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White Rook. The White Rook was created of Hugh Kahler (Joker, Justice Syndicate) and appeared in eight stories in Detective Story Magazine and Best Detective Magazine from 1918 to 1931, beginning with “White Rook’s Pawn” (Detective Story Magazine, Oct. 1, 1918); three of the stories were collected in The White Rook (1927).
The White Rook is Enfield Bray, a safe-maker who decides, purely for fun, to begin committing crimes. He does not steal for profit--he never sells what he steals, and what he steals he keeps in a concealed safe in his mansion. Because Bray has a certain style about himself and his crimes, he leaves behind hand-carved ivory chess pieces–rooks–at the scenes of his crime, so that the police would know that he and no one else was responsible for the crime. Bray is pursued by Raybolt, a policeman working out of N.Y.P.D. Headquarters. Raybolt was originally a mere beat cop in "Breck Village," but his work on a murder case was so impressive to Bray that he pulled strings and got Raybolt promoted to the N.Y.P.D. Detective Bureau. Raybolt hunts for the Rook, but likes and gets along with Bray; Raybolt is not a Lestrade, but a serious, competent cop. Bray is blackmailed by two different men, who force him into stealing for them, and after Bray is free of them he is pursued by the Committee of Thirty-Three, a criminal syndicate who wish to blackmail him. Bray eventually smashes them and finds true love and retires the White Rook.
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