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14th Phantom
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The Fourteenth Phantom
The Fourteenth Phantom traveled to Australia around 1828 , accompanying the ailing painter Paul Gaudain. They were searching Gaudain's wife, Hannah, who had been sent there from paupers' prison. When they arrived, they were appalled by the conditions suffered by the prisoners. They were told that Gaudain's wife had died, but the story did not ring true to the Phantom.

Searching the outback with an aborigine guide, they found her alive and happy, living with a secret tribe. Hannah was delighted to be reunited with her husband and she revealed to him the location of a secret spring of healing waters. Gaudain swam in the waters and regained his health.

To express his gratitude, the artist painted two pictures for the Phantom. One was of the distinctive Wuluti Rock, with a hidden map on the back revealing the location of the tribe and the healing waters.

The other picture was the only known painting of the unmasked Phantom. He posed unmasked, both in native garb and in his Phantom costume. This painting was lost, but eventually was recovered by the Twenty-First Phantom and placed in a very secret location in the Skull Cave.

The Fourteenth died in a catastrophe involving the Jungle Patrol and a corrupt first officer. He became the last Phantom who was publicly known to be the Commander of the Jungle Patrol.

By this time the legend of "The Ghost Who Walks" was well-known throughout Africa, Europe and the United States. Although we have no proof, there is evidence that the idea of an immortal jungle leader may have intrigued at least one American, writer-Edgar Allan Poe. Known as a master of the bizarre and the unusual, could Poe have been toying with the legend of the Phantom in these lines from, "Dreamland"?

 

For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis - oh 'tis an El Dorado!
But the traveler, traveling through it,
May not - dare not openly view it;
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

 

Interestingly, the dictionary defines the word "Eidolon" as . . . a phantom!

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