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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
New Monthly Magazine, August 1857
 
The Detective Officer
by the Author of “Ashley”

  jumped into the water, and fished up a bundle, which they think had lodged on the side, without sinking. They got it out and opened it, and it were a poor little boy strangled to death.”

“When was it ? How big was he?” inquired one of the men.

“It were last Friday morning, and he looked to be a going on of two year,” replied Goody Giles. “His frock and pinafore were of blue cotton.”

Another woman, seated at the window, turned round her head. “What else do it say?” she asked, in a quick tone.

“Well, I don’t mind as it says much else. Tam, take the news, and look.”

“Tam” took the newspaper, and ran his eyes over it. “Yes it does, mother. It says as there’s a reward of 20£ offered for the murderer. And he had got on a shirt and petticoat clumsily marked ‘R. P.’ in grey-worsted.”

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    There sat one Tuesday evening in the month of June, in a room at Rotherhithe, a small collection of country people, men and women. A discontented expression was on their faces, and not without cause. They were from Suffolk, intended emigrants to Sydney, who ought to have gone out of dock on the previous Saturday, but from some bad management, which they could not or would not comprehend, the ship was to be detained for another week: and they rebelled at the delay.

“A boxing of us up in this here wicked Lunnon, as is full of murders and revellings!” cried a woman, who was spelling over a newspaper. “A poor innocent lamb they have been a murdering of now. A pretty little fellow, with flax-coloured hair, it says.”

“Read it out, Goody Giles,” said some of the company.

Goody Giles preferred to tell it. “He were found in a place they call the Regent’s Park. A gentleman were a passing along, and his dog

   

 

 


 

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