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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. 5

time; then suddenly entered with a sort of a bounce, walked swiftly, and with a determined air, straight up to the box where he was seated, grasped him tightly by the arm, and exclaimed roughly, “So I have found you at last!” —There was no start, no indication of fear whatever—not the slightest, the expression of his countenance, as he peevishly replied, “What the devil do you mean?” was simply of surprise and annoyance.

“I beg your pardon,” I replied: “the waiter told me, a friend of mine, one Bagshawe, who has given me the slip was here, and I mistook you for him.”

He courteously accepted my apology, quietly remarking at the same time that though his own name was Bristowe, he had, oddly enough, an uncle in the country of the same name as the person I had mistaken him for. Surely, thought I, this man is guiltless of the crime imputed to him; and yet— At this moment the porter entered to announce the arrival of the gentlemen I had sent for. I went out; and giving the newcomer instructions not to lose sight of

    Mr. Bristowe, hastened home to make arrangements for the journey.

Transformed, by the aid of a flaxen wig, broad-

brimmed hat, green spectacles, and a multiplicity of waistcoats and shawls, into a heavy and elderly, well-to-do personage, I took my way with Josiah Barnes—whom I had previously thoroughly drilled as to speech and behavior towards our companions—to the Saracen’s Head a few minutes previous to the time for starting. We found Mr. Bristowe already seated; but the “three friends,” I observed, were curiously looking on, desirous, no doubt, of ascertaining who were to be their fellow travelers before venturing to coop themselves up in space so narrow, and under circumstances, so difficult of egress. My appearance and that of Barnes—who, sooth to say, looked much more of a simpleton than he really was—quite assured them and in the jumped with confident alacrity. A few minutes afterwards the “all right,” of the attending ostlers gave the signal for departure, and away we started.

Continued on p. 7

   


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