American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Columbia [PA] Spy, June 30, 1859
Lost, Stolen or Strayed


  Mosshill felt dull. So she used to tell Therese, my lady’s second maid, who attended Lady Mosshill when she visited at my lord’s, to save her ladyship from bringing her own maid.

“After I had lived at my lord’s for almost twelve months the housekeeper sent for us of the servant’s hall, one morning, to come all together to her room. We wondered a good deal what could be the matter, but gradually we found ourselves all collected in the housekeeper’s room. Mrs. Merry’s speech was a sharp one, very much to the purpose, and not at all satisfactory—at least to the feelings of some of us.

“‘It is a very unpleasant business I have to speak about,’ said she; ‘but it worries me a good deal more than, I dare say, it will any of you. To speak plainly, and without any preamble, my lady has lost some of her diamonds, and of course suspicion falls on the servants.’

“There was a general exclamation. At last . . .


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The following strange event was related to me when a student in — Hospital, by a household servant of the name of Anne Fairly. She came into the hospital to be cured of a disease to which her class are peculiarly liable—a white swelling of the knee. She was at that time about forty years of age. In her youth this person’s first place was in the capacity of housemaid to a nobleman’s family, the head of whom I shall call the Marquis of Cornberry, a personage of some celebrity, connected—and not remotely—with royalty. Perhaps it will be best if I tell the story in her own words, exactly as I put it down at the time she related it.

“My lady had an intimate friend, Lady Mosshill—a countess she was, and a very fair, beautiful woman to look at, pleasant spoken, too, and not on the least haughty.—The lady was often on a visit to Lady Cornberry, and her visits mostly lasted a very long time; for the earl, her husband, was employed a great deal in Parliament, and having no children Lady





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