Wealthy heir by day, at night Jimmie Dale dons a costume and becomes "The Grey Seal," daredevil safe cracker and footpad -- he never takes a thing, but leaves behind his mark, a grey seal of paper. When a woman catches him in the act her blackmail demands that he put his talents to use against criminal organizations!
desk, picked up an envelope that lay upon it, and, turning again, dropped into the nearest lounging chair.
There had been no doubt in his mind, none to dispel. It was precisely what he had expected from almost the first word Jason had spoken. It was the same handwriting, the same texture of paper, and there was the same old haunting, rare, indefinable fragrance about it. Jimmie Dale's hands turned the envelope now this way, now that, as he looked at it. Wonderful hands were Jimmie Dale's, with long, slim, tapering fingers whose sensitive tips seemed now as though they were striving to decipher the message within.
He laughed suddenly, a little harshly, and tore open the envelope. Five closely written sheets fell into his hand. He read them slowly, critically, read them over again; and then, his eyes on the rug at his feet, he began to tear the paper into minute pieces between his fingers, depositing the pieces, as he tore them, upon the arm of his chair. The five sheets demolished, his fingers di
Annoying and overly melodramatic writing style coupled with a silly plot. A few good moments but not enough to sustain my interest. Apparently some people enjoyed it so decide for yourself.
This is about standard for this type of "adventure". Compare the description of what Jimmy Dale does with Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op or Sam Spade:a man who skirts, or breaks, the law for the higher good. Frank Packard was a popular author for many years.
Leo: there was an "automatic revolver", the Webley-Fosdick [I believe] It looked like s Webley revolver, but the barrel and cylinder slid on the grip and firing mechanism; the cylinder had a zigzag track cut into it to make it turn as it recoiled.
Fast-paced stories of the capers committed by the Gray Seal, a 20th-century Robin Hood, a "Philanthropic Crook," at the bidding of a mysterious and omniscient woman.
These tales were probably originally a serial, and they're better read in pieces -- too much of Jimmie Dale's derring-do at one sitting becomes cloying, an excess of mind candy. Nevertheless, the episodes build to an exciting conclusion.
This was my first venture into what I think is considered pulp fiction. Oh my. It is a hoot. At first I couldn't understand why every 20 pages or so the author would reiterate who Jimmie Dale was, his difficult mission, and what a wonderful hero he was. Then it dawned on me that this must have been serialized. If all of that would have been edited out when the episodes were released in book form, the number of pages would probably have been halved. As to the story line. It is absolutely preposterous. Perhaps that is the norm for pulp fiction? Whatever the case, it was funny--perhaps unintentionally? Worth reading just for the absurdity. Jimmie Dale--who by the way is always referred to as Jimmie Dale, never Dale or Jimmie--is a very rich young gentleman about town who lives a double life. His other personal is as the Grey Seal a true hero who is misunderstood by the police who believe him to be an archcriminal. He works for a mysterious woman whom he has never seen but who leaves him written directives that he dare not refuse because whe knows his real identity. He has all sorts of disguises that allow him to infiltrate the criminal underworld. It is truly ridiculous, and as silly as it sounds, I am glad that I read it! Enjoy?
The protagonist has an “automatic revolver”. I wonder what kind of weapon is it? Though what claim one can lay to pulp fiction?