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. 5

in consequence of her husband’s untimely death, had given birth to a female child, and that both mother and daughter were as well as could be expected. This you will agree, seemed perfectly satisfactory?”

“Entirely so.”

“So I thought. Mr. Malvern was now unquestionably, whether Sir Charles Malvern or not, the proprietor of the Redwood estates, burthened as with a charge, in accordance with the conditions of the entails, of a thousand pounds life annuity to the late Mr. Redwood’s infant daughter.

“Sir Charles returned to Redwood Manor house, where his wife and family soon afterwards arrived. Lady Redwood had been joined, I understand, by her mother, Mrs. Ashton, and would, when able to undertake the journey, return to her maternal home. It was about two months after Sir Thomas Redwood’s death that I determined to pay Lady Redwood a visit, in order to the winding up of the personal estate, which it was desirable to accomplish as speedily as possible;

    and then a new and terrible light flashed upon me.”

“What in heaven’s name!” I exclaimed, for the first time breaking silence—“What could there be to reveal?”

“Only,” rejoined Mr. Repton, “that, ill and delirious as Lady Redwood admitted herself to have been, it was her intimate, unconquerable conviction that she had given birth to twins!

“Good God! And you suspect”—

“We don’t know what to suspect.—Should the lady’s confident belief be correct, the missing child might have been a boy. You understand?”

“I do. But is there any tangible evidence to justify this horrible suspicion?”

“Yes; the surgeon-apothecary and his wife, a Mr. and Mrs. Williams, who attended the Lady Redwood, have suddenly disappeared from Chester; and, from no explainable motive, having left or abandoned a fair business there.”

“That has certainly an ugly look.”

Continued on p. 7


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