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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. 5

pretty sure to run in with the tide.”

“When do you say is the very earliest time she may be expected?”

“Well, in my opinion, judging from where she was when I was on the lookout a quarter of an hour agone, not under three hours. Let me see. It is now upon the stroke of five; about eight o’clock I should say she will be here; certainly not before, perhaps much later; and if the captain is very obstinate, and prefers incurring a rather serious risk to returning, it may be of course not at all.”

I thanked him, and as remaining on the bleak quay till eight o’clock or thereabouts was as useless as unpleasant, I retraced my steps toward the Royal George Tavern; calling in my way of the Plymouth officers, and arranging that one of them should relieve me at ten o’clock; it having been previously agreed that we should keep an alternate watch during the night of two hours each. I afterward remembered that this arrangement was repeated in an uncautiously loud tone of voice at the bar of a public house, where they insisted upon

    my taking a glass of porter. There were, I should say, more than a dozen persons present at the time.

The fire was blazing brightly in the parlor of the Royal George when I entered, and I had not been seated near it many minutes before I became exceedingly drowsy, and no wonder, for I had not been in bed the previous night, and the blowing of the wind in my eyes for two hours had of course added greatly to their weariness. Habit had long enabled me to awake at any hour I had previously determined on, so that I felt no anxiety as to oversleeping myself; and having pulled out my watch, noticed that it was barely half past five, wound it up, and placed it before me on the table, I settled myself comfortably in an arm chair, and was soon sound asleep.

I awoke with a confused impression that I had quite slept the time allotted to myself, and that strangers were in the room, and standing about me. I was mistaken in both particulars. There was no one in the room but myself, and on glancing at the watch I saw that it was but a quarter past six. I rose from the chair, stirred

Continued on p. 7

   


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