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. 2

pointed out to me,” I answered, “if he be Sir Charles Malvern.”

“He is at least—. But of that presently. First, let me inform you that Malvern, a few months ago, was a beggared gamester, or nearly so, to speak with precision. He is now in good bodily health, has a charming wife, and a family to whom he is much attached, an unencumbered estate of about twelve thousand a year, and has not gambled since he came into possession of the property. This premised, is there, think you, anything very remarkable in Sir Charles’ demeanor?”

“Singularly so. My impression was that he was laboring under a terrible depression of spirits, caused, I imagined, by pecuniary difficulties.  His manner was reckless, abstracted. He paid no attention to anything going on on the stage, except when his wife or one of the children especially challenged his attention; and then a brief answer returned, he relapsed into the same restless unobservance as before. He was very nervous, too. The box door was suddenly opened once or twice, and I noticed his sudden start each time.”



    “You have exactly described him. Well, that perturbed, unquiet, feverishness of manner has constantly distinguished him since his ascension to the Redwood estates, and only since then. It strengthens me and one or two others in possibly an unfounded suspicion, which—. But I had better, if I wish to render myself intelligible, relate matters in due sequence.

“Sir Thomas Redwood, whose property in Lancashire is chiefly in the neighborhood of Liverpool, met his death, as did his only son, Mr. Archibald Redwood, about six months ago, in a very shocking manner. They were trying a splendid mare for the first time in harness, which Sir Thomas had lately purchased at a very high price. Two grooms on horseback were in attendance to render assistance if required, for the animal was a very powerful, high-spirited one. All went very well till they arrived in front of Mr. Meredith’s place, Oak Villa. This gentleman has a passion for firing off a number of brass cannon on the anniversary of such events as he deems worthy of the honor. This happened, unfortunately, to be one of Mr. Meredith’s gunpowder days;

Continued on p. 4


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