by Carroll John Daly
An envelope full of money and a request to join his client at a tough nightclub downtown brings Race Williams face to face with many of the swarthy faces of crime. The shaded, dirty lights of the “Egyptian Lure” allows the Confidential Agent to slink his way through the club, assessing every hardened jaw and rosy-cheeked dame for his potential client. Suddenly, a young dancer is taken unwillingly in a dark corner of the club by a gang of narrow-eyed thugs, but Race Williams is a paid man, and uneasy about abandoning his client. Just then, another dancer informs him: the girl was his bankroll, and now she’s been kidnapped. But the dancer, a good girl named Bernie, paid Williams for action, and that’s what she was gonna get. Story #18 in the Race Williams series.
Carroll John Daly (1889–1958) was the creator of the first hard-boiled private eye story, predating Dashiell Hammett’s first Continental Op story by several months. Daly’s classic character, Race Williams, was one of the most popular fiction characters of the pulps, and the direct inspiration for Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.
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