American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in
Janesville [WI] Gazette, November 7, 1850

This story was originally published as “Recollections of a Police-Officer: The Twins” in Chambers' Edinburgh Journal on June 21, 1850.

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 Twins," continued from p. 1

orders had been given to investigate the matter thoroughly. “There,” he added, “is a Mr. Repton, a highly respectable country solicitor’s card. He is from Lancashire, and is staying at Webb’s Hotel, Piccadilly. You are to see him at once. He will put you in possession of all the facts—surmises rather, I should say, for the facts, to my apprehension, are scant enough—connected with the case, and you will then use all possible diligence to ascertain first if the alleged crime has really been committed, and if so, of course to bring the criminal or criminals to justice.”

I found Mr. Repton, a stout, bald-headed, gentlemanly person, apparently of 60 years, just in the act of going out. “I have a pressing engagement for this evening, Mr. Waters,” he said, after glancing at the introductory note I had brought, “and cannot possibly go into the business with the attention and minuteness it requires til the morning.—But I’ll tell you what: one of the parties concerned, and the one, too, with whom you will have especially to deal, is, I know, to be at Covent Garden theatre this evening. It is of course necessary

    that you should be acquainted with his person; and if you will go with me in the cab that is waiting outside, I will step with you into the theatre, and point him out.” I assented, and upon entering Covent Garden pit, Mr. Repton, who kept behind to avoid observation, directed my attention to a group of persons occupying the front seats of the third box in the lower tier from the stage, on the right-hand side of the house. They were—a gentleman of about thirty years of age, his wife, a very elegant person, a year or two younger, and three children; the eldest of whom, a boy, could not have been more than six years old. This done, Mr. Repton left the theatre, and about two hours afterwards I did the same.

The next morning I breakfasted with the Lancashire solicitor by appointment.  As soon as it was concluded, business was at once entered upon.

“You closely observed Sir Charles Malvern yesterday evening, I presume?” said Mr. Repton.

“I paid great attention to the gentleman you

Continued on p. 3


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