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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).

    "The Gambler's Revenge?" continued from p. 2

fortunately saved by Emily from the wreck of my fortunes—I proceeded to Lady Everton’s mansion.—I was immediately marshalled to the drawing room, where I found her ladyship and her daughter—a beautiful fairy-looking girl—awaiting my arrival, Lady Everton appeared greatly surprised at my appearance, differing, as I daresay it altogether did, from her abstract idea of a policeman, however attired or disguised; and it was not till she had perused the note of which I was the bearer that her haughty and incredulous stare became mitigated to a glance of lofty condescendent civility.

“Be seated, Mr. Waters,” said her ladyship, waving me to a chair. “This notei nforms me that you have been selected for the duty of endeavoring to extricate my son from the perilous entanglements in which he has unhappily involved himself.”

I was about to reply—for I was silly enough to feel somewhat nettled at the noble lady’s haughtiness of manner—that I was engaged in the public service of extirpating a gang of

    swindlers with whom her son had involved himself, and was there to procures from her ladyship any information she might be possessed of likely to forward so desirable a result; but fortunately the remembrance of my gentleman’s attire, flashed vividly on my mind; and instead of permitting my glib tongue to wag irreverently in the presence of a right honorable, I bowed with deferential acquiescence.

She proceeded, and I in substance obtained the following information:

Mr. Charles Merton, during the few months which had elapsed since the attainment of his majority, had very literally “fallen among thieves.” A passion for gambling seemed to have taken entire possession of his being; and almost every day, as well as night, of his haggard and feverish life was passed at play. A run of ill-luck, according to his own belief—but in very truth a run of downright robbery—had set in against him, and he had not only dissipated all the ready money which he had

Continued on p. 4

   


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