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Furbush, Elmer. Elmer Furbush was created by Will Payne (Blue Sky Company, Addison Humphrey) and appeared in four stories in The Saturday Evening Post in 1915 beginning with “The Crow’s Nest” (The Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 2, 1915).
Elmer Furbush is a Con Man. He is a twenty-something Midwesterner who, in the 1890s, gets rich very quickly as the “oats king.” He is a fraud, and it is eventually revealed that his oats scheme is “the rottenest failure ever known on the Board of Trade—which was saying a great deal. He had robbed his customers, swindled his associates. Creditors finally got two cents on the dollar, and there was hot talk of an indictment.” But Furbush goes to London for three years, and people forget. Then Furbush returns, and gets involved in another stock swindle, this one involving a Building and Loan Association. And when that one fails, he gets involved in another, and another.
Furbush is young, energetic, and given to dangerous, sullen moods. He is flashy, and loves showy clothes and the newest technology—automobiles and such, anything to make the sheep baa in admiration. But he takes no real joy in his accomplishments, just as he has no guilt for the sheep he shears.
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