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The Jewel Thief

 A London Detective’s Story

 by Emerson Bennett

 I received a message from the chief of police of L—, saying there was a thieving mystery to be solved in that city, which would handsomely reward the successful investigator; and if I could find time to visit that place immediately, he should be happy to confer with me, in preference to any other, as not a few of my professional exploits were already known to him.

I was flattered. I, a young man of twenty-three, to be selected by a stranger, the head of police in a distant city, in preference to all the old experienced detectives in London!

It was, indeed, something to be proud of! And yet, my vanity whispered me, the man was right—for, though young in years, I was old in human nature, and, by a sort of instinct, could scent out rascality as naturally as a hound does a fox. Mystery, moreover, exactly suited my proclivities—perplexities were my delight—and I fairly reveled in the strange, hidden, complicated and wonderful. So, of course, I resolved to go to L— at once, and I went.

“My name, sir, is James Felstone, of London!” I said, on presenting myself to Mr. Broughton, chief of police in L—.

He looked somewhat surprised, but offered his hand cordially, and said he was happy to make my acquaintance, though he had expected to see a much older person bearing a name that was already becoming somewhat famous.

“Well, so you have come to help us in this matter, that has already become such a puzzle?” he continued.

“I have come, at your request,” I replied, “to see what I can do in the affair, though I am as yet entirely ignorant of the nature of it.”

“Well, it is nothing more or less than the mysterious abstraction of jewelry,” rejoined Mr. Broughton. “Not less than twenty or thirty of our first families have lost jewels of great… Read More