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Shmerl. Shmerl was created by the Russian author Venjamin Kaverin (The Fifth Wanderer, Nevorozhin, Panaev, Shvarc, Reginald Stejfors) and appeared in Konetz Khazy (1925).

Shmerl, a.k.a. “The Turkish Drum,” is a criminal mastermind and the leader of a gang of bank robbers. They plan to break into the safe of a government bank, but to do so they need a steel specialist. But the gang kidnaps the wrong specialist. The gang needs a stenographer, but the one they kidnap—Pineta, who Shmerl is in love with—has an ex-boyfriend, a political prisoner, who escapes from jail and goes looking for Pineta. When he learns that she is Shmerl’s prisoner, he enlists the aid of a prostitute to help him rescue Pineta. But just as Pineta is rescued, the prostitute’s jealous boyfriend, Pjatak, tries to kill the prostitute but kills Pineta instead. The heist goes wrong, Shmerl and his gang are caught, and the ex-boyfriend goes back to jail.

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