In a departure from more typical Mark Trail obliviousness, Mark inquires about the cat that has really brought nothing but despair, cost and potential tragedy to Lost Forest…
Yes, he is, Mark! One of a kind. Not that anyone else seems to understand that…
Uh, Bill…? Did you even hear a word Mark said?? “Andy’s still in serious condition!” “Mark, get on that damned plane, and get to the awards ceremony!”
I assume that Bill called Lost Forest first and Cherry told him to call the Animal Hospital… So many leaps of faith in this story line!
I suppose Jack Elrod was still growing into the strip, based on the sometimes crude drawing we’ve been seeing in these early reprints (e.g. the “flattened” hatching on the tree; the sketchy “fox”; the Doc’s two-toned or ink-stained lab coat; Cherry in general, etc.).
On the other hand, Editor Bill doesn’t seem to care all that much about Andy, and why should he? He has an award-winning writer to promote and a publishing empire to protect. Too bad this was not yet the era of easily-managed remote access. Well, perhaps Ellis could arrange with a local tv station near Mark to record and/or broadcast his acceptance speech and have it played at the ceremony? That would only cost some $5,000 or so, I’m thinking.
Mark: “Look, Bill. I’m not flying to New York for some silly award while Andy’s life is on the line….”
Hospital staffer walks in: “Mr. Trail, here is the hospital bill for emergency services, plus the doctor’s bill for his services, the bill for the anesthetist, and the bill for Andy’s medications,…”
Mark on the phone: “Uh, Bill. Is that a CASH award I’m getting?”
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