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Noel, Dorus. Dorus Noel was created by Arthur J. Burks (Professor Barter, Black Falcon, Duff Braden, Jack Brady, Edward D’Strange, Harlan Dyce, The Guillotine, David Haslup, Eddie Kelly, Josh McNab, Allan Swain) and appeared in eleven stories in All Detective Magazine from 1933 to 1934, beginning with “Death of the Flute” (All Detective Magazine, Apr. 1933).
Dorus Noel is a Sinophile, white by birth but Chinese by inclination and choice. He spent many years in China and learned much about China and the Chinese, and when he returned to New York City, his place of birth, he joined the N.Y.P.D. and took on a special job: being the secret officer in charge of keeping the peace in Chinatown. Towards this end he took a house near the intersection of Pell and Mott Streets, so as to better monitor Chinatown. His house is a thing of much interest, filled with “synchronized clocks, dragon screens in corners and numerous wall paintings. One of the clocks had been given originally to Emperor Cit’leu Lung by Louis XV of France. Many other valued treasures filled his study.” Noel reports only to his nameless superior, who reports directly to the police commissioner. Noel’s legal powers are far beyond the average policeman, and his secret telephone number is known only to his boss and the commissioner. Noel is fluent in many languages, is a good detective, and is an expert in jujitsu.
Noel has no wife, and is served by only one man, but Noel’s enemies in Chinatown regularly break in to his house and kill his servant, so each story features a new figure serving Noel. Noel is twenty-six and is handsome with reddish-brown hair. His skin is yellowed because his time in China has “inoculated him with the virus of the ancient land.” On his chest are three parallel, horizontal bars, an inch in length, crossed by a diagonal slash. These are the Chinese characters for “ruler” or “master of men,” and had been burned into his skin in China by Chu Chul, “the Cricket,” Noel’s Chinese Yellow Peril arch-nemesis, who has the distressing habit of returning from seemingly certain death.
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