American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime. New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1863. 59-61.
How Sergeant Barker’s Prisoner Escaped

by A Retired Member of the Detective Police
[William Russell]

  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 this citizen,’ as the counsellor with much bombast contended.
“Just by the corner of Leonard and Elm streets, 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 run toward Broadway. The thing was so bold and audacious, I was for a moment paralyzed, and they held tightly, too, I assure you. In an instant there was a crowd. ‘Help me,’ I cried, ‘I am an officer!’ The crowd came close the men released me. One said, ‘I will get an officer;’ the other cried, ‘Oh, the fellow’s drunk,’ and off they went, everybody laughing like mad, . . .


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WE were talking last week about the queer manner in which the French jailbird, “Parot,” got away from the inspector, and I had irreverently sneered at the latter, when “John” 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 house, who for a long time had not only successfully purloined from his employers, but had as successfully diverted suspicion from himself. He made no confession when apprehended, and was very sullen; but I got facts enough to give me a clue that the property he had taken 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




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