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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. 165-70.
 
The Burglar’s Hat

by A Retired Member of the Detective Police
[William Russell]

  sure is murdering her. I heard the blows, and I hear her groans now. Hark! Oh! don’t you hear them!”
 
It was no use to stand there parleying. The street door looked too heavy and strong to be easily forced in, so I mounted the railings, and, by the aid of the water-pipe, somehow or other, I can’t tell you how, reached the window; and, with a little assistance from the woman, who clutched me by the coat collar, I managed to get into the room.

“Now, young woman, what is it?”

“Hush! There’s some one murdering missus upstairs.”

“How do you know?”
 
“I heard them break into the back-parlor window and go upstairs. I was afraid to stir. Then I heard them go into mistress’s room. I could hear them strike her, and then she . . .

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    “HELP! murder! Help!”

If you were to hear those cries in the middle of the night, of course you’d run, wouldn’t you? Well, so did I. As I approached the house from whence the voice proceeded, I saw a woman in her night-dress at the parlor window still screaming “Help!”

“What’s the matter?” I inquired.

“Oh! make haste in; I’m sure there’s murder going on.”

“Then you must let me in. Open the door, quick.”
 
“Oh! I cannot; I should be murdered.”
 
“What do you mean? Who’s hurting you?”

“Oh! not me, but my mistress. Somebody I’m

   

 

 

 
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