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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. 86-108.
 
The Libertine’s Victim

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

  Park and the head of Spruce Street, and as the driver had not lighted his lamp, I thought possibly there might be some deviltry on foot, and determined, as I had nothing special on hand, that I would watch what might be going on
 
Entering the Park, I noticed a well dressed young man pacing to and fro with impatient strides, ever and anon casting his eyes around in all directions, evidently looking for some one whose arrival he expected.
 
Pulling my slouched hat over my face, I advanced towards him, and a single glance revealed to me the features of a young man named Edward Hargrave, of whom more hereafter.
 
Satisfied now that something wrong was going on, I resolved, coûte qui coûte, to see the dénouement, and watching my opportunity, I crossed over to the shrub­bery which lined the Park, and kept my eyes intently fixed on . . .

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    MANY years ago, at the time when the old Watch system was in operation, and when I filled the office of Runner, as the office was then termed, it was my practice to wander about the streets at night, generally in such disguise as would enable me, undiscovered, to penetrate into the mysterious and hidden haunts of crime, and many a rogue owed his detection and arrest to the successful manner in which my identity was cloaked.
 
One evening I found myself in the vicinity of the Park, then as now a favorite resort for parties who had made secret appointments. It was a lovely evening in September, and the trees and shrubbery being in full foliage, the place was really inviting, even for those who had no other expectation or desire than the enjoyment of the lovely night.
 
As I crossed from Broadway, I noticed a carriage standing about halfway between the
   

 

 

 
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