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A Detective’s Story

by Frank Foxcroft

“Yes sir, as you say, a detective’s life is full of danger, and often accompanied with something not unlike romance. Perhaps you would like to hear a short narration of one of my experiences in the work?”

“Certainly,” said I, “that was the point I was coming at.”

“Well, sir, you must excuse me if I seem to go back too far in my history, and tell you how I became a detective, before I narrate any of my adventures as such. My father, sir, was a country squire, in England, in comfortable circumstances. At an early age I was sent to school, and all along up, great care was taken with my education. When suitably fitted, I entered college, with the bar as my final destination. Not liking the closed confinement and application to study, I left the college in less than a year, determined to enter upon some employment better fitted to my naturally venturesome disposition. Not to be too long, sir, after trying several occupations, I finally settled down as a detective, on the French side of the Channel, which profession I have now followed for nearly twenty years. The occurrence I was about to narrate, took place in the year 1849, when I had been in the work only about two years. Although quite young at the time, my superiors placed considerable confidence in me, because I had taken hold with so much earnestness, and had already distinguished myself in several minor cases that had been given over to me. This was probably the reason I was summoned to headquarters one morning in March, 1849, ‘on important business.’  On entering the room of the prefect, I was made acquainted with the fact that a murder had been committed in a certain street on the outskirts of Paris, and that I was to investigate the matter, and, if possible, ferret out the criminal. Only the bare fact, with no details, save the street and number, was communicated to me; but I was… Read More