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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, September 24, 1870.
 
Did It Pay Him?
by Kate Meiden
  what of that now?” she returned soothingly.

“It is twenty years since I have seen Philip Mourdant. I wonder if he has forgiven me for rejecting him?”

“Twenty years has elapsed since that period. Philip Mourdant is now rich and powerful. Successful men seldom bear malice.”

“Rich and powerful, did you say? Yes; Philip always loved money. It was the curse of the family.”

“Yes, my mistress; but that should not trouble you now,” returned the faithful Marshal.

“No; I am growing very weak, and my rest is disturbed with dreams. Last night I thought I saw Harry drowning. I reached out my hand to save him, but Philip Mourdant held me back. Promise me that you will not leave Harry when I am gone.”

“I promise, so far as I am able, never to . . .

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One autumn evening, in an isolated habitation, whose gray walls seemed to repel rather than invite the wayworn traveler to enter, so barren and bleak was the structure and all its surroundings, in an upper chamber, a woman lay dying. Perhaps some forty winters had passed over her head, yet there still lingered traces of a singular beauty, which neither time, trouble, nor disease had wholly obliterated.

“I am dying, Marshal,” she said, starting up from a momentary slumber, and fixing her eyes wildly on the tall mulatto woman who knelt at the foot of her couch. “What is the hour? Look, and come nearer.”

“Just six,” the woman returned, approaching the bedside.

“In one hour he will be here, Marshal,” she continued in a husky tone. “I mean my brother-in-law. He once asked me to become his wife. Do you remember?”

“I remember very well, Mrs. Mourdant. But

   

 

 

 
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