American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Harper’s Weekly, January 3, 1857
A Police-Officer’s Seven Thousand Miles’ Chase
by J. B. Armstrong

  pronounced forgeries. About this time a letter from the forger was received (by the house which had indorsed his bill), containing a deed for some trifling village property, and a confession that he had for some time been doing business “by permission.”

Here ended all surmises. The banks had been swindled, and the only remedy was to commence an immediate and rapid pursuit. Where to follow they had no clew. He had gained a start of one week, which, well improved, might place him in security. In this dilemma, the officers employed the writer to make chase, in the hope of securing a portion of the money with the capture of his person. Upon instituting inquiries into his business habits, I ascertained that he had dealt largely in stock for some years, and was accustomed to the using of considerable sums of money, which he procured in bank on the same kind of paper as that remaining unpaid, and which, doubtless, had all been forged. This was only a step in the examination; but it served to convince me of his audacity, and warned . . .


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    A few months since information was brought to me, by the officers connected with several Ohio banks, of the mysterious disappearance of one of their customers, named B—. His residence was some thirty miles distant from the village of U—, at another county town, and consequently some days elapsed before the creditors at U— were advised of his flight. They held his bills to the amount of eleven thousand dollars, amply secured by the names of good indorsers; though, for the reason that he had frequently before received accommodations, it did not occur to them to make a critical examination of the handwriting of the sureties at the time the bills were discounted. The officers at first thought everything right—that the circumstances attending a failure had compelled their man to leave, but that the sureties would have the money to pay. On a closer scrutiny of all the signatures, coupled with the denials of the parties, the names of the indorsers—save one, on a single bill for two thousand dollars—were    




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