American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Revelations of a Private Detective by Andrew Forrester, Jr. London: Ward and Lock, 1863. 143-71.
Farmer Williams and his Bride;
The Matrimonial Agency
by Andrew Forrester, Jr.

  The lady, who shall hereafter be known to the reader as Mrs. Williams, had indeed been lawfully married to my instructor, at the church of St. Dunstan, in Fleet Street, London, about three years before I heard of the circumstance; but her husband had only shared with her the felicities of matrimony about a month after the ceremony, and had been compelled to pay a very high price, in money and trouble, for these transient delights. Within ten days after the clergyman had declared the couple to be indissolubly united—and had solemnly forbidden any man to put asunder those whom, according to the ritual, God had joined together—incidents of that kind gently described as the results of incompatibility of temper were manifested, and the bridal moon partook more of the flavor of vinegar than honey.

Young Farmer Williams, in fact, told me in language betokening the agricultural mind, that on the fourth day he ascertained the idol of his heart to be a regular termagant. He had well . . .


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    SHORTLY after that eminent person Sir Cresswell Cresswell was placed at the head of the new court for the settlement of matrimonial causes, under and by virtue of an Act of Parliament which destroyed the rich man and woman’s monopoly on divorce, and brought that luxury or privilege within the reach of chimney as well as other sweeps, costermongers, mechanics, and labourers, I was waited upon by a young farmer, who cultivated somewhere about two hundred acres of land, not far from Rochester in the county of Kent, and instructed to trace, if I could, the whereabouts and mode of life of a lady who had, under very peculiar circumstances, obtained authority to wear his name and pledge his credit for all things within the scope of that agency with which the law invests every man’s wife, or the lady who may be held out to the world by him as his wife.    



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