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Pringle, Romney. Romney Pringle was created by “Clifford Ashdown,” the pseudonym of Dr. John Jones Pitcairn (Dr. Wilkinson) and R. Austin Freeman (Humphrey Challoner, Danby Croker, Phyllis Dudley, Doctor Thorndyke, Dr. Wilkinson), and appeared in thirteen stories in Cassell’s Magazine and Windsor Magazine in 1902 and 1903, beginning with “The Assyrian Rejuvenator” (Cassell’s Magazine, June 1902); six of the stories were collected in The Adventures of Romney Pringle (1902).

Romney Pringle is a thief. He is known publicly as a literary agent, but he is remarkably unbothered by would-be writers. He is a cool customer, unhampered by friends, lovers, or other hobbies, and untroubled by worry even in the most pressing of situations. The whole of his life seems to be devoted to his crimes. Pringle is no ordinary thief, however. He preys on other criminals, not civilians. Pringle is adept at disguise, and through the use of simple artifice (altering his hair and face and stature with the help of wigs, make-up, and clothes) he robs blackmailers, steals from diamond thieves, and robs a man trying to have a wealthy relative committed to an insane asylum.

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