American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
The Boston Daily Atlas, September 4, 1949 under the title "Recollections of a Police Officer."
Tioga Eagle, October  10, 1849
the Oshkosh [WI] True Democrat, November 16, 1849.

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officier” in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal on July 28, 1849.

This story was later published as “The Gambler” 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).

From Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal

Recollections of a Police-Officer

The Gambler’s Revenge
  affairs requiring intelligence and resolution.
“I think I have met you before,” he remarked with a meaning smile on dismissing me, “when
you occupied a different position from your present one? Do not alarm yourself; I have no wish to pry unnecessarily into other men’s secrets.—Waters is a name common enough in all ranks of society, and I may, you know”—here the cold smile deepened in ironical expression—“be mistaken. At all events, the testimony of the gentleman whose recommendation obtained you admission to the force—I have looked into the matter since I heard of your behaviour in the late business—is a sufficient guarantee that nothing more serious than imprudence and folly can be laid to your charge, I have neither the right nor inclination to inquire further. Tomorrow, in all probability, I shall send for you.”

I came to the conclusion, as I walked homewards, that the chief’s intimation of having met me in another sphere of life was a random and unfounded one, as I had seldom visited London in my prosperous days, and

Continued on p. 2


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A little more than a year after the period when adverse circumstances—chiefly the result of my own reckless follies—compelled me to enter the ranks of the metropolitan police, as the sole means left me of procuring food and raiment, the attention of one of the principal chiefs of the force was attracted towards me by the ingenuity and boldness which I was supposed to have manifested in hitting upon and unraveling the clue which ultimately led to the detection and punishment of the perpetrators of an artistically-contrived fraud upon an eminent tradesman of the West End of London. The chief sent for me; and after a somewhat lengthened conversation, not only expressed approbation of my conduct in the particular matter under discussion, but hinted that he might shortly need my services in other




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