the meeting broke up, Lieutenant, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, commented, “This should be a satisfying ending to your vacation, Mr. Olsen—even if Peter the Parrot did start it out by giving you—THE BIRD!”

As the others groaned in response, Jimmy, with an equally mischievous twinkle in his eye, replied, “Are you HARRISing me, Lieutenant?”

As the others groaned and chuckled, Lois commented, “Jimmy that was 2/3 of a pun—P.U.!”

“Well, P. U. to you, too, Miss Lane!” was Jimmy’s sneering response. They all had a good laugh, and the Lieutenant went on his way.

In the months that followed, Perry, at Jimmy’s request, wrote a series of articles and editorials about the virtues of Moose Island. Much to Jimmy’s delight, the result was that a growing number of individuals did in fact proceed to move there, rebuilding many of the older houses, and replacing others which could not be saved. This was a considerable relief to Jimmy, who had long been deeply concerned about his Aunt and Alice living there by themselves, even though his Aunt insisted that the two of them really didn’t mind their solitary existence. Even they, however, welcomed the new residents, who they knew would be able to help them out if the need arose.

Finally, a year after their trial and conviction, when all of their appeals had been exhausted, Ruth, Mack, and Chris Carmody were each in turn executed in the electric chair at the Federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, thereby officially bringing the Adventure of the Haunted Lighthouse to a close.

Posted: October 11, 2020

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