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Carson, Trader. Trader Carson was created by “John Barnett,” the pseudonym of John Reginald Stagg, and appeared in ten stories in Windsor Magazine and Blue Book Magazine in 1912 and 1913, beginning with “A Gamble With Death” (Windsor Magazine, Dec. 1912); the stories were collected in Trader Carson (1914).
Trader Carson is an Africa Hand. “Blue-funk” Carson is a wandering trader in West Africa:
He himself was responsible for his queer nickname. It was his habit to speak of himself as a shivering coward. Time and again he journeyed almost alone in search of trader where no other white man would have thought of venturing without an armed escort; and when he returned from one of those wild expeditions, and was for once persuaded to speak of some exploit in which a cruel death had literally grinned at him, he would invariably say: ‘I was in no end of a funk, you know—a real blue funk!’ That was how he had won his nickname. It was a title of honour in cities and in lonely trading stores, from the surf-washed coast-line to the dime interior, wherever white men wrestled with the climate, the natives, and strange devils.
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