Mazaratto’s Universal Elixir (continued . . .)

Later that day, Peric looked up from his laboratory bench, to see Janno—and a strange burden. Who have you got there ? Janno ! Whatever ? . . It's Roffa. I think he's gone insane, Peric. We'd better secure him safely before he recovers consciousness. His pupils are widely dilated. Heart and pulse rates phenomenally high. Our friend is in a state of extreme tension—as when one is fighting for one's life against some tremendous peril. Most astonishing ! Precisely what happened ? I was driving him to the air fleet base. I thought he was in rather a jumpy state. Kept telling me to slow down on bends, not go too fast on the straights—that sort of thing. And when we came to a hairpin bend on the mountain road—he leapt at the wheel . . . Janno continued: “Howling like a maniac, he fought to get the wheel from me !” No ! No !—He shan't kill me —he shan't !
“Only one thing saved us both from destruction . . .” Uuuugh ! Sorry, old friend, but . . . If I hadn't managed to knock him out with one lucky blow, the both of us would have ended up in the wreckage of the auto at the foot of the cliff ! And you say that he was fighting to get the wheel—to save himself ? Before Janno could answer, Roffa's eyes flickered open. As soon as he saw his erstwhile friend, he cried out. Aaaaaaah !—Look out for yourself, Peric ! He'll kill you ! He's mad !—Mad ! The more they tried to calm him, the more frantic grew his cries. Roffa, you've got it all wrong. Liar ! Murderer ! You deliberately leapt out of that auto and sent it hurtling to disaster ! If I hadn't managed to grab the wheel to save myself . . . A jab of a needle, and his ravings ceased. Aaaaah . . . Aaaahhhh . . . There. He'll sleep for the rest of the day and wake up with a bad headache. And then we'll try to get to the bottom of this business. I am beginning to see a pattern emerge. This is the fourth such case that has been brought to my notice. The fourth ? Then you think ? . . I think that the disastrous attack upon the Trigan Bay bridge . . . The case of the rooftop sniper . . . And the destruction of the airliner . . . Are all in some way connected. And so is this present business with Roffa. We must find that connection, my friend— before worse disasters take place !

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 805 on 18 June 1977.