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Smith, Silent. Silent Smith was created by “Day Keene,” the pseudonym of Gunnar Hjerstedt (Tom Doyle, Herman the Great, Kitty Keene, Matt Mercer), and appeared in nine stories in Dime Mystery Magazine and Detective Tales from 1940 to 1945, beginning with “Mr. Smith’s Flying Corpses” (Dime Mystery Magazine, Dec. 1940).
Silent Smith, sometimes called “the Silver Fox,” is a quasi-legal power in New York City. He began small, as a boy, shining shoes and selling papers and peddling gimcracks, and through hard work became The Guy Behind The Guy in the city. Well, hard work, and skill at gambling. “For the last forty-five years he had gambled, gambled on men as well as on the more predictable games of chance such as horses, dice and cards.” Smith gambles on boys, as well, orphans without homes or parents. Smith stakes them to a start, and when they grow up, whether they are policemen or mouthpieces for lawyers, they remain his boys, and help him however they can.
Smith doesn’t speak much, and is “sixty and looked forty. He was a dapper little man with kindly eyes and silvered temples.” He wears a four carat, square cut diamond in his tie. Among his enemies is a group of Nazi Evil Surgeon Mad Scientists loose in New York City.
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