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Three 'Detective' Anecdotes
'IT'S a singler story, sir,' said Inspector Wield, of the Detective Police, who, in company
with Sergeants Dornton and Mith, paid us another twilight visit, one July evening; 'and
I've been thinking you might like to know it.
'It's concerning the murder of the young woman, Eliza Grimwood, some years ago, over
in the Waterloo Road. She was commonly called The Countess, because of her
handsome appearance and her proud way of carrying of herself; and when I saw the
poor Countess (I had known her well to speak to), lying dead, with her throat cut, on the
floor of her bedroom, you'll believe me that a variety of reflections calculated to make a
man rather low in his spirits, came into my head.
'That's neither here nor there. I went to the house the morning after the murder, and
examined the body, and made a general observation of the bedroom where it was.
Turning down the pillow of the bed with my hand, I found, underneath it, a pair of
gloves. A pair of gentleman's dress gloves, very dirty; and inside the lining, the letters
TR, and a cross.
'Well, sir, I took them gloves away, and I showed 'em to the magistrate, over at Union
Hall, before whom the case was. He says, "Wield," he says, "there's no doubt this is a
discovery that may lead to something very important; and what you have got to do,
Wield, is, to find out the owner of these gloves."
'I was of the same opinion, of course, and I went at it immediately. I looked at the gloves
pretty narrowly, and it was my opinion that they had been cleaned. There was a smell of
sulphur and rosin about 'em, you know, which cleaned gloves usually have, more or
less. I took 'em over to a friend of mine at Kennington, who was in that line, and I put it
to him. "What do you say now? Have these gloves been cleaned?" "These gloves have
been cleaned," says he. "Have you any idea who cleaned them?" says I. "Not at all,"
says he; "I've a very distinct idea who DIDN'T clean 'em, and that's myself. But I'll tell
you what, Wield, there ain't above eight or nine reg'lar glove-cleaners in London," -
there were not, at that time, it seems - "and I think I can give you their addresses, and
you may find out, by that means, who did clean 'em." Accordingly, he gave me the
directions, and I went here, and I went there, and I looked up this man, and I looked up
that man; but, though they all agreed that the gloves had been cleaned, I couldn't find
the man, woman, or child, that had cleaned that aforesaid pair of gloves.