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In the pages which follow I have narrated a story of actual occurrence. No touch of fiction obscures the truthful recital. The crime which is here detailed was actually committed, and under the circumstances which I have related. The four young men, whose real names are clothed with the charitable mantle of fiction, deliberately perpetrated the deed for which they suffered and to-day are inmates of a prison. No tint or coloring of the imagination has given a deeper touch to the action of the story, and the process of detection is detailed with all the frankness and truthfulness of an active participant. As a revelation of the certain consequences which follow the perpetration of crime, I send this volume forth, in the fervent hope that those who may read its pages, will glean from this history the lessons of virtue, of honor, and of the strictest integrity. If in the punishment of Eugene Pearson, Dr. Johnson, Newton Edwards and Thomas Duncan, the young men of to-day, tempted by folly or extravagance, will learn that their condemnation was but the natural and inevitable result of thoughtless crime, and if their experience shall be the means of deterring one young man from the commission of a deed, which the repentance of years will not obliterate, I shall feel that I have not labored in vain. As a true story of detective experience, the actors in which are still living, I give this volume to the world, trusting that its perusal may not fail in its object of interesting and instructing the few or many who may read its pages. ALLAN PINKERTON.
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