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Detective Gryce, N. Y. P. D.: Volume: 3

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Detective Gryce, N. Y. P. D.: Volume: 3
Leonaur Original
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Author(s): Anna Katherine Green
Date Published: 2012/01
Page Count: 580
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-772-2
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-771-5

The significance of author Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935) upon American detective fiction cannot be underestimated. Not only was she among the first writers of the detective story in the United States but in her career she penned over 40 novels and short stories in the genre. She turned her literary attention from writing poetry to crime mysteries and published ‘The Leavenworth Case’ to great acclaim in 1878. Indeed this debut work is still regarded as an enduring classic. Furthermore, while most of us are familiar with the detectives of the New York Police Department as they have appeared in books, films and on television for decades, it was Green who was among the first to focus on the detectives of the NYPD as principal characters and, through her Detective Ebenezer Gryce offer him and the force to the public in series form. In the grand tradition of the sleuth Gryce has a number of ‘sidekicks’ including the nosey socialite, Amelia Butterworth—an embryonic Miss Marple. Green also wrote about another now familiar character type, the ‘girl detective’ in the form of debutante Violet Strange. These tales of the NYPD are set against the colourful world of the city of New York in the last two decades of the 19th century and this provides both the crimes and the characters that occupy these mysteries with an irresistible and unusual old world charm. This special Leonaur edition of the Detective Gryce casebooks comprises six substantial volumes and includes both novels and short stories featuring the famous criminal hunter. This third substantial volume includes the ‘The Circular Study,’ ‘Hand and Ring’ and ‘The Doctor, His Wife and the Clock.’ We believe this six volume collection is the most complete collection of Gryce stories ever gathered together and is therefore an essential addition to the library of any collector of classic American crime fiction.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

“No, even Hickory cannot say she would. Now, on the contrary, see her as I do, crouched there in the very place before the telescope which she occupied when the girl came to the observatory before, but unseen now as she was unseen then, and watch the change that takes place in her countenance as she hears question and answer and realizes what confirmation she would receive from this girl if she ever thought fit to declare that she was not in the observatory when the girl sought her there on the day of the murder. That by this act she would bring execration if not death upon herself, she does not stop to consider. Her mind is full of what she can do for her lover, and she does not think of herself.<br>
“But an enthusiasm like this is too frenzied to last. As time passes by and Craik Mansell is brought to trial, she begins to hope she may be spared this sacrifice. She therefore responds with perfect truth when summoned to the stand to give evidence, and does not waver, though question after question is asked her, whose answers cannot fail to show the state of her mind in regard to the prisoner’s guilt. Life and honour are sweet even to one in her condition; and if her lover could be saved without falsehood it was her natural instinct to avoid it.<br>
“And it looked as if he would be saved. A defence both skilful and ingenious had been advanced for him by his counsel—a defence which only the one fact so securely locked in her bosom could controvert. You can imagine, then, the horror and alarm which must have seized her when, in the very hour of hope, you approached her with the demand which proved that her confidence in her power to keep silence had been premature, and that the alternative was yet to be submitted to her of destroying her lover or sacrificing herself. Yet, because a great nature does not succumb without a struggle, she tried even now the effect of the truth upon you, and told you the one fact she considered so detrimental to the safety of her lover.<br>
“The result was fatal. Though I cannot presume to say what passed between you, I can imagine how the change in your countenance warned her of the doom she would bring upon Mansell if she went into court with the same story she told you. Nor do I find it difficult to imagine how, in one of her history and temperament, a night of continuous brooding over this one topic should have culminated in the act which startled us so profoundly in the court-room this morning. Love, misery, devotion are not mere names to her, and the greatness which sustained her through the ordeal of denouncing her lover in order that an innocent man might be relieved from suspicion, was the same that made it possible for her to denounce herself that she might redeem the life she had thus deliberately jeopardized.<br>
“That she did this with a certain calmness and dignity proves it to have been the result of design. A murderess forced by conscience into confession would not have gone into the details of her crime, but blurted out her guilt, and left the details to be drawn from her by question. Only the woman anxious to tell her story with the plausibility necessary to insure its belief would have planned and carried on her confession as she did.
“The action of the prisoner, in face of this proof of devotion, though it might have been foreseen by a man, was evidently not foreseen by her. To me, who watched her closely at the time, her face wore a strange look of mingled satisfaction and despair,—satisfaction in having awakened his manhood, despair at having failed in saving him. But it is not necessary for me to dilate on this point. If I have been successful in presenting before you the true condition of her mind during this struggle, you will see for yourself what her feelings must be now that her lover has himself confessed to a fact, to hide which she made the greatest sacrifice of which mortal is capable.”<br>
Mr. Ferris, who, during this lengthy and exhaustive harangue, had sat with brooding countenance and an anxious mien, roused himself as the other ceased, and glanced with a smile at Hickory.<br>
“Well,” said he, “that’s good reasoning; now let us hear how you will go to work to demolish it.”<br>
The cleared brow, the playful tone of the district attorney showed the relieved state of his mind. Byrd’s arguments had evidently convinced him of the innocence of Imogene Dare.<br>
Hickory, seeing it, shook his head with a gloomy air.<br>
“Sir,” said he, “I can’t demolish it. If I could tell why Mansell fled from Widow Clemmens’ house at five minutes to twelve I might be able to do so, but that fact stumps me. It is an act consistent with guilt. It may be consistent with innocence, but, as we don’t know all the facts, we can’t say so. But this I do know, that my convictions with regard to that man have undergone a change. I now as firmly believe in his innocence as I once did in his guilt.”<br>
“What has produced the change?” asked Mr. Ferris.<br>
“Well,” said Hickory, “it all lies in this. From the day I heard Miss Dare accuse him so confidently in the hut, I believed him guilty; from the moment he withdrew his defence, I believed him innocent.”<br>
Mr. Ferris and Mr. Byrd looked at him astonished. He at once brought down his fist in vigorous assertion on the table.<br>
“I tell you,” said he, “that Craik Mansell is innocent. The truth is, he believes Miss Dare guilty, and so stands his trial, hoping to save her.”<br>
“And be hung for her crime?” asked Mr. Ferris.<br>
“No; he thinks his innocence will save him, in spite of the evidence on which we got him indicted.”<br>
But the district attorney protested at this.<br>
“That can’t be,” said he; “Mansell has withdrawn the only defence he had.”<br>
“On the contrary,” asserted Hickory, “that very thing only proves my theory true. He is still determined to save Miss Dare by everything short of a confession of his own guilt. He won’t lie. That man is innocent.”<br>
“And Miss Dare is guilty?” said Byrd.<br>
“Shall I make it clear to you in the way it has become clear to Mr. Mansell?”<br>
As Byrd only answered by a toss of his head, Hickory put his elbows on the table, and checking off every sentence with the forefinger of his right hand, which he pointed at Mr. Ferris’ shirt-stud, as if to instil from its point conviction into that gentleman’s bosom, he proceeded with the utmost composure as follows:<br>
“To commence, then, with the scene in the woods. He meets her. She is as angry at his aunt as he is. What does she do? She strikes the tree with her hand, and tells him to wait till tomorrow, since a night has been known to change the whole current of a person’s affairs. Now tell me what does that mean? Murder? If so, she was the one to originate it. He can’t forget that. It has stamped itself upon Mansell’s memory, and when, after the assassination of Mrs. Clemmens, he recalls those words, he is convinced that she has slain Mrs. Clemmens to help him.”
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