American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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Published in
Ballou’s Dollar Magazine, October 1862

This story was later included in the collection Leaves from the Note-Book of a New York Detective: The Private Record of J. B. Edited by John B. Williams, M.D. (New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1865. 62-9). The stories in this volume were purportedly written by the fictional character James Brampton.

The Lottery Ticket

by A New York Detective

  I looked at my watch, and finding that I could spare a quarter of an hour, I agreed to accompany him. We jumped into an omnibus which was passing up town, and in a short time stood before his residence, which was situated in Bond Street.  He took me into a small room which evidently served him for a study. A library table stood in the middle of the apartment, which was covered with magazines and papers. He invited me to be seated.

“My name is Morton,” said he; “ I am engaged in no business, having sufficient to live upon comfortably. I possess considerable property in houses, and collect the rents myself. Yesterday was my collection day. Last night when I returned home I placed five thousand dollars in that safe which you see yonder, intending to take it to the bank this morning; but when I opened it for that purpose it was gone. Whoever took it must have had duplicate keys not only of the safe but of the house door.”

“Was the safe locked this morning?” I asked.
. . .


Find the full text here.






    I was one day walking quietly down Broadway, thinking that I would buy a present for my wife, for the following day was her birthday, and she and I have always kept up the good old fashion of making each other presents on these occasions. I was debating whether it should be an article of jewelry, or a new dress, when I felt some one suddenly tap me on the shoulder. I turned quickly round, and found myself face to face with a gentleman of about sixty years of age. He was dressed in black, and wore a portly watch-chain, from which hung two or three seals, and was altogether a very respectable-looking individual.

“I believe I have the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Brampton?” said he.

“That is my name,” I returned.

“You have been mentioned to me very favorably by Mr. M—. I wish to consult you in a very delicate matter. Can you accompany me to my house?”




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