Modesty Blaise - The Gallows Bird

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Modesty Blaise - The Gallows Bird
Modesty Blaise - The Gallows Bird 003.jpg
Series Modesty Blaise
Release date 1973
Country Britain
Studio The Hall Syndicate
Writer Peter O'Donnell
Artist Enric Badía Romero
No. of scenes 3
Damsels Modesty Blaise
Bindings Ropes
Positions Wrists behind back
Gags Handgag

The Gallows Bird is the 26th story of the British spy-thriller series "Modesty Blaise" running from 1963 to 2002 (both as comic strips in newspapers and full story volumes). The Series focuses on the adventures of the eponymous former criminal working for the british secret service.


Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin, on holidays in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, witness a murder and get involved in an extortion scheme. After trying to help a man that is followed by several thugs they find that dispite their help he ended up dead, hanged. When reporting the crime at a local police station they run into an FBI Agent that Modesty had an affair with a while ago. He confides in them that someone is extorting the goverment, threatening to blow up dams around new orleans to drown the city, filled with visitors from all over because of Mardi Grass. The demand is 2 Million Dollars and the State has agreed to pay the money. He on the other hand is against paying and hopes that Modesty and Willie might find something out.

When the widow of the man, who turns out to be a diver, asks for Modesty and Willie to visit them they run into an older Gentlemen introduced to them as General Lapporte and his much younger wife called Blanche. The two out of the blue invite both Modesty and Gavin to their Mardi Gras Party. The two quickly find clues connecting the General and his wife to the murder and the extortion scheme, ending up in Modesty shadowing Blanche and Willie following the General. Modesty gets caught because the General and Blanche suspected the two would try to follow them. Modesty gets her wrists and upper arms bound with rope while they wait for the General to arrive. Suspecting that Willie might hide in the Car the handgag Modesty before making a suprise search of the generals car, not finding anyone.

Blanche (whose father got hung for murder and now wants to inflict the same on any people standing in her way), has set up a gallow and wants to kill Modesty by hanging. She has her feet restrained when Modesty stands on the trapdoor, then flips the lever. As Modesty plunges down Willie (who followed the general without getting caught and slipped into the building) is waiting for her underneath, catching her before the rope can break her neck and rearranges the knot quickly so its strangle hold is loosened. He has then to step back, hoping that Modesty can keep her neck muscles tensed up enough or at least hold her breath long enough, as the villains step up to the trapdoor to have a look at Modesty. As soon as they are gone he rushes up to her to cut her down, untieing her.