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-
postmark, and dispatched ten thirty-six," 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 welcome in these stagnant days."
had indeed been very slow with us, and I had learned to dread such periods of
inaction, for I knew by experience that my companion's 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 ascetic face, and the brooding of his deep-set and inscrutable eyes.
Therefore I blessed this Mr. Overton, whoever he might be, since he had come with
his enigmatic message to break that dangerous calm which brought more peril to
my friend than all the storms of his tempestuous life.
we had expected, the telegram was soon followed by its 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 spanned the doorway with
his broad shoulders, and looked from one of us to the other with a comely face
which was haggard with anxiety.