The Bradley Boys, Tom and Jack, are teenagers who decide to go explore nearby Jug Mountain, and promptly get lost. They make themselves a rough cabin, and learn to shoot a bow and arrow, so they get food. After a couple of chapters they encounter a felon hiding in the woods. They know he is wanted for bank robbery, because he shows them a wanted poster he carries around (for identification?), though he claims innocence. He lives in a cabin in a tree. It looks just like the kind of cabin you would see sitting on the ground, except it’s way high up in a tree, perched preposterously amid the branches.
The boys move in with Harry Matson, and the series takes on a fairly strong homoerotic subtext. Not only do they wander around barely clothed and all sleep in the same bed, but the three are shown wrestling frequently. Harry gets attacked by a grizzly bear, which the boys lasso, and they manage to tame the creature and it becomes their pet.
Some hobos see the three, and go to the sheriff, as there are rewards, both for the lost boys and the bank robber. For the last half of the run the sheriff would be trying to catch the three.
Many of the issues have the subtitle “in the wilderness”, but a couple have “at the fair”, after the boys find a poster for the state fair. They put together an act, with Harry getting the bear to dance, and the boys “tumbling”, and head to the fair. They run into a woman, Nita Noble, whose routine is about to get cut, and she hires them to join her act.
Nita and Harry go on a date, and the boys get very jealous, but as the fair moves on the boys get caught by the sheriff at last. They manage to escape, jumping into a river and swimming away, but the current is very strong, and in the last chapter the sheriff fears they may drown.
For those who have read my other posts, you know I would usually concur with this statement, but I figure we do not actually see the kids drown, I think they made it away, and spent the rest of their lives living in a cabin up in a tree deep in the woods.
Bradley Boys: More Fun 13 – 27 (Sep 36 – Dec 37), 29 (Feb 38)