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Pagan, Billy. Billy Pagan was created by the Australian author Randolph Bedford (Jack Wagstaff) and appeared in six short stories in The Grand Magazine in 1905 and 1906, beginning with “The Bardoc Finn” (The Grand Magazine, Aug. 1905); the stories and four others were collected in Billy Pagan, Mining Engineer (1911).
Billy Pagan is a Great Detective. He is a mining engineer and prospector who lives in the Australian outback in the 1880s and 1890s. He is resourceful, a close observer of people and events, quite logical, and capable of Sherlock Holmes-like feats of deduction. So when he is told about a criminal act, or witnesses one, he uses his skills and knowledge to solve the crime. He is “yellow-haired, blue-eyed, of medium height and great breadth of shoulder, a little inclined to fleshiness–that was the outward man; the pleasant exterior held a strong, kindly, shrewd and honest personality.” “His strengths were tirelessness in pursuit of anything, a marvelous capacity for detail; the foresight of a great chess-player; and the analytical mind of a scientist...his great weakness was a belief that he could write.”
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