American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Flag of Our Union, January 20, 1866

Reprinted in
Ballou’s Dollar Magazine, September 1875
The Indiana [ PA] Progress, October 3, 1878

A plagiarized version of this story was published as “My First Experience as a Detective” by Lewis Barnes in Gleason’s Monthly Companion, January 1881.

[Written for The Flag of our Union]
Hearthstone Tales
by a Traveller
[James D. M’Cabe, Jr.]
The Telltale Eye
  with all in the house.

One morning, as Laromie and I were sitting at breakfast, an old gentleman who had been boarding there for some time (he was there before my arrival), came in and seated himself opposite us. Laromie glanced at him carelessly, but I noticed a quiet smile in the corner of his mouth as he did so. I noticed, also that Laromie was longer over his breakfast than usual, and rose only when the old gentleman did. My surprise was soon ended, however; for as the old gentleman turned to leave the dining room, Laromie approached him, and laying his hand on his shoulder, said, quietly:

“Monsieur Du Far, you are my prisoner.”

The old man turned deadly pale, and glanced around hurriedly, as if to secure some means of escape. But Laromie’s grasp on his shoulder tightened, and he continued coolly:

“Monsieur Du Far, I arrest you in the name of the state, for forgery and counterfeiting.” . . .


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SOME years ago, while living in Paris, I met with a French detective who was boarding for a while at the house at which I was sojourning. I confess I was drawn to the man from the first. He was a frank, open-hearted, careless Frenchman, whose only aim seemed to be to enjoy life. I had no idea that he was a detective, but supposed him to be simply a young man of fortune. Together we attended various places of amusement, and I soon found my friendship for Eugene Laromie was cordially reciprocated.

He was a tall, splendidly-formed man with a good-looking careless face, black hair and whiskers. A close observer would have noticed self-reliance and determination in every feature, and the calm, clear eyes told of more than ordinary courage. He was quiet and unobtrusive in his manners, and was decidedly a favorite





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