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Smith, Whispering. Whispering Smith was created by Frank Spearman and appeared in a number of stories, a novel, and six films from 1906 to 1951, beginning with “The Fight in the Cache” (Saturday Evening Post, July 28, 1906).

Whispering Smith is a detective for the railroad who tries to bring modern detective methods to the western frontier at the turn of the 20th century. Smith is in charge of the “special service on the mountain division,” and keeps a room at Medicine Bend. Smith is something of a badass. He’s a hard man who knows the land well and is known and feared by all the criminals in it. He’s willing to cut a deal with a small crook to catch a bigger crook, but he has some limits: “Now shall I break your arm, or will you behave yourself? You’ll have to come with us. If I had ever done you a mean turn I would not say a word. I have left you as free as the wind here, making only the one rule–to let the railroad alone.”

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