By Ray Cummings (1887-1957; HERE).
Illustration by Joseph Sekell.
First appearance: Private Detective Stories, November 1947.
Short short story (5 pages).
Online at Archive.org starting (HERE) and finishing (HERE).
(Parental caution: Mild profanity.)
"Blackmailing is such a despicable crime. It depended so wholly on the human weakness of its victim."
In stories like this one, the cast list is so small that the only mystery which can be invoked is exactly how the protagonist is going to solve the central problem, blackmail in this case . . .
~ Robert O'Malley:
"It was just one of those things—a big, raging, self-confident killer—and O'Malley had misjudged it."
~ Gracie O'Malley:
"Do you think you can get my bracelet back from him?"
~ Jim Torgson:
". . . a swaggering, shifty adventurer, unreliable, unscrupulous . . ."
- Being the uberpulpster's uberpulpster, Raymond King Cummings has and will continue to turn up on this weblog; our latest meeting with Cummings was "Trapped by Astronomy" (HERE) a few months back.