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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Flag of Our Union, March 31, 1855
Ballou’s Dollar Monthly, May 1855
 
[Written for the Flag of Our Union]
Mag Dufries:
or,
The Lost Child
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by Fred. Hunter
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  “I can’t read any papers tonight,” said Berton.“God bless us! how do you suppose a man can see anything in the midst of this snowstorm, by gaslight?”

But the woman clung to his coat-cape, and said, “See! you can read this—this?” and Berton saw by the light above them that the miserable old woman held in her withered fingers a placard, offering a reward of one hundred louis’ for the arrest of one Silbet, a noted housebreaker who had served three terms at La Force, and who was supposed to be the scoundrel who had lately attacked the carriage of a noble marquis of the realm, and secured his repeater, a casket of jewels, and a large amount of ready money he had in his vehicle.

“Well, what of that? I have seen it a dozen times today. Go home,” said the officer, “and don’t stand here, begging and freezing.”

Home!” said the hag, “ha, ha! I don’t beg, though, Berton, do you mind. I haven’t . . .

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    It was a wretchedly cold and dismal night in December, as an officer of the Parisian police was hurrying along homeward, after his day's duty. The clock above St. Martin struck nine, and the sleet was blowing rudely across the pavement, as the man was crossing a narrow street that led to the westward, when the figure of a poorly dressed woman, apparently, though tall and masculine for a female, suddenly stepped in his way, from around the bleak corner he was passing.

“Berton!” she shouted, “is it not Berton?”

“Yes, what now? Quick—for this is too bad a night to stand talking in the wind, here. Who are you? What is it?”

“Here—look here,” said the crone, stepping beneath the lamp.

   

 

 


 

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