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League of the Watching Eye. The League of the Watching Eye was created by “Grenville Hammerton,” the pseudonym of Frank Shaw (The Duck, Nikolai Ignatiev, Launcester, Master Diver, Phyllis Teacher), and appeared in five stories in The Story Teller in 1910, beginning with “The Case of James Caldecott” (The Story Teller, Apr. 1910).

Sir Mortimer Stirling is a wealthy Englishman who some years ago took up the study of crime, “with a view to elucidating many mysteries that had baffled the minds of the world’s experts.” But although Stirling’s original intent was to become a great detective and hunt down wrongdoers, “as I worked, as I saw how many crimes were but the outcome of a moment’s madness, how almost invariably a sickening self-disgust possessed the criminal…when I saw all this, a feeling of revulsion came to me.” Stirling decided not to solve crimes, but prevent them, and so he and his wealthy friends formed the League of the Watching Eye, which keeps an eye out for good men driven inevitably to crime by cruel Fortuna and her merciless wheel, and then steps in, before the crime is committed, to show the men the error of their ways, and what their crime would do to their lives and the lives of their families, and then to help the men fix their lives.

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