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Tom Bridges

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Tom Bridges
Tombridges

Real Name

Tom Bridges

First Appearance

Strange Fantasy #1 (Aug. 1952)

Original Publisher

Farrell

Created by

Jerry Iger

Origin

On vacation with his father, Inspector Blake, and his female companion Sally, detective Emmet Blake decides to stop with his fellow travelers at a seaside hotel of a sleepy town called Cliffside. They are greeted by Tom Bridges as the manager of the hotel. Bridges recognizes Emmet as a famous detective.

After bidding good night to Emmet, Sally goes about settling into her room. She is frightened to discover a black bird she thinks a crow in her room. When the black bird attempts to bite her, she screams, the exclamation being answered by Emmet and his father. Inspector Blake thinks searches the window-view, yet cannot see any bird. Emmet points out the bloody bird tracks on the sheets, confirming the bird's existence as well as an accompanying mystery.

In the hallway, the trio encounters Leona, the hotel maid. She is clearly distraught, telling the hotel guests one Mr. Throckmorton had just fallen to his death. They step onto the veranda to encounter Mrs. Agnes Throckmorton looking over the cliff where her husband fell to his death. Emmet uses his flashlight to confirm the dead body, telling Mrs. Throckmorton to avert her eyes from the gruesome scene. 

Investigating the scene more closely with his father, Emmet is surprised to find little blood. He surmises mentally the corpse was killed elsewhere before being thrown over the cliff. Speaking with Agnes and Leona later, Inspector Blake reveals that his son Emmet suspects murder. Tom Bridges breaks into the conversation, saying he was with Leona when they heard the scream of Mrs. Throckmorton. He suggests it absolves him as a suspect. Leona confirms Tom's testimony.

Giles, the hotel janitor appears at the police chief's request to ask the inspector if he would like to start questioning the suspects. Emmet soon begins interviewing Agnes Throckmorton, who revealed the significant age difference between herself and her husband, their abiding love for each other, and his habit of walking along the cliffside after working in his aviary. Inspector Blake is interested in the hitherto unrevealed existence of the deceased's ownership of an aviary.

Further interrogation reveals Mr. Throckmorton had seven rare ravens from Bolivia, but no crows. They go to investigate the aviary, discovering all seven ravens accounted for, yet nary a one with bloody feet. Inspector Blake places his fingers close to the cage, though Emmet warns him to be careful. Despite his warnings, Emmet's father receives a painful bite from the raven. 

Tom Bridges shows up, informing the investigators the ravens are of a testy breed. Tom knows as he used to assist Throckmorton in their handling. Tom lights a cigarette, and Emmet asks if he will light Emmet's as well. He does so, Emmet detecting a strange smell on Tom's fingers. 

Suddenly, Emmet Blake seizes Tom, saying he has enough evidence to prove Tom is the murderer. A policeman shows up, and Tom Bridges is sat down while Emmet explains the evidence against Tom. Tom was in love with Mrs. Throckmorton, and he decides to murder Mr. Throckmorton despite his Agne's slight protestations. When Tom is killing Throckmorton, the cages are disrupted, releasing the ravens. He recovers all the birds but one, which he does find eventually. He washes its feet with a "strong, yellow laundry soap" that Emmet smelled while having Tom light the detective's cigarette. Another clue was the ease in handling the bird that Bridge's displayed, when the same bird bit Inspector Blake.

Tom Bridges and Agnes Throckmorton are placed in the jail, to await their future trials.


Public Domain Appearances

  • Strange Fantasy #1


See Also

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