William D. Haywood


A Detective

(December 1911)


Source: From International Socialist Review, Vol. 12 No. 6, December 1911, p. 345.
Transcription: Matthew Siegfried.
HTML mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists Internet Archive (2019).
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2022). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.


A DETECTIVE is the lowest, meanest, most contemptible thing that either creeps or crawls, a thing to loath and despise.

A detective has the soul of a craven, the heart of a hyena. He will barter the virtue of a pure woman or the character of an honest man. He will go into the labor unions, the political party, the fraternal society, the business house, the church. He will drag his slimy length into the sacred precincts of the family; there to create discord and cause unhappiness. He breeds and thrives on the troubles of his own making. He is a maggot of his own corruption.

That you may know how small a detective is, you can take a hair and pinch the pith out of it and in the hollow hair you can put the hearts and souls of 40,000 detectives and they will still rattle. You can pour them out on the surface of your thumb nail and the skin of a gnat will make an umbrella for them.

When a detective dies he goes so low he has to climb up a ladder to get into hell, and he is not a welcome guest there. When his Satanic Majesty sees him coming, he says to his imps, “Go get a big bucket of pitch and a lot of sulphur, give them to that fellow and put him outside. Let him start a little hell of his own, we don’t want him in here starting trouble.”

There is not room enough in Hades for a detective.

Last updated on 10 June 2022