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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime. New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1863. 61-9.
 
The Absconding Debtor

by A New York Detective

  those words, he winked to me a professional and confidential wink with the eye farthest from Mr. Spiggleton, but without any motion of the other eye, or any other change of feature. With corresponding gravity, I replied.

“I’m much obliged to you, Mr. Brian. But when must we go, and whither, and how long must we stay?”
 
“Only to Middletown; but if there’s any thing to be done, it must be done by tonight. You can come back in the morning.”
 
“I don’t know; let me look at my notebook. Why, I’ll undertake it if I can positively come back tomorrow.”
 
“Well, I’ll leave Mr. Spiggleton with you for the present. If you’ll just run into my office before you go, I’ll give you a hint or two; and you can make the experiment, at any rate.”

So he stalked off, and I inquired of Spiggleton what the business was. Being a clear-headed . . .

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    THE winter of 18— will be long remembered for its extreme and enduring cold. It was in the middle of one of the most slippery portions of that rigorous season that I transacted, with one of the most slippery customers I ever met, the regular professional business hereinafter described.
 
“Good morning, John,” said Lawyer Brian, in his dry, slow way. “Let me make you acquainted with Mr. Spiggleton, of New Haven; Mr. Spiggleton—Mr. Barker.”
 
We testified great mutual delight at the acquaintance, and Lawyer Brian continued;—

“Mr. Spiggleton is partner in Longtime, Sellemup, & Co., merchants, of New Haven. He’s come on a rather unpromising business, and I’ve told him that you are exactly the man to make every human exertion in the matter, provided only you have the time.”  
 
And as he gravely and deliberately uttered

   

 

 

 
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