American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Columbia [PA] Spy, November 19, 1859.
My German Tutor
  afford to give such a salary to a tutor as would secure the services of a scholar and a gentleman, and to such only could I delegate the trust committed to me.

Before speaking of the contents of the important letter that proved so welcome an interruption to my perplexed musings, I must give a slight sketch of my vicarage, as some notion of its outward appearance and internal arrangement will be necessary to make my story comprehensible. It consists chiefly of a square mass of red brick building, in the style prevalent in the days of the earlier Georges; and with its ruddy hue unsubdued by the lapse of a century, seems to blush for its own extreme hideousness. Connected with this, at the time of which I write, about two years ago, was a fragment of a building of much earlier date, composed of lath and plaster, with strong transverse beams of oak, on one of which was carved a date considerably anterior to the Reformation. This ancient structure contained the room dignified by the name of the . . .


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Nothing could have happened more opportunely. I was sitting alone in the study, trying fifty different ways to solve the most perplexing problem, “how to make two ends meet,” when a letter was put into my hand, which threw a brilliant and unexpected light on my path.

I was wearing myself out. The entire charge of a widely scattered flock in a rural parish in England, the care of a young and increasing family, with a delicate tenderly nurtured mother, whose education, as the youngest child of wealthy parents, but ill prepared her for the daily struggle with petty cares and anxieties which she strove to bear so cheerfully, and, above all, the training and tuition of four riotous young rascals of from ten to twelve, whose minds and morals I was endeavoring to improve preparatory to their entering life at a public school, would be a severe ordeal to the stoutest health and strongest nerves, and I possessed neither.

But what could I do? The result of all my calculations went to prove that I could not





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