The Nick Carter Page
by Jess Nevins
The text here, except where otherwise credited, is © copyright 2006 Jess Nevins, and may not be duplicated, in part or in whole, without my permission. The larger images were taken from the Stanford University Libraries Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls site, and may be © copyright 2005 them, or may be in the public domain. The other images were taken from a bookstore's catalogue, and I'm positive they didn't copyright them.
Thanks to: Alicia, as always; John Clute.
Updated 27 January 2002
Updates in blue.
Nick Carter is the most published character in American literature and the second-most published character in world literature, with the exception of Dixon Hawke. This site is meant to provide information on him. (There's no other site on the Internet devoted to Carter, so why not me?)
Nick Carter first appeared in "The Old Detective's Pupil; or, The Mysterious Crime of Madison Square," in the September 18, 1886 issue of the New York Weekly. Ormond G. Smith, the son of one of the founders of Street & Smith, provided the outline of the first story to John Russell Coryell, a dime novelist, who wrote that first story and two sequels and then turned the character to over a dozen writers, who immediately began churning out stories; the character was immediately popular and the demand for him soon outstripped the ability of one writer to produce them. Among the authors who had a hand in writing Nick Carter stories were A.L. Armagnac, William Perry Brown, George Waldo Browne, Frederick Russel Burton, O.P. Caylor, Stephen Chalmers, Weldon J. Cobb, William Wallace Cook, S.A. D. Cox, Frederick William Davis, E.C. Derby, Walter Bertram Foster, Charles Witherle Hooke, William Cadwalder Hudson, George Charles Jenks, Charles Agnw Maclean, St. George Rathborne, Eugene T. Sawyer, Vincent Scott, Samuel C. Spalding, Edward L. Stratemeyer himself, Alfred B. Tozer, and R.F. Walsh. The author who produced the most Nick Carter stories was "Chickering Carter," the pseudonym of Frederic van Rensselaer Dey (1861-1922), a dime novelist who also wrote a number of Jack Wright stories; Dey produced several hundred Nick Carter stories, starting out The Nick Carter Library when it started in 1896.
Nick Carter appeared in the following magazines: Ainslee's Magazine (Nov. 1900-March 1901), Army and Navy Comics (May-Aug 1941), Clues-Detective (July 1936), Crime Buster (May 1939), Detective Story Magazine (Oct 1915-May 1927), Doc Savage Comics (Aug-Oct 1943), Magnet Library (Sept 1897-Feb 1907), New Magnet Library (Feb 1907-June 1933), New Nick Carter Library (Jan-June 1897), New Nick Carter Weekly (June-Oct 1897), Nick Carter Weekly (Oct 1897-Feb 1903), New Nick Carter Weekly (Feb 1903-Sept 1912), New York Weekly (Sept 1886-Aug 1910), New York Weekly Welcome (Aug 1910-Nov 1915), Nick Carter Detective Library (Aug 1891), Nick Carter Library (Aug 1891-Dec 1896), Nick Carter Magazine (March 1933-Dec 1935), Nick Carter Detective Magazine (Jan-June 1936), Nick Carter Stories (Sept 1912-Oct 1915), Old Broadbrim Weekly (Aug-Sept 1903), Secret Service Series (Nov 1887-Nov 1892), Shadow Comics (Mar 1940-Sept 1949), Shadow Magazine (June-Oct 1944), and Shield Series (Sept 1894-June 1895). (This is not including the British story papers his stories were reprinted in.) There was also the radio show Nick Carter; Master Detective, which ran from 1943 through 1955, a series of comic books during the 1940s, a number of movies, and over 250 paperbacks from 1964 through 1990. The paperbacks, though, were the vomitous and contemptible Executioner and Killmaster series, which are "Nick Carter" stories in name only.
Carter is an all-American detective (or "all-American" in the way the authors thought someone would be "all-American") who had a great visual similarity to Eugen Sandow, the famed strongman of the early 1900s. One early story described him in this way:
Giants were like children in his grasp. He could fell an ox with one blow of his small, compact fist. Old Sim Carter had made the physical development of his son one of the studies of his life. Only one of the studies, however. Young Nick's mind was stored with knowledge--knowledge of a peculiar sort. His gray eyes had, like an Indian's, been trained to take in minutest details fresh for use. His rich, full voice could run the gamut of sounds, from an old woman's broken, querulous squack to the deep, hoarse notes of a burly ruffian. And his handsome face could, in an instant, be distorted into any one of a hundred types of unrecognizable ugliness. He was a master of disguise, and could so transform himself that even old Sim could not recognise him. And his intellect, naturally keen as a razor blade, had been incredibly sharpened by the judicious cultivation of the old man."Old Sim Carter," Nick's father, had started training Nick from when the boy was a child; his goal was to make Nick as great a man as possible, and so had put him through a wide range of physical and mental tests and had brought him up to be a perfect physical and mental specimen. This is, in many ways, one of the stereotypical pulp fiction origins, and is recognisable by anyone familiar with later characters like Doc Savage and Tom Strong. However, Nick Carter was there first, and in some ways set the archetype. He's strong--strong enough to "lift a horse with ease...while a heavy man is seated in the saddle....he can place four packs of playing cards together, and tear them in halves between his thumbs and fingers." He's schooled in every possible area of knowledge that might conceivably have to do with solving crime, including the sciences, various languages, art and physiology. He makes use of all the latest technology, including cars, monoplanes, and his own yacht, The Gull. And he uses gadgets, as with the coat of chain mail, a gift of the Mikado of Japan, and the two small pistols held in spring-loaded holsters up each sleeve of his coat.
Nick, as an adult, is an ace detective, righting wrongs--sometimes for pay, sometimes out of a desire to see justice triumph and evil thwarted; his goal is to "aim for the right and for righting wrongs." (He got a chance to do this in his very first case, when Old Sim was murdered. Nick was a mature 24 at that point.) He lives on Madison Avenue and works out of New York City, under the command of Thomas Byrnes (see Broadway Billy's entry in the Detectives section) but travels around the country and the world. He is square-jawed, noble and upright, bronze-skinned, resolutely honest, and never ever ever gives in to temptation; he lives a very clean life, with his only vices being the occasional cigar and beer. (It's been said, inaccurately, that he doesn't smoke or drink. This is incorrect. As J. Randolph Cox, the expert on Carter, has said, "his use of tobacco and alcohol was always in keeping with the image of the gentleman with his after dinner cigar and glass of port or...a glass of beer.") He never even swears. Although he's only 5'4", he's very, very tough. When just being tough isn't enough, he has his revolvers, two of which he keeps up his sleeves in spring-loaders; one jerk of his arms brings them into his hands fully cocked. He has "little steel tools of the finest temper" concealed about his body, along with bowpipes, pinchers, and any other tools which might assist him sometime. Likewise, he's got other gadgets, when need be, including small superexplosives. Nick works in disguise in a few different identities, his favorites being Joshua Juniper and especially Thomas "Old Thunderbolt" Bolt, a "shaggy and unkempt" country detective who had his own office entirely separate from Nick's.
J. Randolph Cox, in one of his excellent indexes on the various Nick Carter magazines, included the following:
There are a number of facets of the Nick Carter stories, even in these early days, which suggests an unconscious influence on one of Street and Smith's later characters, The Shadow. The disguises, the separate identity maintained in another office, and later on (in 1905) there is a private room at police headquarters where someone waits at the end of a special communication line for word when Nick. The response, "On deck, sir!," to Nick's call was reversed to The Shadow's "Report," when he would call Burbank or one of his agents from his secret room. Likewise, the method Nick uses in Nick Carter Library #90, "9-19-29, or, Nick Carter and the Policy Sharpe," 22 April 1893, to assume another identity is suggestive of The Shadow. Nick sends a message to a known figure in Wall Street to "disappear," thus making it possible for him to replace the man without arousing suspicion.Nick is assisted by Patsy Murphy, who is later renamed "Patrick Garvan" after a newsboy who helps him on various cases of his own. Patsy is a bootblack (or, alternatively, a newsboy) who proves his mettle as a fighter and detective in a number of cases. Patsy did yeoman's duty in a number of cases and eventually met a beautiful South American, Adelina de Mendoza, who was to become Patsy's wife and a very valuable agent for Nick, being a born actress and quite skilled at disguise. Nick adopts Chickering Valentine, a teenaged Nevada ranch hand and Nick lookalike, and Chick (now "Chick Carter") begins helping his father solves crimes (as well as doing it by himself). Chick also compiles a book on the value of evidence which is published in 1913. Chick's cousin, Cora Chickering, appears and assists Nick on a few cases. Nick is also helped by the brilliant schoolgirl, Ida Jones (whose cousin, Rita, an Ida-lookalike, had turned to crime years previously). Later on Pop-eye, a street waif, assisted Nick, as did Jack Wise, a sometime-replacement for Chick and Patsy. Sometimes government agent Conroy "Con" Conners loaned a hand. On occasion Nick's cousins Nellie and Warwick "Wick" Carter also pitch in, as do Nick's butler Peter (and later Joseph) and his chauffeur Danny Maloney. Early on, in Nick Carter Weekly #168 (17 March 1900) and following, Nick is helped by Ah Toon, private bodyguard and royal detective to the Emperor of China. On international cases Nick is helped by Yvonne, the Countess of Tierney, an adventuress with several similarities to Sexton Blake's Mlle. Yvonne de Cartier. While in France Nick is helped by M. Gereaux, the "acting chief of the Paris secret police." In Japan Nick is helped on a case by "Talika, the Geisha Girl," who is also a detective. Later in his career he is helped by Demetrius Rackapolo, a Turkish secret service agent.
Nick's home life was not tranquil, however. At the end of his first storyline, on 11 December 1886, Nick has met, wooed, and won Ethel Dalton. Not long thereafter, in "A Wall Street Haul; or, A Bold Stroke for a Fortune" (12 March to 18 June 1887, New York Weekly), Coryell's sequel to "The Old Detective's Pupil," Nick is married to Ethel. During the story the detective Matt Solomon is trying to solve the theft of $3 million from the 15th National Bank on Wall Street, but Solomon is suffering from competition on the case from another detective, Harvey Jones. It is only near the end of the story that Ethel Dalton Carter recognizes her husband, Nick Carter, beneath Harvey Jones' makeup. Then, in Coryell's third (and last) Nick Carter sequence, "Fighting Against Millions; or, The Detective in the Jewel Caves of Kurm" (29 September 1888 to 19 January 1889, New York Weekly), Nick and Ethel are now the parents of a baby boy named Ralph. Ralph is kidnaped by an enemy out to ruin Nick's reputation as a detective, and Nick is forced to cross Asia and go to the kingdom of Kurm to retrieve Ralph. After "Fighting Against Millions" Ethel was a semi-recurring character in the series, but Ralph was not mentioned. In 1901 the editors of the Nick Carter series nodded at their tasks, and Ethel was referred to as "Edith" for thirty-five weeks, from Nick Carter Weekly #228-262, 11 May 1901-4 Jan 1902. Then, in Nick Carter Weekly #384, 7 May 1904, Ethel was killed off during a drawn-out battle with Dazaar (see below). The narrator, some years later, says this of Ethel: "Patsy's love for Ethel had been the worship accorded by a boy to a woman who had been more than a mother to him. She had been foully murdered when Nick Carter was away from home, and--Nick put the memory of it resolutely aside."
Nick had brief relationships with other women in his stories, such as Clarice (in Randolph Cox's words, "by turns ladies maid, countess, and detective"), but nothing long-lasting, and he never remarried. In one story, "The Crime of a Countess, or, The American Detective and the Russian Nihilist," (Magnet #5 & New Magnet #942) Nick mentions his twin sons, but they never reappear. Chick, too, loses his first wife, Bertha Mortimer, to a violent death at the hands of Zelma the Female Fiend (see below), but he marries again, to Leila Loring and they have a son, Trimble, who also ends up helping Nick and Chick and becoming a solo detective in his own right. Leila disappears from the Nick Carter stories very quickly, however.
In Nick Carter Weekly #40, 2 Oct 1897, Nick "retires" to found a "detective school for boys." The school was meant to teach boys (teenagers, really) how to be detectives, so they could go out and be like Nick Carter. Among its students were Bob Ferret, the youngest of the school's students, Jack Burton, Roxy the Flowergirl (a spunky tomboy who came to the school from a circus and who was the equal of any two boys), and Buff. All of the graduates are earnest and energetic and physically strong and, of course, willing to help Nick as much as possible. Only a year later Nick goes back to investigations, the Detective School students going off to Riverdale Academy. In Nick Carter Weekly #327 (4 April 1903), Nick takes on another assistant, Ten-Ichi, the son of the Mikado, who came to the U.S. to study the detective business and automatically took up with the Carters. ("Ten-Ichi" isn't his real name, of course, but is one that he was told to assume, although it is one "to which I have a family claim.") Ten-Ichi speaks perfect English, has great disguise and mimicry skills, has various gadgets he brought with him from Japan (like "polpa powder," which could "put an entire regiment to sleep") and is a jiu-jitsu expert--almost as good as Nick himself. Ten-Ichi eventually marries June Lamartaine, a French woman, in Nick Carter Weekly #460 (21 October 1905); such miscegenation was quite rare in 1905, and one can only wonder at the public reaction and the politics of the writers who created it. (Like Leila Loring, June Lamartaine disappears from the stories immediately after the wedding.) On various occasions Nick was helped by Con Connors, a Secret Service Agent. Nick's Madison Avenue mansion (whose top floor sometimes contains prisoners Nick does not wish to turn over to the police immediately) is managed by Mrs. Clawson and then Mrs. Peters, with one Joseph acting as Nick's valet. Danny Maloney, as mentioned, was Nick's chauffeur. In later years Joseph was replaced with a series of Filipinos, none of whom lasted more than an issue or two. Finally, Nick had Pedro, a Cuban bloodhound of extraordinary intelligence and abilities.
Pedro the Cuban bloodhound will sound familiar to anyone who has read my Sexton Blake page. Blake, too, had a bloodhound named Pedro. The similarity between the two was not coincidental. Beginning around 1906 Street & Smith, the publisher of Nick Carter, came to an agreement with Amalgamated Press, the British owners of Sexton Blake; each company would allow the other to rewrite the stories of their most popular hero. So American writers were given Sexton Blake stories to rewrite as Nick Carter stories, and vice-versa. But Pedro, surprisingly, was not one of the by-blows of this arrangement. Sexton Blake's Pedro debuted in Union Jack in September, 1905. Around a year later, in New Nick Carter Weekly #469, "Pedro, the Dog Detective, or Nick Carter's Four-Footed Assistant," Nick Carter's Pedro arrived. While Pedro did appear during the period in which Street & Smith and Amalgamated were swapping stories, "Pedro, the Dog Detective" was, according to at least one Nick Carter specialist, definitely a Frederic Dey story, and nobody has ever accused Dey of needing to rewrite someone else's stories. But, according to Randolph Cox, the leading Nick Carter authority, Dey read the Union Jack story in which Pedro first appeared and was inspired to add a similar dog to the Nick Carter stories. (Much later Nick acquired Captain, a police hound.)
Nick not only solves mysteries, however; he has a few encounters with the uncanny and fantastic. In a 1906 story Nick found a tribe of Mexican "Indians" who lived in a city of solid gold. In a 1907 story he encountered a lost city in the Tibetan Himalayans. The city is in a wonderful valley surrounded by impassible heights. The natives are blond-haired and white-skinned who have black eyes and particularly narrow minds. They are mute by choice, speaking only when forced to. Naturally, they refuse to allow anyone to leave their city once they've entered. (Don't worry, Nick gets out.) The natives are masters of "vibrational science;" by use of the "Law of Vibrations" they can align themselves with a person's "specific frequency" and kill them. They can communicate with each other by "specific vibrations," and the city itself is tuned to one tone. The natives also have highly advanced science; they draw electricity from the air itself and use it to power their aircraft, which are constructed of an extremely flimsy, transparent material. (Shades of Wonder Woman's Invisible Airplane)
In the 1907 The Index of Seven Stars; or, Nick Carter Finds the Hidden City (which appeared in New Nick Carter Weekly #529) Nick rescues two people from a gynocratic Lost Race in the foothills of the Andes somewhere in southern Bolivia. The unnamed Lost Race is of mixed Indian and Old Norse (!) descent, but not much other information is given about them or the Hidden City of the title. In Seven Stars' sequel, An Amazonian Queen; or, Nick Carter Becomes a Gladiator (New Nick Carter Weekly #530, February 23, 1907), Nick, his assistants, and the two individuals he rescued in Seven Stars are floating down the Bermejo River on Nick's steamer when a team of the Lost Race knock them out with a kind of gas and take them back to the hidden city. There the Queen of the Lost Race, Zaidee, a beautiful six foot tall woman of Indian descent, confronts Nick. She speaks Old Norse, which would usually be a challenge, but since Nick also knows Old Norse (Old Sims' education was quite thorough) they can talk. Zaidee's armies of Amazons are going to conquer the world, and Zaidee wants Nick to join them. Nick refuses and is drugged and then thrown into a gladiator's arena. Nick jumps up from the arena and drags Zaidee down into it and forces her to fight him. She's a good swordswoman, and Nick is fully occupied keeping himself alive without hurting her. But because he's better with the sword than she is (but of course) he beats her, which he then learns means that he is engaged to marry her. This nonplusses him, and he has barely recovered from this shock when Zaidee's younger sister Carma approaches him. Carma is younger, more beautiful, and blonde...and more highly sexed, attacking Nick, who barely escapes being raped by her. Nick nonetheless falls in love with Carma, which outrages Zaidee, and civil war threatens, but Carma, aware of a secret exit from the city, smuggles herself, Nick, and the others out of the city. At the end of the novel he announces that he will marry her. Carma does not appear in later novels, and her fate is unknown; to quote Robert Sampson, "Nick may have married her and turned her into a Manhattan housewife, or, more likely, they loved and parted."
Carter's other exposure to the fantastic came in a series of six linked dime novels: "Facing an Unseen Terror; or, Nick Carter's Day of Blunders," "Idayah, the Woman of Mystery; or, Nick Carter's Fourfold Problem," "The Making of a King; or, Nick Carter Faces His Greatest Mystery," "The Empire of a Goddess; or, Nick Carter's Wonderful Adventure," "Zanabayah, the Terrible; or, Nick Carter's Struggle with the Victic King," and "The Seven-Headed Monster; or, Nick Carter's Midnight Caller" (New Nick Carter Weekly #533-538, March 16-April 20 1907). Nick runs into a Lost Race of black-eyed, very blond (almost white) people who live in the Sacred Valley in Nepal, an area where the Nepalese natives never go. They are ruled by their princess (later queen) Idayah, who is almost a goddess to them. The Lost Race (nameless, as were the Andeans) have greatly advanced science (not that that stops Nick from doing his two-fisted thing when he encounters them); they are masters of electricity and vibration, and can control "vitic energy" (life force). They use a variety of drugs which have a wide range of effects--some good, some bad--and use "dumb birds," flying machines which are powered by the "gaseous residue" of the super-element Currieonium. Those who use the dumb birds often wear suits inflated with the Currieonium gas. Nick helps Idayah and fights and kills Zanabayah, the magician of the Lost Race who is a master of vitic energy, can use vitic energy to shock those who touch him, and can disguise himself to an even greater degree than Nick is capable of, although Zanabayah can't fool Chickering Carter. (Nick's first fight with Zanabayah, however, is short and sweet; Zanabayah throws Nick around and has no trouble beating him; Nick kills Zanabayah purely by chance).
No proper account of Nick Carter could be complete without a listing of his enemies, a Rogues Gallery for the ages. Foremost among them, of course, was Dr. Jack Quartz, who actually preceded Professor Moriarty chronologically and is a significant (if little-known) prototype for fictional arch-villains. The second best of the villains was Dazaar the Arch Fiend, the beautiful criminal mastermind, who was capable of throwing a jack-knife across a street and having it land point first in a door lock. It was never quite clear who Dazaar was, as she was an expert of disguise and had trained six other people to assume the identity of Dazaar while she went on her merry villainous way, killing people by inserting radium into the sweatbands of men's hats or by using the Maiden of Steel (a deadlier version of the Venetian Iron Maiden) or by throwing hand-made knives at them from hundreds of yards away. Sometimes Dazaar claimed to be a Tibetan lama from "that mysterious country lying north of India." Other times she claimed to be a Russian princess named Irma Plavatski. At all times she was dangerous.
Some of the other villains appeared repeatedly, among them Burton Quintard, Nick's first recurring adversary--many of Nick's enemies had names beginning with Q--and the gambler Dan Derrington, although none recurred as often as Quartz or Dazaar. Some only appeared once or twice, although this did not stop them from making their mark. There were the aforementioned Queen Zaidee and Zanabayah, dangerous inhabitants of Lost Worlds. There were the six Dalney brothers, natives of upstate New York who were all much stronger than Nick; they were given to vivisection and to the uncouth habit of collecting people's skeletons by ripping them straight from their bodies. There were the six Bulwer sisters, three sets of identical twins who were all possessed of a quite unnatural speed, skill, and accuracy with handguns; they worked in a Washington, D.C. circus as the masked "Ace of Hearts" and used identical looks and skill with guns to carry out crimes as well as perform feats at the circus. There was Scylla the Sea Robber, the Queen of the Sirens, a female pirate who helmed a yacht staffed by an all-female crew; Scylla was more beautiful and deadlier than Anne Bonney and was one of only two women ever to penetrate one of Nick Carter's disguises. And there was the "Baroness Latour," aka the adventuress Mademoiselle Valeria, an adventuress not dissimilar to Sexton Blake's Mme Yvonne de Cartier; Valeria, like Mme Yvonne, owned her own yacht (the Idaline), indulged in kidnaping and other crimes, and was a formidable foe for Carter. (Mme Valeria, however, was deadlier than Yvonne; she was quite willing to murder to get what she wanted. She was also willing to undergo paraffin injections as well as other means to change her appearance and maintain the "Baroness Latour" disguise, since she was a notorious crook and wanted around the world. Her skill at disguise and impersonation was good enough to fool Carter himself, while she saw through Carter's disguises. She was also a chemist of no small ability, being capable of creating poison gasses.)
There were Nick's many female opponents, like Princess Olga, Zelma the Female Fiend, and Zanoni the Woman Wizard. They were all beautiful, all extremely capable, and all homicidal and amoral. And by homicidal I mean very bloodthirsty; when Nick Carter tells Zanoni not to try to "make love" to him, to get her out of jail, Zanoni responds with:
Have no fear, my pretty man, my cornucopia of driveling goodness. When I make love to you, it will be to your articulated skeleton--to your empty, fleshless skull--to your heart preserved in alcohol and your liver thrown to the dogs.And Zanoni is by no means the worst of them, although she has the cachet of being Dr. Quartz's pupil.
Some of the others...well, best to just list the names and let you get a sense of their nature: the kidnaper and "wicked woman" Princess Tanza; "Princess" Clotilde, "the most dangerous woman in New York City;" the Criminal Queen; Lotus Benson, the Smuggling Queen, Nick's second recurring adversary after Burton Quintard; the Beautiful Sorceress; Bob Ferret, the crooked Texan cowboy; the Hip Ling Tong; Cora Reesey, alias Madame Ree, James Dorrant, and their band of wily Russian thieves; Sindahr, the Arabian crook, who was also the first man to dub Nick Carter "the Little Giant;" Captain Sparkle, the yacht pirate--he robs only yachts, using his personal submarine to do so; Codman the Poisoner, creator of his own poisons; Princess Olga, the tiger-chief of the Russian Nihilists; Zelma the Female Fiend, who killed Chick's first wife, Bertha Mortimer, before the wedding finished; Ordway the Unaccountable Crook, so-called for his seemingly random methods and m.o.s--there was no accounting for what he might do next; Madge Morley, the Dangerous Woman; Black Madge (who ran a gang of hobo thieves), Mad Madge, Madge Morton, and Gypsy Madge; Sang Tu and the Yellow Tong (see below); Praxatel of the Iron Arm, one of fiction's first cyborgs; Black Madge; Zanoni Galena, aka "Zanoni the Woman Wizard," the murderer of her own sister, a beautiful femme fatale of "a thousand and one devices," endless hypnotic power, a great deal of chemical knowledge (the better for making poisons), and no scruples whatsoever; Hans Pretzel, the 300-pound killer; Princess Possess, perhaps the most insane of Nick's enemies; the Bird of Paradise, a beautiful adventuress and thief; Diana the Arch-Demon; Cora Dalney, the strongest person, male or female, in the entire world; and "bare-faced" Jimmy Duryea, the "gentleman burglar" and one of Nick's cleverest foes, although the comparison some make between Duryea and the immortal Zenith the Albino is surely unwarranted--Duryea is not even in the same league as Zenith.
But wait! We're still not done. There was Guild Benham, the Spider (a mere burglar, unfortunately); Andy Drake, the "English cracksman" and the head of the International Crook League; Gustave Rogler, a genius of crime, comparable to Professor Moriarty, and a man who left a symbol of vengeance, a purple spot, on the foreheads of his victims; John Garrison Rayne, "a latter-day Dr. Quartz;" "French Jimmy" Lebeau, a French crimeleader and arsonist; any number of world-wide criminal organisations, including the aforementioned International Crook League, the Order of Associated Crooks, the Confederated Criminal Trust, the Society of Assassination, the Order of the Python, the Arson Trust, and the reformed Order of Associated Crooks, and the reformed, more widespread and organised Criminal Trust; the Italian Black Hand, the precursor to the modern Mafia, led by the Italian crimelord Bellini, and who Nick went undercover as "Marco Spada" to fight; Inez Navarro, the "beautiful demon," a psychotic Spanish beauty; Livingston Carruthers, a Dr. Moriarty-type, who trapped Nick in a burning house and teamed up with Inez Navarro; Morris and Maitland Carruthers, Livingston's two brothers who showed up after Livingston's death, fought Nick, and died, one after another, with Livingston Carruthers, Jr., Livingston's son, showing up years later to plague Nick; Roland W. Creighton, a former police inspector drummed out of the service for corruption, who became known as the master criminal known as the Mawker and the Mocker, the latter name for his annoying tendency to leave mocking notes behind him; the Society of the Triangled Coin; Gaston Dupont, a student of Dr. Quartz and the closest thing to Arsene Lupin that Nick Carter ever came to encountering; Dan Derrington, Jr., as cunning and slick a confidence man as his gambler father; Madame Paula Turvanieff, the wife of a Russian secret police agent and spy, and a woman much more cunning and bloodthirsty than her husband; Tony the Strangler, who always kept a pet cobra on his person and whose twelve-foot-long giant anaconda accidentally strangled Tony's sister, Eugenie La Verdes, and nearly put paid to Nick, before eating Tony himself; Mignon Duprez, an adventuress and spy, and agent of an international conspiracy; Harvey Logan, aka Kid Curry, the "outlaw associate of Butch Cassidy;" Eulalia, the Bandit Queen; Lucien Legarde, the "Prince of Plotters" and another Lupin-alike thief; Dr. Gordon Quigley, another Dr. Quartz reprise, albeit a short-lived one; the Hip Ling Secret Society, aka the Hip Ling Tong; Philip Pommery, alias Pommery Sec or Fiz; Kairo the Strong, the "Human Cyclone;" the Red Spider, a thief and carjacker; the Yellow Spider, a Chinese crimelord in San Francisco; the Tong of the Tailless Dragon; Dema the Dangerous; Captain Satan, the Unknown; the Order of the Philosopher's Stone, a a group of society crooks led by Alfred Knox Atherton; and many others.
Finally, there were the team-ups. Nick met his fair share of real-life figures: Tsar Nicholas of Russia in Nick Carter Weekly #380 (9 April 1904), Eugen Sandow in Nick Carter Weekly #384 (7 May 1904), and Teddy Roosevelt (Nick Carter Weekly #616, 17 Oct. 1908, among others), Nick also teamed up with fictional characters. New Nick Carter Weekly #525 (January 15, 1907) saw Nick team up with Ted Strong (see his entry under Boy Heroes), with Nick being mentioned in the January 19, 1907 issue of Ted Strong's magazine, Rough Rider Weekly. Nick teamed up with Old Broadbrim (see his entry under Detectives) three times in Old Broadbrim's own magazine, Old Broadbrim Weekly #46-48 (8-22 August, 1903). Similarly, in Nick Carter Stories #151-153 Nick clashed with the "Yellow Tong," a group of Chinese villains with a marked similarity to the Brotherhood of the Yellow Beetle, that Yellow Peril conspiracy led by Prince Wu Ling and successfully opposed by Sexton Blake. The "Yellow Tong" was led by "Sang Tu," a figure with an equally marked resemblance to Prince Wu Ling himself. Nick, in one story, remarks that a murder scene reminds him of a scene from an Anna Katherine Miss Amelia Butterworth Green novel. In another story (Nick Carter Weekly #380, 16 April 1904) Nick meets the Irish detective Charles O'Malley ("in French it is Malet"), who is very similar (coincidence, surely) to the lead character from Charles Lever's Charles O'Malley, the Irish Dragoon (1838), a novel which was Frederic Dey's particular favorite. In Nick Carter Weekly #656 (24 July 1909) Nick teams up with Joseph Petrosino, who dies in the story. And in the Malay novel Cheritera Kechurian Lima Million Ringgit (Tale of the Theft of Five Million Dollars), written some time between 1908 and 1914 but not published until 1922, the Malaysian author Muhammad bin Muhammad Said described a duel between Nick Carter and John C. Sinclair, aka Lord Lister. (Go to the Lord Lister entry for a longer description of the story.) There were lots of Nick Carter pastiches, of course, and Muhammad Said went on to write several more Nick Carter stories, but this was the only one with a crossover.
Novels - Nick Carter, Detective: The Solution of a Remarkable Case
The e-text of Nick Carter, Detective: The Solution of a Remarkable Case, from the Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls site.
Great Spy System, or, Nick Carter's Promise to the President.
The e-text from the Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls site.
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