American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Experiences of a Real Detective by Inspector F.
Edited by “Waters,” author of Recollections of a Police Officer, Leonard Harlowe, etc.
London: Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 1862. 17-28.
The Tragedy in Judd Street, New Road
by Inspector F.

  never happy except he could prevail upon the surgeon, the articled clerk, and myself, to spend the evening at whist with him. When, as frequently happened, I was not able to make one, the landlady was caught and made to do duty in my stead—Mrs. Fordyce’s mind being a complete blank as respected the mysteries of whist or of any other card game. Mr. Fordyce, for his position, was a rich as well as liberal man. The good cheer was consequently abundant—wines, spirits, cigars, first-rate; suppers excellent! Occasionally whist was exchanged for Pope Joan, vingt-un, and other “quiet game”-substitutions for his beloved whist, which greatly fretted Mr. Fordyce, and generally brought on a violent fit of gout; one reason, no doubt, being that at such times he indulged more immoderately than usual in consolatory port. These occasions happened, upon an average, about once a fortnight, when his nieces, Julia and Laura Morris, with their mother, the widow Morris, paid their rich uncle a visit. Good-looking girls were both nieces, Julia particularly, though she was no beauty. . . .


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    I ONCE lodged for a few months with Mrs. George, an elderly widow, in one of the roomiest houses in Judd-street, New-road. Mrs. George gained her living by letting furnished apartments. She and her maid-of-all-work dwelt in the under-ground rooms; Mr. and Mrs. Fordyce—a gouty old gentleman and amazingly corpulent wife—occupied the parlours; Mr. Faulkner, a youthful member of the Royal College of Surgeons, the first floor; Mr. Richard Bellingham, a native of Worcester, and articled clerk to Mr. Parkes, solicitor, of Mitre-court, Temple, the second; and myself, apartments on the third floor. The name of “Mr. Faulkner, Surgeon,” was inscribed on a brass plate fixed to the door, and “Surgery Bell” was neatly painted under one of the brightly-polished brass bell-knobs.

We were quite a friendly community, notwithstanding difference in social position. Mr. Fordyce, a retired drysalter, without any other incumbrance than his unwieldy wife, was




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