Writer: Don Freeman
Artist: Steve Dowling/John Allard
Published: 9/2/49 – 9/7/49 (H34 – H16)
Number of Episodes: 129
As in all Freeman-scripted stories, the action in this story follows on directly from the previous one, with Garth still separated from his friends in Africa. Eventually linking up with Lumiere, Dawn and Karen, Garth finds that they have been captured by a white hunter, Captain Cain. Satiated after a lifetime of hunting Cain is on the edge of insanity. Infatuated with the beautiful Karen, he refuses to let his prisoners go, unless she remains and agrees to marry him. Only then will he give Lumiere and Dawn supplies and directional maps to enable them to find the nearest settlement.
Lacking weapons or directions in the African wilderness, they are unable to make a break for it. Garth offers himself as bait, inviting Cain and his men to hunt him down and kill him before he can reach the next town, through jungle and across desert. If Garth succeeds, the party goes free. If Cain kills Garth, he gets to marry Karen.
The basic plot has resonances with the classic novel (filmed by M. C. Cooper in 1932) The Most Dangerous Game, aka The Hounds of Zaroff. The man-hunt unfolds in spectacular fashion, with an intriguing sub-plot involving an abortive attempt by Karen to escape and assist Garth, the failure of which aids him indirectly. The climax of the story has Cain and Garth fighting an exciting duel in the desert, with the town only a few miles distant.
Synopsis by Philip Harbottle
In a feature encompassing the entire history of the much-loved strip, Garth writer Philip Harbottle pays tribute to artist and editor John Allard, who worked at the Mirror for over 50 years, outlining his huge contribution to Garth‘s enduring success
Strip dates given are those of their original appearance in the British newspaper the Daily Mirror, first compiled by Geoffrey Wren and Ann Holmes and updated by Ant Jones and Philip Harbottle
Garth © REACH/ Daily Mirror