American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine, April 1839.
Unpublished Passages
Vidocq, The French Minister of Police

Jean Monette

by J.M.B.
  money, which year after year accumulated, and would make a splendid fortune for his daughter, at his death. With this advantage, Emma, who was really a handsome girl, did not want for suitors, and thought that being an heiress she might wait till she really felt a reciprocal passion for someone, and not throw herself away upon the first tolerable match (according to the sense of the word) that presented itself. It was on a Sunday, the first in the month of June, that Emma had, as an especial treat, obtained sufficient money from her father for an excursion with some friends, to see the waterworks at Versailles.

It was a beautiful day, and the basin was thronged around with thousands and thousands of persons, looking, from the variety of their dresses, more like the colors of a splendid rainbow, than aught beside; and when at four o’clock, Triton and his satellites threw up their immense volumes of water, all was wonder, astonishment, and delight, but none were . . .


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    At the time I first became Commissary, my arrondissement was that part which included the Rue St. Antoine, which has a great number of courts, alleys, and culs-de-sac, issuing from it in all directions, and from their proximity to a very great thoroughfare, gave me no inconsiderable deal of trouble. The houses in these alleys and courts are for the most part inhabited by wretches, wavering betwixt the last shade of poverty and actual starvation, ready to take part in any disturbance, or assist in any act of rapine or violence. In one of these alleys, there lived at that time a man named Jean Monette, who was tolerably well stricken in years, but still a hearty man. He was a widower, and, with an only daughter, occupied a floor, “au quatrieme,” in one of the courts; people said he had been in business, and grown rich, but that he had not the heart to spend his    




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