summer night, a few months after my marriage, I was seated by my own hearth smoking
a last pipe and nodding over a novel, for my day's work had been an exhausting
one. My wife had already gone upstairs, and the sound of the locking of the hall
door some time before told me that the servants had also retired. I had risen
from my seat and was knocking out the ashes of my pipe when I suddenly heard the
clang of the bell.|
I looked at the clock. It was a quarter to twelve.
This could not be a visitor at so late an hour. A patient evidently, and possibly
an all-night sitting. With a wry face I went out into the hall and opened the
door. To my astonishment it was Sherlock Holmes who stood upon my step.
Watson," said he, "I hoped that I might not be too late to catch you."
dear fellow, pray come in."
"You look surprised, and no wonder!
Relieved, too, I fancy! Hum! You still smoke the Arcadia mixture of your bachelor
days, then! There's no mistaking that fluffy ash upon your coat. It's easy to
tell that you have been accustomed to wear a uniform, Watson. You'll never pass
as a pure-bred civilian as long as you keep that habit of carrying your handkerchief
in your sleeve. Could you put me up tonight?"