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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Revelations of a Private Detective by Andrew Forrester, Jr. London: Ward and Lock, 1863. 51-63.
 
The Troubles and the Escape
 
of a
“Perfect Young Lady”
by Andrew Forrester, Jr.

  “Your pocket has been picked, ma’m,” the gentleman observed.

Recovering her speech, the lady inquired— “Who could have done it?”
 
“The young woman who was just sitting next you; but pray don’t let us talk about it here, and make a commotion. If you will step out, I will tell you all about it.”
 
“Oh, that’s impossible, sir! She was a very nice young person, — a perfect young lady, sir.”
 
With a slight emphasis, not, however, inconsistent with the most delicate politeness, the gentleman then observed, “I must ask you to follow me, ma’m,” and he glided through the bevy of gentlewomen nearly unnoticed, as a cantatrice advanced from the rear to the front of the orchestra, the observed of all observers.

The lady, hesitatingly and tremblingly—as if she were going to receive condemnation for . . .

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    “EXCUSE ME, ma’m, but I think you have lost something.”

“Lost something, sir? Lor! what do you mean?”

“Have you not lost your purse?”

“Dear me, no, sir; I’ve not lost any purse. I know I had it in my hand just now.”
 
“Will you oblige me by just feeling in your pocket?”

The lady did as she was asked, and then brushing aside her flounces, cast a glance on the floor.
 
“It’s not there, ma’m; I know where it is; be kind enough to step out of the room at once, before the next song. I will explain all about it.”

The lady was too much bewildered to reply.

   

 

 

 
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