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O'Rourke, Terence. Terence O'Rourke was created by Louis Vance (Faraday Bobbs, Lone Wolf, Dan Maitland, Captain Donald Parr) and appeared in twelve stories and story serials in The Popular Magazine from 1904 to 1909, beginning with “O’Rourke, Gentleman Adventurer” (The Popular Magazine, Mar. 1904); several of the stories were collected in Terence O'Rourke, Gentleman Adventurer (1905), which was filmed in 1915.
Colonel Terence O'Rourke is a strapping Irish lad who decides that freebooting and hiring out as a mercenary is the best way to make his fortune in the world, and so he does, accompanied by his valet Danny, a red-headed Irishman. O'Rourke is tall and muscular, "lean at the flag, trim of leg," handsome, with blue-grey eyes and a laughing smile. He's an experienced and skilled sword for hire, with an honorable discharge from the French Foreign Legion, a sword won in Cuba, a Captain's commission from Greece, and a jewel-encrusted watch courtesy of the president of a nameless South American republic. He is almost superhumanly strong and resilient, and his swordsmanship, martial ability, and accuracy with a gun are among the best imaginable.
He begins as a penniless soldier of fortune who by chance runs into a beautiful French noblewoman, Madame la Princesse Beatrix de Grandlieu. She is in need of help, because her brother has been duped into helping mount an expedition to the North Coast of Africa, to set up the "Empire of the Sahara." O'Rourke is hired by the Princess, and leaves for the Sahara along with several dozen other mercenaries. It ends badly, with the native Tawareks, the "pirates of the sands," slaughtering everyone except the main characters. O'Rourke helps get the Princess and the others back to France, and the Princess and O'Rourke admit that they are in love with each other. O'Rourke goes to the European operetta country of Lutzelburg to rescue the child heir to the throne and kills the usurper who kidnaped the child in a rapier duel. O'Rourke goes to Cairo and stops a plot against the English. O'Rourke goes to Tangiers and foils a blackmail scheme. O'Rourke goes to India and helps a friend. And, finally, O'Rourke returns to Ireland to claim his ancestral castle, but then is forced to leg it across Europe after the kidnaped Princess, finally rescuing her and driving away to Live Happily Ever After.
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