American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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The Revelations of a Private Detective by Andrew Forrester, Jr. London: Ward and Lock, 1863. 133-42.
The Forger’s Escape
by Andrew Forrester, Jr.

  the stake was high, and the desire to punish the villain was equally strong.

One evening as I was chatting with my wife, and playing with my two children at home, I was called upon, and told that the fellow had been traced to Southampton, well disguised, and that it was feared he had made good his flight across the Atlantic in one of the steamers from that port.

It was the work of a few minutes to put on my coat, fill a carpetbag, hail a cab, and make my way to the South-Western Station in time to catch the next train.

That night, as time was of the first importance, I had an interview with the landlord of the small and unpretentious hotel in which it was supposed the forger had put up. He described his guest. The description fitted the broad outline of the man I wanted, but the filling in of the two pictures given me greatly differed. This might easily be accounted for by the skill of the criminal’s disguise. Yet it would hardly do . . .


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    SOME years ago I was instructed to hunt down a forger, and recover about ₤3,000, the proceeds of his great experiment, which he then had about his person. He had been a land agent, in a very large way of business, at the West-end of London, and was accounted a man of the highest respectability, although, as it turned out, he had practiced a series of frauds upon his customers, and was utterly insolvent, when he resorted to a bold expedient to obtain capital for some new enterprise in a new country.

Notice was given the police at every port, and every vessel that left London, Liverpool, Bristol, or Hull, was watched for several weeks. The notion then obtained possession of the defrauded that he was concealed in London, or at the farthest on the Continent, waiting his time, perhaps, for a safe voyage to America, or to a Trans-Pacific colony—not as a convict. Ordinary means, such as the offers of rewards, and the employment of common detectives, having failed to discover the delinquent, I was set to work, being told to spare no expense, as




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