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. 4

Cardon[,] success will indeed be triumph—victory! Lady Everton need not in that case seek to animate my zeal by promises of money recompense. A blighted existence, a young and gentle wife by his means cast down from opulence to sordid penury, would stimulate the dullest craven that ever crawled the earth to energy and action. Pray Heaven my suspicion prove correct; and then, oh mine enemy, look well to yourself, for the avenger is at your heels!”

Sanford I had been instructed, was usually present at Italian Opera during the ballet; the box he generally occupied was designated in the memoranda of the police: and as I saw by the bills that a very successful piece was to be performed that evening, I determined on being present.

I entered the house a few minutes past ten o’clock, just after the commencement of the ballet, and looked eagerly round. The box which I was instructed to seek was empty. The momentary disappointment was soon repaid.

    Five minutes had not elapsed when Cardon, looking more insolently triumphant than ever, entered arm-in-arm with a pale aristocratic-looking young man, whom I had no difficulty, from his striking resemblance to a portrait in Lady Everton’s drawing room, in deciding to be Mr. Merton. My course of action was at once determined on. Pausing only to master the emotions which the sight of the glittering reptile in whose poisonous folds I had been involved and crushed inspired, I passed to the opposite side of the house and boldly entered box. Cardon’s back was turned towards me, and I tapped him lightly on the shoulder. He turned quickly round; and if a basilisk had confronted him, he could scarcely have exhibited greater terror and surprise. My aspect, nevertheless, was studiously bland and conciliating, and my outstretched hand seemed to invite a renewal of old friendship.

“Waters!” he at last stammered, feebly accepting my proffered grasp—“Who would have thought of meeting you here?”

“Not you, certainly, since you stare at an old

Continued on p.6


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