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Crawford. Crawford was created by H. Bedford-Jones (John Bradford, James Bronson, Denis Burke (I), Denis Burke (II), Burket & O’Neill, Peter J. Clancy, Dick Clews, Cosgrave & Lundgren, Riley Dillon, Colin Haig, Pinky Jenkins, Jungle Girl, Tertius March, Say-and-See Smith, John Solomon, Strato-Shooters, Hugh Tyrone) and appeared in four stories in Short Stories in 1933, beginning with “Justice and Melodrama” (Short Stories, Sept. 25, 1933).
Old “Screwface” Hanlon “knew all the secrets of the city” and worked with the underworld. He was wealthy and distrusted, and when he died the criminals of the city breathed a sigh of relief. His nephew, Crawford, grew up in the gutter and fought hard to get free of it. He became a colorless law clerk: “so drab were his features, so unmarked in any way, so devoid of expression or outstanding traits, that if you saw him at all, you pitied his lack of character and personality.” He’s angry at the world, but hides it well. One day, however, a polished Irish girl, Miss Brendan, accuses Crawford’s boss of theft, which Crawford’s boss laughs at. This is the same day on which Crawford learns that Hanlon has died and left everything to Crawford. Crawford abruptly sides with Brendan and quits, and when Crawford’s boss tries to intimidate the pair of them, Crawford lets slip his true self, frightening his boss: “It was not the face he knew, but a vastly different one—so filled with contempt and hatred, so charged with menace, that he dared not move.” Crawford and Brendan team up and become a pair of Robin Hoods.
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