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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, March 26, 1859
Republic Journal [Belfast, ME], August 3, 1860
The Union Democrat [Boston, MA] August 28, 1860

A slightly shorter version of this story was published in the The Kenosha Telegraph, September 6, 1860. In this later version no credit was given to the author, the location was shifted to England, and the subtitle was changed to “From the Journal of an English Police Officer.”

 
A Hunt on the Highway
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From the “Record” of a Sheriff
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by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
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  with warm flannel, and set forth. I had no settled plan in my mind, for I had not yet been upon the road, and was not thoroughly “posted up.” A ride of five miles in my own carriage brought me to Sidney, and thence I meant to take the stage to Lowstone, where Sam Stickney, one of the shrewdest of my deputies, lived. Stickney had already been on the search, and I wished to consult him before making any decided movement. I reached Sidney at half past five in the morning, and the coach left at six. Lowstone was sixty miles distant, so I had a good ride before me. During the early part of the day I rode upon the box with the driver, and from him I gained considerable information touching the various robberies that had been committed. He was forced to admit that several people had been robbed in his stage, though he declared he couldn’t see into it, for he had not the most remote idea, even, of who the robber could be.

We reached Bonnville at noon, where we stopped to dine, and when we left this place I was the only passenger. A cool wind was blowing, and as I wished to be as careful as possible, I got inside, where I had room in . . .

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    There was a shrewd robber somewhere. The farmhouses were robbed; shops were robbed; the tills of the bars at the wayside inns were robbed; and people had their pockets picked. All this happened in the region of the country between Sidney and Lowstone—not a field of vast extent—and yet the robber, or robbers, could not be found. Officers had searched in every direction, and several suspicious looking individuals were apprehended; but the real culprit still remained at large. One day the mail was robbed, and on the next a man had his pocket picked of ten thousand dollars, while riding in the stagecoach. The money had been carried in his breast pocket, and he knew that it was stolen from him while he was enjoying a bit of doze on the road.

I had been confined to my house by a severe cold for several days, and was not fit to go out now; but as this matter was becoming so serious, I felt it my duty to be on the move, and accordingly I fortified my throat and breast

   

 

 


 

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