Author: Bob Kane
On his nightly prowl, Batman rescues a man who has been pushed out a window.
"Well, I'm going to assume he's a goner. It would take too much effort to lean out the window, check to make sure there's a body, and say something pithy." Thugs today. No work ethic.
Later, we learn that the man Batman has saved is the New York representative of the Page Oil Company. Apparently somebody's trying to wreck the company. Batman never bothers to ask who, but the answer strolls into his living room the next morning anyway, in the form of Bruce's... well, not girlfriend, but current romantic interest, I guess. Linda Page. Last time we saw her, she had quit being a boring rich girl to become a nurse. Now it seems that her father is "having trouble down at his Texas oil fields," which sounds dirty, but isn't. Turns out that when not boating in Kentucky, Tom Page is running the Page Oil Company.
Bruce is well aware that money is the only thing anybody ever wants from him.
Linda explains that her father's rat-faced partner, Graham Masters, wants to push Tom out of the company before the gusher ups the stock price; and that "strange accidents" have been happening. Yeah, like getting accidentally shoved out a window. Bruce's response is that he needs a vacation, and Texas does sound nice, what with all the oil and the murder and the corporate intrigue. Linda tells him, "Well, watch out for those big, husky Texans!" Which sounds dirty, but... actually I don't know what the hell that means.
The Wayne Rolls rolls itself across America, over the Appalachians, down to the Mississippi, and finally into the domain of the Page Oil Company (with Dick in the trunk, which sounds... nevermind). The minute Bruce walks into the main office, he realizes he got there not a moment too soon, as Graham has been strangling Mr. Page for about half a day now and he's almost finished.
Note: This is how Texans ask each other to dance.
Bruce, misinterpreting Graham's careful leg-stance and subtle romantic invitation, ends up giving him a few knocks on the head and tossing him outside. All the while bizarrely claiming that his punches and kicks are "accidents" and that he's just a harmless playboy, don't pay him no mind.
Afterwards, Bruce learns that Mr. Page has been told to sell out by midnight or be killed. "That kind of thing only happens in story books!" says Bruce. That head wound you feel is from the dramatic irony.
Meanwhile, Graham is outside, talking to Chuck, his "chief strong-arm man", which sounds dirty, but isn't. The plan? Chuck will attack Bruce, causing a diversion, under the cover of which Graham's men will abduct Mr. Page. It sort-of works. Bruce, inexplicably dressed in a white suit now, manages to humiliate Chuck by shoving him down in the mud. But he's still not paying attention to the office.
Note: The semi-automatic pistol favored by gangsters in the 1940s, the Browning M1911, is a fine hand-gun, used by the US army for decades. This particular variant, the M1911-B, is half as expensive, shoddily constructed, and comes with a hair trigger that goes off at the worst possible time.
Page isn't dead (yet), and they drag his bleeding body out to the Iron Jungle. Batman, unaware, finds Dick and the two change costumes. Meanwhile, Samnang, who got a dime a week in Cambodia to color Batman comics, was just realizing that he didn't know how to read English.
"Chuck--c'mere--quick--look who's here! A woman! Haven't seen one of those in months!"
They kidnap Linda, jump into her car, and race off to the Iron Jungle. But one of the Page oil tankers roars after them, driven by Robin and bearing a deadly cargo:
Interrogatives won't save you now, punk!
Batman punches the kidnappers, grabs Linda, and leaps back to the tanker. Note: when driving away from armed thugs, it's a bad idea to use a car full of flammable oil.
This is what happens when you let minors drive.
Our heroes (carrying Linda) leap out at the last possible second. Batman leaves the others behind to go after Graham. Following the villains into the "dense, semi-tropical undergrowth"--clearly the authors have never been to Texas--he spots Mr. Page tied at the top of an abandoned derrick. Only one thing to do!
Note: Lightning will strike the tallest conducive object around, like a huge rusty oil derrick. Batman's okay, though; if lightning strikes it'll probably just kill Page.
Once he's high enough, Batman ties a rope between his ankle and his derrick, which sounds dirty, but isn't. Then he jumps off into space, swinging toward Page's derrick. Unluckily, Graham and Chuck are watching. Graham's hair trigger goes off again, several times, and one of them severs the rope, but Batman's momentum still carries him to the other derrick, which is full of goons.
Note: Batman believes in doing unto others. Do not cross him.
Meanwhile, down below, Robin is fighting off more goons in an attempt to get to Batman. He gets the old knockout-via-pistol-whip treatment, and Chuck and his thugs bring him up the derrick elevator, intending to let the boy burn with Page. This brings them closer to Batman, however, a tactical error that no goon ever makes twice. Seeing our heroes on the elevator from above, Graham cuts the cord holding them up. The shaft gives way (which sounds dirty, but isn't) and he achieves the exact opposite of what he'd intended--Batman and Robin manage to grab hold of the derrick girders, but Chuck and the rest plummet to their deaths.
Batman climbs up to Page, and unties him just in time for the entire derrick to crumble. Everybody falls, inexplicably saved by a big oil puddle. Ew. Page has other concerns, however:
There's a "I drink your milkshake" joke in here somewhere, I just know it.
As Batman races off (for reasons that make no damn sense, only Batman is apparently brave enough to trigger the explosives) to trigger the explosives, Graham struggles up from the oil to commit one last evil deed. Luckily, Robin is there to put a stop to it. The two struggle--Graham tries to shoot him--his arm is forced back--
"Except with bullets. Bullets in the head. Head shot.
As his protege gloats over his stone cold murder, Batman presses down the plunger on the explosives; the resulting blast narrowly misses a swiftly-passing road-runner. It does, however, unleash a torrent of oil.
Yay! The oil company is safe! Now it can get back to doing all those charitable works, like donating free oil to the ocean.
Having saved Linda's life, father, and inheritance (in that order), Bruce is naturally looking to take her out, maybe go to a movie or something. Then he runs into that whole "secret identity" thing again.
Note: you're a bitch.
Will Bruce ever solve his troubles with Linda? Will Batman ever win her heart? Do criminals know that he's on vacation? Like, are the Gotham gangsters having a big ol' party without him? These are the questions Bruce and Dick ponder on their long drive home. These are the questions that probably won't be answered if you tune in next week!
By the way, "The Secret of the Iron Jungle" (which sounds dirty, but now we know isn't) is a terrible title. There never was a secret! What a bizarre and boring story this was.