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The Minneapolis journal. [volume] (Minneapolis, Minn.) 1888-1939, April 29, 1905, Colored Supplement, Image 35

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045366/1905-04-29/ed-1/seq-35/

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down together to our breakfast one
"Go! "Where to?"
"To Dartmoor to King's Pyland."
I was not surprised. Indeed, my only
wonder was that he had not already
been mixed up in this extraordinary
case, which was the one topic of con
versation thru the length and breadth
of England. For a wholo day my com
panion had rambled about the room
with his chin upon his chest and his
brows knitted, charging and recharging
liis pipe with the strongest black to
bacco, and absolutely deaf to any of
pv questions or remarks. Fresh editions
every paper had been sent up by our
ews agent, only to be glanced over and
ossed aown into a corner. Yet, silent
"""is he was, I knew perfectly well what
was over which he was brooding.
There was but one problem before the
public which could challenge his powers
of analysis, and that was the singular
disappearance of the favorite for the
Wessex cup, and the tragic murder of
its trainer. When therefore, he sud
denly announced his intention of setting
out for the scene of the drama it was
only -what I had both expected and
hoped for."
''I should be most happy to go down
with you if I should not be the way,"
said I.
"My dear Watson, you would confer
a great favor upon me by coming. And
I think that your time will not be mis
spent, for there are points about the
case which promise to make it an abso
lutely unique one. We have, I think,
311st time to catch our train at Pad
dmgton, and I will go further into the
matter upon our -journey. You would
oblige me by bringing -with you your
very excellent field glass.''
And so it happened that an hour or so
later I found myself in the corner of a
first-class carriage flying along en route
for Exeter, -while Sherlock Holmes, -with
bis sharp, eager face framed in his ear
flapped traveling cap, dipped rapidly
into the bundle of fresh papers which
he had procured at Paddington. We had
left Beading far behind us before he
thruBt the last one of them under the
Beat, and offered me his cigar case.
"We are going well," said he, look
ing out of the window and glancing at
his watch. "Our rate at present is
fifty-three and a half miles an hour."
-'I ha\e not observed tho quarter
mile posts," said I.
Nor have I. But the telegraph posts
upon this line are sixty yards apart, and
the calculation is a simple one. I pre
sume that you have looked into this
matter of the murder of John Straker
and the disappearance of Silver Blaze?"
I have seen what the Telegraph and
the Chronicle have to say."
"It is one of those cases where the
art of the reasoner should be used
rather for the sifting of details than for
the acquiring of fresh evidence. The
tragedy has been so uncommon, so com
plete, and of such personal importance
to so many people, that we are suffer
ing from a plethora of surmise, con
jecture and hypothesis. The difficulty
is to detach the framework of factof
absolute, undeniable factfrom the em
bellishments of theorists and reporters.
Then, having established ourselves upon
this sound basis, it is our duty to see
what inferences may be drawn and what
are the special points upon which the
whole mystery turns O Tuesday even
ing I received telegrams from both
Colonel Boss, the owner of the horse,
and from Inspector Gregory, who is
looking after the case, inviting my co
"Tuesday evenine!" I exclaimed.
"And this is Thursday morning. Why
I didn't you go down yesterday?'
I am afraid, Watson, that I shall \%"On that evening the horses had been
"lave to go," said Holmes, as we sat exercised and watered as usual, and the
stables were locked up at 9 o'clock.
Two of the lads -walked up to the
trainer's house, where they had supper
in the kitchen, while the third, Ned
Hunter, remained on guard. At a few
minutes after 9 the maid, Edith Baxter,
carried down to the stables his- supper,
which consisted of a dish ot curried
mutton. She took no liquid, as there
was a water-tap the stables, and it
was the rule that the lad on duty
should drink nothing: else. The maid
carried a lantern with her, as it was
very dark and the path ran across the
open moor.
"Edith Baxter was within thirty
yards of the stables, when a man ap
peared out of the darkness and called
to her to stop. As
the circle of 3r
"Because I made a blunder, my dear
Watsonwhich is, I am afraid, a more
common occurrence than anyone would
think who only knew me thru your
memoirs. The fact is that I could not
believe it possible that the most re
markable horse in England could long
remain concealed, especially in so
sparsely inhabited a place as the north
of Dartmoor. From hour to hour yes
terday I expected to hear that he nad
been found, and that his abductor was
the murderer of John Straker. When,
however, another morning had come and
I found that beyond the arrest of young
Fitzroy Simpson nothing had been done,
I felt that it was time for me to take
action. Yet in some ways I feel that
yesterday has not been wasted."
"You have formed a theory then?"
"At least I have got a grip of the
essential facts of the case. I shall
i enumerate them to you, for nothing
clears up a case so much as ststing it
to another person, and I can hardly ex
pect your co-operation if I do not show
you the position from which we start.''
I lay back against the cushions, puff
ing at my cigar, while Holmes, leaning
forward, with his long, thin forefinger
checking off the points on the palm of
nis left hand, gave me a sketch of the
vents which had led to our journey.
"Silver Blaze," said he, "is from
the Somomy stock, and holds as b|il
jliant a record as his famous ancestor.
He is now in his fifth year, and has
brought in turn each of tho prizes of
the turf to Colonel Boss, his fortunate
owner. Up to the time of the catas
trophe he was the first favorite for the
Wessex cup, the betting being 3 to 1
on him. He has always, however, been
*t a prime favorite with the racing public
$ and has never yet disappointed them, so
that even at those odds enormous sums
of money have been laid upon him. It
is obvious, therefore, that there were
many people who had the strongest in
terest in Silver Blaze from
in therpreventing at the fall of the flag next a
The fact was, of course, appreciated
*=-*-it King's Pyland, where the colonel's
training stable is situated. Every pre
caution was taken to guard the favorite.
The trainer, John Straker, is a retired
jockey who rode in Colonel Boss's colors
before he became too heavy for the
weighing-chair. He has served the col
onel for five years as jockey and for
seven as trainer and has always shown
himself to be a zealous and honest ser
-vant. Under him were three lads for
the establishment was a small one, con
taining only four horses in all. One of
II these lads sat up each nig-Ufc in the
if stable, while the others slept in the loft.
'All three
borwhoexcellenmarried characters,. Tohn Straker, is a man
ived in a small villa about two hundred
ards from the stables. He has no chil
ren. keeps one maid-servant and is
-qmfortatl off The country round
ir very lonely, but about half a
mile to the north there is a small cluster
of villas which have been built by a
Tavistock contractor for the use of in
valids and others who may wish to
enjoy the pure Dartmoor air. Tavistock
itself lies two miles to the west, while
across the moor, also about two miles
distant, Is the larger training establish-
enft of Mapleton, which belongs to
Backwater, and is managed by
Silas Vfirown. In every other direction
.the ntoor it a completo wilderness, in
habited only by a few roaming gypsies.
fc{5WGh Was he peral ituation lasMo
njffh*t whenne thes catastrophte ocn-
ello thrown by
the lanttfrn she saw that he was a per
son of gentlemanly bearing, dressed in
a gray suit of tweeds, with a cloth cap.
wore gaiters and carried a heavy
stick with a knob to it. She was most
impressed, however, by the extreme pal
lor of his face and by the nervousness of
his manner. His age, she thought, would
be rather over 30 than under it.
'Can you tell me -where I amf he
asked. I had almost made up my mind
to sleep on the moor, when I saw the
light of your lantern.'
'You are close to the King's Pyland
training-stables,' said she.
'Oh, indeed! What a stroke of
luck!' he cried. I understand that a
stable-boy sleeps there alone every
nip^ht. Perhaps that is his supper -which
you are carrying to him. Now, I am sure
that you would not be too proud to earn
the price of a new dress, would you?'
He took a piece of white paper folded
up out of his waistcoat pocket. See
that the boy has this tonight, and you
shall have the prettiest frock that
money can buy.'
She was frightened by the earnestness
of his manner, and ran past him to the
window thru which she was accustomed
to hand the meals. It was already
opened and Hunter was seated at the
small table inside. She had begun to
tell him what had happened, when the
stranger came up again.
'Good evening,' said he, looking
thru the window. I wanted to have a
word with you.' The girl has sworn
that as he spoke she noticed the corner
of the little paper packet protruding
from his closed hand-
'"What 'business have -you. here?"
asked the lad.
'It's business that may put some
thing into your pocket,' said the other.'
'You've two horses in for the Wessex
cupSilver Blaze and Bayard. Let me
have the straight tip and you won't be
a loser. Is it a fact that at the weights
Bayard could give the other a hundred
yards in five an
stables have pufurlongsmoned their on
'So, you're one of those damned
touts!' cried the lad. 'I'll show ypu
how we serve them in King's Pvland.
He sprang up and rushed across the
stable to unloose the dog. The girl fled
away to the house, but as she ran she
looked back and saw that the stranger
was leaning thru the window. A min
ute later, however, when Hunter rushed
out with the hound he was gone, and
tho he ran all around the buildings he
failed to find any trace of him-."
"One moment," I asked. ''Did the
stable-boy, when he ran out -with the
doer, leave the door unlocked behind
'Excellent, Watson, excellent!'' mur
mured my companion. The importance
of the point struck me so forcibly that
I sent a special wire to Dartmoor yes
terday to clear the matter up The boy
locked the door before he left it. The
window, I may add, was not large
enough for a man to get thru.
"Hunter waited until his fellow
grooms had returned, when he sent a
message to the trainer and told him
what had occurred. Straker was excited
at hearing the account, altho he does
not seem to have quite realized its true
significance. It left him, however,
vaguely uneasy, and Mrs. Straker, wak
ing at 1 in the morning found that,he
was dressing. In reply to her inquiries
hesaid that hecould not sleepon account small, alert person, very neat and dap
of his anxiety about the horses, and
that he intended to walk down to the
stables to see that all was well. She
begged him to remain at home, as she
could hear the rain pattering against
the window, but in spite of her en
treaties he pulled on his large mackin
tosh and left the house.
"Mr s. Straker awoke at 7 in the
morning, to find that her husband had
not yet returned. She dressed herself
hastily, called the maid and set off for
the stables. The door was open inside,
huddled together upon a chair, Hunter
was sunk in a state of absolute stupor,
tho favorite's stall was empty, and
there were no signs of his trainer.
The two lads who slept in the chaff
cutting loft above the harness-room
were quickly aroused. They had heard
nothing during the night for they are
both sound sleepers. Hunter was obvi
ously under the influence of some pow
erful drug, and as no sense could be got
out of him, he was left to sleep it off
while the two lads and the two women
ran out in search of the absentees.
They still had hopes that the trainer
had for some reason taken out the horse
for early exercise, but on ascending the
knoll near the house, from which all
the neighboring moors were visible, they
not only could see no signs of the miss
ing favorite, but they perceived some
thing which warned them that they were
in the presence of a tragedy.
"About a quarter of a mile from the
stables John Straker 's overcoat was
flapping from a furze-bush. Immedi
ately beyond there was a bowl-shaped
depression in the moor, and at the bot
tom of this was found the dead body
of the unfortunate trainer. His head
had been shattered by a savage blow
from some heavy weapon, and he was
wounded on the thigh, there was a long,
clean cut, inflicted evidently by some fall."
verysharp instrument. It was clear.how
ever, that Straker had defended him
self vigorously against his assailants,
for in his right hand he held a small
knife, which was clotted with blood up
to the handle, while in his left he
clasped a red and black silk cravat,
which was recognized by the maid as
having been -worn on the preceding
evening by the stranger who had visited
the stables. Hunter, on recovering from
his stupor, was also quite positive as to
the ownership of the cravat. He was
equally certain that the same
stranger had, while standing at
the window, dragged his curried
mutton and so deprived the stables
of their watchman. As to the
missing horse, there were abundant
proofs in the mud which lay at the bot
tom of the fatal hollow that he had
been there at the time of the struggle.
But from that morning he has disap
peared, and altho a large reward has
been offered, and all the gypsies of
Dartmoor are on the alert, no news
has come of him. Finally, an analysis
has shown that the remains of his sup
per left by the stable-lad contain an
appreciable quantity of powdered
opium, -while the people of the house
partook of the same dish on the same
night without any ill effect.
"Those are the mam facts of the
case, stripped of all surmise, and stated
as boldly as possible. I shall now re
capitulate what the police have done in
the matter.
"Inspector Gregory, to whom the case
has been committed, is an extremely
competent officer. Were he but gifted
with imagination he might rise to great
heights in his profession. On his ar
rival he promptly found and arrested
the man upon whom suspicion naturally
rested. There was little difficulty in
finding him, for he inhabited one of
those villas -whi ch I have mentioned.
His name, it appears, was Fitzroy Simp
son. He was a man of excellent birth
and education, who had squandered a
fortune upon the turf, and who lived
now by doing a little quiet and' genteel
book-making in the sporting clubs of
London. An examination of his bet
ting-book shows that bets to the amount
of five thousand pounds had been regis
tered by him against the favorite. On
being arrested, he volunteered the state
ment that he had come down to Dart
moor in the hope of getting some infor
mation about the King's Pyland horses,
and also about Desborough, the second
favorite, which was in charge of Silas
Brown at the Mapleton stables. He
did not attempt to deny that he had
acted as described on the evening be
fore, but declared that he had no sin
ister designs, and had simply wished to
obtain first-hand information. When
confronted -with his cravat, he turned
very pale and was utterly unable to
account for its presence in the hand of
the murdered man. His wet clothing
showed that he had been out in the
storm of the night before, and his stick,
which was a Penang-lawyer weighted
with lead, was just such a weapon as
might, by repeated blows, have inflicted
the terrible m-)uries to -whi ch the train
had succumbed. O the other hand,
there was no wound upon his person,
while the state of Straker's knife would
show that one at least of his assailants
must bear his mark upon him. There
you have it all in a nutshell, Watson,
and if you can give me any light I
shall be infinitely obliged to you."
I had listened with the greatest in
terest to the statement which Holmes,
with characteristic clearness, had laid
before me. Tho most of the facts were
familiar to me, I had not sufficiently
appreciated their relative importance,
nor their connection to each other.
"Is it not possible," I suggested,
"that the incised wound upon Straker
may have been caused by his own knife
in the convulsive struggles which follow
any,, brain injury?"
"It is more than possible it is prob
able said Holmes. "In that case one
of the mam points favor of the ac
cused disappears."
And yet,'' said I, even now I fail
to understand what the theory of the
police can be."
I am afraid that -whatever theory
we state has very grave objections to
it," returned my companion, "The po
lice imagine, I take it, that this Fitz
roy Simpson, having drugged the lad,
and having in some way obtained a
duplicate key, opened the stable door
and took out the horse with the inten
tion, apparently, of kidnapping him al
together. His bridle is missing, so that
Simpson must have put this on. Then,
having left the door open behind him.
he was leading the horse away over the
moor, when he was either met or over
taken by the trainer. A row naturally
ensued. Simpson beat out the trainer's
brains with his heavy stick without re
ceiving any injury from the small knife
which Straker used in self-defense, and
then the thief either led the horse on to
some secret hiding-place, or else it may
have bolted during the struggle and be
now wandering out on the moors. That
is the case as it appears to the police
and improbable as it is, all other ex
planations are more improbable still.
However, I shall very quickly test tho
matter when I am once on the spot,
and until then I cannot really see how
we can get much further than our pres
ent position."
It was evening before we reached the
little town of Tavistockj which lies,
like the boss of a shield, in the middle
of the huge circle of Dartmdor. Two
gentlemen were awaiting us in the sta
tionthe one a tall, fair man with lion
like hair and beard, and curiously pene
trating light blue eyes the other a
per, in a frock coat and gaiters, with
trim little side-whiskers and an eye
glass. The latter was Colonel Boss, the
well-known sportsman the other, In
spector Gregory, a man who was rapidly
making his name in the English detec
tive service.
I am delighted that you have come
down, Mr. Holmes," said the colonel.
"The inspector here has done all that
could possibly be suggested, but I wish
to leave no stone unturned in trying to
avenge poor Straker and in recovering
my horse." Have there been any fresh develop
ments?" asked Holmes.
I am sorry to say that we have
made very little progress," said the in
spector. "We have an open carriage
outside, and as you -would no doubt like
to see the place before the light fails,
we might talk it over as we drive.''
comfortable landau and were rattling
thru the quaint old Devonshire city.
Inspector Gregory was full of his case
and poured out a stream of remarks,
while Holmes threw in an occasional
question or interjection. Colonel Boss
leaned back with his arms folded and
his hat tilted over his eyes, while 1
listened with interest to the dialogue of
the two detectives. Gregory was formu
lating his theory, which was almost ex
actly what Holmes had foretold in the
The net is drawn pretty close round
Fitzroy Simpson," he remarked, "and
I believe myself that he is our man.
At the same time I recognize that the
evidence is piteely circumstantial, and
that some new*&evelopment may upset
"How about Straker's knife?"
"We have quite come to the conclu
sion that he wounded himself in his
'My friend, Dr. Watson, made that
suggestion to me as we came down. If
so, it would tell against this man Simp
"Undoubtedly. He has neither a
knife nor any sign of a wound. The
evidence against him is certainly very
strong. He had a great interest in the
disappearance of the favorite.
lies under suspicion of having
poisoned the stable boy, he was un
doubtedly out in the storm, he was
armed with a heavy stick, and his cra
vat was found in the dead man's hand.
I really think we have enough to go be
fore a jury.
Holmes shook his head. A clever
counsel would tear it all to ^28," said
he. Why should he take the horse out
of the stable? If he wished to injure it
why could he not do it there? Has a
duplicate key been found in his pos
session? What chemist sold him the
powdered opium? Above all, where
could he, a stranger to the district, hide
a horse, and such a horse as this? What
is his own explanation as to the paper
which he wished the maid to give to
the stable-boy?"
"He says that it was a ten-pound
note. One -was found in his purse. But
your other difficulties are not so for
midable as they seem-ISJfIe is not a
The Original Stories of the Great Detective Which Made Their Author, A/Coiiah^Dpyle Fpino
stranger to the district. He has twice
lodged at Tavistock' in the summer.
The opium was probably brought from
London. The key, having served its
urpose, would be hurled away. The
may be at the bottom of one of
the pits or old mines upon the moor."
"What does he say about the cra-
"He acknowledges that it is his, and.
declares that he had lost it. But a new
element has been introduced into the
case which may account for his lead
ing the horse from the.stable."
Holmes pricked up his ears.
"We have found traces which show
that a party of gypsies encamped on
Monday night within a mile of the
spot wheie the murder took place. On
Tuesday they were gone. Now, presum
ing that there was some understanding
between Simpson and these gypsies,
might he not have been leading the
horse to them when he was overtaken
and may they not have him nowl"
"It is certainly possible."
The moor is being scoured for these
gypsies. I have also examined every
stable and out-house in Tavistock, and
for a radius of^ten miles."
"There is another training-stable
quite close, I understand?"
Yes, and that is a factor which we
must certainly not neglect. As Des
borough, their horse, was second in the
betting, they had an interest in the dis
appearance of the favorite. Silas Brown,
the trainer, is known to have had large
bets upon the event, and he was no
friend to poor Straker. We have, how
ever, examined the stables and there is
nothing to connect him with the affair.
"And nothing to connect this man
Simpson with the interests of the
Mapleton stables?"
''Nothing at all."
Holmes leaned back in the carriage,
and the conversation ceased. A few
minutes later our driver pulled up at a
neat little red-brick villa with over
hanging eaves which stood by the road.
Some distance off, across a paddock, lay
a long gray tiled out-building. I every
other direction the low curves of the
moor, bronze-colored from the fading
ferns stretched away to the skyline,
broken only by the steeples of Tavistock
and a cluster of houses away to the
westward which marked the Mapleton
stables. We all sprang out with the
exception of Holmes, who continued to
lean back with his eyes fixed upon the
sky in front of him, entirely absorbed
in his own thoughts. I was only when
I touched his arm that he roused him
self with a violent- start and stepped
out of the carriage.
"Excuse me," said he, turning to
Colonel Boss, who had looked at him in
some surprise. I -was day-dreaming.
There was a gleam in his eyes and a sup
pressed excitement in his manner which
convinced me, used as I was to his ways,
that his hand was upon a clue, tho 1
could not imagine where he had
found it.
Perhaps you would prefer at once to
go on to the scene of the crime, Mr.
Holmes?" said Gregory.
I think that I should prefer to stay
here a little and go into one or two
questions of detail. Straker was
brought back here, I presume?'
"Yes he lies upstairs. The inquest
is tomorrow."
"He has been in your service some
years, Colonel Boss?"
I have always found him an excel
lent servant."
I presume that you made an inven
tory of what he had in his pockets at
the time of his death, inspector?'[
I have the things themselves the
sitting-room, if you would care to see
I should be very glad." W all
filed into the front room and sat round
the central table while the inspector un
locked a square tin box and laid a small
heap of things before us. There was a
box of vestas, two inches of tallow
candle, an A brier root pipe, a
pouch of sealskin with half an ounce or
long-cut Cavendish, a silver watch with
a gold chain, five sovereigns in gold, an
aluminium pencil-case, a few papers and
an ivory-handled knife with a very, deli
cate, inflexible blade marked Weiss &
Co., London.
"This is a very singular knife," said
Holmes, lifting it up and examining it
minutely. I presume, as I see blood
stains upon it, that it is the one which
was found in the dead man's grasp.
Watson, this knife is surely in your
"It is what we call a cataract
knife," said I.
I thought so. A very delicate blade
devised for very delicate work. A
strange thing for a man to carry with
him upon a rough expedition, especially
as it would not shut in his pocket.
"The tip was guarded by a disc ox
cork which we found beside the body,'
said the inspector. "His wife tells us
that the knife had lain upon the dress
ing-table, and that he had picked it up
as he left the room. It was a poor
weapon, but perhaps the best that he
could lay his hands on at the moment.
"Very possibly. How about these
papers V'
"Three of them are receipted hay
aealers' accounts. One of theemouis
letter of instructions froBond* Colonel Boss.
This is a milliner's account for
A minute later we were all seated in a thirty-seven pounds fifteen, mad ba
Madam Lesuner of street to Derbyshire. Mrs Strake tells
us that Derbyshire was a friend of her
husband's and that occasionally his let
ters were addressed here.
"Madam Derbyshire had somewhat
expensive tastes/* remarked Holmes,
glancing down the account. Twenty
two guineas is rather heavy for a single
costume. However, there appears to be
nothing more to learn and we may now
go down to the scene of the crime.
As we emerged from the sitting-room
a woman, who had been waiting in the
passage, took a step forward and laid
her hand upon the inspector's sleeve.
Her face was haggard and thin and
eager, stamped -with the print of a re
Cent horror.
"Have you got themt Have you
found them?" she panted.
"No, Mrs. Straker. But Mr. Holmes
here has come from London to help us.
and we shall do all that is possible."
"Surely I met you in Plymouth at a
garden-party some little time ago, Mrs.
Straker?" said Holmes.
"No, sir you are mistaken."
"Dear mel Why, I could have sworn
to it. You wore a costume of dove-col
ored silk with ostrich-feather trim-
I never had such a dress, tax1'
swered the lady.
"Ah, that quite settles it," said
Holmes. And with an apology he fol
lowed the inspector outside. A short
walk across the moor took us to the hol
low in which the body had been found.
A.t the Tbnnk of it -was the furze-bush
upon which the coat had been hung.
"There was no wind that night, I
understand." said Holmes.
"None but very heavy rain."
"In that case the overcoat was not
blown against the furze-bushes, but
placed there."
Yes, it was laid across the bush.''
"You fill me with interest. I per
ceive that the ground has been trampled
up a good deal. No doubt many feet
have been here since Monday night."
A piece of matting has been laid
here at the side, and we have all stood
upon that.''
"Excellent." J'In this bag I kav^pne of the boots
which Straker wore, one of Fitzroy
Simpson's shoes, and a cast horseshoe of
Silver Blaise."
"Mydear inspector, you surpass your
self I Holmes took the bag, and, de
scending into the hollow, he pushed the
matting into a more central position.
Then stretching himself upon his face
and leaning his chin upon his hands,
he made a careful study of the trampled
mud in front of him. "HulloI" said
he, suddenly. "What's this?" It was
a wax vesta half burned, which was so
coated with mud that it looked at first
like a little chip of wood.
I cannot think how I came to over
look it said the inspector, with an
expression of annoyance.
"It was invisible, buried in the mud.
I only saw it because I -was looking for
"What! you expected to find it!"
I thought it not unlikely."
He took the boots from the bag and
compared the impressions of each of
them with marks upon the ground.
Then he clambered up to the rim of
the hollow and crawled about among the
ferns and bushes.
I am afraid that there are no more
tracks," said the inspector. I have
examined the ground very carefully for
a hundred yards in each direction."
"Indeed!" said Holmes, rising. I
should not have the impertinence to do
it again after what you say. But I
should like to take a little walk over
the moor before it grows dark, that I
may know my ground tomorrow, and I
think that I shall put this horseshoe
into my pocket for luck."
Colonel Boss, who had shown some
signs of impatience at my companion's
quiet and systematic method of work,
glanced at his watch. I wish you
would come back with me, inspector,"
said he. There are several points on
which I should like your advice, and
especially as to whether we do not owe
it to the public to remove our horse's
name from the entries for the cup."
"Certainly not," cried Holmes, with
i J/
S w
should let the name
The colonel bowed. I am very glad
to have had your opinion, sir," said he.
"You will find us at poor Straker's
house when you have finished your
walk, and we can drive together 'into
He turned back with the inspector,
while Holmes and I walked slowly
across the moor. The sun was begin
ning to sink behind the stable of Maple
ton and the long sloping plain in front
of us
tinged with gold,where deepening
browns the
?aded ferns and brambles caught the
evening light. But the glories of the
landscape were all wasted upon eoxn
pamon, who was sunk in
thed deepestt
ifnkri T^
son," saihe a
the question of who
killed John Straker for the instant, and
ourselves to finding what has be-
come of the horse. Now supposing that
he broke away during or after the trag
edy, where could he have gone to? The
horse tea very gregarious creature. If
left to himself his instincts would have
been either to return to King's Pyland
or go oyer to Mapleton. Why should he
run wild upon the moor? would sure
have been seen by now. And why
should gypsies kidnap him? These people
always cle ar out when they hear of trou
ble, for they do not wish to be pestered
by the police. They cou ld not hope to sell
such a horse. They would run a great
ri sk and gain nothing by taking him.
Surely that is clear."
"Where is he, then?"
"I have already said that he must have
gone to King's Pyland or to Mapleton.
is not at King's Pyland. Therefore he is
at Mapleton. Let us take that as a work
ing hypothesis a nv see what it lesu
o. This pa rd of the moor, as the inspec-
ery hard and rayd But
it falls away toward Mapleton, and you
can see from here that there is a long hol
low over yonder, which must have been
very y,et on Monday night. If ur suppo
sition is correct, then the horse must
have crossed that, and there is the point
where -we should loofe for his tracks
We had been walking brisklv during
this conversation, and a few more min
utes brought us to the hollow in question.
At Holmes' request I walked down the
bank to the right, and he to the left, but
I had not taken fifty paces before I heard
him give a shout, and saw him waving
his hand to me. The track of a horse
was plainly outlined in the so ft earth in
front of him, and the shoe which he took
from his pocket exactly fitted the impres
"See the value of Imagination," said
Holmes. "It is the one quality which
Gregory lacks. We imagined what might
have happened, acted upon the supposi
tion, and find ourselves Justified. Let us
We crossed the* marshy bottom and
passed over a quarter of a mile of dry.
hard turf. Again the ground sloped, and
again we came on the tracks. Then we
lost them for half a mile, but only to
pick them up once more quite close to
Mapleton. I was Holmes who saw them
first, and he stood pointing with a look of
triumph upon his face. A man's track
was visib le beside the horse's.
"The horse was alone before," I cried.
"Quite so. I was alone beforeHullo,
what is this?"
The double track turned sharp off and
took the direction of King's Pyland
Holmes whistled, and we both followed
along after it. His eyes were on the trail,
but I happened to look a little to one sid e,
and saw to my surprise the same tracks
coming back again in the opposite direc
"One for you, Watson," said Holmes,
when I pointed it out. "You have saved
us a long walk, which would have brought
us back on our own traces. Let us fol
low the return track."
W had not far to go. I ended at the
paving of asphalt which ed up to the
gates of the Mapleton stables. A we ap
proached, a groom ran out from them.
"We don't want any loiterers about
here," said he
I only wished to ask a question," said
Holmes, with is finger and thumb in is
waistcoat pocket. "Should I be too early
to see your master. Mr. Silas Brown, if I
were to call at 5 o'clock tomorrow morn-
"Bless you, sir, if any one is about he
wi ll be, for he is always the first stirring.
But here he is, sir, to answer your ques
tions for himself No, sir, no it is as
much as my place is worth to let him see
me touch your money. Afterwards, if
you like."
A SherlocK Holmes replaced the half
erown which he had drawn from his
pocket, a fierce-looking elderly man
strode out from the gate with a hunting
crop swinging In his hand.
"What's this, Dawson?" he cried. "No
gossiping. Go about your business. And
you. what the devil do you want here?"
"Ten minutes' talk with you, my good
sir," said Holmes, in the sweetest of
"I've no time to talk to every gada
bout. We want no strangers here. Be
off. or you may find a dog at your heels."
Holmes leaned forward and whispered
In the trainer' ear Ha start
ed violently and flushed to the temples.
"It's a fie!" he shouted "an Infernal
"Very good. Shall we argue about It
here In public or talk it over in.,your par
"Oh, come In If you wish to."
Holmes smiled. "I shall not keep you
more than a few minutes, Watson," said
he. "Now, Mr. Brown. I am quite at your
It xras twenty minutes, and the reds had all
fafled into grays lefor Holmes and tfie trainer
reappeared. NTer hare I seen such a change as
bad been brought about In SUaa Brown In that
short time. His face was ashy pale, beads of
perspiration Shone upon his* brow, and his hands
shook nntU the hunting crop wagged like a
branch In the wind. His bullying, overbearing
manner was all gone, too, and he cringed along
at my companion's side like a dog with Its
"Your instructions wlU be done. It shaU all
be done," said he.
"There must be no mistake," said Holmes,
looking round at him. The other winced as be
read the menace in his eyes.
"Oh, no, there shaU be no mistake. It shall
be there Should I chanpre It first or aof".
Holmes thought a little and then burst out
laughing. "No, don't," said he "I shall write
to you tbont if* No tricks, now, or
"Ob, you can trust me, you can trust mel"
"Yes, I think I cap. WeU, yon shall hear
from me tomorrow." He turned upon bis heel,
disregarding the trembling band which the other
held ou,t to Um, and we set off for King's Py
"A. more perfect compound of the bully, coward
and sneak than Master Silas Brown I hare sel
dom met with," remarked Holmes as we trudged
along together.
"He has the horse, then?"
"He tried to bluster oat ot It, but I described
to, Mm so exactly what his actions baa been
upon that morning that be is convinced that I
was watching him. Of course, you observed the
peculiarly square toes in the Impressions, and
thta his own boots exactly corresponded to t'jem.
Again, of course, no subordinate would have
dared to do such a thing. I described- to blm
how, when according to his custom he was the
first down, he perceived a strange horse wander
ing over the moor. How he went out it, and bis
astonishment at recognizing, from the white
forehead which has given the favorite Its name,
that chance had put to his power the only- horse
which could beat the one upon which be had
put his money. Then I described how his firrt
impulse had been to lead him back to King's
Pyland, and how the devil had shown blm how he
could hide the horse until the race was over, and
how he had led It back and concealed It at
Mapleton. When I told him every detail he gave
it up and thought only of saving his own skin."
"But his stables had been searched?"
"Oh. an old horse fakir like him has many a
"But yon are not afraid to leave the horse in
his power now, since he has every interest in
injuring it."
."My dear fellow, he wUl guard Jt as the apple
of bis eye. He knows that his only hope of
mercy is to produce it safe."
"Colonel Ross did not impress me as a man
who would be likely to Show much mercy in any
"The matter does not rest with Colonel Boss.
I foUow my own methods, and teU as much or as
little as I choose. That is the advantage of be
ing unofficial. I don't know whether you ob
served it, Watson, but the colonel's manner has
been Just a trifle cavalier to me. I am Inclined
now to have a little amusement at bis expense.
Sav nothing to him about the horse."
"Certainly not without your permission."
"And of course this Is all quite a minor point
compared to the question of who killed John
"And you -will de-vote yourself to that**
"On the contrary, we both go back to London
by the night train."
I was thunderstruck by my friend's words.
We had only been a few hours in Devonshire and
that he should give up an investigation
which he had begun so brilliantly was quite
inccmprehenslble to me Not a word more could
I draw from him until we were back at the
trainer's house. The colonel and the inspector
were awaiting us in the parlor.
"My and I return teo towen by the nigh-t express.friendd sai Holmes. "W hav had a charm
ins little breath of your beautiful Dartmoor
The inspector opened^ his eyes, and the col
onel's lip curled in a sneer.
"So you despair of arresting the murderer
of poor Straker," said he.
Holmes shiugged his shoulders. "There are
certainly grave difficulties in the way," said
he "1 have every hope, however, that your
hOt-se ill stait upon Tuesday, and I beg that
you will have your jockey in readiness. Might
I ask for a photograph of John Straker?'
The inspector took one from an envelope and
handed it to him.
My dear Gregory, you anticipate all my
wants If I might ask y'ou to wait here for
an inttant, I have a question which 1 should
like to put to the mala
"I must say that I am rather disappointed in
our London cerfultant," said Colonel Roisf,
bluntly, as my friend left the room. "I do not
see that we are any further than when he
"At least you have his assurance that your
hcrsc will inu said I
"Yes, I have his assurance." said the col
onel, with a shiug of his shoulders. "I should
prefer to have tht horse."
I was about to make some reply in defense of
my fiiend when he. entered the room again.
"Now, gentlemen," said he, "I am quite
ready for Tavistock."
As we stepped into the carriage one of the
stable lads held the door open for us. A sudden
idea seemed to occur to Holmes, for he leaned
forward and touched the lad upon the sleeve.
"You have a few sheep in the paddock," he
said. "Who attends to them?"
"I do, sir."
"Have you noticed anything amiss with them
of late?"
"Well, sir, not of much account but three
of them have gone lame, sir."
I could' see that Holmes was extremely
pleased, for he cl uckled and rubbed his hands
'A long shot, Watson a very long shot,"
said he, pinching my arm. "Gregory, let me
recommend to jour attention this singular epi
demic among the sheep. Drive on, coachman."
Colonel Ross still wore an expression which
showed the poor opinion which he had formed
of my companion's ability, but I saw by the in
spector's face that bia attention had been keen
ly aroused.
"You consider that to be important?" he
"Exceedingly so
there any point to which you would wish
to draw my attention?"
"To the curious Incident of the dog in the
T'The dog did nothing in the night-time."
"TLat was the curious incident," remarked
Sherlock Holmes
Four days later Holmes and I were again
in the train, bound for Winchester to see the
race for the Wessex cup. Colonel Boss met us
by appointment outside the station, and we
drove in bis drag to the course beyond the
town. His face was grave, and his manner was
cold In the extreme
1 neve seen nothing of my horse," said he
"I suppose that you would know him when
you saw him?" asked Holmes.
Tho colonel was very angry. "I have been
on the turf for twenty years .and never was
asked such a question as that before," said he.
"A child would know Silver Blaze, with bis
wLite forehead and his mottled off-foreleg."
"How is the betting?"
"Well, that is the curious part ot it. You
could have got fifteen to one yesterday, but the
price has become shorter and shorter, until you
can hardly get three to one now."
Hum!" said Holmes. "Somebody knows some
thing, that is clear."
As the drag drew up in the enclosure near the
grand stand I glanced at Jhe. card to see the
Wessex Plate (It ran) 50 sovs each ft with
1,000 sovs added for four and five-year olds.
Second. 30 0. Third, 20 0. New course (one
mile and five furlongs).
1 Mr. Heath Newton's The Negro. Bed cap.
Cinnamon jacket.
2. Colonel Wardlaw's Pugilist Pink cap. Blue
and black Jacket.
8. Lord Backwater's Desborough. Yellow cap
and sleeves.
4. Colonel Boss' Silver Blaze. Black cap.
Bed jacket.
5. Duke of Balmoral's Iris. Yellow and black
6. Lord Singleford's Basper. Purple cap.
Black sleeves
"We scratched our other one, and put all hopes
on yoa: word," said the colonel. "Why, what Is
that? Silver Blaze favorite?"
"Five IO four against Silver Blaze 1" roared
the ring. "Five to four against SUver Blaze 1
Five to fifteen against Desborough i Five to four
on the field 1"
"There are the numbers up," I cried. "They
are all six there."
"All six there? Then my horse is running,"
cried the colonel in great agitation. "But I
don't see him. -My colors have not passed."
"Only five have pass 3d. This must be he."
As I spoke a powerful bay horse swept out
from the weighing enclosure and cantered past
us, bearing on its ba-k the well-known black
and red ot the colonel.
"That's not my horse," cried the owner. "That
beast has not a white hair upon its body. What
is this that you have done, Mr. Holmes?"
"Well, well, let us see how he gets on," said
my friend, imperturbftbly. For a few minutes
he ga*ed thru my fleldglass "Capital 1 An ex
cellent stirtt" he cried suddenly. "There they
are. coiling round the curve 1"
From our drag wo had a superb view as they
came up the straight. The six horses were so
close together that a carpet could have covered
them, but half way up the yellow of the Maple
ton stable showed to the front. Beiore they
reached us, however, Desbrough's bolt was shot,
and the colonel's horse, coming away with a
rush, passed the post a good six lengths before
its rival, the Duke of Balmoral's Iris making a
bad third.
"It's my race, anyhow," gasped the colonel,
passing his hand ovtr his eyes. "I confess that
I can make neither head nor tail of it. Don't
you think that you have kept up your mystery
long enough, Mr. Holmes?"
"Certainly, colon-el, you shall know every
thing. Let us all go round and have a look at
the horse together Here be Is." he continued,
as we made out way Into the weighing enclosure,
where only owners and their friends find ad
mittance. "You bare only to wash his face
and his leg in spirit of wine, and yoa will find
that he is the same old Silver Blase as ever."
"You take my breathTttvay!"
"I found him in the hands of a fakir, and took
the liberty of running him Just as he was sent
"My dear sir, you have done wonders. The
horse looks yery fit and well. It never west
better In its life. I owe you a thousand apolo
for having doubted your ability. You have
one me a great service recovering my horse.
You would do me a greater stUl if you could lay
your hands on the murderer of John Staker."
"I have done so," said Holmes quietly.
The colonel end I stared at him in amaaememt,
"You have got him! Where Is he. then?"
"He is hera." 1* vtJ0&*,M?^^fefc*-a
"Here! Where?" I,"?* }?9&Sfc '^2l?l
"In my company at the present moment."
The colonel flushed angrily. "I quite recog
nise that I am under obligations to you, Mr.
Holmes," said be, "but I must ^egnd what you
have just said as either a very bad joke or an
Sherlock Holmes laughed. "I assure yoa that
I have not associated you with the crime,
colonel," said he. "The real murderer is stand
ing immediately behind you." stepped past
an 1*14 bjf hand upon the
"Yes.^jtbe terse. And it may lessen
guilt if I imj that it was tow la seli-defcn*
Md that ohn Straker was a wan who
entirely qntartfey of your confidence. But then,.
as I stand to win a tttt]*
i, I shall defer a lengthy et
more fitting time."
of a Pullman, ear to our
we whirled back, t*
Btotf'Soajw jp o*| as weU to BB*
self, a 7 "5esfd to our companion's narra
tive, at iM evtnt^ which bad joeeorred at the
Dartmoor rwng stables upon -Quit Monday
ni&t, a^8'means by which be bad anrav
elea them.
"I confess,'* aid 4i,,Thiat any
which I bad formed from the newspaper
were entirely erroneous. And yet there
Indications there, had thear not b*a i
by other details vbich eoacealed ttoetr trae
Import. I went to- Devonshire with the con
viction that Fitool*Slmpsoii was the tma
culprit, altho, of courst /I saw that tbe* evi
dence against him was by t means complete.
It was while I was in the carriage, test
we reached the trainer's house, Tthat the \x&-
mense significance of the curried mutton .oc-
curred to me. You may remember that I was
distrait, and remained sitting after you had
all alighted. I was marveling in my own mind
how. I could possibly have overlooked so do
vious a clue."
"I confess," said the colooel, "that even now
I cannot see how it helps us."
"It was the first link: in my chain of reason
ing. Powdered opium is by no mean* taste
less. The flavor Is not disagreeable, but it
perceptible. Were it mixed with any ordinary 4
dish tbe eater would undoubtedly detect it,
and would probably eat no more. A curry was
exactly tbe medium which would disguise this
taste By no possible supposition could thla
stranger, Fitzroy Simpson, have caused curry
to be served in the trainer's family that night,
and It is 6urely too monstrous a coincidence
to suppose that he happened to come along with
powdered opium upon the very night when a
dish happened to be served which would die
guise the flavor. Thai: is unthinkable. There
fore Simpson becomes eliminated from the ease,
and our attention centers upon Straker and his
wife, the only two people who could have ebos*
en curried mutton for supper that night. TTba
opium was added after the dish was set aside
for tbe stableboy, for tbe others bad the same
for supper with no 111 effects. Which of them,
then, had access to that dish without the maid
seeing them?
"Before deciding that question I bad grapsed
the significance of the silence of the dog. for one
true intereice invariably suggests others. IHI
Simpson Incident had shown me that a dog
was kept In the stables, and yet. tho tome OM,
had been in and bad fetched out a horse, HS
had not barked enough to arouse the two lad* |L
in the loft. Obviously the midnight visitor WSf fmr
tome on-3 whem the dog knew well-
"I was already convinced, or almost con
Tinced, that John Btraker went down to tl "7Z%
stables in the dead of the night and took ouj -._
Silver Blaze. For what purpose? For a dig
honest one, obviously, or why should be drug -z
own stableboy? And yet I was at a loss to &no
why. There nave been cases before now wber
trainers have made cure of great sums of money
by laying against their own horses, thru agent*,
and then preventing them from winning by fraud. J*
Sometimes it is a pulling jockey. Sometimes It
is some surer and subtler means. What was ^m
here I hoped that the contents of his poeketa ~f
might help ma to form a conclusion. ah I
"And they did so. You cannot have forgot***
HLQ etnsul&r knite -which, w&a found. In. tha dead HBr
man's hand, a knife which certainly no snne^M.
man would choose for a weapon. It was, as
Dr. Watson told us, a form of knife which ia? i1
used for the most delicate operations known taf m&
surgery. And it was to be used for a delicate^"T,
operation that night. You must know, with your &
wide experience of turf matters. Colonel HM^ JR
that it is possible to make a slight nick upof
the tendons of a horse's bam, and to do it suW
cutaneously, so as to leave absolutely no trace. W-.
A horse so treated would develop a slight lame
ness, which would be put down to a strain in e**
ercise or a touch of rheumatism, but never *t(| ii
foul play."
"Villain! Scoundrel!" cried the colonel.
"We have here the explanation of why Jobs
Straker wished to take the horse out on to th#
moor. So spirited a creature would have certain
ly roused the soundest sleepers when it felt tha)^-
prick of the knife. It was absolutely necessary .j
to do it in the open air." ii
"I have been blind!" cried the colonel. "Of 3*,
course that was why he needed tbe candle aad0'
struck the match."
"Undoubtedly. But In examining his belon
lugs' I was fortunate enough to discover n~^
only the method of the crime, but even its mo
tives. As a man of the world, colonel, you know
that men do not carry other people's bill* about
in their pockets. We have most of quite enough
to do to settle our own. I at once concluded, ft
thalt Straker was leading a double life, and krqtt
ing a establishment.e The nature of tfl**-^4
bil showed that there was a lady in the casf
and onsecondo wh had expensiv tastes Liberal
you are with your servants, one can hardly ex 1
pect that they can buy 20-guinea walking dressea.!!
for their ladies. I questioned Mrs. Straker a**?
to the dress without her knowing it, and havlnlFr ^v^
satisfied myself that it had never reached her, 35
made a mote of tbe milliner's address, and felt^ i
that by calling there with Straker's photograph *r**
I could easily dispose of the mythical Derbyshire.
"From that time on all was plain. Straker
had led out the horse to a hollow where his light
would be invisible. Simpson in his flight had
dropped bis cravat, and Straker had picked it
upwith some idea, perhaps that he might use
It, In, securing the horse's leg. Once in the hol
low, he had got behind the horse and had struck
a light but the creature, frightened at tbe sud
den glare, and with the strange Instinct of ani
mals feeling that some mischief was intended,
bad lashed out and the steel shoe had struck
Straker full on the forehead. He had already, in
spite of the rain, taken off his overcoat in order
to do his delicate task, and so, as he fell, hisS
knife gashed his thigh. Do I make it clear?"
"Wonderful." cried the colonel. "Wondarv'
ful' You might have been there!"
"My final shot was, I confess, a very long
one. It struck me that so astute a mas as Strn
ker would not undertake this delicate tendon-*
nicking without a littlepractice. What could bm
practice on? My eyes fell upon the sheep, and.
I asked a question which, rather to my sur-"
prise, showed that my surmise was correct."
"When I returned to London I called upon the
milliner who had recognized Straker as tax. excel
lent customer of tbe name of Derbyshire, who
had a very dashing wife, with a strong partial
ity for expensive dresses. I have no doubt thai
this woman had plunged him over head and ears
in debt, and so led blm Into this mlserabls
"You nave explained all but one thing," erl si
the colonel. "Where was the horse?'
"Ah, it bolted and was cared for by one of jvvtV
neighbors. We must have an amnesty In that
direction, I think. This is Clapham Js&etlon.
If I am not mistaken, and we snail be to Tie*
toria in less than ten minutes. If yoa care t*
smoke a cigar in our rooms, colonel, I shall bs
bappy to give you any other details which might
Interest you." &f
Misses Mills Outdo Burden GHrli 4"
Originators of Happy Idea*.
New York Press.
A foolish young- fellow in Canaan
Went walking* whenever 'twas raaaan,
The neighbors spoke truth
When they said of the youth.
That he certainly neede4 iM-anaan.
-^ewmrk (H. J.) tow*,
The Mills twins are not to be outdons)
by the Burden girls as originators of
happy ideas. Miss Beatrice lately hag
designedinvented, indeeda device)
for the household for which zealous
chatelaines are likely to bless her to
the end of their days. To hark back*
housewives who pride themselves 09
having their tables lures for epicure*
for a long time have despaired of
ting the fine pepper once common is
the home marts. Why, nobody has un
derstood. The merchants have not takea
their customers into their confidences
but it has been whispered the supply
is giving out in some remote part of
the world and that disciples of luxuri
ous civilization must suffer in conse
quence. Miss Mills, however, appar
ently thinks the fault lies with th
mills rather than with the raw material,
for she has had made, by a Fifth ave
nue silversmith, a few samples of her
new pepper grinder, with which every
woman who wishes to do so can h&v
the pepper she uses pulverized at home.
The wee engine is in the Bhape of an
inverted cone, the grinding wheels
being at the bottom thereof, much in
the position of the crushers ra($h hand
coffee mill. She who buys her pepper
nnjroTiricl and puts it thra such a minis.
ture machine, it is said, will be re
warded by a pungency seldom found is
the ordinary market staple.
There was a young* lady in Norwich
Who never would stay on the powich.
In the hot summer sun^^^
She'd gambol and run j|
Tin her nose was as bright as a towicV

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