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Rolling Stones

Tictocq
[These two farcical stories about Tictocq appeared in The Rolling Stone. They are
reprinted here with all of their local references because, written hurriedly and for
neighborly reading, they nevertheless have an interest for the admirer of O. Henry. They
were
written
in
1894.]
THE GREAT FRENCH DETECTIVE, IN AUSTIN
A Successful Political Intrigue
CHAPTER I
It is not generally known that Tictocq, the famous French detective, was in Austin last
week. He registered at the Avenue Hotel under an assumed name, and his quiet and
reserved manners singled him out at once for one not to be singled out.
No one knows why he came to Austin, but to one or two he vouchsafed the information
that his mission was an important one from the French Government.
One report is that the French Minister of State has discovered an old statute among the
laws of the empire, resulting from a treaty between the Emperor Charlemagne and
Governor Roberts which expressly provides for the north gate of the Capital grounds
being kept open, but this is merely a conjecture.
Last Wednesday afternoon a well-dressed gentleman knocked at the door of Tictocq's
room in the hotel.
The detective opened the door.
"Monsieur Tictocq, I believe," said the gentleman.
"You will see on the register that I sign my name Q. X. Jones," said Tictocq, "and
gentlemen would understand that I wish to be known as such. If you do not like being
referred to as no gentleman, I will give you satisfaction any time after July 1st, and fight
Steve O'Donnell, John McDonald, and Ignatius Donnelly in the meantime if you desire."
"I do not mind it in the least," said the gentleman. "In fact, I am accustomed to it. I am
Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, Platform No. 2, and I have a friend in
trouble. I knew you were Tictocq from your resemblance to yourself."
 
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