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Sir John Pringle, 1st Baronet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir John Pringle, Bt
John Pringle.jpg
John Pringle
Born(1707-04-10)10 April 1707
Died18 January 1782(1782-01-18) (aged 74)
NationalityScottish
Alma materUniversity of St Andrews
Known forantiseptics
AwardsCopley Medal (1752)
Scientific career
Fieldsphysician

Sir John Pringle, 1st Baronet, PRS (10 April 1707 – 18 January 1782) was a British physician who has been called the "father of military medicine" (although Ambroise Paré and Jonathan Letterman have also been accorded this sobriquet).

Arms of Sir John Pringle of London:  Azure three escallops argent, a mullet of the last in the fess point for difference
Arms of Sir John Pringle of London: Azure three escallops argent, a mullet of the last in the fess point for difference

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  • ✪ The Return of Sherlock Holmes by A. Conan Doyle | P3 of 3 | Unabridged full audiobook

Transcription

and of the return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this LibriVox recording is in the public domain adventure 11 The Adventure of the missing 3/4 we were fairly accustomed to receive weird telegrams at Baker Street but I have a particular recollection of one which reached us on a gloomy February morning some seven or eight years ago and gave mr. Sherlock Holmes a puzzled quarter of an hour it was addressed to him and ran thus please await me terrible misfortune right wing three-quarter missing indispensable tomorrow Overton strand postmark when despatched 10:36 said Holmes reading it over and over mr. Overton was evidently considerably excited when he sent it and somewhat incoherent in consequence well well he will be here I daresay by the time I have looked through the times and then we shall know all about it even the most insignificant problem would be welcomed in these stagnant days things had indeed been very slow with us and I'd learned to dread such periods of inaction for I knew by experience but my companions brain was so abnormally active that it was dangerous to leave it without material upon which to work for years I had gradually weaned him from that drug mania which had threatened once to check his remarkable career now I knew that under ordinary conditions he no longer craved for this artificial stimulus but I was well aware that the fiend was not dead but sleeping and I have known that the sleep was a light one and the waking near when in periods of idleness I have seen the drawn look upon Holmes's acetic face and the brooding of his deep-set and inscrutable eyes therefore I bless this mr. Overton whoever he might be since he had come with his an enigmatic message to break that dangerous calm which brought more peril to my friend than all the storms of his ten pests Lluis life as we had expected the telegram was soon followed by sender and the card of mr. Cyril Overton Trinity College Cambridge announced the arrival of an enormous young man sixteen stone of solid bone and muscle who span the doorway with his broad shoulders and looked from one of us to the other with a comely face which was Haggard with anxiety mr. Sherlock Holmes my companion bowed I've been down to Scotland Yard mr. Holmes I saw inspector Stanley Hopkins he advised me to come to you he said the case so far as he could see was more in your line than in that of a regular police pray sit down and tell me what is the matter it's awful mr. Holmes simply awful I wonder my hair isn't gray and Godfrey Staunton you've heard of him of course he's simply the hinge the whole team turns on I'd rather spare two from the pack and have Godfrey for my three-quarter line whether it's passing or tackling or dribbling there's no one to touch him and when he's got the head and can hold us all together what am I to do that's what I ask you mr. Holmes there's more house first reserved but he's trained as a half and he always edges right in on the scrum instead of keeping out on the touchline he's a fine place kick it's true but then he has no judgment and he can't sprint for nuts why Morton or Jonson the Oxford Flyers could romp around him Stevenson is fast enough but he couldn't drop from the 25 line and a three-quarter who can't hide a punt or drop isn't worth a place for pace alone no mr. Holmes we're done unless you can help me to find Godfrey Staunton my friend had listened with amused surprise to this long speech which was poured forth were extraordinary vigour and earnestness every point being driven home by the slapping of a brawny hand upon the speaker's knee when our visitor was silent Holmes stretched out his hand and took down letter s of his commonplace book the ones he dug in vain into that mine of varied information there is Arthur H Staunton the rising young forger said he and there was Henry Staunton who might help to hang but Godfrey Staunton is a new name to me it was our visitors turn to look surprised why mr. Holmes I thought two new things said he now I suppose then if you've never heard of Godfrey Staunton you don't know Cyril Overton either Holmes shook his head good humoured Lee Great Scott try the athlete why I was first reserved for England against Wales and I've skippered the varsity all this year but that's nothing I didn't think there was a soul in England who didn't know Godfrey Staunton the craic 3/4 Cambridge black Heath and five internationals good lord mr. Holmes where have you lived Holmes laughed at the young Giants naive astonishment you live in a different world to me mr. Overton a sweeter and healthier one my ramifications stretch out into many sections of society but never I am happy to say into amateur sport which is the best and soundest thing in England however your unexpected visit this morning shows me that even in that world of fresh air and fair play there may be work for me to do so now my good sir I beg you to sit down and to tell me slowly and quietly exactly what it is that has occurred and how you desire that I should help you young Overton's face assumed the bothered look of the man who is more accustomed to using his muscles than his wits but by degrees with many repetitions and obscurities which I may omit from this narrative he laid his strange story before us it's this way mr. Holmes as I have said I am the skipper of the rugger team of Cambridge varsity and Godfrey Staunton is my best man tomorrow we play Oxford yesterday we all came up and we settled at Bentley's private tell at 10 o'clock I went round and saw that all the fellows had gone to roost for I believe in strict training and plenty of sleep to keep a team fit I had a word or two with Godfrey before he turned in he seemed to me to be pale and bothered I asked him what was the matter he said he was all right just a touch of headache I bade him goodnight and left him half an hour later the porter tells me that a rough-looking man with a beard called with a note for Godfrey he'd not gone to bed and the note was taken to his room Godfrey read it and fell back in a chair as if he'd been poleaxed the porter was so scared that he was going to fetch me but but Godfrey stopped him had a drink of water and pulled himself together then he went downstairs said a few words to the man who was waiting in the hall and the two of them went off together the last of the porter saw of them they were almost running down the street in the direction of the Strand this morning got his room was empty his bed had never been slept in and his things were all just as I'd seen them the night before he got off at a moment's notice with this stranger and no words come from him since I don't believe he'll ever come back he was a sportsman was Godfrey down to his marrow and he would have stopped his training and letting his skipper if it were not for some cause that was too strong for him no I feel as if he were gone for good and we should never see him again Sherlock Holmes listened with a deepest attention to this singular narrative what did you do he asked I wired to Cambridge to learn if anything had been heard of him there I've had an answer no one has seen him could he have got back to Cambridge yes there is a late train quarter past eleven but so far as you can ascertain he did not take it no he has not been seen what did you do next I wired to Lord mount-james why to Lord mount-james godfrey isn't orphan and Lord mount-james is his nearest relative his uncle I believe indeed this throws new light upon the matter Lord mount-james is one of the richest men in England so I've heard Godfrey say and your friend was closely related yes he was his heir and the old boy is nearly 80 crammed full of gout - they say he could choke his billiard cue with his knuckles he never allowed Godfrey a shilling in his life for his an absolute miser but it all come to him right enough have you heard from Lord mount-james no what motive could you friend er have in going to Lord mount-james well something was worrying him the night before and if it was to do with money it is possible that he would make for his nearest relative with so much of it though from all I have heard he would not have much chance of getting it Godfrey was not fond of the old man he would not go if he could help it well we can soon determine that if your friend was going to his relative Lord mount-james you have then to explain the visit of this rough looking fellow at so late an hour and the agitation that was caused by his coming Cyril Overton pressed his hands to his head I can make nothing of it said he well well I have a clear day and I shall be happy to look into the matter said Holmes I should strongly recommend you to make your preparations for your match without reference to this young gentleman it must as you say have been an overpowering necessity which tore him away in such a fashion and the same necessity as like to hold him away let us step round together to the hotel and see if the porter can throw any fresh light upon the matter Sherlock Holmes was a past master in the art of putting a humble witness at his ease and very soon in the privacy of Godfrey Staunton zuv and in room he had extracted all the porter had to tell the visitor of the night before was not a gentleman neither was here working and he was simply what the porter described as a medium looking chap a man of 50 beard grizzled pale face quietly dressed he seemed himself to be agitated the porter had observed his hand trembling when he had held out the note Godfrey Staunton had crammed the note into his pocket Staunton had not shaken hands with a man in the hall they had exchanged a few sentences of which the porter had only distinguished the one word time then they'd hurried off in the manner described it was just harpist ten by the hall clock let me see said Holmes seating himself on Stanton's bed you are the day porter are you not you sir argh off-duty at 11:00 the night porter saw nothing I suppose no sir one Fiat I came in late no one else were you on duty all day yesterday yes sir did you take any messages to mr. Staunton yes sir a one telegram ah that's interesting what o'clock was this about 6:00 where was mr. Staunton when he received it here in this room were you present when he opened it yes sir I'll waited to see if there was an answer well was there yes sir he wrote an answer did you take it now he took it himself but he wrote it in your presence yes sir I was standing by the door and he with his back turned at the table when he'd written it he said all right Porter I'll take this myself what did you write it with a pen sir was the telegraphic form one of these on the table yes sir it was a top one Holmes rose taking the forms he carried them over to the window and carefully examined that which was uppermost it is a pity he did not write in pencil said he throwing them down again with a shrug of disappointment as you have no doubt frequently observed Watson the impression usually goes through a fact which has dissolved many a happy marriage however I can find no trace here I rejoice however to perceive that he wrote with a broad pointed quill pen and I can hardly doubt that we will find some impression upon this blotting pad oh yes surely this is the very thing he tore off a strip of the blotting paper and turned towards us the following hieroglyphic Cyril Overton was much excited hold it to the glass he cried that is unnecessary said Holmes the paper is thin and the reverse will give the message here it is he turned it over in red stand by us for God's sake so that is the tail end of the telegram which Godfrey Staunton dispatched within a few hours of his disappearance there are at least six words of the message which have escaped us what remains stand by us for God's sake proves that this young man saw a formidable danger which approached him and from which someone else could protect him us mark you another person was involved who should it be but the pale faced bearded man who seemed himself in so nervous estate what then is the connection between Godfrey Staunton and the bearded man and what is the third source from which each of them sought for help against pressing danger our inquiry has already narrowed down to that we have only to find to whom the ax telegram is addressed I suggested a exactly my dear Watson your reflection though profound had already crossed my mind but I dare say it may have come to your notice but counterfoil of another man's message there may be some disinclination on the part of the officials to oblige you there is so much red tape in these matters however I have no doubt that with a little delicacy and finesse the end may be attained meanwhile I should like in your presence mr. Overton to go through these papers which have been left upon the table there were a number of letters bills and notebooks we Holmes turned over and examined with quick nervous fingers and darting penetrating eyes nothing here he said at last by the way I suppose your friend was a healthy young fellow nothing amiss with him sound as a bell have you ever known him ill not a day he's been laid up with a hack and once he slipped his kneecap without with nothing perhaps he was not so strong as you suppose I should think he may have had some secrets trouble with your ascent I will put one or two of these papers in my pocket in case they should bear upon our future inquiry one moment one moment quite a querulous voice and we looked up to find a queer little old man jerking and twitching in the doorway he was dressed in rusty black with a very broad brimmed top hat and a loose flight necktie the whole effect being that of a very rustic parson or of an Undertaker's mute yet in spite of his shabby and even absurd appearance his voice had a sharp crackle and his manner a quick intensity which commanded attention who are you sir and by what right do you touch this gentleman's papers he asked I am a private detective and I'm endeavoring to explain his disappearance oh you are are you and who instructed you eh this gentleman mr. Stanton's friend was referred to me by Scotland Yard who are you sir I am Cyril Overton then it is you sent me a telegram my name is Lord mount-james I came round as quickly as the Bayswater bus would bring me so you've instructed a detective yes sir and are you prepared to meet the cost I have no doubt sir that my friend Godfrey when we find him will be prepared to do that but if he had never found I answer me that in that case no doubt his family nothing of the sort sir scream the little man don't look to me for a penny not a penny you understand that mr. detective I'm all the family that this young man has got and I tell you that I'm not responsible if he has any expectations it is due to the fact that I have never wasted money and I do not propose to begin to do so now as to those papers with which you are making so free I may tell you that in case there should be anything of any value among them you will be held strictly to account for what you do with them very good sir said Sherlock Holmes may I ask in the meanwhile whether you have yourself any theory to account for this young man's disappearance no sir I have not he's big enough and old enough to look after himself and if he's so foolish as to lose himself I entirely refuse to accept the responsibility of hunting for him I quite understand your position said Holmes with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes perhaps you don't quite understand mine Godfrey Staunton appears to have been a poor man if he has been kidnapped it could not have been for anything which he himself possesses the fame of your wealth has gone abroad Lord man James and it is entirely possible that a gang of thieves have secured your nephew in order to gain from him some information as to your house your habits and your treasure the face of our unpleasant little visitor had turned as white as his neck cloth Devon sir what an idea I never thought of such villainy what inhuman rogues there are in the world but Godfrey is a fine lad a staunch lad nothing would induce him to give his old uncle away I'll have the plate removed over to the bank this evening in the meantime spare no pains mr. detective I beg you to leave no stone unturned to bring him safely back as to money well so far as a fiver or even at ten ago as you can always look to me even in his chastened frame of mind the noble miser could give us no information which would help us for he knew little of the private life of his nephew our only clue laying the truncated telegram and with a copy of this in his hat homes set forth to find a second link for his chain we had shaken off Lord mount-james and Overton had gone to consult with the other members of his team over the misfortune which had befallen them there was a telegraph office at a short distance from the hotel we halted outside it it's worth trying Watson said Holmes of course with a warrant we could demand to see the counter foils but we have not reached that stage yet I don't suppose they remember faces in so busy a place let us venture it I am so sorry to trouble you said he in his blandest manner to the young woman behind the grating there is some small mistake about a telegram I sent yesterday I have had no answer I know very much fear that I must have omitted to put my name at the end could you tell me if this was so the young woman owns could have turned over a sheaf of counter foils what o'clock was it she asked a little after 6 him was it to Holmes put his finger to his lips and glanced at me the last words in it were for God's sake he whispered confidentially I'm very anxious at getting no answer the young woman separated one of the forms this is it there is no name said she smoothing it out upon the counter then that of course accounts am I getting no answer said Holmes dear me are very stupid of me to be sure good morning miss and many thanks for having relieves my mind he chuckled and rubbed his hands when we found ourselves in the street once more well I asked we progress My dear Watson we progress I had seven different schemes for getting a glimpse of that telegram but I could hardly hope to succeed the very first time and what have you gained a starting point for our investigation he hailed a cab Kings Cross station said he we have a journey then yes I think we must run down to Cambridge together all the indications seem to me to point in that direction tell me I asked as we rattled up Gray's Inn Road have you any suspicions yet has to be the cause of the disappearance I don't think that among all our cases I've known one where the motives are more obscure surely you don't really imagine that he may be kidnapped in order to give information against his wealthy uncle I confess my dear Watson that that does not appeal to me as a very probable explanation it struck me however as being the one which was most likely to interest that exceedingly unpleasant old person it certainly did that but what are your alternatives I could mention several you must admit that it is curious and suggestive that this incident should occur on the eve of this important match and should involve the only man whose presence seems essential to the success of the side it may have caused be a coincidence but it is interesting amateur sport is free from betting but a good deal of outside betting goes on among the public and it is possible that it might be worth someone's while to get it a player as the ruffians of the turf get as a racehorse there is one explanation a second very obvious one is that this young man really is the heir of a great property however modest his means may at present be and is not impossible but a plot to hold him for ransom might be concocted these theories take no account of the telegram quite true Watson the telegram still remains the only solid thing with which we have to deal and we must not permit our attention to wander away from it it is to gain light upon the purpose of this telegram that we are now upon our way to Cambridge the path of our investigation is at present obscure but I shall be very much surprised if before evening we have not cleared it up or made a considerable advance along it it was already dark when we reached the old university city Holmes took a cab at the station and ordered the man to drive to the house of dr. Leslie Armstrong a few minutes later we had stopped at a large mansion in the busiest thoroughfare we were shown in and after a long wait were at submitted into the consulting room where we found the doctor seated behind his table it argued the degree in which I had lost touch with my profession that the name of Leslie Armstrong was unknown to me now I am aware that he is not only one of the heads of the medical school of the University but a thinker of European reputation in more than one branch of science yet even without knowing his brilliant record one could not fail to be impressed by a mere glance at the man the square massive face the brooding eyes under the thatched brows and a granite molding of the inflexible jaw a man of deed character a man with an alert mind grim acetic self-contained formidable so I read dr. Leslie Armstrong he held my friends card in his hand and he looked up with no very pleased expression upon his dour features I have heard your name mr. Sherlock Holmes and I'm aware of your profession one of which I by no means approve in that doctor you will find yourself in agreement with every criminal in the country said my friend quietly so far as your efforts are directed towards the suppression of crime sir they must have the support of every reasonable member of the community though I cannot doubt that the official machinery is amply sufficient for the purpose where your calling is more open to criticism is when you pry into the secrets of private individuals when you wake up family matters which are better hidden and when you incidentally waste the time of men who are more busy than yourself at the present moment for example I should be writing a treatise instead of conversing with you no doubt doctor and yet the conversation may prove more important than the treatise incidentally I may tell you but we are doing the reverse of what you very justly blame and that we are endeavoring to prevent anything like public exposure of private matters which must necessarily follow when once the case is fairly in the hands of the official police you may look upon these simply as an irregular pioneer who goes in front of the regular forces of the country I have come to ask you about mr. Godfrey Staunton what about him you know him do you not he is an intimate friend of mine you are aware that he has disappeared ah indeed there was no change of expression in the rugged features of the doctor he left his hotel last night he has not been heard of no doubt he will return tomorrow is the varsity football match I have no sympathy with these childish games the young man's fate interests me deeply since I know him and like him the football match does not come within my horizon at all I claim your sympathy then in my investigation of mr. Stanton's fate do you know where he is certainly not you have not seen him since yesterday no I have not was mr. Staunton a healthy man absolutely did you ever know him LLL never Holmes popped a sheet of paper before the doctors eyes then perhaps you will explain this receipted bill for thirteen guineas paid by mr. Godfrey Staunton last month to dr. Leslie Armstrong of Cambridge I picked it out from among the papers upon his desk the doctor flushed with anger I do not feel there is any reason why I should render an explanation to you mr. Holmes Holmes replaced the bill in his notebook if you prefer a public explanation it must come sooner or later said he I have already told you that I can push up that which others will be bound to publish and you would really be wiser to take me into your complete confidence I know nothing about it did you hear from mr. Staunton in London certainly not dear me dear me the post office again Holmes sighed wearily a most urgent telegram was dispatched to you from London by Godfrey Taunton at 6:15 yesterday evening a telegram which is undoubtedly associated with his disappearance and yet you have not had it it is most culpable I shall certainly go down to the office here and register a complaint dr. Leslie Armstrong sprang up from behind his desk and his dark face was crimson with fury I will trouble you to walk out of my house sir said he you can tell your employer Lord mount-james that I do not wish to have anything to do either with him or with his agents no sir no another word he rang the bell furiously John show these gentlemen out a pompous Butler I should have severely to the door and we found ourselves in the street Holmes burst out laughing dr. Leslie Armstrong is certainly a man of energy and character said he I have not seen a man who if he turns his talents that way was more calculated to fill the gap left by the illustrious Moriarty and now my dear Watson here we are stranded and friendless in this inhospitable town which we cannot leave without abandoning our case this little Inn just opposite Armstrong's house is singularly adapted to our needs if you would engage a front room and purchase the necessaries for the night I may have time to make a few inquiries these few inquiries proved however to be a more lengthy proceeding than Holmes had imagined for he did not return to the inn until nearly nine o'clock he was pale and dejected stained with dust and exhausted with hunger and fatigue a cold supper was ready upon the table and when his needs were satisfied and his pipe alight he was ready to take that half comic and wholly philosophic view which was natural to him when his affairs were going awry the sound of carriage wheels caused him to rise and glanced out of the window a brothel and pair of Gray's under the glare of a gas lamp stood before the doctor's door it's been out three hours said Holmes started at half past six and here it is back again that gives a radius of 10 or 12 miles and he does it once or sometimes twice a day no unusual thing for a doctor in practice but Armstrong is not really a doctor in practice he is a lecturer and a consultant but he does not care for general practice which distracts him from his literary work why then does he make these long journeys which must be exceedingly irksome to him and who is it that he visits his coachman my dear Watson can you doubt that it was to him that I first applied I do not know whether it came from his own innate depravity or from the promptings of his master but he was rude enough to set a dog at me not a dog nor man liked the look of my stick however and the matter fell through relations were strained after that and further inquiries out of the question all that I have learned I got from a friendly native in the yard of our own in it was he who told me of the doctors habits and of his daily journey at that instant to give point to his words the carriage came round to the door could you not follow it excellent Watson you are scintillating this evening the idea did cross my mind there is as you may have observed a bicycle shop next to our in into this I rushed engaged a bicycle and was able to get started before the carriage was quite out of sight I rapidly overtook it and then keeping it a discreet distance of a hundred yards or so I followed its lights until we were clear of the town we had got well out on the country road when a somewhat mortifying incident occurred the carriage stopped the doctor alighted walked swiftly back to where I had also halted and told me in an excellent sardonic fashion that he feared the road was narrow and that he hoped his carriage did not impede the passage of my bicycle nothing could have been more admirable than his way of putting it I at once rode past the carriage and keeping to the main road I went on for a few miles and then halted in a convenient place to see if the carriage passed there was no sign of it however and so it became evident but it had turned down one of several side roads which I had observed I rode back was against or nothing of the carriage and now as you perceive it has returned after me of course I had at the outset no particular reason to connect these journeys with the disappearance of Godfrey Staunton and was only inclined to investigate them on the general grounds that everything which concerns dr. Armstrong is at present of interest to us but now that I find he keeps so keen a lookout upon anyone who may follow him on these excursions the affair appears more important and I shall not be satisfied until I have made the matter clear we can follow him tomorrow can we it is not so easy as you seem to think you are not familiar with Cambridgeshire scenery are you it doesn't lend itself to concealment all this country that I passed over tonight is as flat and clean as the palm of your hand and the man we are following is no fool as he is very clearly showed tonight I have wired to Overton to let us know any fresh London developments at this address and in the meantime we can only concentrate our attention upon dr. Armstrong whose name the obliging young lady at the office allowed me to read upon the counterfoil of Staunton zhh urgent message he knows where the young man is to that I'll swear and if he knows then it must be our own fault if we cannot manage to know also at present it must be admitted that the odd trick is in his possession and as you are aware Watson it is not my habit to leave the game in that condition and yet the next day brought us down nearer to the solution of the mystery a note was handed in after breakfast which Holmes passed across to me with a smile sir it ran I can assure you that you are wasting your time in dogging my movements I have as you discovered last night a window at the back of my brothel and if you desire a twenty mile ride which will lead you to the spot from which you started you have only to follow me meanwhile I can inform you that no spying upon me can in any way help mr. Godfrey Staunton and I am convinced that the best service you can do to that gentleman is to return at once to London and to report to your employer that you are unable to trace him your time in Cambridge will certainly be wasted yours faithfully Leslie Armstrong an outspoken honest antagonist is the doctor said Holmes well well he excites my curiosity and I must really know before I leave him his carriage is at his door now said I there he is stepping into it I saw him glance up at our window as he did so suppose I try my look upon the bicycle no no my dear Watson with all respect for your natural acumen I do not think that you're quite a match for the worthy doctor I think that possibly I can attain our end by some independent explorations of my own I am afraid that I must leave you to your own devices as the appearance of two inquiring strangers upon a sleepy countryside might excite more gossip than I care for no doubt you will find some sites to amuse you in this venerable City and I hope to bring back a more favourable report to you before evening once more however my friend was destined to be disappointed he came back at night weary and unsuccessful I have had a blank day Watson having got the doctors general direction I spent the day in and visiting all the villages upon that side of Cambridge and comparing notes as publicans and other local news agencies I have covered some ground Chesterton piston water beach and Oakington have each been explored and of each proved disappointing the daily appearance of a broth amande pair could hardly have been overlooked in such sleepy Hollow's the doctor has scored once more is there a telegram for me yes I opened it here it is ask for Pompey from Jeremy Dixon Trinity College I don't understand it oh it is clear enough it is from our friend Overton and is in answer to a question from me I'll just send round a note to mr. Jeremy Dixon and then I have no doubt that our luck will return by the way is there any news of the match yes the local evening paper as an excellent account in its last edition Oxford won by a goal and two tries the last sentences of the description say the defeat of the light Blues may be entirely attributed to the unfortunate absence of the craic International Godfrey Staunton whose want was felt at every instant of the game the lack of combination in the 3/4 line and their weakness both in attack and defense more than neutralized the efforts of a heavy and hardworking pack then our friend Overton's forebodings have been justified said Holmes personally I am in agreement with dr. Armstrong and football does not come with my horizon early to bed tonight Watson for I foresee that tomorrow may be an eventful day I was horrified by my first glimpse of Holmes next morning for he sat by the fire holding his tiny hypodermic syringe I associated that instrument with the single weakness of his nature and I feared the worst when I saw it glittering in his hand he laughed at my expression of dismay and laid it upon the table no no my dear fellow there is no cause for alarm it is not upon this occasion the instrument of evil but it will rather prove to be the key which will unlock our mystery on this syringe i base all my hopes I have just returned from a small scouting expedition and everything is favourable eat a good breakfast Watson for I propose to get upon dr. Armstrong's trail today and once on it I will not stop for rest or food until I run him to his burrow in that case should I we had best carry our breakfast with us for his making an early start his carriage is at the door never mind let him go he will be clever if you can drive where I cannot follow him when you have finished come downstairs with me and I will introduce you to a detective who is a very eminent specialist in the work that lies before us when we descended I followed Holmes into the stable yard where he opened the door of a loose box and let out a squat lop-eared white and tan dog something between a beagle and a fox hound let me introduce you to Pompey sohee Pompey is the pride of the local drag hounds know very great flier as his build will show but a staunch hound on a scent well Pompey you may not be fast but I expect you won't be too fast for a couple of middle-aged London gentlemen so I will take the liberty of fastening this leather leash to your collar now boy come along and show what you can do he led him across to the doctor's door the dog sniffed round for an instant and then with a shrill whine of excitement started off down the street tugging at his leash in his efforts to go faster in half an hour we were clear of the town and hastening down a country road what have you done Holmes I asked a threadbare and venerable device but useful upon occasion I walked into the doctor's yard this morning and shot my syringe full of aniseed over the hind wheel a drag hound will follow aniseed from here to John O'Groats and our friend Armstrong would have to drive through the cam before he would shake Pompey off his trail oh the cunning rascal this is how he gave me the slip the other night the dog had suddenly turned out of the main road into a grass-grown Lane half a mile father this opened into another broad road and the trail turned hard to the right in the direction of the town which we had just quitted the road took a sweep to the south of the town and continued in the opposite direction to that in which we started this detour has been entirely for our benefit then said Holmes no wonder that my inquiries among those villages led to nothing the doctor certainly played the game for all it is worth and one would like to know the reason for such elaborate deception this should be the village of Trumpington to the right of us and by Jove here is a brothel coming round the corner quick Watson quick or we are done he sprang through a gate into a field dragging the reluctant Pompey after him we'd hardly gotten of the shelter of the hedge when the carriage rattled past I caught a glimpse of dr. Armstrong within his shoulders bowed his head sunk on his hands the very image of distress I could tell by my companions graver face that he also had seen I fear there is some dark ending to our quest said he it cannot be long before we know it come Pompey ah it is the cottage in the field there could be no doubt that we had reached the end of our journey Pompey ran about and whined eagerly outside the gate where the marks of the brothels wheels were still to be seen a footpath led across to the lonely cottage Holmes tied the dog to the hedge and we hastened onward my friend not the little rustic door and knocked again without response and yet the cottage was not deserted for a low sound came to our ears a kind of drone of misery in despair which was indescribably melancholy Holmes paused irresolute and then he glanced back at the road which he had just traversed a brothel was coming down it and there could be no mistaking those grey horses by Jove the doctor is coming back cried Holmes that settled it we are bound to see what it means before he comes he opened the door and we stepped into the hall the droning sound swelled louder upon our ears until it became one long deep wail of distress it came from upstairs Holmes darted up and I followed him he pushed open a half closed door and we both stood appalled at the sight before us a woman young and beautiful was lying dead upon the bed her calm pale face with dim wide-opened blue eyes looked upward from amid a great tangle of golden hair at the foot of the bed half sitting half kneeling his face buried in the clothes was a young man whose frame was wracked by his sobs so absorbed was he by his bitter grief that he never looked up until Holmes's hand was on his shoulder are you mr. Godfrey Staunton yes yes I am but you're too late she is dead the man was so dazed that he could not make to understand that we were anything but doctors who had been sent to his assistance Holmes was endeavouring to utter a few words of consolation and to explain the alarm which had been caused to his friends by his sudden disappearance when there was a step upon the stairs and there was the heavy Stern questioning face of dr. Armstrong at the door so gentlemen said he you have attained your end and have certainly chosen a particularly delicate moment for your intrusion I would not brawl in the presence of death but I can assure you that if I were a younger man your monstrous conduct would not pass with impunity excuse me doctor I am strong I think we are little at cross-purposes said my friend with dignity if you could step downstairs with us we may each be able to give some light to the other upon this miserable affair a minute later the grim doctor and ourselves were in the sitting room below well sir said he I wish you to understand in the first place that I am not employed by Lord mount-james and that my sympathies in this matter are entirely against that nobleman when a man is lost it is my duty to us ascertain his fate but having done so the matter ends so far as I am concerned and so long as there is nothing criminal I'm much more anxious to hush private scandals than to give them publicity if as I imagine there is no breach of the law in this matter you can absolutely depend upon my discretion and my cooperation in keeping the facts out of the papers dr. Armstrong took a quick step forward and wrung Holmes by the hand you are a good fellow said he I had misjudged you I thank heaven that my compunction of leaving poor Staunton all alone in this plight caused me to turn my carriage back and so to make your acquaintance knowing as much as you do the situation is very easily explained a year ago Godfrey Staunton lodged in London for a time and became passionately attached to his landlady's daughter whom he married she was as good as she was beautiful and as intelligent as she was good now man need be ashamed of such a wife but Godfrey was the heir to this crabbed old nobleman and who was quite certain that the news of his marriage would have been the end of his inheritance I knew the lad well and I loved him for his many excellent qualities I did all I could to help him to keep things straight we did our very best to keep the thing from everyone for when once such a whisper gets about it is not long before everyone has heard it thanks to this lonely cottage and his own discretion Godfrey is up to now succeeded their secret was known to no one save to me and to one excellent servant who was at present gone for assistance Trumpington but at last there came a terrible blow in the shape of dangerous illness to his wife it was consumption of the most virulent kind the poor boy was half crazed with grief and yet he had to go to London to play this match for he could not get out of it without explanations which would expose his secret I tried to cheer him up by wire and he sent me one in reply imploring me to do all I could this was a telegram which you appear in some inexplicable way to a scene I did not tell him how urgent the danger was for I knew that he could do no good here but I sent the truth to the girl's father and he very in judicial II communicated it to Godfrey the result was that he came straight away in a state bordering on frenzy and has remained in the same state kneeling at the end of her bed until this morning death put an end to her sufferings that is all mr. Holmes and I am sure that I can rely upon your discretion and that of your friend Holmes grasped the doctors hand come Watson said he and re-passed from that house of grief into the pale sunlight of the winter day end of the adventure of the missing 3/4 learn of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this LibriVox recording is in the public domain adventure 12 the adventure of the abbey Grange it was on a bitterly cold and frosty morning towards the end of the winter of 97 that I was awakened by a tugging at my shoulder it was Holmes the candle in his hand shone upon his eager stooping face and told me at a glance that something was amiss come Watson come he cried the game is afoot not a word into your clothes and come ten minutes later we were both in a cab and rattling through the silent streets on our way to Charing Cross station the first faint winter's dawn was beginning to appear and we could dimly see the occasional figure of an early workman as he passed us blurred and indistinct in the opulent London weak homes nestled in silence into his heavy coat and I was glad to do the same before the air was most bitter and neither of us had broken our fast it was not until we had consumed some hot tea at the station and taken our places in the Kentish train that we were sufficiently thought he to speak and I to listen Holmes drew a note from his pocket and read aloud Abbey Grange Marsham Kent 3:30 a.m. my dear mr. Holmes I should be very glad of your immediate assistance in what promises to be a most remarkable case it is something quite in your line except for releasing the lady I will see that everything is kept exactly as I have found it but I beg you not to lose an instant as it is difficult to leave so Eustace here yours faithfully Stanley Hopkins Hopkins has called me in seven times and on each occasion his summons has been entirely justified said Holmes I fancy that every one of his cases has found its way into your collection and I must admit Watson that you have some power of selection which returns so much of which I deplore in your narratives your fatal habit of looking at everything from the point of view of a story instead of as a scientific exercise has ruined what might have been an instructive and even classical series of demonstrations you slur over work of the utmost finesse and delicacy in order to dwell upon sensational details which may excite but cannot possibly instruct the reader why do you not write them yourself I said with some bitterness I will my dear Watson I will at present I am as you know fairly busy but I propose to devote my declining years to the composition of a textbook which shall focus the whole art of detection into one volume our present research appears to be a case of murder you think this sir Eustace is dead then I should say so Hopkins is writing shows considerable agitation and is not an emotional man yes I gather there has been some violence and that the body is left for our inspection a mere suicide would not have caused him to send for me as to the release of a lady it would appear that she has been locked in her room during the tragedy we are moving in High Life Watson crackling paper EB monogrammed coat of arms picturesque address I think that friend Hopkins will live up to his reputation and that we shall have an interesting morning the crime was committed before 12:00 last night how can you possibly tell by an inspection of the trains and by reckoning the time the local police had to be called in I had to communicate with Scotland Yard Hopkins had to go out and he in turn had to send for me all that makes a fair night's work well here we are at chiseled her station and we shall soon set our doubts at rest a drive of a couple of miles through narrow country lanes brought us to a park gate which was opened for us by an old lodge-keeper whose Haggard face bore the reflection of some great disaster the avenue ran through a noble park between lines of ancient Elms and ended in a low widespread house pillared in front after the fashion of Palladio the central part was evidently of a great age and shrouded in ivy but the large windows showed that modern changes have been carried out and one wing of the house appeared to be entirely new the youthful figure and alert eager face of inspector Stanley Hopkins confronted us in the open doorway I'm very glad you've come mr. Holmes and you too dr. Watson but indeed if I'd my time over again I should not have troubled you for since the ladies come to herself she is given so clear an account of the affair that there's not much left for us to do you remember that Lewis young gang of burglars what the three Randall's exactly the father and two sons if their work I've no doubt of it they did a job at Sydenham a fortnight ago and were seen and described rather cool to do another so soon and so near but it is that he beyond all doubt it's a hanging matter this time so Eustace is dead then yes his head was knocked in with his own poker so Eustace brackenstall the driver tells me exactly one of the richest men in kin lady rat install is in the morning room poor lady she's at a most dreadful experience she seemed off dead when I first saw her I think you'd best see her and hear her account of the facts then we'll examine the dining room together lady brackenstall was no ordinary person seldom have I seen so graceful a figure so womanly a presence and so beautiful a face she was a blond golden haired blue-eyed and would no doubt have had the perfect complexion which goes with such colouring had not her recent experience left her drawn and Haggard her sufferings were physical as well as mental for over one eye Rose a hideous plum colored swelling which her made at all austere woman was bathing assiduously with vinegar and water the lady lay back exhausted upon a couch but her quick observant gaze as we entered the room and the alert expression of her beautiful features showed that neither Hurwitz nor her courage had been shaken by her terrible experience she was enveloped in a loose dressing-gown of blue and silver but a black sequin covered dinner dress lay upon the couch beside her I have told you all this happened mr. Hawkins she said wearily could you not repeat it for me well if you think it necessary I will tell these gentlemen what occurred have they been in the dining room yet I thought they are better eh your ladyship's story first I shall be glad when you can arrange matters it is horrible to me to think of him still lying there she shuddered and buried her face in her hands as she did so the loose gown fell back from her forearms Holmes uttered an exclamation you have other injuries madam what is this too vivid red spots stood out on one of the white round limbs she hastily covered it it is nothing it has no connection with this hideous business tonight if you and your friend will sit down I will tell you all I can I am the wife of Sir Eustace brackenstall I have been married about a year I suppose that it is no use my attempting to conceal that our marriage has not been a happy one I fear that all our neighbours would tell you that even if I were to attempt to deny it the hats the fault may be partly mine I was brought up in the freer less conventional atmosphere of South Australia and this English life with its proprieties and this criminal is not congenial to me but the main reason lies in the one fact which is notorious to everyone and that is that sir Eustace was a confirmed drunkard to be with such a man for an hour is unpleasant can you imagine what it means for a sensitive and high-spirited woman to be tied to him for day-night it is a sacrilege a crime a villain aid to hold that such a marriage is binding I say that these monstrous laws of yours will bring a curse upon the land God will not let such wickedness endure for an instant she sat up her cheeks flushed and her eyes blazing from under the terrible mark upon her brow and she's strong soothing hand of the austere maid drew her head down onto the cushion and the wild anger died away into passionate sobbing at last she continued I would tell you about last night you are aware perhaps that in this house all the servants sleep in the modern wing the central block is made up of the dwelling rooms with the kitchen behind and our bedroom above my maid Teresa sleeps above my room there is no one else and no sound could alarm those who are in the father wing this must have been well known to the robbers or they would not have acted as they did so Eustace retired about half-past ten the servants had already gone to their quarters only my maid was up and she had remained in her room at the top of the house until I needed her services i sat until after 11:00 in this room absorbed in a book then I walked round to see that all was right before I went upstairs it was my custom to do this myself for as I've explained so Eustace was not always to be trusted I went into the kitchen the butler's pantry the gun room the billiard room the drawing-room and finally the dining room as I approached a window which is covered with thick curtains I suddenly felt the wind blow up on my face and realize that it was open I flung the curtain side and found myself face to face with a broad shouldered elderly man who had just stepped into the room the window is a long French one which really forms a door leading to the lawn I held my bedroom candle lit in my hand and by its light behind the first man I saw two others who were in the act of entering I stepped back but the fellow is on me in an instant he caught me first by the wrist and then by the throat I opened my mouth to scream but he struck me a savage blow with his fist over the eye and felled me to the grass I must have been unconscious for a few minutes for when I came to myself I found that they had torn down the bell-rope and had secured me tightly to the oaken chair which stands at the head of the dining room table I was so firmly bound that I could not move and a handkerchief round my mouth prevented me from uttering a sound it was at this instant that my unfortunate husband entered the room he had evidently heard some suspicious sounds and he came prepared for such a scene as he found he was dressed in night shirt and trousers with his favorite black thorn cudgel in his hand he rushed at the burglars but another it was an elderly man stooped picked the poker out of the grate and struck him a horrible blow as he passed he fell with a groan and never moved again I fainted once more but again it could only have been for a very few minutes during which I was insensible when I opened my eyes I found that they had collected the silver from the sideboard and they had drawn a bottle of wine which stood there each of them had a glass in his hand I have already told you have I not that one was elderly with a beard and the others young hairless lads they might have been a father with his two sons they talked together in whispers then they came over and made sure that I was securely bound finally they withdrew closing the window after them it was quite a quarter of an hour before I got my mouth free when I did so my screams brought the maid to my assistance the other servants was soon alarmed and we sent for the local police who instantly communicated with London that is really all that I can tell you gentlemen and I trust that it will not be necessary for me to go over so painful a story again any questions mr. Holmes asked Hopkins I will not impose any further tax upon lady brackenstall patience and time said Holmes before I go into the dining room I should like to hear your experience he looked at the maid I saw the man before ever they came into the house said she as I sat on my bedroom window I saw three men in the moonlight down by the lodge gate yonder but I thought nothing of it at the time it was more than an hour after that I heard my mistress scream and down I ran to find her poor lamb just as she says and him on the floor with his blood and brains over the room it was enough to drive a woman out of her wits tied there and her very dress spotted with him she never wanted courage did miss Mary Fraser of Adelaide and lady back install of Abbey Grange hasn't learned new ways you've questioned her long enough you gentlemen and now she's coming to her own room guess with her old Teresa to get the rest that she badly needs with a motherly tenderness the gaunt woman put her arm round her mistress and led her from the room she's been with all her life said Hopkins nursed her as a baby and came with her to England when they first left Australia 18 months ago Teresa Wright as her name and the kind of made you don't pick up nowadays this way mister overs if you please the keen interest had passed out of Holmes's expressive face and I knew that with the mystery all the charm of the case had departed now still remain an arrest to be effected but what were these commonplace rogues that he should soil his hands with them an abstruse and learner's specialist who finds that he has been called in for a case of measles would experience something of the annoyance which I read in my friends eyes yet the scene in the dining room of the Abbey Grange was sufficiently strange to arrest his attention and to recall his waning interest it was a very large and high chamber with carved oak ceiling oaken paneling and a fine array of deers heads and ancient weapons around the walls at the further end from the door was the high French window of which we had heard three smaller windows on the right-hand side filled the apartment with cold winter sunshine on the left was a large deep fireplace with a massive overhanging oak mantelpiece beside the fireplace was a heavy oaken chair with arms and crossbars the bottom in and out through the open woodwork was woven of crimson cord which was secured at each side to the cross piece below in releasing the lady the cord had been slipped off her but the knots with which should have been secured still remained these details only struck our attention afterwards for our thoughts were entirely absorbed by the terrible object which lay upon the tiger skin hearthrug in front of the fire it was the body of a tall well-made man about 40 years of age he lay upon his back his face upturned with his white teeth grinning through his short black beard his two clenched hands were raised above his head and a heavy black thorn stick lay across them his dark handsome aquiline features were convulsed into a spasm of vindictive hatred which had set his Dead face in a terribly fiendish expression he definitely been in his bed when the alarm had broken out for he wore off hawkish embroidered nightshirt and his bare feet projected from his trousers his head was horribly injured and the whole room bore witness to the savage ferocity of the blow which had struck him down beside him lay the heavy poker bent into a curve by the concussion Holmes examined both it and the indescribable wreck which it had wrought he must be a powerful man this elder Randall he remarked yes said Hopkins I have some record of a fella and he's a rough customer you should have no difficulty in getting him not the sliced we've been on a lookout for him and there was some idea that he'd go away to America now that we know that the gang are here I don't see how they can escape we have the news every c4 already and a reward will be offered before evening what beats me is how they could have done so mad a thing knowing that the lady could describe him and that we could not fail to recognize a description exactly one would have expected that they would silence Lady brackenstall as well now you may not realized I suggested that she'd recovered from her fame that is likely enough if she seemed to be senseless they would not take her life what about this poor fellow Hopkins I seem to have heard some queer stories about him he was a good old man when he was sober but a perfect fiend when he was drunk or rather when he was off drunk for he seldom really went the our way the devil seemed to be in him at such times and he was capable of anything from what I hear in spite of all his wealth and his Tyl he very nearly came our way once or twice there was a scandal about his drenching a dog with petroleum and setting it on fire her ladyship's dog to make them out worse and that was only ashed out with difficulty then he threw a decanter at the maid Theresa Ryan it was trouble about that on the owl and between ourselves that we have brought our ass without him what are you looking at now Holmes was down on his knees examining with great attention but not upon the red cord with which the lady had been secured then he carefully scrutinized the broken and frayed end where it had snapped off when the burglar had dragged it down when this was pulled down the Bell in the kitchen must have rung loudly he remarked no one could hear it the kitchen stands right the back of the house how did the burglar know no one would hear it how dared he pull at a bell rope in that reckless fashion exactly mr. Ames exactly he put the very question which I've asked myself again and again it could be no doubt that this fellow must have known the house and its Abbot's he must have perfectly understood that the servants would all be in bed at that comparative the early hour and that no one could possibly IRRI bell ring in the kitchen therefore he must have been in close league with one of the servants surely that is evident well there are eight servants and all of them good character other things being equal said Holmes one would expect the one whose head the master threw a decanter and yet that would involve treachery towards the mistress to whom the woman seems devoted well well the point is a minor one and when you have Randall you will probably find no difficulty in securing his accomplice the lady's story certainly seems to be corroborated they needed cooperation by every detail which we see before us he walked to the French window and threw it open there are no signs here but the ground is iron hard and we would not expect them I see that these candles in the mantelpiece have been lighted yes it was by their light and that the lady's bedroom candle that the burglars saw their way about and what did they take well they didn't take much only half a dozen articles of plate of the sideboard lady brackenstall thinks that they were themselves so disturbed by the death of Sir Eustace they didn't ransack the house as they would otherwise have done no doubt that is true and yet they drank some wine I understand to steady their nerves exactly these three glasses upon the sideboard have been untouched I suppose yes and the ball stands they left it let us look at it hello hello what is this the three glasses were grouped together all of them tinged with wine and one of them containing some dregs of B swing the bottle stood near them two-thirds full and beside it lay a long deeply stained cork its appearance and the dust upon the bottle showed that it was no common vintage which the murderers had enjoyed a change had come over Holmes's manner he had lost his listless expression and again I saw an alert light of interest in his keen deep set eyes he raised the cork and examined it minutely how did they draw it he asked Hopkins pointed to a half-open draw in it lay some table linen and a large corkscrew did Lady brackenstall say that screw is used now you remember that she was senseless at the moment when the bottle was opened quite so as a matter of fact that screw was not used this bottle was opened by a pocket screw probably contained in a knife and not more than an inch and a half long if you'll examine the top of the cork you will observe that the screw was driven in three times before a cork was extracted it has never been transfixed this long screw would have transfixed it and drawn it up with a single pull when you catch this fellow you will find that he has one of these multiplex knives in his possession excellent said Hopkins but these glasses do puzzle me I confess lady brackenstall actually saw the three men drinking did she not yes she was clear about that then there is an end of it what more is to be said and yet you must admit that the three glasses are very remarkable Hopkins what you see nothing remarkable well well let it pass perhaps when a man has special knowledge and special powers like my own it rather encourages him to seek a complex explanation when a simpler one is at hand of course it must be a mere chance about the glasses well good morning Hopkins I don't see that I can be of any use to you and you appear to have your case very clear you'll let me know when Randall is arrested and any further developments which may occur I trust that I shall soon have to congratulate you upon a successful conclusion come Watson I fancy that we may employ ourselves more profitably at home during our return journey I could see by Holmes's face that he was much puzzled by something which he had observed every now and then by an effort he was throw off the impression and talk as if the matter were clear but then his doubts would settle down upon him again and his knitted brows and abstracted eyes would show that his thoughts had gone back once more to the great dining room of the abbey Grange in which this midnight tragedy had been enacted at last by a sudden impulse just as our train was crawling out of a suburban station he sprang onto the platform and pulled me out after him excuse me my dear fellow said he as we watched the rear carriages of our train disappearing round a curve I am sorry to make you the victim of what may seem a mere whim but on my life Watson I simply can't leave that case in this condition it free instinct that I possess cries out against it it's wrong it's all wrong I'll swear it it's wrong and yet the lady's story was complete the maids corroboration was sufficient the detail was fairly exact what have I to put up against that three wine glasses that is all but if I had not taken things for granted if I had examined everything with the case with which I should have shown had we approached the case de novo and had no cut and dried story to walk my mind should I not then have found something more definite to go upon of course I should sit down on this bench Watson until a train for Chislehurst arrives and allow me to lay the evidence before you imploring you in the first instance to dismiss from your mind the idea that anything which the maid or her mistress may have said must necessarily be true the lady's charming personality must not be permitted to warp our judgment surely there are details in her story which if we looked at in cold blood would excite our suspicions these burglars made a considerable halt at Sydenham a fortnight ago some account of them and of their appearance was in the papers and would naturally occur to anyone who wished to invent a story in which imaginary robbers should play a part as a matter of fact burglars who have done a good stroke of business are as a rule only too glad to early and enjoy the proceeds in peace and quiet without embarking on another perilous undertaking again it is unusual for burglars to operate at so early an hour it is unusual for burglars to strike a lady to prevent her screaming since one would imagine that was the sure way to make her scream it is unusual for them to commit murder when their numbers are sufficient to overpower one man it is unusual for them to be content with a limited plunder when there is much more within their reach and finally I should say that it was very unusual for such men to leave a bottle half-empty how do all these unusual strike you Watson their cumulative effect is certainly considerable and yet each of them is quite possible in itself the most unusual thing of all as it seems to me is that the lady should be tighter the chair well I am not so clear about that Watson for it is evident they must either care or else secure her in such a way that she could not give immediate notice of their escape but at any rate I have shown have I not that there is a certain element of improbability about the lady's story and now on the top of this comes the incident of the wineglasses what about the wine glasses can you see them in your mind's eye I see them clearly we are told that three men drank from them does that strike you as likely why not there was wine in each glass exactly but there was bee swing only in one glass you must have noticed that that fact what does that suggest to your mind the last glass filled will be most likely to contain bees linked not at all the bottle was full of it and it is inconceivable that the first two glasses were clear and the third heavily charged with it there are two possible explanations and only two one is that after the second glass was filled the bottle was violently agitated and so the third glass received the bees wink that does not appear probable no now I'm sure that I'm right what men do suppose that only two glasses were used and that the dregs of both were poured into a third glass so as to give the false impression that three people had been here in that way all the B's wing would be in the last glass would it not yes I am convinced that this is so but if I have hit upon the true explanation of this one small phenomenon then in an instant the case rises from the commonplace to the exceedingly remarkable for it can only mean that Lady brackenstall and her maid have deliberately lied to us but not one word of their story is to be believed but they have some very strong reason for covering the real criminal and that we must construct our case for ourselves without any help from them that is the mission which now lies before us and here Watson is the Sydenham train the household that the Abbey Grange were much surprised at our return but Sherlock Holmes finding that Stanley Hopkins had gone off to report to headquarters took possession of the dining room locked the door upon the inside and devoted himself for two hours to one of those minut and laborious investigations which form the solid basis on which his brilliant edifices of deduction were reared seated in a corner like an interested student who observes the demonstration of his professor I followed every step of that remarkable research the window the curtains the carpets the chair the Rope each in turn was minutely examined and duly pondered the body of the unfortunate baronet had been removed and all else remained as we had seen it in the morning finally to my astonishment Holmes climbed up onto the massive mantelpiece far above his head hung a few inches of red cord which was still attached to the wire for a long time he gazed upward at it and then in an attempt to get nearer to it he rested his knee upon a wooden bracket on the wall this brought his hand within a few inches of the broken end of the rope but it was not this so much as the bracket itself which seemed to engage his attention finally he sprang down with an ejaculation of satisfaction it's all right Watson said he we have got our case one of the most remarkable in our collection but dear me how slow-witted I have been and how nearly I have committed the blunder of my lifetime now I think that with a few missing links my chain is almost complete you've got your men man Watson man only one but a very formidable person strong as a lion witness the blow that bent that poker six foot three in height active as a squirrel dexterous with his fingers finally remarkably quick witted for this whole ingenious story is of his concoction yes Watson we have come upon the handiwork of a very remarkable individual and yet in that bell-rope he has given us a clue which should not have left us a doubt where was the clue well if you were to pull down a bell rope Watson where would you expect it to break surely at the spot where it is attached to the wire why should it break three inches from the top as this one has done because it's frayed there exactly this end which we can examine is frayed he was cunning enough to do that with his knife but the other end is not frayed you could not observe that from here but if you were on the mantelpiece you would see that it is cut clean off without any mark of fraying whatever you can reconstruct what occurred the man needed the rope he would not tear it down for fear of giving me alarm by ringing the bell what did he do he sprang up on the mantelpiece could not quite reach it but his knee on the bracket you will see the impression in the dust and so got his knife to bear upon the cord I could not reach the place by at least three inches from which I infer that he's at least three inches a bigger man than I look at that markup on the seat of the oaken chair what is it blurt undoubtedly it is blood this alone puts the lady's story out of court if she was seated on the chair when the crime was done how come the mark no no she was placed in the chair after the death of her husband I'll wager that the black dress shows a corresponding mark to this we have not yet met our Waterloo Watson but this is our meringue go for it begins in defeat and ends in victory I should like now to have a few words with the nurse Teresa we must be wary for a while if we were to get the information which we want she was an interesting person this Stern Australian nurse taciturn suspicious ungracious it took some time before Holmes's pleasant manner and frank acceptance of all that she said thought her into a corresponding Amie ability she did not attempt to conceal her hatred for her late employer yes sir it is true that he threw the decanter at me I heard him call my mistress a name and I told him that he should not dare speak to her as if her brother had been there then it was that he threw it at me he might throw in a dozen if he but left my bonny bird alone he was forever ill Trina and she too proud to complain she would not even tell me all that he's done to her she never told me those marks on her arm that you saw this morning but I know very well what they came from a stab with a pin a slide devil God forgive me that I should speak of him so now that he's dead but I definitely was if ever one walked the earth he was all runny when first name only 18 months ago we both feel as if it were 18 years he's only just arrived in London yes it was her first voyage she'd never been from home before he won her with his tight lean his money and his false London ways if she made a mistake she's paid for it if ever a woman did what month did we mean well I tell you it was just after we arrived we arrived in June and it was July we were married in January last year yeah she's down in the morning-room again and I have no doubt she'll see you but you must not ask too much of her for she's gone through all that flesh and blood will stand Lady brackenstall was reclining on the same couch but looked brighter than before the mate had entered with us and began once more to ferment the bruise upon her mistress's brow I hope said the lady that you have not come to cross-examine me again no Holmes answered in his gentlest voice I will not cause you any unnecessary trouble lady brackenstall and my whole desire is to make things easy for you for I am convinced that you are a much tried woman if you will treat me as a friend and trust me you may find that I will justify your trust what do you want me to do to tell me the truth mr. Holmes no no Lady brackenstall it is no use you may have heard of any little reputation which I possessed I will stake it all on the fact that your story is an absolute fabrication mistress and maid were both staring at homes with pale faces and frightened eyes you are an impudent fellow cried Teresa do you mean to say that my mistress has told a lie Holmes rose from his chair have you nothing to tell me I have told you everything think once more Lady brackenstall would it not be better to be frank for an instant there was hesitation in her beautiful face then some new strong thought caused it to set like a mask I have told you all I know Holmes took his hat and shrugged his shoulders I am very sorry he said and without another word we left the room and a house there was a pond in the park and to this my friend led the way it was frozen over but a single hole was left for the convenience of a solitary Swan Holmes gazed at it and then passed on to the lodge gate there he scribbled a short note for Stan Hopkins and left it with the lodge-keeper it's maybe a hit or it may be a miss but we are bound to do something for friend Hopkins just to justify this second visit said he I will not quite take him into my confidence yet I think our next scene of operations must be the shipping office of the Adelaide Southampton line which stands at the end of Pall Mall if I remember right there is a second line of steamers which connect South Australia with England but we will draw the larger cover first Holmes's card sent in to the manager ensured instant attention and he was not long in acquiring all the information he needed in June of 95 only one of their line had reached a home port it was the Rock of Gibraltar their largest and best boat a reference to the passenger list showed that miss Fraser of Adelaide with her maid had made the voyage in her the boat was now somewhere south of the Suez Canal on her way to Australia her officers were the same as in 95 was one exception the first officer mr. Jack Crocker had been made a captain and was to take charge of their new ship the bass Rock sailing in two days time from Southampton he lived at Sydenham but he was likely to be in that morning for instructions if we cared to wait for him no mr. Holmes had no desire to see him but would be glad to know more about his record and character his record was magnificent there was not an officer in the fleet to touch him as to his character he was reliable on duty but a wild desperate fellow off the deck of his ship hot-headed excitable but loyal honest and kind-hearted that was a pith of the information with which Holmes left the office of the Adelaide Southampton Company thence he drove to Scotland Yard but instead of entering he sat in his cab with his brows drawn down lost in profound thought finally he drove round to the Charing Cross telegraph office sent off a message and then at last we made for Baker Street once more now I couldn't do it Watson said he as we re-entered our room once that warrant was made out nothing on earth would save him once or twice in my career I feel that I have done more real harm by my discovery of the criminal than ever he had done by his crime I have learned caution now and I had rather play tricks with the law of England and with my own conscience let us know a little more before we act before evening we had a visit from inspector Stanley Hopkins things were not going very well with him I'll believe you're a wizard mr. Holmes I really do sometimes think that you have powers that are not human now how on earth could you know that the stolen silver was our the bomber that pond I didn't know but you told me to examine it you got it then yeah I got it I am very glad if I have helped you but you have knelt me you've made the affair more difficult what sort of burglars are they use steel silver and then throw in a nearest pond it was certainly rather eccentric behavior I was merely going on the idea that if the silver had been taken by persons who did not want it who merely took it for a blind as it were then they would naturally be anxious to get rid of it the why should such an idea cross your mind well I thought it was possible when they came out through the French window there was the pond with one tempting little hole in the ice right in front of their noses could there be a better hiding place ah I'd in place that's better Christ on the Hopkins yeah yeah I see it all now it was early they were folk upon the roads they are afraid of being seen with the silver so they sank it in the pond intending to return for it when the coast was clear excellent mr. Holmes as better than your idea of a blind quite so you have got an admirable theory I have no doubt that my own ideas were quite wild but you must admit that they have ended in discovering the silver yes sir yes it was all your doing why VAT about back a setback yes mr. ohms the Randall gang were arrested in New York this morning tear me Hopkins that is certainly rather against your theory that they committed a murder in Kent last night is fatal mr. ohms absolutely fatal still there are other gangs of three besides the Randall's or it may be some new gang of which the police have never heard quite so it is perfectly possible what are you off yes mr. ohms there's no rest for me until I've got to the bottom of the business I suppose you have no hint to give me I have given you one which well I suggested a blind but why mr. Rams why ah that's the question of course but I commend the ideas to your mind you might possibly find that there was something in it you won't stop for dinner well goodbye and let us know how you get on dinner was over and the table cleared before Holmes alluded to the matter again he had lit his pipe and held his slippered feet to the cheerful blaze of the fire suddenly he looked at his watch I expect developments Watson when now within a few minutes I daresay you thought I acted rather badly to Stanley Hopkins just now I trust your judgment I'm very sensible reply Watson you must look at it this way which I know is unofficial what he knows is official I have the right to private judgment but he has none he must disclose all or he is a traitor to his service in a doubtful case I would not put him in so painful a position and so I reserve my information until my own mind is clear upon the matter but when will that be the time has come you will now be present at the last scene of a remarkable little drama there was a sound upon the stairs and our door was open to admit as fine a specimen of manhood as ever passed through it he was a very tall young man golden moustached blue-eyed with a skin which had been burned by tropical sons and a springy step which showed that the huge frame was as active as it was strong he closed the door behind him and then he stood with clenched hands and heaving breast choking down some overmastering emotion sit down captain Crocker you got my telegram I got your telegram and I claimed at the air you said I heard you have been down to the office as now getting away from you let's hear the worst what are you going to do with me arrest me speak out man you can't sit there and play with me like a cat with a mouse give him a cigar said Holmes bite on that captain Crocker and don't let your nerves run away with you I should not sit here smoking with you if I thought that you were a common criminal you may be sure of that be frank with me and we may do some good play tricks with me and I'll crush you what do you wish me to do to give me a true account of all that happened at the Abbey Grange last night a true account mind you with nothing added and nothing taken off I know so much already that if you go one inch off the street I'll blow this police whistle from my window and the affair goes out of my hands forever the Sailor thought for a little then he struck his leg with his great sunburned hand I'll chance it he cried I believe you are a man of your word and a white man and I'll tell you the old story but one thing I will say first as far as I'm concerned I regret nothing and I'll fear nothing and I'd do it all again and be proud of the job damn a beast if he has many lives as a cat he doe them all to me both the Lady Mary Mary Fraser but never will I call her by that recursive name when I think of getting her into trouble I would give my life just to bring one more smile to her dear face it's that it turns my soul into war and yet and yet what less could I do I'll tell you my story gentleman and then I'll ask you as man-to-man what less could I do I must go back a bit you seem to know everything so I expect that you know that I met her when she was a passenger and I was first officer of the Rock of Gibraltar from the first day I Mary was the only woman to me every day of that voyage I loved them all and many a time since of I keel down in the darkness of the Night Watch and kissed the deck of that ship because I knew her dear feet had shot on it she was never engaged to me she treated me as fairly as ever a woman treated a man I'm no complaint to make it was all love on my side and all good comradeship and the friendship on us when we part she was free woman I could never again be a free man next time I came back from sea I heard of her marriage but why shouldn't she marry him she liked title and money who could carry them better than she she was born for all that is beautiful and dainty I didn't grieve over our marriage I was not such a selfish ound as that I just rejoice the good luck had come away and that she had not thrown herself away in a penniless sailor so I love Mary Fraser well I never thought to see her again the last voyage I was promoted the new boat was yet launched so I had to wait for a couple of months with my people at Sydenham one day and a country line I met Theresa right her old mate she told me all about her about him about everything I'll tell you gentlemen it nearly drove me mad this drunken hand that he should dare to raise his hand to her whose boots he was not worthy to lick I met Theresa again then I met Mary himself and met her again then she would make me no more but the other day I had I noticed that I was to start my voyage within a week and I determined I would see her once before I left Theresa was always my friend for she loved Mary and ated this villain almost as much as I did from her I learned a ways of the house Mary used to sit up reading in her own little room downstairs I crept round there last night and scratched at the window at first she would not open to me but in her heart I know that now she loves me and she could not leave me in the frosty night she whispered to me to come round to the big front window and I found it open before me so as to let me into the dining room again I heard from her own lips things that made my blood boil and again I cursed this brute who mishandled a woman I loved well gentlemen I was standing with her just inside the window in all innocence as God is my judge when he rushed like a madman into the room call her the vilest name that a man could use to a woman and wilted her across the face with a stick he had in his end I had sprung for the poker and it was a fair fight between us see here on my arm where his first blow fell then it was my turn and I went through him as if he'd been a rotten pumpkin do you think I was sorry no I it was his life or mine but far more than that it was his life or hers for how could I leave her in the power of this madman that was how I killed him was I wrong well then what would either of you gentlemen have done if you had been in my position she had screamed when he struck her in that broad old Teresa down from the room above it was a bottle of wine on the sideboard and I opened it and poured a little between Mary's lips for she was off dead with shock then I took a drop myself Teresa was as cool as ice and it was a slot as much as mine we must make it appear that Bertha's had done the thing Teresa kept on repeating our story to her mistress while ice warmed up and cut the Rope of the Bell and I lashed her in a chair and frayed out the end of the rope to make it look natural well so it wonder how in the world a burglar could have got there to cut it and I gathered up a few plates and pots of silver to carry out the idea of the robbery and there I left them with orders to give the alarm when I had a quarter of an hour's start I dropped the silver into the pond and made off the Sydenham feeling it for once in my life I'd done a real good night's work and that's the truth and the old truth mr. Holmes if it cost me my neck Holmes smoked for some time in silence and he crossed the room and shook our visitor by the hand that's what I think said he I know that every word is true for you have hardly said a word which I did not know no one but an acrobat or a sailor could have got up to that bell rope from the bracket and no one but a sailor could have made the knots with which the cord was fastened to the chair only once had this lady been brought into contact with sailors and that was on her voyage and it was someone of her own class of life's and she was trying hard to shield him and so showing that she loved him you see how easy it was for me to lay my hands upon you when one side started upon the right trail I thought the place never could have seen through our dodge and the police haven't nor will they to the best of my belief now look here captain Crocker this is a very serious matter though I am willing to admit that you acted under the most extreme provocation to which any man could be subjected I am Not sure that in defense of your own life your action will not be pronounced legitimate however that is for a British jury to decide meanwhile I have so much sympathy for you that if you choose to disappear in the next 24 hours I will promise you that no one will hinder you and then it will all come out but certainly it will come out the Sailor flushed with anger what sort of proposal is that to make a man I know enough of law to understand the mirror will be held as a compass do you think I would leave her alone to face the music while i slunk away no sir let them do their worst upon me but for Evans sake mr. Holmes find some way to keep my Palmieri out of the courts Holmes for a second time held out his hand to the Sailor I was only testing you and you ring true every time well it is a great responsibility that I take upon myself but I have given Hopkins an excellent hint and if he can't avail himself of it I can do no more see here captain Crocker will do this in due form of law you are the prisoner Watson you are a British jury and I never met a man who is more eminently fitted to represent one I am the judge now gentlemen of the jury you have heard the evidence do you find the prisoner guilty or not guilty not guilty my lord said I vox populi vox Dei you are acquitted captain Crocker so long as the law does not find some other victim you are safe from me come back to this lady in a year and may her future and yours justify us in the judgement which we have pronounced this night end of the adventure of the abbey Grange Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle this LibriVox recording is in the public domain adventure 13 the adventure of the second stain I had intended the adventure of the abbey Grange to be the last of those exploits of my friend mr. Sherlock Holmes which I should ever communicate to the public this revolution of mine was not due to any lack of material since I have notes of many hundreds of cases to which I have never alluded nor was it caused by any waning interest on the part of my readers in the singular personality and unique methods of this remarkable man the real reason lay in the reluctance which mr. Holmes has shown to the continued publication of his experiences so long as he was in actual professional practice the records of his successors were of some practical value to him but since he has definitely retired from London and were taken himself to study and be farming on the Sussex Downs notoriety has become hateful to him and he has peremptorily requested that his wishes in this matter should be strictly observed it was only upon my representing to him that I had given a promise that the adventure of the second stain should be published when the times were ripe and pointing out to him that it is only appropriate this long series of episodes should culminate in the most important international case which he has ever been called upon to handle that I at last succeeded in obtaining his consent but a carefully guarded account of the incident should at last be laid before the public if in telling the story I seem to be somewhat vague in certain details the public will readily understand that there is an excellent reason for my reticence it was then in a year and even in a decade that shall be nameless that upon one Tuesday morning in autumn we found two visitors of European Fame within the walls of our humble home in Baker Street the one austere high-nosed eagle-eyed and dominant was none other than the illustrious Lord Bellinger twice premier of Britain the other dark clear-cut and Elgar hardly yet of middle age and endowed with every beauty of body and of mind was the right honourable Trelawney hope secretary for European affairs and the most rising statesman in the country they sat side by side upon our paper littered Seki and it was easy to see from their worn and anxious faces that it was business of the most pressing importance which had brought them the Premier's thin blue-veined hands were clasped tightly over the ivory head of his umbrella and his gaunt acetic face looked gloomily from homes to me the European secretary pulled nervously at his mustache and fitted with the seals of his watch-chain when I discovered my loss mr. Holmes which was at eight o'clock this morning I at once informed the Prime Minister it was a his suggestion that we have both come to you have you informed the police no sir said the Prime Minister which the quick decisive manner for which he was famous we have not done so nor is it possible that we should do so to inform the police must in the long run mean to inform the public this is what we particularly desire to avoid and why Sir because the document in question is of such immense importance that its publication might very easily I might almost say probably lead to European complications of the utmost moment it is not too much to say that peace or war may hang upon the issue unless its recovery can be attended with the utmost secrecy then it may as well not be recovered at all for all that is aimed at by those who have taken it is that its contents should be generally known I understand now mr. Trelawney hope now I should be much obliged if you would tell me exactly the circumstances under which this document disappeared that can be done in a very few words mr. Holmes the letter for it was a letter from a foreign potentate was received six days ago it was of such importance that I've never left it in my safe but have taken across each evening to my house in Whitehall Terrace and kept it in my bedroom in a locked despatch box it was there last night of that I am certain I actually opened the box while I was dressing for dinner and saw the document inside this morning it was gone the despatch box had stood beside the glass upon my dressing table all night I'm a light sleeper and so is my wife we're both prepared to swear that no one could have entered the room during the night and yet I repeat that the paper is gone what time did you dine after 7:00 how long was it before you went to bed my wife had gone to the theatre I waited up for her it was half past 11 before he went to our room then for four hours the despatch-box had lain unguarded no one is ever permitted to enter that room save the housemaid in the morning and my valet or my wife's maid during the rest of the day there are both trusty servants who have been with us for some time besides neither of them could possibly have known that there was anything more valuable than the ordinary departmental papers in my dispatch box who did know the existence of that letter no one in the house surely your wife knew no sir I had said nothing to my wife until I missed the paper this morning the premier nodded approvingly I have long known sir how high is your sense of public duty said he I am convinced that in the case of a secret of this importance it would rise superior to the most intimate domestic ties the European secretary bowed you do me no more injustice sir until this morning I have never breathed one word to my wife upon this matter could she have guessed no mr. Holmes she could not have guessed nor could anyone have guessed have you lost any documents before no sir who is there in England and who did know of the existence of this letter each member of the cabinet was informed of it yesterday but the pledge of secrecy which attends every cabinet meeting was increased by the solemn warning which was given by the Prime Minister good heavens to think that within a few hours I should myself have lost it his handsome face was distorted with a spasm of despair and his hands toward his hair for a moment we caught a glimpse of the natural man impulsive ardent keenly sensitive the next the aristocratic mask was replaced and the gentle voice had returned besides the members of the cabinet there are two or possibly three departmental officials who know of the letter no one else in England mr. Holmes I assure you but abroad I believe that no one abroad has seen it save the man who wrote it I am well convinced that his ministers that the usual official channels have not been employed Holmes considered for some little time now sir I must ask you more particularly what this document is and why its disappearance should have such momentous consequences the two statesmen exchanged a quick glance and the premier shaggy eyebrows gathered in a frown mr. Holmes the envelope is a long thin one of pale blue color there is a seal of red wax stamped with a crouching lion it is addressed in large bold handwriting to I fear sir said Holmes but interesting and indeed essential as these details are my inquiries must go more to the root of things what was the letter that is a state secret of the utmost importance and I fear that I cannot tell you nor do I see that it is necessary if by the aid of the powers which you are said to possess you can find such an envelope as I described with its enclosure you will have deserved well of your country and earned any reward which it lies in our power to bestow Sherlock Holmes rose with a smile you are two of the most busy men in the country so he and in my own small way I have also a good many calls upon me I regret exceedingly that I cannot help you in this matter and any continuation of this interview would be a waste of time the premier sprang to his feet with that quick fierce gleam of his deep-set eyes before which a cabinet has coward well I'm not a custom sir he began but mastered his anger and resumed his seat for a minute or more we all sat in silence and the old statesman shrugged his shoulders we must accept your terms mr. Holmes no doubt you are right when it is unreasonable for us to expect you to act unless we give you your entire confidence I agree with you said the younger statesmen then I will tell you relying entirely upon your honour and that of your colleague dr. Watson I may appeal to your patriotism also for I could not imagine a greater misfortune for the country and that this affair should come out you may safely trust us the letter then is from a certain foreign potentate who has been ruffled by some recent colonial developments of this country it has been written hurriedly and upon his own responsibility entirely inquiries have shown that his ministers know nothing of the matter at the same time it is couched in so unfortunate a manner and certain phrases in it are of so provocative a character that its publication would undoubtedly lead to a most dangerous state of feeling in this country there would be such a firm answer that I do not hesitate to say that within a week of the publication of that letter this country would be involved in a great war Holmes wrote a name upon a slip of paper and handed it to the premier exactly it was he and it is this letter this letter which may well mean the expenditure of a thousand millions and the lies of a hundred thousand men has become lost in this unaccountable fashion have you informed the cinder yes sir a cipher telegram has been dispatched perhaps he desires the publication of the letter no sir we have strong reason to believe that he already understands that he has acted in an indiscreet and hot-headed manner it would be a greater blow to him and to his country than to us if this letter were to come out if this is so whose interest is it that the letter should come out why should anyone desire to steal it or to publish it there mr. Holmes you take me into regions of high international politics but if you consider the European situation you will have no difficulty in perceiving the motive the whole of Europe is an armed camp there is a double League which makes a fair balance of military power Great Britain holes for scales if Britain were driven into war with one Confederacy it will sure the supremacy of the other Confederacy whether they joined in the war or not do you follow very clearly it is then the interest of the enemies of this potentate to secure and publish this letter so as to make a breach between his country and ours yes sir and to whom would this document be sent if it fell into the hands of an enemy to any of the great chancelleries of Europe which is probably speeding on its way thither at the present instant as fast as steam can take it mr. Trelawney hope dropped his head on his chest and groaned aloud the premier placed his hand kindly upon his shoulder it is your misfortune my dear fellow no one can blame you there is no precaution which you have neglected now mr. Holmes you are in full possession of the facts what course do you recommend Holmes shook his head mournfully you think sir that unless this document is recovered there will be war I think it is very probable then sir prepare for war that is a hard saying mr. Holmes consider the fact sir it is inconceivable that it was taken after 11:30 at night since I understand that mr. hope and his wife were both in the room from that hour until the loss was found out it was taken then yesterday evening between 7:30 and 11:30 probably near the earlier hour since whoever took it evidently knew that it was there and would naturally secure it as early as possible now sir if a document of this importance were taken at that hour where can it be now no one has any reason to retain it it has been passed rapidly on to those who need it what chance have we now to overtake or even to trace it it is beyond our reach the Prime Minister rose from the city what you say is perfectly logical mr. Holmes I feel that the matter is indeed out of our hands let's presume for argument's sake that the document was taken by the maid or by the valet they are both old and dried servants I understand you to say that your room is on the second floor so there is no entrance from without and that from within no one could go up unobserved it must then be somebody in the house who has taken it to whom would the thief take it to one of several international spies and secret agents whose names are tolerably familiar to me there are three who may be said to be the heads of their profession I will begin my research by going round and finding if each of them is at his post if one is missing especially if he has disappeared since last night we will have some indication as to where the document has gone why should he be missing asked the European secretary he would take the letters when an embassy in London as likely as not I fancy not these agents work independently and their relations with the embassies are often strained the Prime Minister nodded his acquiescence I believe you're right mr. Holmes you would take so valuable a prize to headquarters with his own hands I think that your course of action is an excellent one meanwhile I hope we cannot neglect all our other duties on account of this one misfortune should there be any fresh developments during the day we shall communicate with you and you will no doubt let us know the results of your own inquiries the two statesmen bowed and walked gravely from the room when our illustrious visitors had departed homes litters pipe in silence and sat for some time lost in the deepest thought I had opened the morning paper and was immersed in a sensational crime which had occurred in London the night before when my friend gave an exclamation sprang to his feet and laid his pipe down upon the mantelpiece yes said he there is no better way of approaching it the situation is desperate but not hopeless even now if we should be sure which of them has taken it it is just possible that it has not yet passed out of his hands after all it is a question of money with these fellows and I have the British Treasury behind me if it's on the market I'll buy it if it means another penny on the income tax hmm it is inconceivable that the fellow might hold it back to see what bids come from this side before he tries his luck on the other there are only those three capable of playing so bold a game there are Oberstein they're off the air and Eduardo Lucas I will see each of them I glanced at my morning paper is that Eduardo Lucas of Godolphin Street yes you will not see him why not he was murdered in his house last night my friend are so often astonished me in the course of our adventures but it was with a sense of exultation that I realized how completely I had astonished him he stared in amazement and then snatched the paper from my hands this was the paragraph which I had been engaged in reading when he rose from his chair murder in Westminster a crime of mysterious character was committed last night at 16 the dolphin Street one of the old-fashioned and secluded rows of eighteenth-century houses which lie between the river and the Abbey almost in the shadow of the great Tower of the houses of parliament this small but select mansion has been inhabited for some years by mr. Eduardo Lucas well known in society circles both on account of his charming personality and because he has the well-deserved reputation of being one of the best amateur tenors in the country mr. Lucas is an unmarried man thirty-four years of age and his establishment consists of mrs. Pringle an elderly housekeeper and of Mitton his valet the former retires early and sleeps at the top of the house the valet was out for the evening visiting a friend at Hammersmith from 10 o'clock onward mr. Lucas had the house to himself what occurred during that time has not yet transpired but at a quarter to twelve police constable Barrett passing a longer dolphin street observed that the door of number 16 was ajar he knocked but received no answer perceiving a light in the front room he advanced into the passage and again not but without replying he then pushed open the door and entered the room was in a state of wild disorder the furniture being all swept to one side and one chair lying on its back in the centre beside this chair and still grasping one of its legs they the unfortunate tenant of the house he had been stabbed to the heart and must have died instantly the knife with which the crime had been committed was a curved Indian dagger plucked down from a trophy of Oriental arms which adorned one of the walls robbery does not appear to have been the motive of a crime for there had been no attempt to remove the valuable contents of the room mr. Eduardo Lucas was so well-known and popular that his violent and mysterious fate will arouse painful interest and intense sympathy in a widespread circle of friends well Watson what do you make of this asked Holmes after a long pause it is an amazing coincidence coincidence here is one of the three men whom we had named as possible actors in this drama and he meets a violent death during the very hours when we know that the drama was being enacted the odds are enormous against it being coincidence no figures could express them no my dear Watson the two events are connected must be connected it is for us to find the connection but now the official police must know all not at all they know all they see at Godolphin Street they know and shall know nothing of Whitehall Terrace only we know of both events and can trace the relation between them there is one obvious point which would in any case have turned my suspicions against Lucas ge' Dolphin Street Westminster is only a few minutes walk from Whitehall Terrace the other secret agents whom I have named live in the extreme West End it was easier therefore for Lucas than for the others to establish a connection or receive a message from the European Secretary's household a small thing and yet where events are compressed into a few hours it may prove essential hello what have we here mrs. Hudson had appeared with a ladies card upon her salva Holmes glanced at it raised his eyebrows and handed it over to me ask a lady Hilda Trelawney hope if she will be kind enough to step up said he a moment later our modest apartment already so distinguished that morning was further honoured by the entrance of the most lovely woman in London I had often heard of a beauty of the youngest daughter of the duke of belminster but no description of it and no contemplation of colourless photographs had prepared me for the subtle delicate charm and the beautiful colouring of that exquisite head and yet as we saw at that autumn morning it was not its beauty which would be the first thing to impress the observer the cheek was lovely but it was paled with emotion the eyes were bright but it was the brightness of fever the sensitive mouth was tight and drawn in an effort after self-command terror not beauty was what sprang first to the eye as our fair visitor stood framed for an instant in the open door has my husband been here his terms yes madam he has been here mr. hunt I implore you not to tell him that I came here Holmes bowed coldly and motioned the lady to a chair your ladyship places me in a very delicate position I beg that you will sit down and tell me what you desire but I fear that I cannot make any unconditional promise she swept across the room and seated herself with her back to the window it was a queenly presence tall graceful and intensely womanly mr. Holmes she said and her white gloved hands clasped and unclasped as she spoke I will speak frankly to you in the hopes that it may induce you to speak frankly in return there is complete confidence between my husband and me on all matters save one that one is politics on this his lips are sealed he tells me a thing now I am aware that there was a most deplorable occurrence in our house last night I know that a paper has disappeared but because the matter is political my husband refuses to take me into his complete confidence now it is essential essential I say but I should thoroughly understand it you are the only other person save only these politicians who knows the true facts I beg you then mr. Holmes to tell me exactly what has happened and what it will lead to tell me all mr. Holmes let no regard for your clients interests keep you silent for I assure you that his interests if he would only see it would be best served by taking me into his complete confidence what was this paper which was stolen madam what you ask me is really impossible she groaned and sank her face in her hands you must see that it is so madam if your husband thinks fit to keep you in the dark over this matter is it for me who has only learned the true facts under the pledge of professional secrecy to tell what he has withheld it is not fair to ask it it is him you must ask I have asked him I came to you as a last resource but without you you're telling me anything definite mr. Holmes you may do a great service if you would enlighten me on one point what is it madam it's my husband's political career likely to suffer through this incident well madam unless it is set right it may certainly have a very unfortunate effect ah ha she drew in her breath sharply as one whose doubts are resolved one more questions to Holmes from an expression which my husband dropped in the first shock of this disaster I understood that terrible public consequences might arise from the loss of this document if he said so I certainly cannot deny it of what nature are they named Adam there again you ask me more than I can possibly answer then I will take up no more of your time I cannot blame you mr. Holmes for having refused to speak more freely and you on your side will not I am sure think the worse of me because I desire even against his will to share my husband's anxieties once more I beg that you will say no of my visit she looked back at us from the door and I had a last impression of that beautiful haunted face the startled eyes and the drawn mouth then she was gone now Watson the fair sex is your department said Holmes with a smile when the dwindling frou-frou of skirts had ended in the slam of the front door what was the fair lady's game what did she really want surely her own statement is clear and her anxiety very natural hmm think of her appearance Watson a manner her suppressed excitement her restlessness her tenacity in asking questions remember that she comes of a caste who do not likely show emotion she was certain much moved remember also the curious earnestness with which she assured us that it was the best for her husband that she should know all what did she mean by that and you must have observed Watson how she maneuvered to have the light at her back she did not wish us to read her expression yes she chose the one chair in the room and yet the motives of women are so inscrutable you remember the woman at Margate whom I suspected for the same reason no powder on her nose that proved to be the correct solution how can you build on such a quicksand their most trivial action may mean volumes or their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin or a curling tongs good morning Watson you're off yes I will wile away the morning it took a dolphin's Street with our friends of the regular establishment with Eduardo Lucas lies a solution of our problem though I must admit that I have not an inkling as to what form it may take it is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts do you stay on guard my good Watson and receive any fresh visitors I'll join you at lunch if I am able all that day and the next and the next Holmes was in a mood which his friends would call taciturn and others morose he ran out and ran in smoked incessantly played snatches on his violin sank into reveries devoured sandwiches at irregular hours and hardly answered the casual questions which I put to him it was evident to me that things were not going well with him or his quest he would say nothing of the case and it was from the papers that I learned the particulars of the inquest and the arrest with the subsequent release of John Mitton the valet of the deceased the coroner's jury brought in the obvious wilful murder but the parties remained as unknown as ever no motive was suggested the room was full of articles of value but none had been taken the dead man's papers had not been tampered with they were carefully examined and showed that he was a keen student of international politics an indefatigable gossip a remarkable linguist and an untiring letter writer he had been on intimate terms with the leading politicians of several countries but nothing sensational was discovered among the documents which filled his drawers as to his relations with women they appeared to have been promiscuous but superficial he had many acquaintances among them but few friends and no one whom he loved his habits were regular his conduct inoffensive his death was an absolute mystery and likely to remain so as to the arrest of John Mitton the valet it was a counsel of despair as an alternative to absolute inaction but no case could be sustained against him he had visited friends in Hammersmith that night the alibi was complete it is true that he started home at an hour which would have brought him to Westminster before the time when the crime was discovered but his own explanation that he had walked part of the way seemed probably enough in view of the finalists of the night he had actually arrived at 12 o'clock and appeared to be overwhelmed by the unexpected tragedy he had always been on good terms with his master several of the dead man's possessions notably a small case of razors had been found in the valets boxes but he explained that they had been presents from the deceased and the housekeeper was able to corroborate the story mitten had been in Lucas's employment for three years it was noticeable that Lucas did not take mitten on the continent with him sometimes he visited Paris for three months on end but mitten was left in charge of the Godolphin Street house as to the housekeeper she had heard nothing on the night of the crime if her master had a visitor he had himself admitted him so for three mornings the mystery remained so far as I could follow it in the papers if Holmes knew more he kept his own counsel but as he told me that Inspector Lestrade had taken him into his confidence in the case I knew that he was in close touch with every development upon the fourth day there appeared a long telegram from Paris which seemed to solve the whole question a discovery has just been made by the Parisian police said the daily telegraph which raises the veil which hung around the tragic fate of mr. Eduardo Lucas who met his death by violence last Monday night at Godolphin Street Westminster our readers will remember that the deceased gentleman was found stabbed in his room and that some suspicion attached to his valet that the case broke down on an alibi yesterday a lady has been known as Madame Audrey for nay occupying a small bill in the Rue Austerlitz was reported to the authorities by her servants as being insane an examination showed she had indeed developed mania of a dangerous and permanent form on inquiry the police have discovered that Madame Audrey for nay only returned from a journey to London on Tuesday last and there is evidence to connect her with the crime at Westminster a comparison of photographs has proved conclusively that Mischa on Rafael may and Eduardo Lucas were really one and the same person and that the deceased had for some reason lived a double life in London and Paris Madame thorne a who is of Creole origin is of an extremely excitable name and has suffered in the past from attacks of jealousy which were mounted to frenzy it is conjectured that it was in one of these that she committed the terrible crimes which has caused such a sensation in London her movements upon the Monday night have not yet been traced but it is undoubted but a woman answering to her description attracted much attention at Charing Cross station on Tuesday morning by the wildness of her appearance and the violence of her gestures it is probable therefore that the crime was either committed when insane or that its immediate effect was to drive the unhappy woman out of her mind at present she is unable to give any coherent account of the past and the doctors hold out no hopes of the re-establishment of her reason there is evidence that a woman who might have been Madame felony was seen for some hours upon Monday night watching the house in Godolphin Street what do you think of that Holmes I had read the account aloud to him while he finished his breakfast My dear Watson said he as he rose from the table and paced up and down the room you are most long-suffering but if I have told you nothing in the last three days it is because there is nothing to tell even now this report from Paris does not help us much surely it is final as regards the man's death the man's death is a mere incident a trivial episode in comparison with our real task which is to trace this document and save a European catastrophe only one important thing is happened in the last three days and that is that nothing has happened I get reports almost hourly from the government and it is certain that nowhere in Europe is there any sign of trouble now if this letter were loose no it can't be loose but if it isn't loose where can it be who has it why is it held back that's the question that beats in my brain like a hammer was it indeed a coincidence that Lucas should meet his death on the night when the letter disappeared did the letter ever reach it's so why is it not among his papers did this mad wife of his carry it off with her if so is it in her house in Paris how could I search for it without the French police having their suspicions aroused it is a case my dear Watson whether law is as dangerous to us as the criminals are every man's hand is against us and yet the interest at stake are colossal should I bring it to a successful conclusion it will certainly represent the crowning glory of my career ah here is my latest from the front he glanced hurriedly at the note which had been handed in hello the Strad seems to have observed something of interest put on your hat Watson and we will stroll down together to Westminster it was my first visit to the scene of the crime a high dingy narrow chested house prim formal and solid like the century which gave it birth the strods bulldog features gazed out at us from the front window and he greeted us warmly when a big constable had opened the door and let us in the room into which we were showing was that in which the crime had been committed but no trace of it now remained save an ugly irregular stain upon the carpet this carpet was a small square drugget in the center of the room surrounded by a broad expanse of beautiful old-fashioned wood flooring in square blocks highly polished over the fireplace was a magnificent trophy of weapons one of which have been used on that tragic night in the window was a sumptuous writing desk and every detail of the apartment the pictures the rugs and the hangings all pointed to a taste which was luxurious to the verge of effeminacy seeing the Paris news Casa la strada Holmes nodded our French friends seem to have touched a spot this time nowadays just as I say she knocked the door surprise visit I guess for he kept his life in watertight compartments he let her in couldn't keep her in the street she told him how she had traced him reproached him one thing led to another and then with that dagger so Andy the end soon came there was not done in an instant though for these chairs were all swept over yonder and he had one in his hand as if he tried to hold her off with it we've got it all clear as if we can see it Holmes raised his eyebrows and yet you have sent for me oh yes that's another man a mere trifle but the sort of thing you take an interest in queer you know what you might call freakish there's nothing to do with the main fact can't have on the face of it what is it then well you know after a crime of this sort we're very careful to keep things in their position nothing's been moved officer in charge here day night this morning as the man was buried and the investigation over as far as this room is concerned we thought we could tidy up a bit this carpet you see it's not fastened down and he just laid there with occasion to raise it we found yes you found Holmes's face grew tense with anxiety well I'm sure you'd never guess in hundred years what we did find you see that stain on that carpet well a great deal must have soaked through must it not undoubtedly it must well you'll be surprised to hear that there's no stain on the white woodwork to correspond no stain but there must yeah so you'd say but the fact remains that there isn't he took the corner of the carpet in his hand and turning it over he showed that it was indeed as he said but the underside is a stained as the upper it must have left a mark Lestrade chuckled with delight at having puzzled the famous expert now I'll show you the explanation there is a second stain but it does not correspond with the other see for yourself as he spoke he turned over another portion of the carpet and there sure enough was a great crimson spill upon the square white facing of the old fashioned law would you make it out mr. Himes why it is simple enough just two stains did correspond but the carpet has been turned round as it was Square and unfastened it was easily done the official police don't need you mr. Holmes to tell them that the carpet must have been turned round that's clear enough for the stains lie above each other if you lay over this way but what I want to know is who shifted the carpet and why I could see from Holmes's rigid face that he was vibrating with inward excitement look here Lestrade said he has that constable in the passage been in a charge of a place all the time yes he has well take my advice examine him carefully don't do it before us we'll wait here you take him into the back room you'll be more likely to get a confession out of him alone ask him how he dared to admit people and leave them alone in this room don't ask him if he's done it take it for granted tell him you know someone has been here press him tell him that a full confession is his only chance of forgiveness do exactly what I tell you by George if he knows I love a hour of him cried Lestrade he darted into the hall and a few moments later his bullying voice sounded from the back room now Watson now cried Holmes with frenzied eagerness all the demoniac force of the man must behind that listless manner burst out in a paroxysm of energy he toured the drugget from the floor and in an instant was down on his hands and knees clawing at each of the squares of wood beneath it one turned sideways as he dug his nails into the edge of it it hinged back like the lid of a box a small black cavity opened beneath it Holmes plunged his eager hand into it and drew it out with a bitter snarl of anger and disappointment it was empty quick wasn't quick get it back again the wooden lid was replaced and the drugget had only just been drawn straight when the strods voice was heard in the passage he found Holmes leaning languidly against the mantelpiece resigned and patient endeavouring to conceal his irrepressible yawns sorry to keep you waiting mr. Holmes I can see that you're bored to death with the OL affair well he has confessed all right come a-near McPherson let these gentlemen hear of your most inexcusable conduct the big constable very hot and penitent sidled into the room almond no arm sir I'm sure the young woman came to the door last evening mistook the house she did and then we got talking it's lonesome when you're on duty year all day well what happened then she wanted to see where the crime was done I'd read about it in the papers she said she's very respectable well-spoken young woman sir I saw no harm in letting her have a peep when she saw that mark on the carpet down she dropped on the floor and lay as if she were dead I ran to the back and got some water but I couldn't bring it to her then I went round the corner to the ivy plant for some brandy by the time I brought it back the young woman had recovered and was off shame to herself I daresay and dared not face me how about moving that drugget well sir it was a bit rumpled certainly when I came back you see she fell on it and it lies on a polished floor with nothing to keep it in place I strained it out afterwards it's a lesson to you that you can't deceive me constable McPherson said Lestrade with dignity now doubt you thought your breach of duty could never be discovered and yet a mere glance of that drug it was enough to convince me that someone has been admitted to the room it's lucky for you my man that nothing is missing or you'd find yourself in queer Street I'm sorry to have called you down over such a petty business mr. Holmes but I thought the point of the second stain not corresponding with the first would interest you certainly it was most interesting has this woman only been here once constable yes sir only once who was she though know the name sir was answering an advertisement about typewriting and came to the wrong number very pleasant genteel young woman sir tall handsome yes sir she's a well grown young woman I suppose you might say she was handsome perhaps some would say she was very handsome Oh officer do let me have a peep says she she had pre coaxing ways as you might say and I thought there's no harm in letting her just put her head through the door how is she dressed quieter long mantle down to her feet what time was it it was just growing dusk at the time they were lighting the lamps as I came back with the brandy very good said Holmes come Watson I think that we have more important work elsewhere as we left the house Lestrade remained in the front room while the repentant constable opened the door to let us out Holmes turned on the step and held up something in his hand the constable stared intently good thought sir he cried with amazement on his face Holmes put his fingers on his lips replaced his hand in his breast pocket and burst out laughing as we turned down the street excellent said he come friend Watson the curtain rings up for the last act you will be relieved to hear that there will be no war that the right honourable Trelawney hope will suffer no setback in his brilliant career that the indiscreet sovereign will receive no punishment for his indiscretion that the Prime Minister will have no European complication to deal with and that with a little tact and management on our part nobody will be a penny the worse for what might have been a very ugly incident my mind filled with admiration for this extraordinary man you've solved it I cried hardly that Watson there are some points which are as dark as ever but we have so much that it will be our own fault if we cannot get the rest we will go straight to white teres and bring the matter to a head when we arrived at the residence of the European secretary it was for lady Hilda Trelawney hope that Sherlock Holmes inquired we were shown into the morning room mr. Holmes said the lady and her face was pink with her indignation this is surely most unfair and ungenerous upon your part I desired as I have explained to keep my visit to you a secret lest my husband should think that I was intruding into his affairs and yet you compromised me by coming here and so showing that there are business relations between us unfortunately madam I had no possible alternative I have been commissioned to recover this immensely important paper I must therefore ask him Adam to be kind enough to place it in my hands the lady sprang to her feet with the colour all dashed in an instant from her beautiful face her eyes glazed she tottered I thought that she would faint then with a grand effort she rallied from the shock and a supreme astonishment and indignation chased every other expression from her features you you insult me mr. Holmes come come madam it is a useless give up the letter she darted to the Bell the butler shall show you out do not ring lady Hilda if you do then all my earnest efforts to avoid a scandal will be frustrated give up the letter and all be set right if you will work with me I can arrange everything if you work against me I must expose you she stood grandly defiant a queenly figure her eyes fixed upon his as if she would read his very soul her hand was on the Bell but she had four born to ring it you are trying to frighten me it is not a very manly things to Holmes to come here and browbeat a woman you say that you know something what is it that you know pray sit down madam you will hurt yourself there if you fall I will not speak until you sit down thank you I give you five minutes mr. Holmes one is enough lady Hilda I know of your visit to Eduardo Lucas of you're giving him this document of your ingenious return to the room last night and of the manner in which you took the letter from the hiding place under the carpet she stared at him with an ashen face and gulped twice before she could speak you aren't mad mr. Holmes you are mad she cried at last he drew a small piece of cardboard from his pocket it was a face of a woman cut out of a portrait I have carried this because I thought it might be useful said he the policeman has recognized it she gave a gasp and her head dropped back in the chair come lady Hilda you have the letter the matter may still be adjusted I have no desire to bring trouble to you my duty ends when I have returned the lost letter to your husband take my advice and be frank with me it is your only chance her courage was admirable even now she would not own defeat I tell you again mr. Holmes that you are under some absurd illusion Holmes rose from its chair I am sorry for you lady Hilda I have done my best for you I can see that it is all in vain he rang the bell the butler entered is mr. Trelawney hope at home he will be I'm Sura quarter one Holmes glanced at his watch still a quarter of an hour said he very good I shall wait the butler had hardly closed the door behind him when lady Hilda was down on her knees at Holmes's feet her hands in a friend's outstretched her beautiful face upturned and wet with her tears Oh spare me mr. Holmes spare me she pleaded in a friendly of supplication for heaven's sake don't tell him I love him so I would not bring one shadow on his life and this I know would break his noble heart Holmes raised the lady I am thankful madam that you have come to your senses even at this last moment there is not an instant to lose where is the letter she darted across to a writing desk unlocked it and drew out a long blue envelope here it is mr. Holmes would heaven I had never seen it how can we return it Holmes muttered quick quick we must think of some way where is a despatch box still in his bedroom what a stroke of luck quick madam bring it here a moment later she had with a red flat box in her hand how did you open it before you have a duplicate key yes of course you have open it from out of her bosom lady Hilda had drawn a small key the box flew open it was stuffed with papers Holmes thrust the blue envelope deep down to the heart of them between the leaves of some other document the box was shut locked and returned to the bedroom now we are ready for him said Holmes we have still ten minutes I am going far to scream you lady Hilda in return you will spend the time in telling me frankly the real meaning of this extraordinary affair mr. Holmes I will tell you everything cried the lady Oh mr. Holmes I would cut off my right hand before I gave him a moment of sorrow there is no woman in all London who loves her husband as I do and yet if he knew how I have acted how I have been compelled to act he would never forgive me for his own honor stand so high that he could not forget or pardon a lapse in another help me mr. Holmes my happiness his happiness our very lives are at stake quick madam the time grows short it was a letter of mine mr. Holmes an indiscreet letter written before my marriage a foolish letter a letter of an impulsive loving girl I meant no harm and yet he would have thought it criminal had he read that letter his confidence would have in forever destroyed it is years since I wrote it I had thought that the whole matter was forgotten then at last I heard from this man Lucas that it had passed into his hands and that he would lay it before my husband I implored his mercy he said that he would return my letter if I would bring him a certain document which he described in my husband's dispatch box he had some spy in the office who had told him of his existence he assured me that no harm would come to my husband put yourself in my position mr. Holmes what was I to do take your husband into your confidence I could not mr. Holmes I could not on the one side seemed certain ruin on the other terrible as it seemed to take my husband's paper still in a matter of politics I could not understand the consequences while in a matter of love and trust they were only too clear to me I did it mr. Holmes I took an impression of his key this man Lucas furnished a duplicate I opened his Dispatch Box took the paper and conveyed it to good Alton Street what happened there madam I tapped at the door as agreed Lucas opened it I followed him into his room leaving the hall door ajar behind me for I fear to be alone with the man I remember that there was a woman outside as I entered our business was soon done he had my letter on his desk I handed him the document he gave me the letter at this instant there was a sound at the door there were steps in the passage Lucas quickly turned back the drugget thrust the document into some hiding place there and covered it over what happened after that is like some fearful dream I have a vision of a dark frantic face of a woman's voice which screamed in French my waiting is not in vain at last at last I have found you with her there was a savage struggle I saw him with a chair in his hand a knife gleamed in her as I rushed from the horrible scene ran from the house and only next morning in the paper did I learn the dreadful result that night I was happy for I had my letter and I had not seen yet what the future would bring it was the next morning that I realized that I had only exchanged one trouble for another my husband's anguish at the loss of his paper went to my heart I could hardly prevent myself from there and then kneeling down at his feet and telling him what I had done but that again would mean a confession of the past I came to you that morning in order to understand the full enormity of my offence from the instant that I grasped it my whole mind was turned to the one thought of getting back my husband's paper it must still be where Lucas had placed it for it was concealed before this dreadful woman entered the room if it had not been for her coming I should not have known where his hiding place was how was I to get into the room for two days I watched the place but the door was never left open last night I made a last attempt what I did and how I succeeded you have already learned I bought the paperback with me and thought of destroying it since I could see no way of returning it without confessing my guilt to my husband Pitons I hear his step upon the stair the European secretary burst excitedly into the room any news mr. Holmes any news he cried I had some hopes ah thank heaven his face became radiant the Prime Minister is lunching with me may he share your hopes he has nerves of steel and yet I know that he has hardly slept since this terrible event Jacobs will you ask the Prime Minister to come up as to you dear I fear that this is a matter of politics we will join you in a few minutes in the dining room the Prime Minister's manner was subdued but I could see by the gleam of his eyes and the twitchings of his bony hands that he shared the excitement of his young colleague I understand that you have something to report mr. Holmes purely negative as yet my friend answered I have inquired at every point where it might be and I am sure that there is no danger to be apprehended but that is not enough mr. Holmes we cannot live forever on such a volcano we must have something definite I am in hopes of getting it that is why I am here the more I think of a matter the more convinced I am that the letter has never left this house mr. Holmes if it had it would have certainly been public by now but why should anyone take it in order to keep it in this house I am not convinced that anyone did take it then how could it leave the despatch-box I am not convinced that it ever did leave the despatch-box mr. Holmes this joking is very ill-timed you have my assurance that it left the box have you examined the box since Tuesday morning no it was not necessary you may conceivably have overlooked it impossible I say but I am not convinced of it I have known such things to happen I presume there are other papers there well it may have got mixed up with them it was on the top someone may have shaken the box and displaced it no no I had everything out surely it is easily decided hope said the premier let us have the despatch box brought in the secretary rang the bell Jacobs bring down my despatch box this is a farcical waste of time but still if nothing else will satisfy you it shall be done Thank You Jacobs put it here I've always had the key on my watch chain here are the papers you see letter from Lord marrow report from Sir Charles Hardy memorandum from Belgrade note on the rustle German grain taxes letter from Madrid note from Lord flowers good heavens what is this Lord Bellinger Lord Bellinger the premier has snatched the blue envelope from his hand yes it is it and the letter is intact hope I congratulate you thank you thank you what a weight on my heart but this is inconceivable impossible mr. Holmes you're a wizard a sorcerer how do you know is there because I knew it was nowhere else I cannot believe my eyes you ran wildly to the door where is my wife I must tell her all is well Hilda Hilda we heard his voice on the stairs the premier looked at Holmes with twinkling eyes come sir said he there is more than this than meets the eye how came the letter back in the box Holmes turned away smiling from the Keen scrutiny of those wonderful eyes we also have our diplomatic secrets said he and picking up his hat he turned to the door end of the adventure of the second stain

Contents

Biography

Youth and early career

John Pringle was the youngest son of Sir John Pringle, 2nd Baronet, of Stichill, Roxburghshire (1662–1721), by his spouse Magdalen (d. December 1739), daughter of Sir Gilbert Eliott, 3rd Baronet, of Stobs.

He was educated at St Andrews, at Edinburgh, and at Leiden. In 1730 he graduated with a degree of Doctor of Physic at the last-named university, where he was an intimate friend of Gerard van Swieten and Albrecht von Haller.

He settled in Edinburgh at first as a physician, but between 1733 and 1744 was also Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University.

In 1742 he became physician to the Earl of Stair, then commanding the British army in Flanders. About the time of the battle of Dettingen in Bavaria in June 1743, when the British army was encamped at Aschaffenburg, Pringle, through the Earl of Stair, brought about an agreement with the Marshal of Noailles, the French commander, that military hospitals on both sides be considered as neutral, immune sanctuaries for the sick and wounded, and should be mutually protected. The International Red Cross, as constituted by the modern Geneva Conventions,[2] developed from this conception and agreement.[3]

In 1744 he was appointed by the Duke of Cumberland physician-general to the forces in the Low Countries. In 1749, having settled in a smart house in Pall Mall, London, he was made physician in ordinary to the Duke of Cumberland.

On 1 April 1752 he married Charlotte (d. Dec 1753) second daughter of Dr William Oliver (1695–1764) of Bath, the inventor of Bath Oliver biscuits, but they had no issue.

In 1760, he wrote an appreciation of the Life of General James Wolfe.[4]

On 5 June 1766 John Pringle was created a baronet, and in 1774 he was appointed Physician to His Majesty King George III.

He was also a frequent travelling companion to Benjamin Franklin. The successful London bookseller Andrew Millar noted Pringle and Franklin as dinner guests at his home.[5]

Academia

His first book, Observations on the Nature and Cure of Hospital and Jayl Fevers, was published in 1750, and in the same year he contributed to the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society three papers on Experiments on Septic and Antiseptic Substances, which gained him the Copley Medal. Two years later he published his important work, Observations on the Diseases of the Army in Camp and Garrison, which entitles him to be regarded as the founder of modern military medicine.

In November 1772 he was elected President of the Royal Society, a position he held until 1778. In this capacity he delivered six discourses, which were afterwards collected into a single volume (1783).

In 1735, Pringle became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Pringle was a regular correspondent and friend of James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, the Scottish philosopher. Monboddo was an important thinker in pre-evolutionary theory, and some scholars actually credit him with the concept of evolution; however, Monboddo was also quite eccentric, which was one reason for Monboddo's not receiving credit for the evolution concepts. It was in a letter to Pringle in 1773 that Monboddo revealed he did not really hold to a belief of men being born with tails, which was the chief point of his ridicule.[6]

At the age of 73 he went, briefly, to Edinburgh in 1780, but returned to London in September 1781, and died in the following year.

Legacy

There is a monument to Pringle in Westminster Abbey, executed by Joseph Nollekens. At Sir John's death his baronetcy became extinct.

After a legal case in 2004, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh was able to open the Pringle papers it holds to the public.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b britannica.com: "Sir John Pringle 1st Baronet"
  2. ^ "Article 1. Ambulances and military hospitals shall be recognized as neutral, and as such, protected and respected by the belligerents as long as they accommodate wounded and sick. Neutrality shall end if the said ambulances or hospitals should be held by a military force." Article 1 of the Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. Geneva, 22 August 1864.
  3. ^ The Evolution of Preventive Medicine in the United States Army 1607–1939: The Colonial Period (1607–1775)
  4. ^ Pringle, John (Bt) (1760). Life of General James Wolfe, the conqueror of Canada, or, The elogium of that renowned hero : attempted according to the rules of eloquence with a monumental inscription Latin and English to perpetuate his memory. London. p. 36.
  5. ^ "The manuscripts, Letter from Andrew Millar to Andrew Mitchell, 26 August, 1766. Andrew Millar Project. University of Edinburgh". www.millar-project.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  6. ^ Letter from Lord Monboddo to Sir John Pringle, 16 June 1773; reprinted by William Knight 1900 ISBN 1-85506-207-0
  7. ^ "Historic manuscripts on display". BBC News. 13 November 2004.

Further reading

External links

Baronetage of Great Britain
New title Baronet
(of Pall Mall)
1766–1782
Extinct
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