The Master Criminal

The Master Criminal

by Fred Merrick White

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Overview

The Master Criminal by Fred Merrick White

A collection of 12 stories published serially in The Ludgate, London, Jun 1897 to May 1898, in which the criminal mastermind, Felix Gryde, conducts his nefarious criminal work -- theft, kidnapping, ransom, assassination, fraud -- and he never gets caught. The author's introduction:"The history of famous detectives, imaginary and otherwise, has frequently been written, but the history of a famous criminal—never."This is a bold statement, but a true one all the same. The most notorious of rascals know that sooner or later they will be found out, and therefore they plan their lives accordingly. But they are always found out in the end. And yet there must be many colossal rascals who have lived and died apparently in the odour of sanctity. Such a character would be quite new to fiction, and herein I propose to attempt the history of the Sherlock Holmes of malefactors."Given a rascal with the intellect of the famous creation in question, and detection would be reduced to a vanishing point. It is the intention of the writer to set down here some of the wonderful adventures that befell Felix Gryde in the course of his remarkable career."The Head Of The Caesars (excerpt)The history of famous detectives, imaginary and otherwise, has frequently been written, but the history of a famous criminal—never.This is a bold statement, but a true one all the same. The most notorious of rascals know that sooner or later they will be found out, and therefore they plan their lives accordingly. But they are always found out in the end. And yet there must be many colossal rascals who have lived and died apparently in the odour of sanctity. Such a character would be quite new to fiction, and herein I propose to attempt the history of the Sherlock Holmes of malefactors.Given a rascal with the intellect of the famous creation in question, and detection would be reduced to a vanishing point. It is the intention of the writer to set down here some of the wonderful adventures that befell Felix Gryde in the course of his remarkable career.* * * * *EVERY schoolboy knows the history of the rise and progress of the Kingdom of Lystria. Forty years ago a clutch of small independent states in South-Eastern Europe, the lapse of less than half a century had produced one of the most powerful combinations on the face of the universe. As everybody also knows, this result was produced by the genius of a quartette who in their time made more history than falls to the lot of the most stormy century. For years they kept the makers of atlases busy keeping pace with the virile growth of Lystria.But time brings everything in due course; the aged makers of Empire laid aside the pen and the sword, and death came at length to the greatest of the four, even unto Rudolph Caesar, whom men called Emperor of Lystria. Wires, red-hot with the burden of the message, flashed the news to the four corners of the earth; column after column of glowing obituary were thrown together by perspiring "comps"; Caesar's virtues were trumpeted far and wide. It was the last sensation he was like to make.Meanwhile Mantua, the capital of Lystria, had arranged for a month of extravagant funeral pomp and circumstance fitting the occasion. The papers teemed with the sombre details. The laying in state—a matter of eight days— was to be a kind of glorified Lyceum stage effect. The cold Caesarian clay was to be given over to no vile earthworm, but had been embalmed without delay.All this pageant Felix Gryde had read of in the seclusion of his London lodgings, in Barton Street. The florid extravagance of the Telegraph awoke in him a vein of poetic heroism—daring with something Homeric in it. The slight, quiet-looking man with the pale features and mild blue eyes did not look unlike the popular conception of a minor poet, save for the fact that Gryde was clean of garb and kept his hair cut.A smile trembled about the corners of his sensitive mouth."Here is a chance," he murmured, "for a really clever soldier of fortune like myself to distinguish himself. I can see in this the elements of the most remarkable and daring crime in the history of matters predatory. Here is a handful of glorified dust guarded night and day by the flower of an army. The stage is brilliantly lighted, passionate pilgrims are constantly coming and going. What a thing it would be to steal that body and hold it up to the ransom of a nation."...Frederick Merrick White (1859–1935) wrote a number of novels and short stories under the name "Fred M. White" including the six 'Doom of London' science-fiction stories, in which various catastrophes beset London. These include The Four Days' Night (1903), in which London is beset by a massive killer smog; The Dust of Death (1903), in which diphtheria infects the city, spreading from refuse tips and sewers; and The Four White Days (1903), in which a sudden and deep winter paralyses the city under snow and ice. These six stories all first appeared in Pearson's Magazine, and were illustrated by Warwick Goble. He was also a pioneer of the spy story, and in 2003, his series The Romance of the Secret Service Fund (written in 1899) was edited by Douglas G. Greene and published by Battered Silicon Dispatch Box.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781387148417
Publisher: PublishDrive
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Series: Classic Short Story Collections: Mystery-Dete , #6
Sold by: PUBLISHDRIVE KFT
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 188
File size: 613 KB

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