were seated at breakfast one morning, my wife and I, when the maid brought in
a telegram. It was from Sherlock Holmes and ran in this way:|
Have you a couple of days to spare? Have just been wired
for from the west
of England in connection with Boscombe
Valley tragedy. Shall be glad if you
will come with me. Air
and scenery perfect. Leave Paddington by the 11:15.
do you say, dear?" said my wife, looking across at me. "Will you go?"
"I really don't know what to say. I have a fairly long list at present."
"Oh, Anstruther would do your work for you. You have been looking a little
pale lately. I think that the change would do you good, and you are always so
interested in Mr. Sherlock Holmes's cases."
should be ungrateful if I were not, seeing what I gained through one of them,"
I answered. "But if I am to go, I must pack at once, for I have only half
My experience of camp life in Afghanistan had at least
had the effect of making me a prompt and ready traveller. My wants were few and
simple, so that in less than the time stated I was in a cab with my valise, rattling
away to Paddington Station. Sherlock Holmes was pacing up and down the platform,
his tall, gaunt figure made even gaunter and taller by his long gray travelling-cloak
and close-fitting cloth cap.
is reaily very good of you to come, Watson," said he. "It makes a considerable
difference to me, having someone with me on whom I can thoroughly rely. Local
aid is always either worthless or else biased. If you will keep the two corner
seats I shall get the tickets."
had the carriage to ourselves save for an immense litter of papers which Holmes
had brought with him. Among these he rummaged and read, with intervals of note-taking
and of meditation, until we were past Reading. Then he suddenly rolled them all
into a gigantic ball and tossed them up onto the rack.