"The Mist: Act One": In May 1939, a German captain named Baederstadt and his son dock their ship New Hope. They try to get themselves logged in with Mr. Diletto but Diletto refuses to log them in since they are non-union. Baederstadt's son Frederic tells Diletto that he has kept them waiting lon

Quote1 Well, ain't you just turnin' into a little detective? Quote2
Lt. Burke

Sandman Mystery Theatre #37 is an issue of the series Sandman Mystery Theatre (Volume 1) with a cover date of April, 1996.

Appearing in "The Mist: Act One"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




  • New Hope (cargo ship) (Destroyed)

Synopsis for "The Mist: Act One"

In May 1939, a German captain named Baederstadt and his son dock their ship New Hope. They try to get themselves logged in with Mr. Diletto but Diletto refuses to log them in since they are non-union. Baederstadt's son Frederic tells Diletto that he has kept them waiting long enough and he has cost them a day because they can't afford union labor. Diletto logs them in for unloading but he tells the Germans that they won't receive any help from his union labor. Later that day, Mr. Happy reports to his boss George Cohen about the Germans who forced their way into dock usage without hiring union labor. Mr. Happy reports that this has been happening more often because the supreme court outlawed sit-down strikes and scabs have been working non-union at the docks.

Mr. Cohen won't allow the Jewish mob's control over the United Dock Workers union slip away any longer and Mr. Happy has a solution. Mr. Cohen doesn't want to risk making an example out of the Germans because that will attract too much attention nor does he believe that Mr. Happy's mad scientist with his invention can pull it off. Mr. Happy convinces Cohen that if Jonathan Smythe's invention doesn't work then they don't lose out but if he can pull it off then the sinking of the German's ship will look like a clean accident. Mr. Happy and Smythe head to the docks where Smythe expresses that he has no interest in the shady politics of the union but he will a provide a service which can further his research. Mr. Happy writes of Smythe's convictions as Canadians being freeloaders in the US. Smythe explains while setting up his device that he asks for large sums of money because his scientific pursuits must be realized before old age gets the best of him.

Smythe knows that criminals are willing to compensate him greatly for his services since his innovations have been scoffed at by the scientific community. Smythe activates the device and a strange ray hits the hull of the ship. Mr. Happy hears voices and tells Smythe to speed up the process before they are caught. Smythe puts the device to its maximum potential which causes a tube to break from the device overheating. Mr. Happy tells Smythe to pack up and leave with him but Smythe says the device gave the ship a minute in a half of exposure which wasn't long enough for a desired effect. Baederstadt hears the two criminals arguing but can't make them out from the dark. Baederstadt tells them to leave the docks before he calls the police. Mr. Happy tells Smythe that his device better have worked or he won't receive any payment.

Later that night, Cohen has a meeting with his associates who argue about their occupation within the dock unions. One associate feels that Mr. Gerard's argument is flimsy because unions nets higher costs and favoritism. Now, the supreme court has decided that the unions can't strike which leaves the mob with no power. Another associate agrees with Don's statement that they need good labor for low rates with or without unions. Cohen tells his associates to rest assured that the United Dock Workers have the mob's best interests at heart. Cohen promises that the biggest trading companies to the smallest ships will soon learn the cost of opposing the will of the union. The New Hope sets sail and Baederstadt was in the galley when the hull sprang a leak. The hull cracked from the pressure and the New Hope sank within minutes. Frederic and his first mate Hans speculate that the ship must have been hit by a torpedo but didn't hear the impact. Baederstadt was lost to the rush of water that flooded the galley.

The next day, Cohen and Happy talk about business until they were interrupted by Smythe who overheard the sinking of the New Hope. Happy reports that no one survived the tragic event. Cohen tells Smythe that he may require Smythe's services again but Smythe says that he has other pressing engagements but he will make time for the mob if he's in need of more capital. On the other side of town, Ross O' Donald engages in a conversation about the unions with prosecutor Larry Belmont. Ross asks Larry if he would be willing to partner up in cracking down the Jewish mob's influence at the docks. Larry laughs because he would leave such matters with Prosecutor Dewey who has had attempts on his life when he went up against Dutch Schultz. Ross explains that ever since Lepke, Gurrah and the garment trucking fiasco, the mayor has asked Ross to put an investigative team together. Larry tells Ross that he may sit in on the meeting between the mayor and Ross' team but he has to see with his daughter Diane as well as her infatuated pursuer Wesley Dodds.

Wesley Dodds feeds his seagull companion Chester who has been following Dodds during his voyage from North Hampton, England. Dian Belmont brings up that sailing the Atlantic during early Spring has been a romantic journey for the both of them. Dian then notices a body floating on a barrel. The ship's crew picks up the body from the water and Wesley's curiosity becomes peaked. Wesley and Dian get Captain Travers attention and ask about the castaway. Travers reports that the sailor was a part of the New Hope crew. Travers writes off the sailor as a Nazi supporter because when the doctor examined the sailor, he was cursing the Jews for the New Hope's sabotage.

Dian and Wesley arrive in New York City and they notice Lt. Burke waiting for the German castaway to be carried out. Burke gives Dian a condescending remark to Dian because she has a knack of turning up when trouble is around. Burke has been assigned to safeguard the castaway until the FBI arrive to question him. Wesley and Dian then spot Humphries, Dodd's chauffeur, waiting for them with a car. Wesley talks about eating a bad meal in Nottingham and a peculiar dream he had while Dian observes a band of soldiers unloading a few crates from their ship. Humphries drops off Dian with her father while he drives Wesley to his home. Dian asks her father if he knew anything about the military being at the docks. Larry replies that there is an event being sponsored by the Department of the US Army. They will be holding a conference to review submissions for new war devices which could mean big defense contracts for those chosen.

The next day, Dian pays a visit to the Dodds residence where she is greeted by Humphries and Dodd's cook Etta. Dian goes to Wesley's study where she pulls down a faux book that activates a secret doorway to Wesley's private workroom. Dian informs Wesley about the military conference. Wesley tells Dian that he was made aware of it when he got home last night. Wesley has been asked to be a judge at the conference. Meanwhile, Smythe performs another experiment with his device on live poultry. Unfortunately, the ray from the device causes the chicken to explode. The chicken's clucking from the agony gets the attention of Smythe's landlord Mr. Downs. Downs knocks on Smythe's door to find out what is going on but Smythe gives Downs his 3 days of late rent so Downs would leave without the need of coming in. Smythe observes Downs going to the lower level where he talks to Mrs. McKenna about her husband being late on the rent. Mrs. McKenna knows exactly how to pay off the rent so she asks Downs to come inside. Smythe grabs his device and attempts another experiment by aiming it at Downs' car.

To be continued next issue.


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