Smuggler's Luck

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Smuggler’s Luck
Start date: March 11th, 1963
End date: May 4th, 1963
# of strips: 48 (8 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Phil Davis
Preceded by: "The Aftermath"
Followed by: "The Giant Toothache"

"Smuggler’s Luck" is the 120th Mandrake daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Phil Davis.

Plot Summary

Mandrake has come back after a trip abroad and have a chat with the chief at customs. About how smuggling tricks are theese days. During their lunch the chief telling Mandrake the amazing story of King Karl, the shrewdest smuggler alive.

Karl dealt in stolen jewels, some years ago he tried to smuggel jewels from a robbery in London. Scotland Yard suspected that Karl had the stolen diamonds and he was caught in the US custums, with the diamonds in his wig. In jail the warden gave Karl a job, taking care of his pigeon cote.

Five years later Karl had finished serving his penalty, and said he had turned over a new leaf. - Breeding and racing pigeons.

Karl took his birds on a ship to Europe, as he said; for a meeting of pigeon breeders. At the same time in Europe there was a million-dollar diamond robbery.

The diamonds were smuggled aboard the ship in the feed for the pigeons, then Karl taped the diamonds onto the pigeon's leg. Short from home port Karl released all his pigeons from the ship, knowing they'd fly back to the cages on his roof. But as he reached his home, it was at fire.

What really happened with the pigeons, no one knows. But they were all vanished without a trace, with the diamonds taped to their leg. Karl never recovered form the shock. Five years later he was released from jail, harmless but odd.

Every day of his life he walking around, feeds pigeons, searching, searching -- hoping to find the one with his diamonds on their legs.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Karl, King Karl the shrewdest smuggler alive.


  • New York
  • London
  • Europe

Behind the scenes

  • The title for the story taken from the strip of March 11th, 1963 (Beginning: Smuggler's Luck).

Signifiant covers


This story has been published in the following publications:

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