American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Experiences of a Real Detective by Inspector F.
Edited by “Waters,” author of Recollections of a Police Officer, Leonard Harlowe, etc.
London: Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 1862. 143-89.
Miss Waldegrave’s Will
by Inspector F.

  services of the force was tremendous,—I must certainly have gone a little too far, or I should not have been such an ass, being in plain clothes, and not obliged to interfere, as to have rudely meddled with five or six swells, who burst roystering out of the Blue Posts hotel, in the Haymarket, singing, shouting, vociferating, in the most obstreperously loyal spirit. I did interfere, and the result was, that in a space of time which my after-recollection could not measure, I found myself in the gutter, and that after being picked up, borne into the said tavern or hotel, washed, and renovated internally with soda water and brandy, I became clearly conscious of two dreadful black eyes, and a miserably painful sprained ankle. The swells were nowhere—nowhere in sight, I mean; but, like all genuine swells, real nobs, they had left five sovereigns with Mr. Banks, who knew me, “as a plaster for the Peeler.”

“Black eyes” was a few days’ matter, but the sprained ankle proved a very obstinate, painful affair. The suffering injured my general . . .


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    I GOT into a sad scrape between one and two o’clock on the morning of the morrow of Queen Victoria’s coronation day—a scrape which had curious consequences. Many of us that have reached years of discretion,—a not quite accurately determined age, by-the-bye,—will remember that what with the illuminations and the general saturnalia, the time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day. I myself, after midnight, perhaps before, was excessively busy, but nothing like as bright, as I flatter myself I, in the ordinary state, am, or at least then was; for I must not forget that the chilling, if not absolutely quenching snows of twenty-four winters have since passed over my head. The day was very hot, which circumstance seemed to create a sort of sympathetic affinity between loyalty and malt liquor; and I must confess to having drunk her Majesty’s health oftener than was quite consistent with the functions of a sworn guardian of the Queen’s peace. Still I was perfectly myself whilst on duty; but when relieved therefrom—not till late in the evening,—for the pressure upon the    



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