For the third consecutive April Fools' Day, someone has robbed the Gotham City National Bank of exactly $100,000, passing up the chance to take other money worth nearly a half million dollars from the same vault. In two years, theGotham Police Department has gotten nowhere with the case, leading Chief Miles O'Hara and Commissioner Gordonto call in the one man who can solve the mystery: Batman.
Batman and Robin have no leads, so he determines the right course of action is to manufacture a lead. He phones the Gotham paper and plants a story that the cash taken from the Gotham City National Bank was counterfeit, held there until authorities could destroy it. He hopes to force the criminal to strike again. Meanwhile, he analyzes a bullet found at the scene and discovers from it that the thief was wearing orange wool and dozens of colorful silk scarves. From a smear of ambergris he concludes that the criminal was a woman.
Meanwhile, in the secret workshop of Eivol Ekdol, behind the Gnome Bookstore, Eivol's client Zelda the Great meets with him. Each year she purchases, for $100,000, a new trick to re-invigorate her fading act. ("Oh, I hate robbing banks." she complains "All I ever wanted to be was poor, but honest magician.") This year, Ekdol has prepared a clever escape proof cabinet, but when Zelda asks how to escape it, he informs her that she won't even get into it unless she can produce $100,000 in real money. He shows her a newspaper article reporting that the Star of Sammarkand, a rareemerald, will be displayed. It is a tempting target and Zelda realizes this is a "Batman trap".
At Wayne Manor, Aunt Harriet Cooper receives a phone call from Miss Smith, a playground matron. It seems her fifteen-year-old nephew Dick Grayson has been struck in the head by a baseball and she has sent a special taxi to collect Mrs. Cooper and drive her to the playground.
At the jewelry salon, an elderly woman approaches the Star, and with a quick tap of her cane, releases a cloud of gas. It is Zelda in disguise and she has escaped with the Star. Fortunately, the stone is a counterfeit, and equipped with a homing device. Batman contacts Officer Clancy nearby and asks him to uncover theBatmobile. But outside, Robin finds the false stone in a gutter. Zelda's appearance here was a ruse. Then Batman receives a threatening phone call. It seems someone has kidnapped Aunt Harriet and demanded $100,000 for her safe release. And as Commissioner Gordon continues, no one can find Bruce Wayne. It then shows Aunt Harriet at Zelda's hide out encased in a straitjacket suspended over a vat of boiling oil.
Cliffhanger Text Edit
- HOLY BACKFIRE'S RIGHT!
- AUNT HARRIET HAS JUST ONE HOUR!
- WHAT'LL IT BE??
- SPLASH OR SALVATION??
- HOLD A HOPEFUL BREATH FOR AUNT HARRIET UNTIL TOMORROW.. SAME BAT-TIME!! SAME BAT-CHANNEL!!
This is the only cliffhanger where someone else besides the Dynamic Duo are left in a perilous death trap.