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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. 111-6.
 
Caught in His Own Trap

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

  perhaps half or three-quarters of an hour, watching every avenue to the wharf, when at last we were rewarded by the sight of our gentleman coming leisurely down the street which led to the wharf, and having slung upon his shoulders something which, as he approached close, I discovered to be a bag such as sailors carry their clothes in, but which I well knew contained something much more precious to me than a sailor’s kit.

Davis nudged me quietly, and we both kept our eyes fastened on him, awaiting the proper opportunity to make sure of him, our only dread lying in his lews, for at the least alarm he would have started off, and he was as fleet and active as a cat. He came cautiously down to the wharf, casting his black, snaky eyes in every direction, but as there were no indications of danger visible he moved on toward the end where the ship was lying. We waited until he had passed beyond our hiding-place, and stealing quietly out, followed him down to the wharf. Davis stumbled over a piece of coal lying there, and at the noise he made . . .

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    SOME years ago, in company with one of my officers, who had been through many a hard chase with me, John Davis, better and more widely known as “Prince John,” I had occasion to be on the lookout one evening, down by the river, for a well-known character named Cardoza. He had been engaged for weeks in preparing to flood the island of St. Domingo with counterfeit coin, but, unknown to him, I had been on his track from the very first, and only waited until his arrangements had been perfected to show him that I, too, had not been idle.
 
A vessel bound to Hayti, lying alongside the wharf, was to sail early on the following morning, and I had ascertained that he had shipped as a sailor in her under an assumed name, so I made my preparations accordingly.
 
Davis and I had been there concealed by some cargo just discharged from another vessel, and which had been covered with tarpaulins,
   

 

 

 
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