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The Club Foot

by a New York Detective


One cold January night I was seated cosily by my fireside, enjoying a cup of tea which my wife knows so well how to make, when a violent ring at the front door bell disturbed the reverie in which I was indulging, and made my wife spill the sugar she was in the act of putting into my cup.

“I do hope, James,” said my wife, “that this is no one to take you out tonight.”

“I hope so too,” I returned, “but if it should be, I must obey, business must be attended to, my dear.”

“But it is snowing so fast, and you work so hard.”

“Everybody, my dear, has to work hard to obtain a livelihood,” I returned, philosophically.

Our conversation was interrupted by the entrance of our servant girl, who stated that a young lady wished to see me on important private business. My wife, who is in no wise of a jealous disposition, discreetly withdrew, and the party wishing to see me was immediately ushered into the parlor. I rose as she entered, and handed her a chair.

My visitor was a very handsome young girl of about eighteen years of age. She was dressed with great taste, and evidently belonged to the upper ranks of life. She appeared somewhat embarrassed, as if she were at a loss how to begin the conversation.

“Have I the pleasure of speaking to James Brampton?” she said, at last.

“That is my name,” I replied.

“You are a private detective officer, are you not?”

“I am, madam.”

“O, sir,” said she, “I am in great trouble, and I have come to seek your assistance.”

“Anything I can do, I am sure I shall be very happy to oblige you,” I returned.

“My name, sir,” continued the young girl, gaining courage, “is Eliza Milford.”

“Milford,” said I, “what, the daughter of the gentleman who has lately so mysteriously… Read More