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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, July 3, 1869
 

A Work-Woman’s Misfortune
by a Retired Lawyer

  “Yes—next door.”

“I do not know,” he replied.

“How long has she been here?” I asked.

“Since yesterday only,” he added.

“What is she here for?”

“I do not know that, either. I only observe that she weeps and sobs almost incessantly, and has in vain applied to the Deputy, who passes up and down this corridor, to learn why she is confined here.”

“The old story,” I suggested. “A repentant—too late.”

“Perhaps so,” rejoined my client. “Or it may be a case of oppression, hardship, injustice—”

“She certainly is very pretty,” I added, “and really looks too poorly tidy to be a criminal.”. . .

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    I was called to the jail in C—, one evening, to confer with a client whose trial came on in a day or two; and as I passed the half-dozen cells between the inner door of the prison and the apartment where my patron was now confined, I caught sight of the troubled but handsome face of a young woman, who sat leaning against the iron bars of one of the little rooms, and I halted for an instant to look at her.

She shrank away timidly to the rear of the cell, however, and I had the opportunity simply to observe that she bore, in her general contour, the traces of a poor “unfortunate,” in the usual acceptation of that unfortunate term.

I concluded the interview with my client in a few moments, and just before leaving him, I inquired:

“Who is your neighbor, yonder?”

“The young woman?” he asked, in a whisper.

   

 

 


 

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