A regular Horatio Alger, he is…

Oh, Doc…  do you get to star is a story now?  Well, this ought to be interesting…  Day 345, Doc on porch, regaling us with still more stories of a bygone era…

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Working his way “through veterinary school…”  that’s very impressive, Doc…

I wonder why we never got to meet Mrs. Davis, Cherry’s mom?  How is t that Mark took up residence at Lost Forest?  That Rusty came to be in their charge?  So many questions!!  So few answers.

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…aaaand CUT!

Apparently Mr. Allen can’t take a hint…

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Mark, really?  You always say that??  Is that only when YOU don’t have to do the cooking? Finish with some vague reference to a dead catfish getting eviscerated by a bald eagle, and NOW we are out.

Poor Sarita…

She suffers from what is known as RBF… Resting-Bitch-Face.  Even as Mark flashes his Pepsodent Smile in the third panel, I bet she’s still glowering at him…

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But seriously?! Ahn-Chee-LA-Thas?  Because her name ees Sarr-REE-Ta?  And Mark that’s a super lame joke… When have Prairie Dogs ever been on the menu?  Unless you are a Black-footed Ferret, which is what drew you out to South Dakota in the first place!  OK, I think we are done here… can we leave now?

Clip one, Clip two, and we’re out…

By know it’s not even news to say that images are recycled… Heck, I’d probably do that too if I were in charge of a daily…  and I won’t waste my time and energy looking for exact matches, but trust me kids, they are out there…

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So with Mark heading back to Lost Forest early, Cherry will have to send her boyfriend (I’m sure she has one, right?) packing… OK maybe not… but still, I can do without all the hugging, nose-touching and other forms of honey-cafuddling that are sure to ensue upon his return.  Remember, gang, he’s been gone a day…  and the more likely response would be, “Hey, what are you doing home?  Would it have killed you to call me, especially after the FBI called here to report that you once again got your sorry ass in a bind?”

Well, at least the Eagle came to its senses and found a dead (cat)fish to pick off the lake surface to feed the hungry eaglets…  Much as we want to believe otherwise, Bald Eagles are for the most part scavengers, not the fearsome and aggressive hunters we have in mind…  They recycle Nature’s offerings and even Man’s cast-offs…

Oh, heck ya!

… as we say in Minne-soota.  Considering that only a day (or two at most) has transpired, I am sure that Mark’s return flight isn’t for a few days, at least!!  Let’s get after them dogs!!

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Look at the faces on Jimmy and Sarita.  They look positively, I don’t know… nonplussed.  As if bank-robbing kidnappers make their way through their home on a regular basis…  Like this is no big deal.

So, as Sheriff Stober puts another notch on his gun belt, he will put this into his “Why I Deserve to be ‘Lawman of the Year’ and get Re-elected” file. Heck… I’d vote for him.  But what about the FBI?  The guy with the putting-green hair style?  Was their role in all this only to describe Sheriff Stober and the fact that he carries a tomahawk?  So that said tomahawk could come into play, breaking Baldy’s hand and turning the tables?  That’s a lot of government salary and taxpayer money to basically ignore a kidnapping and bank robbing situation.  Or is it the fact that it was still a local matter, the misanthropic highway-people hadn’t crossed a state line yet?

So do we get back to Dirty and the Diamonds now?  I am waiting to see where this goes before I open a new Category… I have been head-faked before…

Like the groundhog, Mark lives to fight(?) another day…

Unlike Mark Trail of yore, we are only treated to wildlife art every now and then… When Dodd and Elrod held the tiller, it was worked into damn near every installment.  So as we are treated, below, to a Bald Eagle fanning on an attempt to secure dinner for his brood, we are reminded of what a wimp Mark has turned into…

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“Gosh, yes, Sheriff, whatever would we have done if you hadn’t come along??”  Sounds like something Rusty would say, not Mark.  Mark used to be able to take care of himself.  But no longer, apparently.

At least one of the loose ends is tied off…

Ah yes, the horses…  As I recall, Sheriff Stober commandeered most if not all of the herd in pursuit of the Bank Robbers, who will remain nameless, it would seem.  I also recall that Mark, Lone Elk, Baldy and Blondie each had a mount as well…  Let’s hope they were included with the “other horses” referenced…

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And is it just “Sarita?”  Not Sarita Ryan?  Aren’t they married?  Or did Jimmy just find her somewhere roaming the Badlands in search of a life mate?  When will she realize that she is Cherry’s twin sister, separated at birth, who has an equal right to the estate of “Doc” Davis, which includes millions of acres of protected land in the Northern Georgia Mountains, otherwise known as “Lost Forest?”

Speaking of Lost Forest, we will probably be treated to a reunion of sorts with the Trail clan, after Mark and Lone Elk get back to checking out the Black-footed Ferret population on the Res…