American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Experiences of a Real Detective by Inspector F.
Edited by “Waters,” author of Recollections of a Police Officer, Leonard Harlowe, etc.
London: Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 1862. 121-42.
Circumstantial Evidence
by Inspector F.

  of Peregrine Ludlow, of Stone Lodge, in the same county,—was dispatched to thoroughly investigate all the circumstances of the case.

The special reason which induced Mr. Vigors, the prisoner’s attorney, to procure my assistance was this:

About a year previously, I had gone down to the same locality to search into the causes, and, if possible, discover the perpetrators, of several supposed incendiary fires that had occurred there in quick succession. It was not long before I fully satisfied myself that the incendiary was the proprietor of the consumed stacks and other property, his object being to defraud the offices with whom he was heavily insured. The number of slight circumstances, singly considered, which indicated the real malefactor,—but the cumulative evidence of which was overwhelming—sufficed to enable the insurance offices to successfully defend the actions brought against them upon the policies, but did not, in a criminal court, prove sufficient to convince a jury of the prisoner’s guilt, a . . .


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    A VERY painful and affecting case once came under my Detective cognizance in which a frightful injustice was, with the most righteous intentions, perpetrated by the agents and instruments, dignified and undignified, of the Law. I have changed the names of all the individuals concerned, as well as that of the localities where the sad incidents occurred, forasmuch that, although many years have elapsed since the curtain fell upon the last scene of the judicial drama, the wound inflicted upon an amiable family—incurable, however skinned over, or soothed by Time—would break forth and bleed afresh, if wantonly exposed to the public gaze.
A country gentleman of, we will say, the name of Conyers, Adam Conyers, residing at the Elms, Worcestershire, had, whilst leisurely riding home by a bridle-path, rather late one autumn evening, been shot at, and so grievously wounded that his life was despaired of, when I,—at the solicitation of the solicitor of the young gentleman in custody, charged with the crime, Mr. Marmaduke Ludlow, son



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