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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The Albion, A Journal of News, Politics and Literature (NY), July 14, 1860
 
Watched and Watching
A Detective Story
  to pounce on an unlucky defaulter as he passed, and, as I grasped at him, he seemed to vanish;— and then, again, I was going, armed to the teeth, to some den to seize a burglar or a robber, and although I knew the place well, could not find it;— and now I was going over again all my old journeys and adventures, my pursuits and my retreats;— and then I was aboard a steamer, ploughing the vast Atlantic in chase of a defaulter who had fled to another land, and I heard the winds howling, and the sea roaring, and the thump-thump of the waves against her side, and the harsh word of command to the sailors.

I shake off my dreams, and find the thumping of the waves to be a knocking at my door; and the hoarse command, a mild request from Superintendent Smith to let him in. A tall, dark form in plain clothes stalks stealthily in, as if there were thieves even in my room.

“A job, Sir?”  I asked.

“Yes, Dacres;— quick, too,” he added. . . .

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Find the full text here.

   


 

 

 

 

    It was a bitter cold night in December. The snow was some inches think in the fields, and in the streets of London all was slop and filth—in a word, everything was miserable. Even the professional thief was afraid to come out of his lair, and pickpockets could find no one in the streets whose pockets they might pick.

I sat by my fire late in the evening gazing intently on the blazing coals, and hoping some “job” would turn up in a day or two, for rent was high, and coals and brandy-and-water were absolutely necessary to keep out the cold. My rooms were rather luxuriously furnished for a detective; but I had been brought up well, and was used to, and liked a comfortable home. My profession too, sometimes, was highly remunerative.

I grew tired, but it was not bedtime; so I drew the sofa to the fire, and laid myself down and dozed.

*     *     *     *     *

And now I was watching behind some corner

   

 

 

 
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