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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Putnam’s Monthly, August 1857
   
Another Glimpse at My Hotel

One morning, when I arose from my little bed in No. 783, and prepared to array myself for the duties and enjoyments of the day, I discovered that a little silver comb with very fine teeth, which I used exclusively for the adornment of my whiskers, was missing. I usually put it in one place; and now, not finding it there, knew at once that it must have been stolen. Feeling particularly cross thereat, I finished dressing, looked up my friend, the bank clerk, related the circumstance to him, and said:

“Come down into the office with me, and I will see whether my room is my own or not. There have been other things about this hotel which have met my disapproval; but I have said nothing about them. Now, however, since my private property is not safe from
trespassers, it is time to speak out; and I will give that clerk such a talking to, about the way things are managed in this house, as he has not heard in a long time, I reckon.”

So we went down to the office. The clerk saw us coming, put on his blandest smile, and

    remarked that it was a pleasant day.

“Pleasant day or not,” said I, boiling over, “that is not the question now. What business have you to admit into this hotel, men who will go into another person’s room, and take his property from him?”

“Haven’t you a notice in your room to lock your door and leave the key at the office?” said the clerk, a little sharply.

“Yes,” said I. “But still—”

“And have you done so?” said he.

“No,” said I. “But still—”

“Well, then!” said he.

“I tell you what it is!” said I. “I have boarded in this house a number of years, and—”

With that, the clerk rang his little bell, and a boy appeared. . . .

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