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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Flag of Our Union, July 7, 1855.

This story was reprinted in Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine, August 1855, where it was attributed to Alexander W. Lauderdale.

 
A Mysterious Burglar
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by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
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  convince me that my safe was not safe, the agent went at work to pick the lock, which he did in about five minutes.

“But this did not convince me. I knew that he could pick any lock, and I told him so; but he got the upper hands of me. He made me go over to B. & S.’s, and see a safe he had put in for them, and I was so pleased with it, that I finally told him he might bring me one, if he would exchange and allow me a fair price for mine. This he promised to do; but I could not have my safe under two weeks, as he had orders filled for as many as could be got off before that time. However, I was to have my new safe in two weeks.

“That night I put my money in my old safe, and locked it up. There was over six hundred dollars in all—some in a pocketbook, and some in the drawer; and as I turned the key, and slid the secret knob over the hole, I wondered if any burglar could get in there. But the next . . .

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    “Did I ever tell you of the strange thing that happened to me some three years since?” asked my friend L——, as I sat in his store one stormy afternoon, when it was too bad for customers to venture out. I assured him he had never told me anything of the kind, and he proceeded to give me the following story:

“Perhaps you remember what a panic there was in this part of the city, some three years ago, caused by several daring burglaries. Three stores, very near me, had been entered, and the safes broken open and robbed. But as I lived with my family directly over my store, I had not so much fear, though, I must say, I entertained some feelings not very pleasant. One day, during the excitement, an agent for a safe manufacturing company—for Wilder’s patent—came into my store to banter me to take one of his safes. I had one of the old-fashioned kind, but I had great confidence in it, for the lock was stout and curious. To

   

 

 


 

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