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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Mountain Democrat, February 21, 1863.
 
Found Out
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  manservant. The lady was an Englishwoman of good family, to whom he had been married about four years, and who was commonly termed in the department L’ange du bois, on account of her extreme beauty, and the fact of her husband’s house being surrounded by a small but very dense wood, which he allowed nobody to meddle with, so that it was completely choked with brambles. She was his second wife, his first having died during a short visit he made to Paris, within a year of their marriage.

Criminal prosecution in France being conducted by the public prosecutor, it was only in compliance with the wishes of the relatives of the murdered lady, strenuously supported by his own wife, that my uncle had undertaken to assist in obtaining evidence to throw light upon what felt to be an extremely intricate case, and one which it would be almost impossible for the jury to decide upon in a satisfactory manner unless additional evidence could be got in favor of or against the prisoner.

The evidence upon which Boiteler was . . .

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    Some years ago I was attending a college in Paris, and a course of lectures on Jurisprudence, with the view of preparing myself to enter the office of an advocate, a Frenchman, who had married my mother’s sister. There were several English lads there besides myself, and very hard we worked, though a good many of us had nobody to compel us to do so if we felt disposed to shirk. The letters I received from my uncle seldom contained anything besides exhortations to work hard; and in the holidays instead of inviting me to spend them with him and my aunt, he always encouraged the idea of my going to England, so that I was very much astonished when I one day received a letter from him quite unexpectedly, requesting me to start with the least possible delay for the department of Ain. The letter merely told me that there was noting the matter with any of the family, and that he wanted me on account of a case in which he was concerned.

This case was the prosecution of a Frenchman named Boiteler, a man of considerable standing in the province, who was in custody on a charge of murdering his wife and an old

   

 

 


 

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