Edgar Wallace formed the idea of The Four Just Men - four wealthy gentleman vigilantes (including a European prince) who punish wrong-doers who are beyond the reach of the Law - while returning to England in 1905. He had to create his own publishing company, Tallis, to publish it and decided to manage a 'guess the murder method' competition in the Daily Mail with a prize of GBP1,000 (equivalent in purchasing power to at least GBP93,000 in 2013). Wallace intended to advertise the book on an unprecedented scale, not just in Britain itself but across the Empire. He approached the proprietor, Lord Harmsworth for the loan of the GBP1,000 and was promptly refused, but Wallace pressed ahead anyway. His alarmed workmates at the Mail prevailed upon him to lower the prize money to GBP500: a GBP250 first prize, GBP200 second prize and GBP50 third prize, but were unable to restrain him in the privacy of his home. Wallace had advertisements placed on buses, hoardings, flyers, and so forth, running up an incredible bill of GBP2,000. Though he knew he needed the book to sell sufficient copies to make GBP2,500 before he saw any profit, Wallace was confident that this would be achieved in the first three months of the book going on sale, hopelessly underestimating the expenses.