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. 7

indefatigable ingenuity I employed, the chief knowledge I acquired during these weeks of assiduous endeavor, was that my friend Burridge intended, immediately after a visit he expected shortly to receive from a rich and influential relative in London, to emigrate to America, at all events to go abroad. This, however, was very significant and precious information; and very rarely indeed, was he, after I had obtained it, out of my sight or observation. At length perseverance obtained its reward. One morning I discerned my friend much more sprucely attired than ordinarily, make his way to the railway station, and there question with eager looks every passenger that alighted from the first-class carriages. At last a gentleman, whom I instantly recognized, spite of his shawl and other wrappings, arrived by the express train from London. Williams instantly accosted him, a cab was called, and away they drove. I followed in another, and saw them both alight at a hotel in New St. I also alighted and was mentally debating how to proceed, when Williams came out the tavern, and proceeded in the direction of his home. I followed, overtook him, and soon contrived to

    ascertain that he and his wife had important business to transact in Birmingham the next morning, which would render it impossible he should meet me, as I proposed, till two or three o’clock in the afternoon at the earliest; and the next morning, my esteemed friend informed me that they would probably leave the place forever. An hour after this interesting information, I, accompanied by the chief of the Birmingham police, was closeted with the landlord of the Hotel in New Street, a highly respectable person, who promised us every assistance in his power. Sir Charles Malvern had, we found, engaged a private room for the transaction of important business with some persons he expected in the morning, and our plans were soon fully matured and agreed upon.

I slept little that night, and immediately after breakfast hastened with my Birmingham colleague to the hotel.—The apartment assigned for Sir Charles Malvern’s use had been a bedroom, and a large wardrobe with a high wing at each end, still remained in it. We tried if it would hold us, and with very little stooping and squeezing found it would do very

Continued on p. 9


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