have some papers here," said my friend Sherlock Holmes as we sat one winter's
night on either side of the fire, "which I really think, Watson, that it
would be worth your while to glance over. These are the documents in the extraordinary
case of the Gloria Scott, and this is the message which struck Justice of the
Peace Trevor dead with horror when he read it."|
He had picked from
a drawer a little tarnished cylinder, and. undoing the tape, he handed me a short
note scrawled upon a half-sheet of slate-gray paper.
The supply of game for London is going steadily up [it ran]. Head-keeper Hudson,
we believe, has been now told to receive all orders for fly-paper and for preservation
of your hen-pheasant's life.
I glanced up from reading this enigmatical message, I saw Holmes chuckling at
the expression upon my face.
look a little bewildered," said he.
"I cannot see how such a
message as this could inspire horror. It seems to me to be rather grotesque than
likely. Yet the fact remains that the reader, who was a fine, robust old man,
was knocked clean down by it as if it had been the butt end of a pistol."
"You arouse my curiosity," said I. "But why did you say just
now that there were very particular reasons why I should study this case?"
it was the first in which I was ever engaged."
I had often endeavoured
to elicit from my companion what had first turned his mind in the direction of
criminal research, but had never caught him before in a communicative humour.
he sat forward in his armchair and spread out the documents upon his knees. Then
he lit his pipe and sat for some time smoking and turning them over.