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The Black Eagle

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John Hasford a.k.a. The Black Eagle is a recurring adversary of detective Sexton Blake. The Black Eagle was created by George Hamilton Teed and first appeared in the eponymous story in 1923.


History

In his youth, John Hasford was an artist living in Paris, his companions at the time were Bramwell Chester, Joe Thurlston, Ricardo Gospert, Geoffrey Howland and Freddy Buckworth, as well as two models; Camille Desmoulin and Helene Merchandier. Helene was Hasford's lover, until Camille jelous of the couple, killed her in a fit of rage. With the help of Thurlston and Gospert, who had both been in love with Helene, Camille framed John Hasford for the murder. Hasford was convicted of the crime and sentenced to be imprisoned on Devil's Island.

In prison, Hasford learned the art of carpentry, he also built up the strength in his arms, wrists and hands, until he was far stronger than an ordinary man, it was also at Devils Island that Hasfort earned his infamous nickname, "The Black Eagle". Although, how his fellow inmates came up with it remains a mystery.

After twenty years, Hasford was granted a day release, which he used to take the opportunito to escape prison - permanently. He fled to South America where he became a diamond prospector and earned a small fortune. Using his newly gained riches, Hasford tracked down Ricardo Gospert, who was living in Cuba. The Black Eagle took his first revenge on one of the men who had ruined his life by shooting Gospert dead. Afterwards, Hasford sent course to London.

In London, Hasford began to use two dual identites; he was both A. Long, owner of a furniture shop, who used his carpentry- as well as artistic skills to create high-quality furniture and David Stone, an artist who lived with his brother, a deformed former sailor.

The second person to fall victim for Hasford's revenge was Thurlston, whose neck was broken by The Black Eagle. This put, Sexton Blake on Hasford's trail, the detective began to unravel Hasford's background. During the course of his investigation, Blake also discovered that Camille Desmoulin was now an opium-addict who lived in utter squalor in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Paris. Blake confronted Hasford and revealed this information to him. Afterwards, Blake allowed The Black Eagle to go free, hoping that knowledge of the truth would keep him on the straight and narrow path. This, it turns out was a miscalculation on the detective's part.

Personality

Although he once was happy, the time spent unjustly imprisoned has made Hasford into a bitter and cold man, obsessed with revenge. The only person The Black Eagle seem to harbor any warmer feelings towards is his brother. While Hasford, in his first appearance was only concered about bestowing vengeance upon the people who had wronged him, in subsequent stories featuring the character, he is motivated by hatred for society in general. A hatred that causes The Black Eagle to temporarily join forces with other villains such as Prince Wu Ling and George Marsden Plummer

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