Aaron Day, BlackJack
A black man in his late twenties, or early thirties. Arron is a soldier of fortune, a human target, a professional adventurer, a challenger of death … a man alone.
Arron owns a brownstone house in the west 70s of Manhattan. How he acquired it (“a colored man in the 1930s”) is a mystery to some, and an irritation to many of his neighbors. The house is furnished with many antiques, and items from other lands. It is his sanctuary. From here he goes forth to face any danger, or retreats into isolation and peace.
Arron’s mother and father (Matthew and Sarah Day) were shot down in Spain, in 1923. Arron, then 15 years old, and his older sister Mary spent the next five years living there with family friends.
But in 1929 both returned to their birth place, the U.S., New York City. To Arron’s disappointment, they went their separate ways after that. Though he loves his sister, he has not seen much of her over the past six years. “You chose Daddy’s way,” Mary told him. “I just can’t stay and watch you die, too.”
Arron suspects that Mary is right. One day he will die, and for that reason he maintains some distance between them … and almost everyone else.
Habits: Smokes cigars. Carries his father’s vintage pistols, twin Walker Colts.
Sheila Mae Jean
An attractive black woman in her late 20s. Her background is colorful, and not known to many people. She is half owner of one of Harlem’s most popular nightclubs, the Ruby-Gene. Sheila is flamboyant, stylish but she is also down to earth, street wise. Because of the Ruby-Gene’s eclectic clientele, Sheila is privy to information on political and underworld activities. Sheila is also Arron’s only confidant. There is a strong bond between them – love – but it is on their own terms. Sheila is supportive, without demands, or expectations … well … not many.
In his mid twenties, Tim Cheng was born in a small province in Northern China. Forced to escape China in 1933 (see “Blood and Honor”), Tim reluctantly entered into a contract with an American gangster, Theodore Wheatley. Tim Cheng came to the U.S. as Wheatley’s servant, bound to work for him indefinitely.
Tim Cheng is quiet, proud, and judgmental. Many times one cannot tell what he is thinking. Other times his face is a window to his inner feelings. He resents his contract to Wheatley, even more so when Arron becomes the owner of all Wheatley possessed, including his servant. Now he must work for a man he does not know nor trust, not just because of the words on paper … but because it represents his word.
This was Matthew Day’s best friend. Silas fought beside Arron’s father in countless campaigns, and through many dangerous quests. They saved each others’ lives, got drunk in dives, shared fears and secrets that no one else knew. Matthew Day’s family was the only family Silas had. Sarah, Arron’s mother, was like a sister to Silas. Mary and Arron were his niece and nephew. That was how it had always been. But when Matthew and Sarah died, Silas could not raise the children (then 13 and 15 years old). Why? That has been a question that neither Arron or Mary have ever asked — though they have certainly wondered.
Though Silas is now in his 60s, he is in fairly good shape and still considers himself an adventurer. Why not? He really doesn’t know anything else.
Detective Fitzpatrick: An honest, bulldog, Irish cop who makes no bones about his dislike for the uppity colored, Arron Day. He suspects Arron must be doing something illegal, because of his apparent wealth.
But future stories will strain the tension between the two men, and challenge Fitzpatrick’s own code of honor. One tale will cause a rift in his family, and put his life in Arron’s hands.
Henri: Obviously French, Henri is a longtime friend of Arron’s. He is a short, dapper looking man with wire-rim glasses and a winning smile. A ladies man whenever time permits. But do not let his size and flamboyance deceive you. Henri is as dangerous as the situation demands — fast with his feet, and deadly with a knife.