Click on these links for publication details of editions used for indexing:

short stories | novels | children's stories

This parody appeared in the Hampshire Telegraph and the Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail in 1895. As far as I am aware it has not been republished since then.


The Story-book Detective

“I take this to quiet my nerves. They are getting rusty,” explained Bearlock Bones, the great detective, as he bit off an ounce of chewing tobacco. “Ha! I hear a cross-eyed girl coming up the stairs.”

“How do you know she is cross-eyed?” I asked, with sudden awakened interest.

“That actor going up the street expectorated over his left shoulder after looking twice across the street,” replied Bearlock. “His taking a second look showed she was pretty; his expectorating, that she was cross-eyed. I know he is an actor, for I have seen him act.”

“I have come for your aid,” explained the girl, whose eyes were set on a bias, as the detective had said, “for the police have failed to find him. My sweetheart has….”

“Disappeared,” broke in the Detective. “He wore whiskers, shaved his face. I know it by the way he sandpapered the skin of your nose every time he kissed your cheek.”

“That is certainly so,“ admitted the girl, as she regarded Bearlock Bones with one surprised eye, while she cast the other one at me. “But he disappeared last night, and I fear that he has been murdered.”

“You have done well to come to me,” said Bearlock, without a moment’s hesitation. “Your sweetheart is in Moyameusing Prison. Tut! tut! Do not thank me; it is nothing. The police could not help you, for he gave his name as John Smith instead of Clarence De Montgiffin. He will only be in until the morning. He was sent down for twenty-four hours. Was drunk and disorderly; could not pay his fine.”

“How did you know that?” I asked, lost in admiration, as he seemed about to wrap himself up in thought after the girl had gone.

“Did you see her beautiful sunset hair?” he replied. “I was at the Police station this morning when Clarence went below in lieu of the wherewithal to cash up. One of her golden-red hairs was hanging down his back. I recognized the hair the moment she entered. His name? It was engraved on the silver heart she wore on her breast.”

Then Bearlock Bones, the great detective, salaamed to himself and I sat on and wondered.

Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail 16 Nov 1895; Hampshire Telegraph 23 Nov 1895


Image reproduced with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (

found at