Guest in the House

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Guest in the House
Start date: February 28th, 2011
End date: September 3rd, 2011
# of strips: 162 (27 weeks)
Writer: Fred Fredericks
Artist: Fred Fredericks
Preceded by: "When Vampires Strike"
Followed by: "Ghost Town Blues"

"Guest in the House" is the 261st Mandrake daily story. The story was written and drawn by Fred Fredericks.

Plot Summary

One morning, when Johnny Root starts his car with a remote control to warm it up, it suddenly explodes. The police chief suspects Red Dekker of attempting to kill Johnny, especially when a sniper's bullet narrowly misses him shortly after.

The police chief contacts Mandrake, who, along with Lothar, goes to the police headquarters. There, they learn that Johnny Root is a key witness against Red Dekker in an upcoming trial for racketeering. Johnny is currently under police protection, but he fears for his safety and insists on staying in a safer place, which he believes is Xanadu.

Meanwhile, Narda is running errands when her tire is shot, forcing her to stop. Two seemingly helpful men assist her in changing the tire, but Narda soon discovers that one of them, acting on Red Dekker's orders, had deliberately punctured her tire. Red wants to talk to her because, like Mandrake, he has the ability to make people disappear permanently.

Upon meeting again at Xanadu, Narda informs Mandrake about Red's warning, while Mandrake reveals Johnny's desire for high-security refuge on Xanadu. They decide to offer Johnny shelter, hoping that Red Dekker will be imprisoned. During the motorcade of ten police cars taking Johnny to Xanadu, an old plane equipped with machine guns attacks them just outside Xanadu. However, they target the wrong car, and Johnny escapes unharmed. Mandrake drives him up to Xanadu, impressing Johnny with the elaborate security obstacles up the driveway.

Later, a seemingly harmless helicopter flies by, but Johnny decides to take a dip in the pool. To their horror, they discover that the helicopter dropped a large alligator into the pool.

On the night before the trial, a silent glider approaches Xanadu as Red Dekker's gang gathers at the main gate, ready to storm in. The glider drops a bag filled with snakes into Xanadu. Mandrake, Lothar, and Hojo quickly capture the snakes while Johnny heads to the control room, where he deactivates the security obstacles leading to Xanadu.

Realizing the danger, Mandrake and Lothar rush to the control room, but it's too late. Red Dekker's gang is already on their way up. Unaware of the sharp curves and warning signs, the villains' cars end up in a chain collision. The villains continue on foot, attempting to take over Xanadu.

Mandrake figures out that the entire incident was staged to allow Red Dekker to seize Xanadu and capture Mandrake. The plan was to prevent Mandrake from testifying in the trial and collect the two million dollars that crime bosses had put on Mandrake's head. However, when Johnny learns that Red intends to kill him too, he switches sides and assists Mandrake.

The police chief arrives after the glider pilot crash-lands in a state trooper parking lot and informs them about the attack on Xanadu. During his escape down the Xanadu road, Red Dekker falls to his death, while Johnny sustains severe injuries but survives.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Red Dekker, king of the rackets
  • Johnny Root, member of Red's gang
  • Cobby, member of Red's gang


Behind the scenes


  • The title for the story is from the strip of February 28th, 2011 (Beginning: Guest in the House).


  • Lothar said that in old days back in the Seven Nations he used to wrestle alligators all the time. May he have meant crocodiles? Since alligators are limited to the Americas and a very small portion of China.


This story has been published in the following publications: