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The Picaroon. The Picaroon was created by Herman Landon (Rufus Brent, Chameleon, Gray Phantom, Godfrey Usher) and appeared in thirty-one stories and serials and nine novels and story collections from 1921 to 1944, beginning with “The Benevolent Picaroon” (Detective Story Magazine, July 16, 1921).

Martin Dale is known to society as a well-heeled clubman and loafer. But to the police and the criminal element he is known as the Picaroon, a dreaded figure, a greedy and skillful thief. His illicit ways began when he was a teenager, when he was wrongfully convicted of a crime he had nothing to do with, and he spent several years in prison. When he came out he was embittered towards society and the law, and began enjoying himself by playing "tricks" on the police. He also plays "tricks" on society, stealing anything of value, from cash to paintings to bonds, from those who don't deserve to have wealth. He doesn't keep the profits from his thefts, instead donating them to the Society for the Protection of Animals unless the victims "voluntarily" donate 10% of the stolen goods' worth to the SPA themselves. He informs his victim of this last part by leaving a card behind, signed "The Benevolent Picaroon."

Dale lives in a luxurious brownstone on Forty-Eighth Street in New York City, assisted by his thuggish valet Bilkins. The Picaroon has a dive apartment in a ruined house on West Third Street, near the L. When things get hot for him, he hides out in Chinatown, in various basements. These help initially, when he terrorizes society, and help even more later on, when he begins helping out troubled women.

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