American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Tioga Eagle [Wellsboro PA], January 8, 1852

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: Flint Jackson,” in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, November 15, 1851.

It was later published in the collection Recollections of a Police-Officer by William Russell, under the pseudonym Thomas Waters (London: J.& C. Brown & Co., 1856).

Prior to the British publication of this volume, a pirated collection of the stories—also titled Recollections of a Police-Officer—was published in America (New York: Cornish and Lamport, 1852).

Flint Jackson

Recollections of a Police Officer
  consisting of plate and a small quantity of jewelry, had disappeared; it had unquestionably been converted into money, as considerable sums in sovereigns, were found upon both Dawkins and the woman, Sarah Purday.  Now, as it had been clearly ascertained that neither of the prisoners had left Farnham since the burglary, it was manifest that there was a receiver near at hand who had purchased the missing articles.  Dawkins and Purday were, however, dumb as stones upon the subject; and nothing occurred to point suspicion till early in the evening previous to the second examination of the prisoners before the magistrates, when Sarah Purday asked for pen, ink, and paper, for the purpose of writing to one Mr. Jackson, in whose service she had formerly lived.  I happened to be at the prison, and of course took the liberty of carefully unsealing her note and reading it.  It revealed nothing; and save by its extremely cautious wording, and abrupt peremptory tone, coming from a servant to her former master, suggested nothing.  I had carefully reckoned the number of sheets of paper sent into the cell; and  . . .


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Farnham hogs are world famous, or at least famous in that huge portion of the world where English ale is drunk, and where on I have a thousand times heard and read, the sun never sets.  The name, therefore, of the pleasant Surrey village, in and about which the events I am about to relate occurred, is, I may fairly presume, known to many of my readers.  I was ordered to Farnham to investigate a case of burglary, committed in the house of a gentleman named Hursley, during the temporary absence of the family, which had completely nonplussed the unpracticed Dogsberrys of the place, albeit it was not a riddle at all difficult to read. The premises, it was speedily plain to me, had been broken, not into but out of; and a watch being set upon the motions of the very specious and clever person left in charge of the house and property, it was quickly discovered that the robbery had been effected by herself and a confederate of the name of Dawkins, her brother-in-law.  Some of the stolen goods were found secreted at his lodgings; but the most valuable portion,




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