I'm reading every Aquaman solo adventure in publication order, one per day. After I read each story I'm going to post the cover/splash page and a few thoughts on the story.
Adventure #141 (June 1949) - Return of the Sea Sleuth!
Aquaman starts to teach Phineas Pike how to swim when he notices a stray fishing boat and goes to warn them, only to fall into a trap.
The opening splash page has nothing to do with the rest of the story, except that it shows all three principal characters. Aquaman is tied up and being guarded by two thugs, while Black Jack stalks Phineas Pike, who is studying footprints in sand.
Nice bit of wordplay between Aquaman and Phineas at the start of the story, as Aquaman comments on Phineas' sign ("Sleuth of the Sea/Marine Mastermind/Wizard of the Waves/Phineas Pike/Cases Solved--/Cheap") then tells Phineas he's going to learn how to swim. Aquaman starts to teach him to swim, and says, "Elementary, isn't it, my dear Phineas?" Apparently not, as Phineas still is unable to swim at the end of the tale.
Aquaman follows Black Jack and the phony Aquaman to a water carnival, where Aquaman (the double) is presented with a small box of pearls in honor of the work he does for all seafaring folk. The double was to bring the pearls back to Black Jack, but he's interrupted by the real Aquaman. Phineas figures out that Black Jack wouldn't bother with a disguise for his ship at the water carnival, since a pirate ship would only be expected at a carnival like that.
Finny Friends Report: Aquaman sends a fish to find Phineas, as his sea friends apparently can't open the box he's in. Phineas rides his giant sea turtle, which he calls "Myrtle" in this tale, out to Aquaman's location. Aquaman rides a dolphin as he follows Black Jack's trail. Aquaman puts a lobster in the pearl box which pinches Black Jack when he opens it.
Captured/Knocked Out report: Aquaman is captured in a fishing net when he goes to warn the stray boat that the fishing in the local waters is very poor. Black Jack shows Aquaman his double, then locks him in a steel fish-proof box, which he dumps into Black Bay.
Quotefile: Phineas, looking at a fish that just bit him, "But this is a corealis porcel, native only to Black Bay! Why did it come here, to strange waters? It must have been sent! Deduction -- Aquaman sent it!"
Have you read this story? What do you think?