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Brigand. The Brigand was created by Edgar Wallace (Ace High, Viola Beech, Wireless Bryce, Felix Carfew, Dixon, Elegant Edward, Inspector Elk, Educated Evans, Four Square Jane, Dixon Hawke, Heine, Felix Jenks, Just Men, King Kong (I), Larry Loman, Superintendent Minter, Policy Sleuth, Oliver Rater, John G. Reeder, The Ringer, Sanders, York Symon, Tam o’the Scoots, Inspector Wade, Kate Westhanger) and appeared in eleven short stories in The Novel Magazine from 1922 to 1925, beginning with “A Contribution to Charity” (The Novel Magazine, June 1922); the stories were collected and revised in The Brigand (1927).
The Brigand is a Rootless Veteran. He is Anthony Newton, a World War One veteran and former lieutenant of the Machine Gun Corps. Unfortunately, despite his ten years of service in the Corps, he is left unemployed once the war ends. Newton is evicted from his room in London for lack of rent and is forced to con a lunch out of a swank hotel. Anthony is suave, handsome, well-dressed and smooth, and so a con man tries to swindle him out of money. Anthony turns the tables and takes the con man for over a thousand pounds, walking away smiling. From this point forward Anthony begins preying on the dishonest, taking money from those who acquired it crookedly. Newton is assisted in this by Big Bill Farrel, Anthony’s friend from the war and a big, slow, reliable man quite willing to help him in any swindle. After several successes the Brigand persuade a group of young, unemployed veterans to help him; former officers all, they respond eagerly to Anthony’s speech about how it is their duty, as “soldiers of considerable merit and valor,” to rob “the enemies of honest finance and lawful behavior.” Eventually the Brigand, wealthy from his labors, meets and marries the perfect girl for him, after rescuing her from a bigamist.
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