argosy_us_19311219 argosy_us_19310704 argosy_us_19310613 connor_vincent_bk_tkm argosy_us_19310919 argosy_us_19310801 shortstories_19320425
Full Name: Vincent Connor
Nationality: American
Organization: None
Occupation CEO

Creator: Henry Bedford-Jones
Time Span: 1931 - 2015


Vincent Connor is the CEO of Connor Enterprises.

That name of the company is one I gave it, not one that Connor would have used because Connor makes it a major point to not call any attention to the size and extent of his businesses. The fact that he was the only heir to his father's thriving operations in China in the late 1920's is no mystery, nor is the fact that most who know of him know he is extremely wealthy. But Connor has been very good at keeping a secret of the fact that in the few years since his father's passing, young Connor has not only consolidated these endeavors, he has amassed an even greater number.

What the people, both the Chinese and ex-pats living in that country, see is a young man who has amounted to very little and who obviously aspires to nothing except pleasure. To them though "he had inherited great business interests extending over half China, he played polo and enjoyed life in a non-serious manner. Nobody, in fact, took Vincent Connor very seriously, among his social acquaintances". Connor wasted his time, they felt, riding horses for polo, betting on horses in races, and swilling drink after drink at the Tientsin Club where he is a steady fixture. "You inherited a mint of money, business interests extending over half China, and more or less good looks. All you have to do is sign checks, play polo, race your ponies, and let your tailor tell you the latest in London styles. Pretty soft, boy, pretty soft!" one fellow tells him.

Connor, in truth, spends most of his time fighting not to have a good time or even to increase his wealth but to protect the country that he loves so much, China, from the ravages of intrusion by other nations; French control of Indochina, British control of Hong Kong and Burma, Japanese control of the Manchuria region, and American interest of all sorts in all area. And then there is the ever-growing threat of internal anarchy on the one hand and communism on the other. Warlords rule most of the many, many regions of China even though a weak and ineffective government in (then) Peking claims otherwise.

"To this indefinable cause of justice, of aiding the oppressed, he flung his weight of wealth and connections, his personal abilities, his knowledge of China and its people. Not the least of his aids was his own reputation; the last person to be suspected of such things was the coxcomb and dandy, the young spendthrift from college who had inherited the Connor fortunes." Connor shows over and over he is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is, nor to shy from personal danger.

A master of disguise, Connor at one point goes undercover as a Chinese businessman with "his nostrils widened and lips thickened by cotton pads, his black hair coarsened with grease, his sunburned features and hands yellowed by a saffron infusion, his European garments cunningly tailored to give an air of awkwardness". He is well versed in hand-to-hand combat and is a fairly good shot. He is also a licensed pilot.

Connor joins his own intellect, which is considerable, his Yale business training, and the keen and welcome advice of Chang, his father's business partner and still a major player in Connor's businesses. He also has a network of intelligence gathers providing him with information from all over the country.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2015

1 The King Makers The King Makers
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 2015

Subtitled The Adventures of Vincent Connor, this is a collection of the six short stories concerning the American business owner in pre-Communist China. These stories are:
A Prince For Sale
House of Missing Men
The Tomb-Raider
Diplomacy By Air
Connor Takes Charge
The King Makers
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Number of Stories:6
First Appearance:1931
Last Appearance:1932

1 A Prince For Sale A Prince For Sale
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1931

Published in Argosy June 13, 1931 - part of the collection The King Makers
Learning of a man reported to be a Prince in the Fuchow region of China and currently causing the locals to be less than thrilled with the French controlling the region, Connor is warned by Chang of upcoming trouble in the area. Wanting to minimize the carnage as well as push the French back some, Connor sets a deadly trap for the chief architect of the French forces.

2 House of Missing Men House of Missing Men
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1931

Published in Argosy July 4, 1931 - part of the collection The King Makers
The beautiful and alluring Pricess Orloff has invited a young, naive friend of Vincent Connor to a dinner at her residence. When Connor learns that others, from different countries, had been asked there before his friend and had all met with unfortunate demises, Connor is convinced that the woman is acting foully on behalf of a foreign government.

3 The Tomb-Robber The Tomb-Robber
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1931

Published in Argosy August 1, 1931 - part of the collection The King Makers
Vincent Connor is not pleased to hear that a noted raider of burial sites had been plundering the resting sites of Chinese kings but he is even less thrilled to learn the man had branched into stealing ownership of silver mines in a region of China and selling them to an Italian syndicate working closely with that nation's Fascist government.

4 Diplomacy By Air Diplomacy By Air
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1931

Published in Argosy September 19, 1931 - part of the collection The King Makers
Receiving word that his confidant and friend, Chang, had been killed by Communist leader General Ng Fu, Vincent Connor is heartbroken and wanting a way to get vengeance. Never fearing for himself, he concocts a plan to fly into the man's stronghold and kidnap him.

5 Connor Takes Charge Connor Takes Charge
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1931

Published in Argosy December 19, 1931 - part of the collection The King Makers
When he receives word that in the southern province of Yunnan the control of the region by Governor Yuan was failing and a plot by a man named Wang Yin was underway to give the French reason to invade and take over, Vincent Connor is determined to stop it. That will mean heading into the danger zone himself.

6 The King Makers The King Makers
short story
Written by Henry Bedford-Jones
Copyright: 1932

Published in Short Stories April 25, 1932 - part of the collection The King Makers
With the Japanese controlling more and more of the Manchurian region of China, Vincent Connor knows it would take a miracle to find a way to counter their incursion. He hopes that miracle will lie in the form of Henry Chang-yin, last of the line of the Manchu dynasty. To make that a possibility, Connor will have to play king-maker.


A common trope in all sorts of genres is that of the "white savior", the concept being that the poor [enter race or nationality here] is in peril and needs the intelligence and fortitude and stick-with-it-ness of a white man (always a man, it seems) to set things right. The series entered here is likely to be considered one although for the most part the six adventures we have of him tend to be his fighting those of his own race. Yes, he is mostly protecting the endangered Chinese race from the avarice of white colonizers as opposed to protecting them from themselves, but the implication is that the Chinese people could not do it on their own.

Putting that aside, these are fairly good stories and reading them was fun, especially the going back in time that it did for me. One interesting point is the way that Japanese incursion was mentioned several times but it is clear to me that the author had no idea just how bad their atrocities already were.

I would recommend these stories for their historical aspect more than their quality.


My Grade: B-


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