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. 6

I was introduced in due form to Mr. Merton as an old and esteemed friend, whom he—Sanford—had not seen for many months. At the conclusion of the ballet, Sanford proposed that we should adjourn to the Eurapeon Coffee House, nearly opposite. This was agreed to, and out we sallied. At the top of the staircase we jostled against the commissioner, who, like us, was leaving the house. He bowed slightly to Mr. Merton’s apology, and his eye wandered briefly and coldly over our persons; but not the faintest sign of recognition escaped him. I thought it possible he did not know me in my changed apparel; but looking back after descending a few steps, I was quickly undeceived. A sharp, swift glance, expressive both of encouragement and surprise, shot out from under his penthouse brows, and as quickly vanished. He did not know how little I needed spurring to the goal we had in view!

We discussed two or three bottles of wine with much gaiety and relish. Sanford especially was in exuberant spirits; brimming over with


    brilliant anecdote and sparkling badinage. He saw in me a fresh, rich prey, and his eager spirit revelled by anticipation in the victory which he nothing doubted to obtain over my “excellent intentions and wife-pledged virtue.” About half past twelve o’clock he proposed to adjourn. This was eagerly assented to by Mr. Merton, who had for some time exhibited unmistakable symptoms of impatience and unrest.

“You will accompany us, Waters?” said Sanford, as we rose to depart. “There is, I suppose, no vow registered in the matrimonial archives against looking on at a game played by others?”

“Oh, no; but don’t ask me to play.”

“Certainly not”; and a devilish sneer curled his lip. “Your virtue shall suffer no temptation, be assured.”

We soon arrived before the door of a quiet, respectable looking house in one of the streets leading from the Strand; a low, peculiar knock, given by Sanford, was promptly answered;

Continued on p.8


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