American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Milwaukee Sentinel and Gazette, November 1 & 2, 1849
The Daily Sanduskian, November 7, 8, 9, 1849
The Sheboygan Mercury, November 10, 1849
The Oskosh True Democrat, November 23, 1849

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: Guilty or Not Guilty?” in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal on August 25, 1849.

It was later published 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).

    "Guilty or Not Guilty?" continued from p. 11

“It is.”

“Now,” said the clerk of the magistrate, addressing me, “please to produce the articles in your possession.”

I laid the Spanish coin and the cross upon the table.

“Please to look at these two articles, Mr. Bagshawe,” said the chairman. “Now, sir, on your oath, are they a portion of the property of which you have been robbed?”

The aged gentleman stooped forward and examined them earnestly; then turned and looked with quivering eyes, if I may be allowed the expression, in his nephew’s face; but returned no answer to the question.

“It is necessary you should reply, Yes or No, Mr. Bagshawe,” said the clerk.

“Answer, uncle,” said the prisoner soothingly; “fear not for me. God and innocence to aid, I

    shall yet break through the web of villainy in which I at present seem so helplessly involved.”

“Bless you, Robert—bless you! I am sure you will. Yes, gentlemen, the cross and the coin on the table are part of the property carried off.”

A smothered groan, indicative of the sorrowful sympathy felt for the venerable gentleman, arose from the crowded court on hearing this declaration. I then deposed to finding them as previously stated. As soon as I concluded, the magistrates consulted together for a few minutes; and then the chairman, addressing the prisoner, said, “I have to inform you that the bench are agreed that sufficient evidence has been adduced against you to warrant them in fully committing you for trial. We are of course bound to hear anything you have to say; but such being our intention, your professional adviser will perhaps recommend you to reserve whatever defense you have to make for another tribunal; here it could not avail you.”

Mr. Cowan expressed his concurrence in the

Continued on p. 13


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