Mazaratto’s Universal Elixir (continued . . .)

The search was on. Units of every air fleet on the planet flew round-the-clock, low-level probe sorties. Habitations ahead, skipper. A gathering of people outside that small town ahead. Looks like some kind of fairground. Below, a small-town fair was in progress. The largest crowd was gathered around . . . Doctor Mazaratto, my friends ! Professor of Science at the University of Zoll, inventor of this—The Universal Elixir . . . All eyes swept upwards at the roar of engines. And then, it happened . . . Hey !— Look ! Two armed skymen descended upon the fair—and confronted Dr. Mazaratto. What—what is this ? Mazaratto, you're under arrest, and your entire stock is confiscated !
The pedlar of cure-all medicine was brought face-to-face with Elekton's top scientist, and Peric gave the charlatan the tongue-lashing of a lifetime. Fool ! Dolt ! Murderer ! We have tested your confounded rubbish, and found every bottle to contain enough radioactive material to poison the brain cells of the inhabitants of a city the size of Trigan ! You should be sent to the slave mines for life ! For life, do you hear ! I . . . I . . . The only consolation is that the toxic effect upon the brain cells is only temporary, which means that we are not left with a sizeable population who otherwise would have to be kept under forcible restraint for life ! I . . . I . . . What is the formula for your confounded rubbish anyhow ? A little colouring, a drop of something to make it taste unpleasant. The rest is merely water, plus a little faith and gullibility ! And from where do you obtain the water ? Well, the last batch of medicine I made up, I used water from a spring near Trigan city . . . Dr. Mazaratto guided them to the source of his last water supply. That's it—lovely fresh spring water. No harm in that. Take a sample and analyse it ! Stringent tests produced the dramatic verdict . . . This water is almost pure radioactivity of the most potent type ! But a greater shock awaited Peric. When the source of the contamination was traced right back, it ended with . . . Sir, the stream that feeds the spring runs close by the ruins of your laboratory which blew up two lunar months ago when that mass of radioactivity became unstable. You mean —I'm responsible ? The irony of the situation was not lost upon Elekton's greatest scientist. I failed to anticipate the danger. How then can I blame a fake medicine man ? I shall recommend that Mazaratto be set free.

This installment was originally published in Look and Learn issue no. 807 on 2 July 1977.