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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime. New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1863. 154-65.
 
Moneybags and Son

by A Retired Member of the Detective Police
[William Russell]

Chapter I
  which, perhaps, he had sacrificed every thing a rational being would prize in life, and from which he must, however reluctantly, so very soon be called upon to part.I made a slight noise to arrest his attention. He looked up, at the same moment spreading out his arms so as to cover and embrace his treasures, and in agitated voice inquired,—
 
“What do you want here? Mr. Barton,” calling to his managing clerk, “why do you let people come in here?”

“This is Mr. Barker, sir, whom you desired me to send for.”
 
“Oh, Mr. Barker! Ha! yes; I think I do want him. I think I do, indeed. Take a seat, Mr. Barker. I will attend to you directly. O dear me!”

I took a seat as directed, and the old man resumed his task. It seemed a mortal struggle with him to tear himself away from his . . .

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ONE morning—it is a good many years ago—I received a hasty summons from old Moneybags, the wholesale grocer of Broad Street. I promptly obeyed the summons, and upon entering the counting-house I saw a feeble old man, with palsied head and hands, seated before a long desk, covered with piles of gold, silver, banknotes, checks, bills, &c., which he was counting and assorting.
 
It was a melancholy spectacle to see this frail piece of humanity, for whom the grave must have been yawning, so deeply absorbed with the dross of life. All his faculties—and they were not many—seemed centered in the contemplation of his money. He was so deeply absorbed in his idolatry that he did not perceive my entrance. I paused, without making a noise, to contemplate the singular spectacle of an old man, verging on eighty, gloating over that for

   

 

 

 
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