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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. 185-234.
 
The Fraudulent Trustee
by Andrew Forrester, Jr.

  who is, I believe, an exception to the rule just laid down. My experience of him, and his relation to this matter, warrants a belief that he is a worthy and generous-hearted man. I believe that his moral code regulates not only his dealings with his clients, but with “the other side”—their opponents. He took the present case in hand, I know, from motives of the purest generosity, with the sole object of wresting an estate from the fraudulent trustee, and recovering it for the heir, and, perhaps, with the laudable design superadded of disgracing if not punishing two dishonourable members of his own honourable profession.

The story would be lengthened and elaborate, if I were to describe the part I played in it, as it was played, so I think it wise to simplify the narrative by almost entirely omitting from it my procedure, and putting the facts in a compacter shape.

One evening in the month of July, 1861, a man really about fifty years old, although his . . .

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    LAWYERS, that is to say, attorneys and solicitors, are usually looked upon by men of business as (outside certain limits) the most honourable class of persons in the world. I quite coincide in that opinion. The reader must not, however, misunderstand me. Few members of the legal profession comprehend the nice distinctions of moral propriety which high-minded men of other classes—traders, merchants, and professional men in general—are guided by. It may be fairly doubted whether a lawyer’s honesty is not, as a rule, a thing of pure etiquette and expediency. I confess that is my opinion; but I am not going to write an essay on such a theme. The case I am about to relate does, however, go far to establish the theory that when a solicitor is dishonest, beyond the limits which are deemed professional, it is nearly impossible to fathom the depths of his villainy.

Less than twelve-months ago I was employed to test the accuracy of certain facts which a poor man had laid before a London solicitor

   

 

 

 
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