Issue No. 10

Spring 1946

Art: Reed Crandall and Chuck Cuidera

The Treasure of Ghanpat! - All is quiet on Blackhawk Island and the men are relaxing in their day room when Blackhawk bursts in with a dying man over his shoulder. The man is a pilot who has washed up on the shore of Blackhawk Island, after having been thrown from his plane. With his last words he tells them of a plot he discovered by the men who hired him to rob the Sultan of Ghanpat. The Sultan, "reckoned the third richest man in the world," is pleased to welcome the famous Blackhawk when he flies to Ghanpat to thwart the plot. He is an old man who wants only the best for his people and to leave a secure nation to be ruled by his beautiful daughter. When Blackhawk inspects the treasure room, he finds it guarded by a single guardian, who we are shown only in vague silhouette. Then Blackhawk is introduced to the Sultan's police chief, a monocle-wearing European who almost immediately saves Blackhawk from a grenade thrown threw an open window. The bomb thrower escapes and the chief doubles the guards on the palace walls. He is impressed when the rest of the Blackhawks arrive, landing their Skyrockets in the relatively small field of the palace. He comments that it is a small space even for the Sultan's helicopters, of which there are several on the field. As he greets his men, Blackhawk is attacked by a knife throwing assassin. Of course, Blackhawk subdues him but before he can be questioned, the chief shoots him dead. Later that evening, Blackhawk reveals to the Sultan his deduction that the chief is the mastermind behind the plot. The chief sics his guards on the Blackhawks and in the ensuing confusion takes the Sultan at gunpoint to open the door to the treasure room. While Blackhawk is held by two of the guards, the Sultan reminds him that there is still the guardian of the treasure which turns out to be a giant lizard. The chief's men shoot the lizard down and knock Blackhawk unconscious. They wheel out the treasure and load it on the helicopters. The Blackhawks take to the air in pursuit and shoot down two of the treasure laden choppers, but the false chief has the Sultan's daughter hostage in the third. Blackhawk's perfect aim kills the chief but now the helicopter will crash with no one at the controls. Blackhawk makes a daring leap from his plane into the control cabin of the helicopter (how he gets through the spinning rotor unharmed is not explained) and lands the copter safely. In gratitude, the Sultan offers Blackhawk half his treasure, but Blackhawk declines saying it was reward enough to smash the theives. The beautiful princess looks at Blackhawk with big dark eyes and says "is there anything I can do....anything!" Blackhawk modestly says her friendship is enough. And they fly off singing one of their classic songs - "Fighting far, fighting near...ridding all good men of fear...We're Blackhawks!"

Thanks to David Chapman for submitting the cover for this issue.

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