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Memling, Dirk. Dirk Memling was created by Rupert Hughes and appeared in eighteen stories in The Popular Magazine from 1910 to 1913, beginning with “The Kidnapped Monument” (The Popular Magazine, May 1, 1910); the stories were collected in The Amiable Crimes of Dirk Memling (1913).
Dirk Memling is a Lupin. On leaving art school he had a great future ahead of him as a “statuary of the first quality,” but a commission he had been depending upon was recalled, leaving him with a “magnificent bankruptcy.” Quite by chance he encounters Herman “Hermes” Brown, a light-fingered pickpocket who speaks like the uneducated and unintelligent (though possessed of a surfeit of cunning) Brooklynite he is. Hermes teaches Memling the basics of pickpocketry, and Memling provides a perfect alibi for their crimes, for Memling’s appearance screams upper class and higher education, and no policeman ever suspects him. Eventually Memling is apprehended by True Love and becomes a painter.
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