he Thirteenth Phantom was shorter than most of the
other men of his line... that is to say, he was merely of average height,
though stocky and powerfully built. He was affectionately referred to by later
Phantoms as "the runt".
He was born shortly after the American Revolution. Because his mother was
American, he was sent to the new nation for his education. His mother's family
was a prominent one, so the boy was able to meet George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He grew to be a dashing, romantic young man
and one of the finest swordsmen in the country.
In 1812, he was visiting his maternal grandfather in the Mississippi Delta
when he saved a beautiful, mysterious young woman from a highwayman. They
parted, but Kit couldn't forget her. Against his grandfather's warning, he set
out to find her. After weeks of searching, he traced her to her brother's
estate, where she was locked away. The Phantom was shocked to learn she was
Jeanette Lafitte, sister of the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte.
This was a terrible revelation, as all the Phantoms are dedicated to wiping
out piracy everywhere. But he was deeply smitten with her, and took the risk
of visiting her on her balcony, despite the dangers involved.
Shortly afterwards, he received news that his father lay dying in Bengalla
and he must return home. When he went to say goodbye to Jeanette, he found
that her brother had taken her aboard his pirate ship. Kit swam to the pirate
vessel and braved Lafitte's men to kiss her goodbye and vow that he would
return for her. Then he had to fight the alligators to return safely to shore.
The Thirteenth returned to Bengalla. After burying his father in the crypt
of the Skull Cave, where he would rest with 11 previous Phantoms, the
Thirteenth assumed the identity and duties of the Phantom.
Meanwhile, Lafitte and his men joined the American forces fighting against
the British in the Battle of New Orleans, (during the War of 1812) in exchange
for a full pardon from President Madison. But after the war, Lafitte returned
to piracy, was caught and ordered to destroy his fleet. Because of his service
in the war, he was allowed to keep one ship, and it was on that ship that
(according to legend) he disappeared in the Atlantic and was never seen again.
His true end is known, however, in the Phantom Chronicles.
As soon as the Thirteenth had established himself as the Phantom Bengalla,
he was determined to return to America and keep his vow to retrieve Jeanette.
On open the Atlantic, his passenger ship was attacked by Lafitte's vessel. The
pirates quickly swarmed over the Phantom's ship, despite his own fierce
resistance. During the battle, Lafitte recognized the Thirteenth as his
sister's suitor. Jeanette, emerging on deck, also recognized the Phantom's
voice, just in time to see Lafitte drawing his pistol to dispatch the
sword-wielding Phantom. Before Lafitte could pull the trigger, he was shot by
someone else. His dying words expressed his admiration for the Phantom's
courage, and he gave his blessing to their marriage. Then he instructed his
pirates to follow the Phantom's orders, and he died.
The Phantom instructed the pirates to sail back to Bengalla, where they
joined the Jungle Patrol. (This is well within the unusual traditions of the
Jungle Patrol, which was founded by the
Sixth and the notorious pirate Redbeard.) The Phantom and Jeanette were
married, and Jean Lafitte was buried in a special crypt in Skull Cave --The
Secret Vault of Missing Men.