American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, October 30, 1858.
The Torn Newspaper;
Circumstantial Evidence

by Oliver Sinclair
Chapter I
  though poor she was socially his equal, her father having been a gentleman of fortune who became bankrupt before his death through the failure of a bank in which he had invested all he was worth.

They were standing at the garden gate, to which he had asked her to accompany him after having called to see her, saying that he wished to say a few words to her alone. These few words were the offer of his hand and fortune. Her reply was, that she had been a month engaged to William Appleton. His angry exclamations of disappointment called from her the words of remonstrance and kindness which she addressed him at the beginning of our tale.

“Love or hatred!” he replied, almost fiercely. “I must either love or hate you, Ida Boyd! There is no medium with me. As for William Appleton, may the day—”

“Charles—Charles! Stop where you are! This conduct is unworthy of you and painful to me!” she cried, laying her hand upon his arm, which he pettishly withdrew from her touch. . . .


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    “I will never consent to your marriage with William Appleton, Ida,” said Charles Redington, with a flushed look and angry eyes.

“If I love William more than I love you, Charles, why should you be angry. This is not the way to make me love you better than William. If I cannot be your wife, I can be your friend! You have paid me a compliment I shall always be grateful for, in offering me your hand. I feel deeply your preference of me over other and fairer maidens of your acquaintance, and who I know would be made happy by such an offer. Nay, do not look displeased! Because I refuse to be your wife is no reason that I cannot esteem you as a friend!”

Thus calmly and gently and sensibly spoke Ida Boyd, a sweet, beautiful girl of eighteen, the daughter of a poor widow, to a rich young man of uncontrollable passions, who had loved her long and would have made her his wife; for





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