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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Fond du Lac [WI], September 12, 1850
Wisconsin Argus, October 22, 1850

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: The Pursuit” in Chambers' Edinbugh Journal on July 13, 1850.

This story was later published in the collection Recollections of a Police-Officer by William Russell, under the pseudonym Thomas Waters (London: J.& C. Brown & Co., 1856).

Prior to the British publication of this volume, a pirated collection of the stories--also titled Recollections of a Police-Officer--was published in America (New York: Cornish and Lamport, 1852).

    "The Pursuit," continued from p. 4

seaman was confirmed by others whom we consulted, and measures for preventing our quarry from landing and again giving us the slip, were at once discussed and resolved upon. We then separated, and I proceeded to the tavern at which I had put up to get some dinner. I had not gone far when my eye fell upon two persons whose appearance there surprised as well as somewhat grieved me. One was the young wife of the criminal on board the Columbia.

I had seen her once in London, and I knew, as before intimated, that she was of respectable parentage. There was no exultation in her countenance. She had no doubt, followed or accompanied her husband to Plymouth for the purpose of furthering his escape, and now feared that the capricious elements would render all the ingenuity and boldness that had been brought into play of no avail. She was a mild-looking pretty woman—very much so, no doubt not until trouble fell upon her, and wonderfully resembled the female in the ‘Momentous Question,’ so remarkably indeed that when years afterwards, I saw that print, I felt an instantaneous conviction that I had

    somewhere before met with the original of the portrait; and after much puzzlement of the brain, remembered when and where. The resemblance was doubtless purely accidental, but it was not the less extraordinary and complete. She was accompanied by a gray-haired man, of grave, respectable appearance, whom I at once concluded to be her father. As I passed close by them, he appeared about to address me, and I half paused to hear what he had to say; but his partly formed purpose was not persisted in, and I proceeded on my way.

After dining, I returned to the quay.—The wind, as foretold, was blowing directly from the south-west, and during the short space of time I had been absent, had increased to a tempest. The wild sea was dashing with terrific violence against the breakwater, discernable only in the fast darkening night by a line of white foam and spray which leaped and hissed against and over it.

“A dirty night coming on,” said a subaltern officer of the port, whom I had previously spoken with; “the Columbia will, I think, be

Continued on p. 6

   


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