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What is The Spirit's source of income? (Answer at bottom of the page)

This story is one of my favourite single sections from the run of the series - published on 22 October 1950 with script by Jules Feiffer and art by Eisner. This tale is described as a 'distant relative' to Ring Lardner's short story 'Haircut'.

One of the best first pages in the series

I think the above opening page is one of the strongest that Eisner ever did in the series. We then go to a flashback sequence in which we find Rudy (the barber) celebrating his first year of his shop opening. His childhood friend Joe pops in:

Rudy and Joe meet

Note how in the first panel Joe seems more interested in Jenny, Rudy's girlfriend, than in Rudy himself. After a few months it looks like Rudy's business was going into bankruptcy until Joe announces that he is taking over the place. Rudy readily agrees but is puzzled when the following day phones, a blackboard and a radio are installed in the back room. Not persuing the matter, Rudy is delighted that in a short time his business is booming as men would come in for a hair cut and then go into the backroom to see Joe. Rudy also notices that Jenny is going out with Joe regularly - he is pleased because initially Jenny expressed concern over his friend, but now...

Late one night a thug comes in and asks for Joe - Rudy explains that he is out when the thug beats up Rudy and warns him that he will return tomorrow to deal with Joe.

The following day the thug returns and finding Rudy shaving someone asks where Joe is. Rudy responds by saying that Joe is in the back room. As the man turns to go into the room, the man Rudy was shaving turns out to be Joe, and he rises and shoots the thug.

After hiding the body, The Spirit enters:

The Spirit asks for a shave

Rudy shaves The Spirit and lets him go.

Jenny bursts into the place and starts to sob to Joe saying that the place is surrounded by police. Rudy asks Joe what is happening:

Rudy pieces together what has been happening

Picking up the gun, Rudy shoots Jenny as the police burst in.

The story ends thus:

The end of the tale

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A page giving a concise history of the pulp character Doc Savage can be found here.

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Trivia Answer: The inheritance from his father's estate. For more information on the series, click here)