Santa Flora was a country in South America.
In the early 1940s, Presidente Del Rio took office in Santa Flora, and undertook an ambitious program of agriculture reforms. At his own expense, he established several model farms, and traveled to New York City seeking financing for this project. This program had widespread support among the abjectly impoverished peons, but was opposed by several greedy Santa Floran land owners, most notably Don Carlos and Don Jose. An attempted assassination of the new president was foiled by a visiting American businessman, Terry Sloane.
Several weeks later, the landowners abducted and drugged the real Presidente, giving him amnesia, kept him around as a valet, for laughs, and set up an imposter, Don Carlos, to visit the U.S. in his place. Happenstance had it that Del Rio's good friend Terry Sloan was along on the same steamship voyage, although at first he too was taken in by the landowners' ruse. But over the next few days, in New York, as the fake Presidente publicly misbehaved, drinking heavily and gambling stupidly, Sloan became suspicious. Soon the colorful American adventurer Mister Terrific took an interest in the case. He investigated and found evidence of the plot to discredit Del Rio, and developed an antidote for the amnesia pills, with which he restored Del Rio's normal memories and personality. Terrific then used makeup and hair dye to impersonate the impersonator of the Presidente, and drugged the two main conspirators with a truth serum of his own invention. This caused them both to blurt out incriminating information and reveal the murderous plans that both of these backstabbers had for each other. Dons Carlos and Jose had some problems from the U.S. State Department after that, while Presidente Del Rio procured the financing needed to launch his scientific farming program.
Points of Interest
- Del Rio's Model Farms
- Presidente Del Rio, "The Lincoln of Santa Flora"