American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Harper’s Weekly, July 25, 1857
How Bob Bolter’s Prisoner Escaped
  was sold to the Ehrwitz Brothers, who for a series of years had defied by their finesse all the exertions of police and magistrates. After commitment he was ‘habeas corpused’—plague on those bothersome writs! Instead of being helps to justice, as in olden times, they have got to be mischievous, and oftentimes—as in the case I now speak of—mere dodges to help an escape. Being somewhat his criminal guardian, I was selected to care for him on his way to the judge’s chambers and back again. The argument over, he was remanded; for there was nothing in the points made ‘for the liberty of the subject,’ as the counselor with much bombast contended.

“Just by Pearl Street in Centre, as we were going to the Tombs, two intensely countrified fellows came along, and as quick as lightning seized me by each arm, and just as quickly my prisoner cut and ran toward Elm Street. The thing was so bold and audacious I was for a moment paralyzed, and they held tightly, . . .


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    Bob Bolter (as he has been familiarly termed in the Police Department for many years—he is now a resigned member, choosing neither to wear the red nor the white rose of the Plantagenet Commissioners) loves to take a quiet “drop” into my easy chair in the little study, and with a Romano cigar in one corner of his mouth, play narrator from the other side.

We were talking last week about the queer manner in which the French jailbird, “Parot,” got away from the Marshal, and I had irreverently sneered at the latter, when “Bob” cried, “Be easy, my boy! your prisoners will escape despite your best vigilance; so listen.”

“Several years ago I had with much difficulty arrested a clerk of a leading jewelry store, who for a long time had not only successfully purloined from his employers, but had as successfully diverted suspicion from himself. He made no confessions when apprehended, and was very sullen; but I got facts enough to give me a clew that the property he had taken




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