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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
United States Democratic Review, August 1845
 

 

“The Innocent Convict,” continued from p. 10

sot himself. Although I felt grateful to him for speaking to me, I could not help thinking that his laughing was ill timed, and my old feelings began to return the moment that the first impulse caused by his salutation began to subside.

“‘You remember the money that was found in your trunk?’ he said.

“‘I beg that you will not allude to it,’ I replied, ‘but since you have, I swear to you before God, whom I fear, that I never knew how it came there.’

“‘Ha, ha, ha, capital!’ said the thoughtless wretch, with an idiotic laugh, ‘capital. Don’t I know that? It was I who put it there; I only did it in fun.’

“‘Did you truly?’

‘“Truly I did. Ha, ha, ha!’

‘“And why did you not save me from disgrace, by acknowledging it?’ I said.

    “‘I meant to do so after a while, but you

behaved so badly afterwards, that I found it would do no good.’

“‘Miserable wretch!’ I exclaimed, ‘you will have your reward. Stupid, malicious idiot—.’ I do not know what might have followed, for I was fast losing command of myself, when the people in the barroom gathered around me, and prevented me from doing violence to the cowardly knave. It was already late in the evening, but instead of retiring to my bedroom, I left the hotel and sought my mother’s grave, where I could give vent to my feelings unobserved. It was a dark blustering night, but no external circumstances had any effect upon my mind. I howled in the extremity of my grief, and prayed Heaven that I might, for my mother’s sake, bear my load of sorrows meekly. If I had any vengeful feelings, I strove to overcome them. Had I known that the cause of all my misfortunes was himself paying the penalty of his wickedness—but I will not indulge in the thought that God avenged my wrongs.

Continued on p. 12

   
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