American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
The Ladies’ Repository, February & March, 1860.
Aunt Janet's Diamonds
In Two Chapters

Chapter I
  her property had been left her by her husband in her sole control. She had no children, and she brought me up as her daughter; not that I was by any means spoiled; in truth, I was by no means as great a favorite as a little cousin of mine, Josiah Wilson, a child of my own age, who used to come and stay occasionally with us. On the plea of little Josiah’s being a visitor, I was always forced to give way to his whims and fancies, and let him be first in everything. Even at that early age, I amsorry to say, I began to dislike my cousin; and my dislike was increased to positive hatred by his being constantly held up to me as a pattern child. I believe that Josiah was naturally better behaved than I was; but even at that early age, I could perceive that he was particularly sly, and always took care to put on his best behavior in my aunt’s presence. I can recollect, too, I was constantly punished for his faults. He used stoutly to deny everything; it was useless for me to speak; he was always believed, and I received the punishment. . . .


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    I am glad you like the style of the setting, my love; it certainly is old-fashioned; but the taste is good, and the stones are particularly beautiful. Directly you become my son’s wife, I shall give them up to you.

You wonder I should like to part with them at my time of life! The truth is, for all their beauty, they afford me very little pleasure; their sparkling brilliancy recalls the saddest events of my life. It wants half an hour to dinner. I shall just have time to tell you the story.

These diamonds were a gift from my aunt Janet, my mother’s sister. I was left an orphan at an early age, and went to live with Aunt Janet. She had a very pleasant house on Clapham Common, with a large garden; and she possessed an excellent income, arising from various sources. Aunt Janet was a widow, and




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