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. 94-120.
Mr. James Bunce
by Inspector F.

  “All right—glad you have made such haste,” exclaimed the superintendent, the moment I entered the office. “There’s a cab in waiting; it’s about a burglary at Messrs. Samuels’, City, the night before last; enormous plunder; from ten to fifteen thousand pounds. This gentleman, Mr. James Bunce, deputed by Messrs. Samuels, will go with you. He knows the absconded culprit, a confidential clerk, personally. Here are particulars for your guidance, and an official letter to the Liverpool authorities, requesting them to render you every assistance in their power. Now then, look sharp, or you’ll lose the train.”

“Look sharp! Liverpool,” exclaimed I, as soon as a word could be got in edgewise. “What the plague do you mean? Why I only returned from Portsmouth a few hours ago, haven’t breakfasted nor got a change of linen.”

“Nonsense—nonsense. You can breakfast at Rugby—anywhere—buy a shirt in . . .


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    I SHALL never forget that coldest day in the coldest winter I have ever known, the lucky prediction of which raised Murphy, for a time, far above Francis Moore, physician, as a weather prophet. The chill of it, as I write, seems to shiver through the marrow of my bones. No wonder that it should. I am going to tell you why.

On the morning previous to that coldest day, I was roused up long before daylight by a peremptory summons from the chief superintendent at Scotland-yard. I was “wanted” immediately. Not one minute’s delay could be permitted. So as needs must, when a certain gentleman drives, out of bed I tumbled, scrambled on my clothes, and hurried away, cold, hungry, and uncommonly savage, to ascertain the cause of my being disturbed at such an unseasonable hour, particularly as the superintendent knew perfectly well that I could not have had at the most more than three hours’ sleep.




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