American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Berkshire County Eagle, November 7, 1861.
The Detective After a Forger
  had often come upon his hiding place just after he had left it, we never could lay hands upon him. He was not a common offender. Well educated, and born in a very respectable station of life, he might have done well, and made an honest fortune, if he could but have kept straight. He was clever and a first rate accountant, and got the post of cashier to the —— Bank while still a quite young man. I need hardly repeat his story—how he forged and altered figures in passbooks; and played ducks and drakes with the floating balance of his employers. It is a common narrative—He went off at last, just when detection grew certain, and carried with him nineteen thousand pounds, besides valuable papers and securities for a large amount. Every exertion was made, no expense was spared, and many times we seemed sure of him as he prowled up and down the country in various disguises; but at last the scent grew colder and colder, and we feared Jennings had given us the slip for good and all. Five months had elapsed since the last time he had been seen or heard of, and we had given up the job as hopeless, when the superintendent sent for me, and gave me the above information.

“Yes,” said my superior, rubbing his hand ,. . .


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    A book has lately been published in London entitled “The Experiences of a Detective Officer,” which contains some interesting incidents. We extract from it the following narrative of the Detective’s journey to America in search of a forger:

Being off duty for the time, and the evening close and sultry, I was just settling myself in the open window of my lodgings, to smoke a quiet pipe, when another member of the force came to tell me that I was wanted by the superintendent. I went at once as required.

“Banks,” said the superintendent to me, when I was in his room, and the door shut, “we have got a clue at last towards finding that man Jennings.”

“Indeed, sir, I am glad to hear you say so,” answered I, and I spoke the truth. Uncommonly glad I was, for our profession like the rest, has its pride about it, and we had been a good deal twitted in the newspapers for not having succeeded, during seven months of fruitless search, in securing that particular criminal. A shy bird was that Jennings.—His doubles and twists had baffled some of the deepest heads in the police, and although we





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