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CHAPTER I. MY FRIENDS AND ACQUAINTANCES The odds and ends of humanity, so plentiful in London's great city, have for many years largely constituted my circle of friends and acquaintances. They are strange people, for each of them is, or was, possessed of some dominating vice, passion, whim or weakness which made him incapable of fulfilling the ordinary duties of respectable citizenship. They had all descended from the Upper World, to live out... more...

I WHAT IS CRIME?   There can be no sane discussion of "crime" and "criminals" without an investigation of the meaning of the words. A large majority of men, even among the educated, speak of a "criminal" as if the word had a clearly defined meaning and as if men were divided by a plain and distinct line into the criminal and the virtuous. As a matter of fact, there is no such division, and from the nature of things, there never can be... more...

CHAPTER I. THE STATISTICS OF CRIME. It is only within the present century, and in some countries it is only within the present generation, that the possibility has arisen of conducting the study of criminal problems on anything approaching an exact and scientific basis. Before the introduction of a system of criminal statistics—a step taken by most peoples within the memory of men still living—it was impossible for civilised... more...

CHAPTER I. The Pleasant Fiction of the Presumption of Innocence There was a great to-do some years ago in the city of New York over an ill-omened young person, Duffy by name, who, falling into the bad graces of the police, was most incontinently dragged to headquarters and "mugged" without so much as "By your leave, sir," on the part of the authorities. Having been photographed and measured (in most humiliating fashion) he was turned loose with... more...

I The Woman in the Case On a sultry August afternoon in 1903, a dapper, if somewhat anaemic, young man entered the Broadway store of Rogers, Peet & Company, in New York City, and asked to be allowed to look at a suit of clothes. Having selected one to his fancy and arranged for some alterations, he produced from his wallet a check for $280, drawn to the order of George B. Lang, and signed E. Bierstadt, and remarked to the attentive... more...


CHAPTER I On Sunday, the 26th of November, 1631, there was great excitement in the little town of Loudun, especially in the narrow streets which led to the church of Saint-Pierre in the marketplace, from the gate of which the town was entered by anyone coming from the direction of the abbey of Saint-Jouin-les-Marmes. This excitement was caused by the expected arrival of a personage who had been much in people's mouths latterly in Loudun, and... more...

TWELVE CAUSES OF DISHONESTY Only extraordinary circumstances can give the appearance of dishonesty to an honest man. Usually, not to seem honest, is not to be so. The quality must not be doubtful like twilight, lingering between night and day and taking hues from both; it must be day-light, clear, and effulgent. This is the doctrine of the Bible: Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. In... more...

PREFACE In offering this study of the American desperado, the author constitutes himself no apologist for the acts of any desperado; yet neither does he feel that apology is needed for the theme itself. The outlaw, the desperado—that somewhat distinct and easily recognizable figure generally known in the West as the "bad man"—is a character unique in our national history, and one whose like scarcely has been produced in any land... more...

CHAPTER I It is possible that our reader, whose recollections may perhaps go back as far as the Restoration, will be surprised at the size of the frame required for the picture we are about to bring before him, embracing as it does two centuries and a half; but as everything, has its precedent, every river its source, every volcano its central fire, so it is that the spot of earth on which we are going to fix our eyes has been the scene of... more...

For nearly one hundred years this curious problem has exercised the imagination of writers of fiction—and of drama, and the patience of the learned in history. No subject is more obscure and elusive, and none more attractive to the general mind. It is a legend to the meaning of which none can find the key and yet in which everyone believes. Involuntarily we feel pity at the thought of that long captivity surrounded by so many extraordinary... more...