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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Detroit Free Press, February 8, 1862

This story was included in the anthology
Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime (New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1863. 83-6) by William Russell under the name "A Retired Member of the Detective Police."

 
The Closest Shave of My Life

by A London Detective

  months of which had passed, and he was one of the best men about the prison. They had found out that he was accomplished—that there was no better barber anywhere; so he was elevated above his fellows to the extent of a dignified position, and the responsibility of razors.

“He has shaved me many a time better than I could do it myself. Would you like a prison shave, gentlemen?” said the warden.
 
I thought there was something quite taking in the idea, and acknowledged myself to be touched favorably with the proposition.
 
“Johnson, you will shave this gentleman,” said the warden.
 
I threw off my coat and settled myself comfortably in the big chair. Johnson made grave preparations.
 
I always hated a razor. It is a villainous necessity. I wonder if anybody thinks it . . .

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Find the full text here.

   


 

 

 

 

    THE prison at A— is every way considered under a better organized and surer system of administration than any similar institution I have known. I have seen many, and looked somewhat closely into their methods of management and discipline, and have often seen much to approve; but the prison at A— surpasses all the rest. Visitors, of whom very properly but few are admitted, are amazed at the regularity, the order, and, most singular of all, the air of security and exceeding quiet that prevails.
 
As we wandered through the chambers in the freer part of the prison, we came to one from the window of which a man was looking so anxiously that he did not hear us enter. When he turned round, his eyes were glistening with tears. The warden said he did nothing but stand at that window at all times when he was unoccupied. He was a sailor, we learned, whose offence was that he had beaten almost to death a comrade for speaking slightingly about his wife. He was in for three years, six
   

 

 

 
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