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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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Published in
Frank Leslie’s Pleasant Hours, 1873 Vol. 14 (Feb.-July) p. 275-9.

 

 
A Lost Glove
  He had not lifted his eyes from the letter he had in his hand. Still pondering over the manuscript, he subsided into silence. It was a small-sized, thick, cream-laid sheet, destitute of monogram or initial. From its general air of daintiness, I felt sure it was from a lady.

The silence was of so long a duration that I had time to note accessories about us—the pile of unopened letters, the dust that lay thick upon everything, even upon the coat of the Superintendent.

I was smiling at his crumpled collar and disheveled hair, when he spoke again.

“Here’s aletter from Mrs. General G—” he said, musingly, “asking me to call or send around, as she has met with a loss, and needs my services, I think I will turn the business over to you.

Yes,” he added, more decisively, “you can go. After you have heard what she has to say, you will know what to do as well as any one.”
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Find the full text here.

   


 

 

 

 

   

I am a younger brother of Robert Barstan, Chief of the Union Detective Force, whose headquarters, in the year 1863, were in Washington. At that time I was employed in my brother’s office, and had the working up of that case of Mrs. G— , vague reports of which have been floating in an unformed state in general conversation ever since.

Mrs. G— is now dead. In the silence of her grave are entombed some parts of my story—some missing details which no lips but hers could supply. But her death breaks the seal of my silence. It is better for me to tell the narrative even as brokenly as I must, than to have these false versions in circulation. A crude truth is better than a polished lie.

I stood at my desk, sorting some papers, when the chief sent for me. He waited till I stood at his side before he noticed me. He had a habit of commencing a sentence, then pausing and falling into a brown study, and finally saying something which apparently bore no resemblance to his first intended speech.

“Cecil, I want you to—”

   

 

 

 
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