American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Eclectic Magazine, October, 1858

The story was re-printed in The Chicago Tribune on September 12, 1874 with the note: “By the author of ‘East Lynne’”  (i.e. Mrs. Henry [Helen] Wood).

From Bentley's Miscellany

Coming out of Exile;
or, the Diamond Bracelet Found

  “You must find another partner, and I will go and get this repaired.”

She went upstairs; by some neglect, the lady’s-maid was not in attendance there, and, too impatient to ring and wait for her, down she flew into the housekeeper’s parlour. She was quite at home in the house, for she was the sister of its mistress. She had gathered the damaged dress up, on her arm, but her white silk petticoat fell in rich folds around her.

“Just look what an object that stupid—”And there stopped the young lady; for, instead of the housekeeper and lady’s-maid, whom she expected to meet, nobody was in the room but a gentleman, a tall, handsome man. She looked thunderstruck; and then slowly advanced and stared at him, as if not believing her own eyes.

“My goodness, Gerard! Well, I should just as soon have expected to meet the dead here.”

“How are you, Lady Frances?” he said, holding out his hand with hesitation.

Lady Frances! I am much obliged to you for your formality: Lady Frances returns her thanks to Mr. Hope for his polite. . .


Find the full text here.






    The stately rooms of one of the finest houses in London were open for the reception of evening guests. Wax-lights, looking innumerable when reflected from the mirrors, shed their rays on the gilded decorations, on the fine paintings, and on the gorgeous dresses of the ladies; the enlivening strains of the band invited to the dance, and the rare exotics emitted a sweet perfume. It was the west-end residence of a famed and wealthy City merchant of lofty standing; his young wife was an earl’s daughter, and the admission to the house of Mr. and Lady Adela Netherleigh was coveted by the gay world.

“There’s a mishap!” almost screamed a pretty-looking girl. She had dropped her handkerchief and stooped for it, and her partner stooped also: in his hurry, he put his foot upon her thin white dress, she rose at the same moment, and the bottom of the skirt was torn half off.

“Quite impossible that I can finish the quadrille,” quoth she to him, half in amusement, half provoked at the misfortune.





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