Detective Chimp Returns!

Once again we open with Sheriff Chase of Oscaloosa County, Florida, addressing us directly — no fourth wall for this guy! He tells us that Bobo is now his assistant! Yep. A Sheriff, a law enforcement officer, and presumably a man of some standing in his community, has appointed a chimpanzee as his assistant!!

The phone rings. It’s Carlton Meade, who’s afraid his life is in danger. A not unreasonable fear as it turns out: by the very next panel he’s dead… “Aaahh…” is his last word.

Chase grabs his hat, so you know he means business, and, likewise, Bobo dons a dearstalker cap that Chase has bought him — presumably in recognition of his detective chimp status.

The chimp and the deerstalker

At Carlton Meade’s house, they find the body still in situ where the butler found it. Chase begins his line of questioning. It appears that a group has assembled to hear the reading of a will. Chase’s keen detective brain leaps to an amazing deduction: whoever is not named as a beneficiary in the will must be the killer! Sadly, however, the will is nowhere to be found.

A bird flies past the window carrying a piece of paper. It’s the will!

Bobo leaps after the bird and retrieves the will. Unfortunately, the name of the person who is to get nothing has been torn off.

Carlton Meade's will

You’ll note that the will actually contains an ellipsis. Presumably whoever was due to read it was expected to pause dramatically at that point.

Chase reckons that the bird must have used that chunk of will to make its nest, so Bobo goes to find it. While doing so, he gets shot at. “Chimp, you’re too smart to live!” cries the gunman as Bobo finds the nest.

Bobo attacked by gunman

Bobo dodges bullet after bullet and eventually dives into a lake to take cover. He’s able to stay under a long time by breathing through a hollow reed. Smart, huh? Now you know why Sheriff Chase made him an assistant. If he keeps this up, he’ll soon make DA!

Bobo's amazing feat of survival

The gunman takes to the water in a canoe, but Bobo surfaces and capsizes the craft. “Why doesn’t somebody come and help me?” he laments as the gunman goes splash. “Do I have to do it all myself?”

Bobo is dragging the unconscious man ashore when Chase arrives. “I’ll bet it’s the murderer!” he exclaims. There are no flies on Sheriff Chase, let me tell you.

The killer stands revealed as Stephen Meade, Carlton’s brother. The missing fragment of will that Bobo found confirms it: Stephen was due to inherit nothing. “You’d never have got me if not for that blasted chimp!” he exclaims, proving that in addition to being a cold-blooded killer, he’s also a fan of Scooby Doo.

Bobo stands smugly proud as Meade is led away.

Bobo stands proud

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The second Detective Chimp story continues the inspired lunacy begun a few months before. Obviously you can’t do a great deal with just five-and-a-half pages, but writer John Broome has a good try. Carmine Infantino delivers his usual fine job on pencils, while inker Frank Giacoia acquits himself with aplomb. This was originally published in 1952.

Images ©2012 DC Comics