American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Experiences of a French Detective Officer by William Russell. New York: Dick & Fitgerald, 1864. 217-57.

This collection was originally published in England in 1861 under the pseudonym of Thomas Waters and claimed to be an adaptation from a manuscript by Théodore Duhamel, yet another pseudonym.

Jean Baptiste Soult,
Cabinet Maker

  the most exalted kind; confounding, by some incomprehensible mental process, as did Béranger and hundreds of other gifted men—the ideas of Despotism and of Liberty, the impersonations of Force and Freedom––singular, yet widespread delusion!

Although Jean Baptiste had given hostages to Fortune—a prosperous business, a considerable investment in Rentes, and, above all, his child Joséphine, a duteous, most loveable girl, then in the bloom of her seventeenth summer—he, swayed, dominated by his strong political predilections, in an evil hour, consented, though not, we must suppose, without misgiving, to join a secret society. One, however, composed, generally, of a class of men much superior to the brutal ragamuffins amongst whom I had the honour to be enrolled.

One of the members of that society was a Monsieur Le Moine, Auguste Le Moine, a tall, handsomeish man of forty, who, it was evident by his carriage and general bearing, had . . .


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OVER a shop in one of the best streets of the Faubourg Saint Antoine, there had been for many years painted in large letters, “Jean Baptiste Soult, Ebenistre” (cabinet maker). Such a name so placed naturally excited a good deal of ironical remark, and the cabinet maker had been compelled by authority to prove his right to call himself by so illustrious a name. He did so, indisputably; adding, that he was distantly related to the famous Marshal, whose baptismal and sire names he bore.

That may or may not have been a little invention of his (there are plenty of Soults, and of Jean Baptistes in the part of France where the great soldier and the prosperous ebenistre were born) but he certainly was, like his renowned namesake, an uncompromising Bonapartist, which craze, might no doubt have been a blood disease.

Now Jean Baptiste, as for brevity’s sake we will call the honest man—I have never known a more honest man—was also a Republican of





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