the point of view of the criminal expert," said Mr. Sherlock Holmes, "London
has become a singularly uninteresting city since the death of the late lamented
can hardly think that you would find many decent citizens to agree with you,"
well, I must not be selfish," said he, with a smile, as he pushed back his
chair from the breakfast-table. "The community is certainly the gainer, and
no one the loser, save the poor out-of-work specialist, whose occupation has gone.
With that man in the field, one's morning paper presented infinite possibilities.
Often it was only the smallest trace, Watson, the faintest indication, and yet
it was enough to tell me that the great malignant brain was there, as the gentlest
tremors of the edges of the web remind one of the foul spider which lurks in the
centre. Petty thefts, wanton assaults, purposeless outrage -- to the man who held
the clue all could be worked into one connected whole. To the scientific student
of the higher criminal world, no capital in Europe offered the advantages which
London then possessed. But now --" He shrugged his shoulders in humorous
deprecation of the state of things which he had himself done so much to produce.
the time of which I speak, Holmes had been back for some months, and I at his
request had sold my practice and returned to share the old quarters in Baker Street.
A young doctor, named Vemer, had purchased my small Kensington practice, and given
with astonishingly little demur the highest price that I ventured to ask -- an
incident which only explained itself some years later, when I found that Vemer
was a distant relation of Holmes, and that it was my friend who had really found
months of partnership had not been so uneventful as he had stated, for I find,
on looking over my notes, that this period includes the case of the papers of
ex-President Murillo, and also the shocking affair of the Dutch steamship Friesland,
which so nearly cost us both our lives. His cold and proud nature was always averse,
however, from anything in the shape of public applause, and he bound me in the
most stringent terms to say no further word of himself, his methods, or his successes
-- a prohibition which, as I have explained, has only now been removed.