American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Revelations of a Private Detective by Andrew Forrester, Jr. London: Ward and Lock, 1863. 87-102.
Mrs. Fitzgerald’s Life Policy
by Andrew Forrester, Jr.

  The letter was handed to me. It in substance alleged that the writer was an estate agent in very considerable practice, and that he could bring to the office insurances on a rather large number of the best lives. I may also remark, that at the head of the letter, was an engraved address, and the words—”Esta­blished 1795.”

“Here is a copy of my letter in reply, enclosing a minute of the Board,” said the manager, “and here is a copy of the agent’s acceptance of the office.” He then continued:— “Three weeks after the date of the last communication I have shown you, we received from him a proposal for insurance upon the life of a lady, 56 years of age, for £3,000. This proposal happened to arrive,—unfortunately, I think I may say,—during my temporary absence from the office through illness. Our agent wrote to enquire what he should do, as the lady’s private medical adviser was our local medical officer. This appointment had been made by the agent, under a general authority from us to select a thoroughly respectable man to act . . .


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    ONE day I was desired to call upon the Unim­peachable Insurance Company, which at that time had its office in West Strand, London. During an interview with Mr. Bland, the manager and secretary, he laid before me a letter which he had received about six months previously from a gentleman in Dublin named McGrath, applying for the position of agent of the company in Ireland.
“Now, I had some disinclination,” said the manager, “to advise my Board to accept this offer, for I had reason to know that several offices had been robbed by fraudulent insurances from the sister isle. To such extent had these frauds been perpetrated (my informant proceeded to say) that several London offices determined under all circumstances to decline Irish business. As, however, mine was a young office, I thought we could not afford to throw away any reason­able promise of a connection, and I therefore submitted the letter to my Board, the result being that the applicant was duly appointed.”



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