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. 8

endurance, and resolute contempt of death, with, I may now confess, very indifferent success. The woman Jaubert was, I also saw, present; and a man, whom I afterwards ascertained to be Martin, was standing near the doorway, with his back toward me. These two, at a brief intimation from Levasseur, went downstairs; and then the fierce exultation of the two escaped convicts—of Levasseur especially—broke forth with wolfish rage and ferocity. “Ha—ha—ha!” shouted the Swiss, at the same time striking me over the face with his open hand, “You find, then, that others can plot as well as you can—dog, traitor, scoundrel that you are! ‘Au revoir—alors!’ was it, eh? Well, here we are, and I wish you joy of the meeting. Ha—ha! How dismal the rascal looks Dubarle!”—(Again the coward struck me.)—“He is hardly grateful to me, it seems, for having kept my word. I always do, my fine fellow,” he added with a savage chuckle; “and never neglect to pay my debts of honor. Yours especially,” he continued, drawing a pistol from his pocket, “shall be prompt payment, and with interest too, scélerat!” He held the muzzle of the pistol to within a yard of my

    forehead, and placed his finger on the trigger. I instinctively closed my eyes, and tasted in that fearful moment the full bitterness of death; but my hour was not yet come. Instead of the flash and report which I expected would herald me into eternity, a taunting laugh from Levasseur at the terror he excited rang through the room.

“Come—come,” said Dubarle, over whose face a gleam of commiseration, almost of repentance, had once or twice passed; “You will alarm that fellow downstairs with your noise. We must, you know, wait till he is gone, and he appears to be in no hurry. In the meantime let us have a game of piquet for the first shot at the traitor’s carcass.”

“Excellent—capital!” shouted Levasseur, with savage glee. “A game of piquet; the stake your life, Waters! A glorious game! And mind you see fair play. In the meantime, here’s your health, and better luck next time, if you should chance to see it.” He swallowed a draught of wine which Dubarle, after helping himself, had poured out for him; and then approaching me, with the silver cup he had drained in his hand, said “Look at the crest! Do you recognize

Continued on p. 10


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