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Ruff, Peter. Peter Ruff was created by E. Phillips Oppenheim (Peter Benskin, General Besserley, Stanley Brooke, Joseph P. Cray, John Dickens, Nicholas Goade, Malcolm Gossett, Peter Hames, B. Jasen, Gerald Jennerton, Algernon Knox, Ambrose Lavendale, John T. Laxworthy, Baroness Claire Linz, Joseph Londe, Mannister, Lucie Mott, Sanford Quest, Aaron Rodd, Monsieur Sabin, Michael Sayers, Jasper Slane) and appeared in twenty stories in Pearson’s Magazine from 1909 to 1911, beginning with “An Interrupted Supper Part” (Pearson’s Magazine, Sept. 1909); the stories were collected in Peter Ruff and the Double-Four (1912) and Recalled by the Double-Four (1912).
“Peter Ruff” is the pseudonym of an embittered young man with a grudge against society. He was a smart second-story man who managed to make a fair profit by his crimes. But he fell in love with a wealthy young woman and decided to go straight. Unfortunately, he was found out by Scotland Yard and abandoned by his fiancee. Ruff decides to pay back Scotland Yard by posing as a private detective while hiring himself out to desperate people to commit crimes on their behalf, although Ruff only takes on the most difficult and interesting cases. He is assisted by Violet Brown, a struggling actress who is in love with him and is willing to help Ruff in his crimes. (They end up falling in love and marrying). Ruff is pursued by detective John Dory, who married Ruff’s former fiancee.
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