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Manners, William. William Manners was created by Robert W. Chambers (Cardigan, Rue Carew, Francis Gilland, Green Mouse Society, Westrel Keen, Special Messenger, Percy Smith) and appeared in five stories in The Saturday Evening Post in 1907, beginning with “Diana’s Chase” (Saturday Evening Post, June 8, 1907).
William Manners is a Superhuman. William Manners is an upper-class American ninny who finds it too difficult to quit smoking and finally consigns himself to the care of the famous Doctor Duncan. Doctor Duncan cures Manners of smoking, through the “absent treatment,” which consists of Duncan “worked a sort of mental rabbit’s foot” on Manners, thus removing the mental and physical need for tobacco from Manners’ mind and body. Manners decides to see if he perform the “absent treatment” on other people. He can. Manners’ new ability of mind control works, and he bestows/inflicts new convictions and urges on both friends and acquaintances. Unfortunately, Manners remains an upper-class ninny, and few of his victims are (at least initially) the better for his treatment of them, and wackiness ensues, especially when the other members of club to which Manners belongs become aware of Manners’ new abilities.
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