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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. 4

Archibald Redwood was to have set out the next morning in one of Sir Thomas’ carriages to bring home his wife; and the baronet, with his dying breath, bade me assure her of his entire forgiveness, and his earnest hope and trust that through her offspring the race of the Redwoods might be continued in a direct line. The family estates, I should tell you, being strictly entailed on heirs-male, devolved, if no son of Mr. Archibald Redwood should bar his claim, upon Charles Malvern, the son of a cousin of the late Sir Thomas Redwood. The baronet had always felt partially toward Malvern, and had assisted him pecuniarily a hundred times. Sir Thomas also directed me to draw as quickly as I could a short will bequeathing Mr. Charles Malvern twenty thousand pounds out of the personals. I wrote as quickly as I could, but by the time the paper was ready for his signature, Sir Thomas was no longer conscious. I placed the pen in his hand, and I fancied he understood the purpose, for his fingers closed faintly upon it but the power to guide was utterly gone, and only a slight scrambling stroke marked the paper as the pen slid across it in the direction of the falling arm.

    “Mr. Malvern arrived at the manor house about an hour after Sir Thomas breathed his last. It was clearly apparent through all his sorrow, partly real, I have no doubt, as well as partly assumed, that joy, the joy of riches, splendor, station, was dancing at his ear, and in spite of all his efforts to subdue or conceal it, sparkling in his eyes. I briefly, but as gently as I could, acquainted him with the true position of affairs. The revulsion of feeling which ensued, entirely unmanned him; and it was not till an hour afterwards that he recovered his self-possession sufficiently to converse reasonably and coolly upon his position. At last he became apparently reconciled to the sudden overclouding of his imaginatively brilliant prospects, and it was agreed that as he was a relative of the widow, he should at once set off to break the sad news to her. Well, a few days after his departure, I received a letter from him, stating that Lady Redwood—I don’t think, by the way, that, as her husband died before succeeding to the baronetcy, she is entitled to that appellation of honor; we, however, call her so out of courtesy—that Lady Redwood, though prematurely confined

Continued on p. 6

   


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