YOUNG BECK, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK
Paul Beck Jr., the son of sleuth Paul Beck, embarks upon his own detective career. There are references to a cricket-playing gentleman thief named Baffles, and Paul Jr.’s best friend, Charlie Kirkwood, remarks to Paul Sr., “I think I remember once, long before I had the pleasure of knowing you personally, reading a case of yours in which the famous Baffles imitated the finger marks of an absent burglar with India-rubber gloves.” Paul Sr. also comments, “No monkey has turned up in a burglary since the mystery of the Rue Morgue, so it must be a man.”
Collection of short stories written by Charles Kirkwood, edited by M. McDonnell Bodkin, 1912. “Baffles” is meant to be A. J. Raffles. The elder Beck’s encounter with Raffles is unrecorded. Paul Sr.’s comments treat Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue” as an historical event. Paul Beck, Jr. is in his twenties, and is allegedly Paul Sr.’s son by Dora Myrl. However, Paul Sr. was identified as forty-one-years-old when he married Dora during the events of The Capture of Paul Beck, which also took place in 1908. Rick Lai writes, “Paul is now in his early sixties while Dora is about forty. I suspect that Paul Sr. had an earlier marriage when he was about nineteen. For some reason, Paul Sr. didn’t want this first wife discussed; possibly she was a crook. Kirkwood must have been instructed to make misleading chronological assertions and pretend that Paul Jr. was Dora’s son.”
It's also possible his first wife died. Plenty of men of that era would simply not discuss a wife or family member who died (Teddy Roosevelt for his first wife.) It was just how they dealt with it.ReplyDelete
Or maybe she was a crook who died, too.