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. 8

some purpose or other to impose upon my credulity.”

“Neither, sir—neither,” replied Mr. Thompson, with warmth. “I certainly am not deceived, myself, and I should hope that my character, which I doubt not is well-known to you, will shield me from any suspicion of a desire to deceive others.”

“I am quite aware, Mr. Thompson, of your respectability, still you may be unwillingly led astray. I very much regret to say that the evidence against your daughter’s husband is overwhelming, and, I fear, unanswerable.”

“The best, kindest of husbands!” broke in the disconsolate wife; “The most injured, the most persecuted of men!”

“It is useless,” said I, rising, and seizing my hat, “to prolong this conversation. If he be innocent, he will no doubt be acquitted; but as it is now close upon half past seven o’clock, I must beg to take my leave.”

“One moment, sir,” said Mr. Thompson, hastily. “To be frank with you, it was entirely

    for the purpose of asking your advice as an experienced person, that we are here. You have heard of this young man’s father?”

“Joel Masters? Yes. A gambler, and otherwise disreputable person, and one of the most specious rascals, I am told, under the sun.”

“You have correctly described him.—You are not perhaps acquainted with his handwriting?”

“Yes, I am; partially so at least. I have a note in my pocket—here it is—addressed to me by the artful old scoundrel for the purpose of luring me from the right track of his son.”

“Then, Mr. Waters, please read this letter from him dated Liverpool, where it appears he was yesterday to embark for America.”

The letter which Mr. Thompson placed in my hands startled me a little. It was a circumstantial confession addressed by Joel Masters to his son, setting forth that he, the father, was alone guilty of the offence with which his unfortunate son was charged, and authorizing him to make a full disclosure should he fail in making his escape from the

Continued on p. 10


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