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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. 2

snow-wreathed figure—a woman apparently—not a living soul was to be seen. This figure which was standing still at the further side of the square, appeared to be awaiting me, and as I drew near it, threw back the hood of a cloak, and to my great surprise disclosed the features of Madame Jaubert. This lady, some years before, had carried on, not very far from the spot where she now stood, a respectable millinery business. She was a widow with one child, a daughter of about seven years of age. Marie-Louise, as she was named, was one unfortunate day sent to Coventry Street on an errand with some money in her hand, and never returned. The inquiries set on foot proved utterly without effect; not the slightest intelligence of the fate of the child was obtained—and the grief and distraction of the bereaved mother resulted in temporary insanity. She was confined in a lunatic asylum for seven or eight months, and when pronounced convalescent, found herself homeless, and almost penniless, in the world. This sad story I heard from one of the keepers of the asylum during her sojourn there. It was a subject she herself never, I was aware, touched

    upon; and she had no reason to suspect that I was in the slightest degree informed of this melancholy passage in her life. She, why, I know not, changed her name from that of Duquesne to the one she now bore—Jaubert; and for the last two or three years had supported a precarious existence by plausible begging letters addressed to persons of credulous benevolence; for which offence she had frequently visited the police courts at the insistence of the secretary of the Mendacity Society, and it was there that I consequently made her acquaintance.

“Madame Jaubert!” I exclaimed with unfeigned surprise. “Why, what on earth can you be waiting here for on such a night as this?”

“To see you!” was her curt reply.

“To see me! Depend upon it, then you are knocking at the wrong door for not the first time in your life. The very little faith I ever had in professional widows, with twelve small children, all down in the measles, has long since vanished, and—”

Continued on p. 4

   


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