Again I have been called on to entertain my wide circle of young friends, by relating another story of detective life. Before plunging into my story, I have thought it best to address a few words to you personally, and about myself. It is held as a rule that an author should never introduce himself into the story he is writing, and yet I find, on looking back, that in nearly all of my recent stories I have described myself as playing a more or less conspicuous part. And yet I could not avoid doing so, as I can plainly see, without having detracted somewhat of interest from the stories. As I sit here now, prepared to commence, the question arises: "Shall I keep myself in the background, out of sight, or shall I bring myself in, just as I actually took part in the strange story of "'Shadow, the Mysterious Detective?'" Well, I don't know, but I think it may be just as well to introduce myself when necessary, since when I write thus I feel that my pen is talking to you instead of at you. And, besides, I think that to you the story is more realistic. Am I right? Don't each of you feel now as if I had written you a personal letter? And are you not satisfied that there is only one Police Captain Howard, and he that one who now speaks to you?
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