Friday, November 17, 2023

"The Set-up Was Perfect!"

Continuing with our detour into perfect crimes, we return to one of our favorite uberpulpsters as he explores how things can go wrong with a killer affecting . . .

"That Well-Groomed Look."
By Ray Cummings (1887-1957; FictionMags HERE).
First appearance: 'G-Men Detective,' May 1947.
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go to text page 78).
(Note: Text faded but readable.)
(Parental caution: Violence.)

   "It looked as though nobody could ever discover the slip-up in George Dufois' perfectly-planned act of murder, and yet—"

"It is a sad thing to think of," said Dorian Gray, "but there is no doubt that Genius lasts longer than Beauty." George, however, is here among us to show how that isn't necessarily true . . .

Typos: "Suprisingly"; "the captial"; "It's safety".

Main characters:
~ George Dufois:
  "A conceited ass, without the nerve to do anything but admire himself in the mirror! And you think I'll risk ten thousand on you?"
~ Alton Kane:
  "Stingy old buzzard! Okay, he was asking for it!"
~ Sergeant McFee:
  "Them's nice shoes you got on, Dufois!"
~ Peter Jackson:
  "It was Kane's only close neighbor who had arrived."

References and resources:
- "pearl-gray spats":
  "Spats were worn by men and, less commonly, by women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They fell out of frequent use during the 1920s. Made of white cloth, grey or brown felt material, spats buttoned around the ankle. Their intended practical purpose was to protect shoes and socks from mud or rain, but also served as a feature of stylish dress in accordance with the fashions of the period." (Wikipedia HERE.)
- "at the haberdasher shop":
  "The word haberdasher appears in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It is derived from the Anglo-French word hapertas. It is debatable what hapertas meant, but most likely it was some type of fabric or assorted small ware. A haberdasher would retail small wares, the goods of the pedlar, while a mercer would specialize in 'linens, silks, fustian, worsted piece-goods and bedding'." (Wikipedia HERE.)
That's future U.S. president Harry Truman in his haberdashery in the 1920s.
- If you're interested in real-life perfect crimes then find a few (HERE).
- Our last visit with Ray Cummings also had a perfect crime theme; go (HERE) for that.

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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