American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, May 1839.
Unpublished Passages
Vidocq, The French Minister of Police

No. IX
The Conscript's Revenge

by J.M.B.
  respectively the son and daughter of men who had began life together; had followed the same occupation, that of vine growers, and been for years neighbors and sworn friends; whose common wish too was for a future day to see that friendship more strongly cemented by the marriage of their children. It could not therefore be much a matter of surprise that betwixt their children there was more than friendship. Pierre saw with much delight that few girls for miles around could compete with his little wife, as he called her, either in face or form; and that to be considered like Annette of St. Perau was a compliment many a bright and blue-eyed girl was justly proud of. Annette, too, was never so happy as when in company with Pierre, her partner in the summer dance, or wandering with him beside the river Gardon, listening to his projects for the future, when they were man and wife.

When Pierre was about twenty, by the death of his father, he was left alone to cultivate his . . .


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    A few leagues from Nismes, in the late province of Languedoc, is the quiet and retired village of St. Perau. Standing some distance from the high road, it is rarely sought except by those having business with the inhabitants, or, at long intervals, by some pedestrian wandering out of the beaten track in search of those beauties of nature which the byways so often present, and are seen with more heartfelt enjoyment when bursting unawares on the sight of some wayworn searcher of the picturesque, than those more gorgeous views in the highroads, the description of which has raised the expectation to the highest pitch, merely to show that the reality always falls far short of the anticipation.

It was in this village that Pierre and Annette had passed their infancy; they were





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