The Continental Op (Novelettes and short stories)


The Continental Op made his debut in an October 1923 issue of , making him one of the earliest hard-boiled private detective characters to appear in the pulp magazines of the early twentieth century. Short, thick-bodied, mulishly stubborn, and indifferent to pain, Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op was the prototype for generations of tough-guy detectives.

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Фрагмент текста

Originally published under the pseudonym Peter Collinson

Originally appeared in The Black Mask, 1 October 1923

Jim Tarr picked up the cigar I rolled across his desk, looked at the band, bit off an end, and reached for a match.

“Three for a buck,” he said. “You must want me to break a couple of laws for you this time.”

I had been doing business with this fat sheriff of Sacramento County for four or five years — ever since I came to the Continental Detective Agency’s San Francisco office — and I had never known him to miss an opening for a sour crack; but it didn’t mean anything.

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