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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Flag of our Union, May 1, 1858

Reprinted in Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine, July 1858. Ballou’s attributed this story to Darius Blackburn.

This story is a fictionalized version of an actual crime known as “The Bermondsea Horror,” which occurred on August 9, 1849.

 
[Written for The Flag of our Union.]
The Black Satin Gown:
―or,―
Murder Will Out

by John Ross Dix
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  take?”

“Well, sir, I’ll have a little gin and water. I’ve to see a lady respecting a jewel robbery, this evening, and so must not take anything stronger—d’ye see? But, Lor’ bless you! there are times when I’m obliged to drink grog by the pailful. I’ve got to accommodate myself to all sorts of company.”

The speaker was Mr. Digg, a member of the London detective force. Never mind how I got to know him; enough to say that we were on pretty intimate terms, and that we were cosily sitting together in my apartment at the Golden Cross—Charing Cross. Mr. Digg was a middle-sized, sharp-faced man, with a keen gray eye that seemed to take in everything at a glance. Nothing was too small to escape his notice, and no Indian ever surpassed him in the perseverance and certainty with which he would follow up a trail when he had once “struck” it. . . .

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    “DID I ever tell you about that curious murder in Bermondsey, and how I found out all about it—ay, and nabbed the criminals into the bargain?”

“No,” replied I; “but ‘twas a singular affair, so far as I am acquainted with the particulars.”

“I should say it was—much more curious than half the stories you read in papers and magazines. Lord bless you, sir! we detectives see so many things in our line of business, that we could furnish a dozen storytellers with better materials than they could trump up, if they harassed their brains till doomsday.”

“No doubt,” I observed; “but suppose we have these glasses filled—and then, perhaps, you’ll tell me all about the matter. What will you
   

 

 


 

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