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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Experiences of a Real Detective by Inspector F.
Edited by “Walters,” author of Recollections of a Police Officer, Leonard Harlowe, etc.
London: Ward, Lock, & Tyler, 1862. 220-8.
 
The Two Musicians
by Inspector F.

  young man of ordinary sensibility to avoid doing so, there was such a sweetness in her charming face, such a sunniness in her smile, such grace in every motion of her lithe, sylph-like, yet beautifully rounded figure, and, above all, such a pervading candour, guileless simplicity in all she said and looked. She had, that I could see, but one fault—a grievous one: she was a poor dependent orphan, utterly alone in the world, and having no expectations whatever, great or small.

This interesting young person I before long observed to be an object of peculiar solicitude to Signor Zara and to Mr. Benedick. The purely accidental service I was enabled to render the latter, to be briefly narrated in this experience, made him my fast friend for life.

Signor Zara was, I believe, a Spaniard; at all events, he was a swarthy-faced, handsome man, with “Murillo,” darkly-bright gleaming eyes, and the pride of a dozen grandees. He loved himself and himself only, and that with a fervid constancy which knew no coldness . . .

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    I WAS once hurried off to Bath, during the season in that city, with directions to engage apartments for myself at a second class lodging house, but in a fashionable street. My especial mission was to sedulously watch, and report to headquarters, the movements of a certain foreigner who had taken up his abode there, and who was supposed to be plotting, with influential countrymen of his, temporarily domiciled in this country, to disturb the peace—whether justifiably I neither know nor care—of their native land. How I sped in that mission, whether I succeeded or failed, or neither quite succeeded nor altogether failed, I am not, at least just now, about to tell. This brief experience refers solely to two musicians who lodged in the same house, and a young girl in the service of the invalid mistress of the establishment. Alice Black was rather the companion than servant of Mrs. Clarke, and acted as a sort of second and more active mistress of the establishment. Everybody liked, everybody respected, more than one or two, to my knowledge, loved Alice Black. I should have thought it almost impossible for a    

 

 

 
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