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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Harper’s Monthly, January 1851

This story was originally printed as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: The Revenge” in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on November 9, 1850.

It was reprinted as “The Revenge” in
The Daily Sanduskian, March 18, 19, & 20, 1851
The Janesville Gazette May 8, 1851

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 Robber's Revenge?" continued from p. 12

same hurried, almost insane manner. “You have work to do! Now, whilst I secure the door, do you rub and chafe your stiffened joints.” The door was soon fastened, and she assisted in restoring the circulation to my partially benumbed limbs. This was at last accomplished, and Marie Duquesne drew me towards a window, which she softly opened. “It is useless,” she whispered, “to attempt a struggle with the men below. You must descend by this,” and she placed her hand upon a lead water pipe, which reached from the roof to within a few feet of the ground.

“And you,” I said; “How are you to escape?”

“I will tell you. Do you hasten on towards Hampstead, from which we are distant in a northerly direction about a mile. There is a house at about half the distance. Procure help, and return as quickly as possible. The door fastenings will resist some time, even should your flight be discovered. You will not fail me?”

“Be assured I will not.” The descent was a difficult and somewhat perilous one, but it was

   

safely accomplished, and I set off at the top of my speed toward Hampstead.

I had gone perhaps a quarter of a mile, when the distant sound of a horse’s feet, coming at a slow trot towards me, caught my ear. I paused, to make sure I was not deceived, and as I did so, a wild scream from the direction I had left, followed by another and another, broke upon the stillness of the night. The scoundrels had no doubt discovered my escape, and were abut to wreak their vengeance upon the unfortunate creature in their power. The trot of the horse which I had heard was, simultaneously with the breaking out of those wild outcries, increased to a rapid gallop. “Hallo!” exclaimed the horseman as he came swiftly up. “Do you know where these screams come from?” It was the horse patrol who thus providentially came up! I briefly stated that the life of a woman was at the mercy of two escaped convicts. “Then, for God’s sake, jump up behind me!” exclaimed the patrol. “We shall be there in a couple of minutes.” I did so; the horse—a powerful animal, and not entirely unused to carry double—started off, as if it

Continued on p. 14

   


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