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Just Men. The Just Men were created by Edgar Wallace (Viola Beech, Brigand, Wireless Bryce, Felix Carfew, Dixon, Elegant Edward, Inspector Elk, Educated Evans, Four Square Jane, Dixon Hawke, Heine, Felix Jenks, 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 sixteen stories and serials and six novels from 1905 to 1928, beginning with Four Just Men.
The Just Men are Killer Vigilantes. They pursue and kill those criminals who will not be touched by the authorities. As one of Just Men says,
We kill for justice, which lifts us out of the ruck of professional slayers. When we see an unjust man oppressing his fellows; when we see an evil thing done against the good God...and against man--and know that by the laws of man this evil-doer may escape punishment--we punish.
Their previous history includes the killings of thieves, embezzlers, grafters, murderers, regicides, a poet-philosopher (for "corrupting the youth of the world with his reasoning"), a rapist priest, corrupt Presidents of South American republics, and those who are "notorious evil livers." The Just Men are Leon Gonsalez, George Manfred, and Poiccart. Their backgrounds are unknown to the police. Gonsalez has light blue eyes and "restless hands.” He is the more intellectual and analytic of the three. Poiccart is grave, "heavy, saturnine, and suspicious." Manfred has a "grey shot beard" and a monocle and is the more passionate of the trio. He is "cynical, smiling, and sarcastic." They are all well-educated men of leisure, with expensive tastes in food, drink, cigars and other luxuries and with bank accounts to finance their lifestyle. They are laconic, sardonically amused, and witty when not on the job. When involved in planning the deaths of an "unjust man" there is “neither exultation nor remorse in their expressions--only a curious something that creeps into the set face of the judge as he pronounces the dread sentence of the law.”
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