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. 13

comprehended the necessity for speed, and in a very brief space of time we were at the door of the house from which I had so lately escaped. Marie Duquesne, with her body half out of the window, was still wildly screaming as we rushed into the room below. There was no one there, and we swiftly ascended the stairs, at the top of which we could hear Levasseur and Dubarle thundering at the door, which they had unexpectedly found fastened, and hurling a storm of imprecations at the woman within, the noise of which enabled us to approach them pretty nearly before we were heard or perceived. Martin saw us first, and his sudden exclamation alarmed the others. Dubarle and Martin made a desperate rush to pass us, by which I was momentarily thrown on one said against the wall, and very fortunately, as the bullet leveled at me from a pistol Levasseur held in his hand would probably have finished me. Martin escaped, which I was not very sorry for; but the patrol pinned Dubarle safely, and I griped Levasseur with a strength and ferocity against which he was as powerless as an infant. Our victory was complete; and two hours afterwards, the recaptured convicts were


    safely lodged in a station house.

I caused Madame Duquesne to be as gently undeceived the next morning as possible with respect to her lost child; but the reaction and disappointment proved too much for her wavering intellect. She relapsed into positive insanity, and was placed in Bedlam, where she remained two years. At the end of that period she was pronounced convalescent. A sufficient sum of money was raised by myself and others, not only to send her to Paris, but to enable her to set up as a milliner in a small but respectable way. As lately as last May, when I saw her there, she was in health both of body and soul, and doing comfortably.

With the concurrence of the police authorities, very little was said publicly respecting my entrapment. It might perhaps have excited a monomania amongst liberated convicts—colored and exaggerated as every incident would have been for the amusement of the public—to attempt similar exploits. I was also anxious to conceal the peril I had encountered from my wife; and it was not till I had left the police force that she was informed of it.

Continued on p. 15


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