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Gray Phantom. The Gray Phantom was created by Herman Landon (Rufus Brent, Chameleon, Picaroon, Godfrey Usher) and appeared in at least thirty-three stories and serials and five novels and collections from 1917 to 1935, beginning with "Seven Signs” (Detective Story Magazine, Dec. 18, 1917).
The Gray Phantom is Cuthbert Vanardy, and he is a handsome devil, tall, lanky, with a "lean, clean-chiseled" face and "ash-gray" eyes to match the gray at his temples and his gray business suits. The Phantom is more than just good-looking, of course. He's a criminal mastermind.
To the world he was known as a wealthy speculator, and few suspected that his exploits on Wall Street were but an avocation and a studiously calculated pastime that cloaked other and more mysterious activities. To society...he was known as a successful, though somewhat eccentric, business man, one who preferred quiet and intellectual pursuits to the razzle-dazzle with which many others in his sphere of life whiled away their leisure time. But to a few--a very select few--he was known as the Gray Phantom.
He’s a crack shot, a good fighter, and a master of disguise. He always plans ahead, to the point of planting "phosphour-compounds" to create a grey mist, so that people will think the Phantom turned into a column of mist. His exploits are infamous. He steals the Russian Crown Jewels from his European counterpart, the Duke, who is the power in Europe as the Gray Phantom is the power in America. And after some exertion he steals the Indian crown jewels, including the fabled Koh-i-tur, formerly the eye of an idol in Dabaredyh. But the Koh-i-tur is renowned for its curse, and for a short time the Phantom seems to be affected by the curse of the Koh-i-tur. But he is actually afflicted by the “the Voice and the Hand,” the daughter of the Nizam of Dabaredyh, who is plaguing the Phantom to help her father raise money to help the Allies during the War. The Phantom frees himself from the Voice and the Hand and then gives the diamond to the woman, on the grounds that he admires a "worthy foe."
The Phantom is aided by his faithful Indian servant Dulla. The Phantom’s lover is the beauteous Helen, a successful playwright and a crack shot with a pistol.
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