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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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Experiences of a French Detective Officer by William Russell. New York: Dick & Fitgerald, 1864. 258-88.

This collection was originally published in England in 1861 under the pseudonym of Thomas Waters and claimed to be an adaptation from a manuscript by Théodore Duhamel, yet another pseudonym.

 
Blondel, the Millionaire
  The triumph of General Cavaignac had other results than the overthrow of the Lamartine gimcrack government—one, videlicet—my own rehabilitation as a trusted Mouchard, in confidential communication with the police prefecture. Since that cursed duel, I had been under a cloud. Not because duelling is, or ever was a legal or moral crime in France, but that Le Moine was the favoured protegé of a very influential gentleman attached to the prefecture. That influential gentleman was extinguished, accidentally by Cavaignac’s cannon: his successor in office happened to be a friend of mine, and Theodore Duhamel had soon money in both pockets again.

Very soon. The bloodshed in the streets, alleys, churches of Paris had not yet dried into the ground, when a note from the newly-promoted friend of mine was placed in my hands. It briefly announced that I had been named to Monsieur Blondel, the millionaire, as a person who would render him efficient service in an affair he was deeply interested in. My . . .

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THE Paris insurrection of June, so mercilessly crushed by General Cavaignac was followed selon l’usage, by the wholesale deportation, without trial, not only of the actual Red insurgents, but of many who were simply “suspects,” and of a few who were “suspects d’ȇtre suspects,” (suspected of being suspicious persons,) to the regions of Cayenne and Africa. Permit me to observe that deportation, without trial, from France, to unhealthy colonies is not an invention of the second Empire. The honour of that invention belongs, of right, like that of passports, to the influential heroes of the French revolution. Napoleon the First, adopted, and liberally availed himself of it—the republic under Cavaignac did the same, and to Napolean the Third only belongs the modest merit of having extended, systematised, elevated the exceptional invention, to the dignity of a permanent Bonapartean institution. A but slight feather, comparatively, in the gorgeous plumage of the imperial cap, but one there can be no question which the “Saviour of France” is fairly entitled to wear.

   

 

 


 

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