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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 03, 1905, Image 6

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THE BEST OF THE SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES
TM* in the firvt of a new'
••rtes of Sherlock Holmes sto
ries. Tbese stories vrill deal
with the adventures of the fa
mous detective up to the time
bis wily adversary, Morlarlty,
apparently encompassed the de
tective's death on the Svritxrr
laad ctlfls. The last series
which appeared In The Sunday
Call* It will be remembered,
dealt «rttb the adventures of
Sherlock Holmes after his
miraculous escape, and th«
death of Sloriarlty.
Copyright 1805. by McCtare. Fhilllpß & Co.
OF all the problems which have been
submitted to my friend Mr. Sher
lock Holmes for solution during
the years of our Intimacy, there
were only two which I_ was the means
of Introducing to his notice— that of Mr.
Hatherley'e thumb and that of Colonel
Warburton's madness. Of these the lat
ter may have afforded a finer field for
en acute and original observer, but the
other was so strange In its Inception and
\u25a0o dramatic In its details that It may
be the more worthy of being placed upon
record, even if it gave my friend fewer
openings for those deductive methods of
reasoning by which he achieved such re
markable results. The etory has. I be
lieve, been told more than once in the
newspapers, but, like all such narratives,
its effect is much less striking when set
forth en bloo in a single half column of
print than when the facts slowly evolve
before your own eyes and the mystery
clears gradually away as each new dis
covery furnishes a step which leads on
to the complete truth. At the time the
circumstances made a deep impression
upon me, and the lapse of two years
has hardly served to weaken the effect.
It was in the summer of '89, not long
after my marriage, that the events oc
curred which I am now about to sum
marize. I had returned to civil practice,
ud had finally abandoned Holmes in his
Baker-Etreet rooms, although I continu
ally visited him, and occasionally even
persuaded him to forego Ms Bohemian
habits bo far as to come and visit us.
My practice had 'steadily-Increased, and
es I happened to live at no great dis
tance from Paddlngton station, I got a
Tew patients from among the officials.
One of these, whom I had cured of a
jalnful and lingering disease, was never
creary of advertising my virtues, and of
endeavoring to 6end me on every sufferer
over whom he might have any Influence.
One morning at a little before 7 o'clock
I was awakened by the maid tapping
at my door to announce that two men
had come from Paddington, and were
r» ltir.gr In the consulting room. I dressed
hurriedly, for I knew by experience that
railway cases were seldom trivial, and
hastened downstairs. As I descended my
old ally, the guard, came out of the
room and closed the door tightly behind
him. W^i
*Tve got him here," he whispered,
jerking his thumb over his shoulder;
"he's all right."
"What Is It, then?" I asked, for his
manner eugrgested that it was some
strange creature which he had caged In
my room. • .3^ ';
"It's a new patient," he whispered. "I
thought I'd bring him round myself; then
he couldn't slip away. There he Is, all
safe and sound. I must go now,' doctor;
I have my dcotles, just the same as you."
And off he went, this trusty tout, without
even giving me time to thank him.
I entered my consulting-room and
found a gentleman seated by. the table.
He was Quietly dressed In a suit of
heather tweed, with aT Boft cloth cap,
which he had laid down upon my books.
Round one of his hands ne had a hand
kerchief, which was. mottled all over
with blood stains. He was young, not
more than five and twenty, I should say,
with a strong', muscular face; but he was
exceedingly pale, and gave me" the im
pression of a man who was suffering
from some strong agitation, which It took
all his strength of mind to control.
"I am sorry to knock you up so early,
doctor," said he, "but I have had a very
serious accident during the night. I came
in by train this morning, and on Inquiring
at Paddington as to where I might find a
doctor, a worthy fellow very kindly es
corted me here. I gave the maid a card,
but I see that she has left it upon the side
table."
I took It up and glanced at it. "Mr. Vic
tor Hatherley, hydraulic engineer, 16A,
Victoria Btreet (third floor)." That was
the name, style and abode of my morning
visitor. "I regret that I have kept ygu
waiting," said I, sitting down In my li
brary chair. "You are fresh from a night
journey, I understand, which in Itself Is a
monotonous occupation." .
"Oh! my night could not be called mo
notonous," said he, and laughed. He
laughed very heartily, with a high, ring
ing notej leaning back in his chair and
shaking bis sides. All ray medical In
sllncts rose up against that laugh.
"Stop It!" I cried; "pull yourself to
gether!" and I poured out some water
from a carafe.
It vms useless, however. He was off In
one of those hysterical outbursts which
come upon a strong nature when , come
great crisis Is over and gone. Presently
h£ came to himself once more, very weary
and blushing hotly.;.'' \u25a0
"I have been making a fool of myself,"
he gasped.
"Not at aIL Drink this." I dashed
some brandy into the water, and the color
began to come back to hit bloodless
cheeks.
"That's better!" said he. "And how,
doctor, perhaps you would kindly attend
to my thumb, or rather to ' the place
where my thumb used to be."
He unwound the handkerchief and
held out his hand. It gave even my
hardened nerves a shudder to look at
It. There were four protruding fingers
and a horrid red, spongry surface where
the thumb should have been. It had
been hacked or torn right out from the
roots.
"Good heavens!" I cried, "this is a
terrible Injury. It must have bled con;
siderably." N
"Yes, it did. I fainted? when It was
done, and I think that I must have been
senseless for a long time. When I
came to I found that It was still bleed
ing,-so I- tied' one end of my handker
chief very tightly round the \rrist, : and
braced It up with a twig." .
"Excellent! You should have been a
surgeon.V
"It is a question* of hydraulics, you
see. and came within ray . own pro
vince."
"This has been done." said I." examih-
ing the wound, "by a very heavy and
sharp Instrument."
"A thing like a cleaver," said he. ;
"An accident, I presume?"*
"By no means." ,
"Wliat! a murderous attack?"
"Very murderous indeed."
"Yon horrify me."
I sponged the wound, - cleaned , it,
dressed . It, : and finally covered Itwlth
cotton wadding and carbolized ; band
ages. \u25a0\u25a0"'\u25a0 He lay back" without "wincing,
though he bit his V" from tinjeto time..
' "How is that?" I asked, when I^ had,
finished. .5 *
"Capitai! Between your brandy and
your bandage, I feel a new man. I was
very weak, but I have had a good deal
to go through,"
"Perhaps you had better not speak ,
of the matter. It is evidently trying to
your nerves."
"Oh! no, not now. I sfiall have to:
tell, my tale to the police; but,: between-,
ourselves, if it were not f or . the ".f con
vincing, c •!' ence of this wound of mine,
I should be surprised if '\u25a0 they,\ believed
my statement; for it. is a very extra
ordinary one, and I have \u25a0 not^ much ; in
the way of proof Ayith which to back it
up; and, even^if, they, believe' me, "the
clews which I can give them are so
vague that It is a question whether jus
tice will be done."
"Ha!" , cried I, ' "if it is anything: in ;
.the nature of a problem which/ you ;de-^
sire to see solved, I should strongly
recommend you to my friend Mr.' Sher-.
lock Holmes before:you*go/ to! the;bfn-;
cial police." / ; . ; '
"Oh! I have heard of. that : fellow,"
answered my visitor, "and I should; b'e :
very Blad if he would take the matter"
up, though of course I must use the
.; ofiicial police as well. .Would'ybu give
me an introduction to him?" ; .
/ "I'll do ' better. I'll take you round
to him: myself." •
•VI should be immensely obliged to you.'.'
"We'll call a cab and go together./ We
shall just be In time to have a - little \u25a0
breakfast with him. Do you feel 1 : equal^
to; it?" ;.;; . ; . ;- : -\u0084 ;/
"Yes; I sliall not feel easy until I
have' told' my /story."
"Then my servant will call ; a . cab and
I- sliall with ;^you ./in :&n instapt" ; I
rushed .\u25a0« -upstairs,*, explained (the" matter
shortly to J my -.wife ' and lii \ Qve rmlnutes ;
was . Inside : a hansom, driving with* my
new accualntance : to , Baker' street.
Sherlock . Holmes - was, - as ':: I expected, ;
; lounging about his" sitting-room' In \u25a0*' his :
THE ADVENTURE OF THE
ENGINEER'S THUMB
dressing gown, reading th« ; iifony column
of I The Times and? smoking*: his bef oire- -
.breakfast pipe; which^wiuf composed | of
all the plugs : and laottels" lef t from 'his
smokes ,of the day 'b^forj , all carefully
dried and collected ; on the tjorner- of th«
mantel piece. :J He ( received 'us In lii»
quietly ? genial' fashion, ordered ; t resh
j rashers- and eggs; '. and v jo.lned ' iis/l|i. a.
; hearty ; njeal.;". ; 'W I ben' It .was concluded he
j'settledj; our ne^r acqualntince * upon *^he
sofa; . placed a? RlllbVl teeoeaUi_ " : -. * head
and laid ;a; glass of ; briindy ia»d' water
.within" his reach. '-"\ .;
I, "it is easy; to; see. your .experience has
been - no common " one, £ HatheJrley,"
said he. 7 "Pray lie down ttiere'aid mak«
yourself absolutely at horn*. Tell w wSat
you' can, J but stop when ; yon : iire . tired,
• and ". keep up your strength withi a Uttle
: stimulant." . ;
"Thank you," said ; my \u25a0 paiient, "but I
have : felt . like another / : . man //since t the
. doctor ! tari<jaged .me, Vapd^'l . think that ,
* : your breakfast has 'completed the cure,-
I shall take up ; as '; little of your valiiible ;
.:_ time ias possible, so I rsjWrt at 'once
ixppn my : peculiar , experiences.";' ". ;
"\u25a0 •'\u0084' Holmes ;• sat In bis ; blsr ; armchair h with /
•' the weary, heavy^ : lidde4^9xpreeslon; which j
veiled -his j keerirand eager nature, /while
I- sat opposite him, and 'Vet listened: in ;
silence' to the strange story which , our "
, visitor* detailed to 'us. -, , :
"You : must know," said .he, "that i. I
•.. am ah < orphan \ and ' a i bacheior, r residing;
alone In lodgings "in ! London. By M Prp; \u25a0
; f es?fon \u25a0 ', I V am Ta^hydra^lic engineer, : and ;
111 1 \ have had ; conslderabje .; experlerice '> of
my- work ; during \u25a0 the ! siven'jyears" that I
: was apprenticed ; to Venner i&l Matheson,
: the : well : knbwn firm ot '_Greenwicii; - Two
years .' ago, • having [ served ; my ;' time,; and ;
having \u25a0•^aiso come ; Into a " fair/; sum ;pf;
: . money > thr'ough^my poor father's dfeath; I ;
determined to ; start ; in * business ; fojr. iniy-;
self ,; arid ; took • professional /cnambens \u25a0, la?
Victotia street.
"i»«uppose vthat : every^ one ; finds his
first % Independent start*; in; b^uiljaeas a
/dreary; c^ : TS- 1 5?* Ii 1 i?^
• exceptionaHy|io. r £burt^|tw» lyekrs j 1
% have';' had ; threes coMultfttions^»&jone
'small" jobi and^ ;;thaVys^»j^wftft^ly V all
that my^
\u25a0. gross takings ; 'atnount|^|£27|losV-3 Eyf ' :
cry day, from 9 in the mornin* uutll 4
, : lix j^^fternboni| l]wal t^^^MUtti^i
d^n.V until at last" my > h'eart|!»i^n|to j
'".. sink.'^and [\u25a0\u25a0: I;'ca.me'' : ; to_v.- \u25a0b¥itßWj^th»tvt !
should ! ; never_ have (any. ; plr^tice/atla4L^
: \u25a0>'-;"Yesterday^h^weven^itsil^fraS^tWnk'^ins(otl;"Yesterday^h^weven^itsiI^fraS^tWnk
'^ins(otl leaving^ the' office,* my-; clerk eri-
THE. SAN V FRANCISCO SUNDAY CALL.
\u25a0-.\u25a0\u25a0--.*'.\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0-: -,;" : .^-:;. -.*.-.--.-.'\u25a0 . \u25a0- \u25a0\u25a0 \u25a0:-;\u25a0'•.- O~.»>V-' i ,i^.
. tered ; to say there was a ; Bentleman>
. waiting ."\u25a0 who wished :'_. tb r see %me upon
business. ' He . brought -up a card; l" too, "
with : ',the'--. panie T-'of 'Colonel "; Lysanders
':\u25a0 Stark*; eagraved upon/; It. ; Close \u25a0 at i his J
heels "came \ the * 'colonel ? himself,, a \u25a0 man '
; rather ; over the {middle : size, Ibut of ? an :
> exceeding;: thinness. : - i do <; not /think •
\ that Vl ? haye \ ever/ seen so -thin a \u25a0 man.';
His .whole \u25a0' face /sharpened :\u25a0 away % Into '
1 nose / and ; chin, and -the V skin of his
- cheeks \u25a0 was . drawn ' qu I te .' tense "over; his ;
•outstaudirig bones. "j:* : Yet : i thi_sf, : ;'emacia-j":
. tion .'seemed to be ; his natural habit, and /
- due" |,io i; nx» '-' diseaise^ for - his"/ eyej ;wis ;
;brJ ghC; his. step 'briskA and I his nbearingj
. assured.*:;' He was plainly, but ' neatly
dressed;'; arid his j ageV": I {'should.' judse. '.
would bo v nearer 40 than 30. .;\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0'\u25a0:\u25a0<•\u25a0.
r'/^/MrCt;; Haiheriey ;?p : said v herf/wlthV
•;sbmethhig \ of a" German '}.. accent.- ; 'You
have ; bgeh .- recommended to . hie, Mr,'
HatherleV, as being a" man who is not
vonlyjproflci^nt'ihjhis profession,; but iis;
also, discfeet and capable; ol !- preserving '
a secret.' ,4, 4
"I ; bowed, feeling a3 flattered as any
i.yo^s^fimnTwouid? sit suchj an; address. f
'May I ask who ." it was tliat gave "me so
. good i a character?' '• . \u25a0\u25a0,\u25a0\u25a0'. \u25a0:\u25a0:\u25a0\u25a0:-. .
"'Well, perhaps it: Is better , that I
should not tell you that Just at this
moment. I have-it from the sarn^i
source that you are both an orphan
and a bachelor, and are residing alone
in London.' ';\u25a0 ", r : 4
".'That is quite correct,' Z : answered^
•but you will < excuse mi If: I say that Z
cannot see now. all this bears upon my
professionar qualifications.;, Iv-under
stood ; that It \was : on a professional
matter- that. : you V wished, to speak to
me?';.,*-'- vi'V. \u25a0 ' V,' ;~V :
. " 'Undoubtedly: so:; Butyou: will find
that; all I ; say \u25a0 is : really to the porif. I
have-: a professional \ commission " for
you.,;but; absolute v secrecy is /quite es
sential— absolute; secrecy, : you under
stand/ and of course we may expect
that . more from a man who is alone
than I from one who lives In . the bosom
of .his family.' \u25a0_.; : . \u25a0 -
n ." 'If I promise to keep a secret.' said »I,
•you jtiay absolutely depend upon my do
inz. so.':.--. \u25a0. '\u25a0_; \u0084 '- *\u25a0;•*.'.... ;. \u25a0 '
•'He looked .very hard at me as I spoke,
end ' It seemed to me J that I had never
se<3n so i suspicious and questioning an
eye..-.- \u25a0 \u25a0-; 7 ../ ; - ; \u25a0- -\: :: : ' ]\V
""- 'Vo you promise, then?' said he, at
last. . <\u25a0:\u25a0 " \u25a0 .' \u25a0.
'•* *Yes, -I promise.' _
" 'Absolute ami complete, silence* before,
during," and after? No" reference to the
Ptter ' at all, either in word or writing?'
'.ft , hiiye lilready.glven you my word.'/
'good." He suddenly . sprang" up
I 'darting like lightning across the room
!he flung 'open 1 the door.^." The passage out
- side iwas; empty. ' V;; - :.
\u25a0.i,«" That's :. all '~ f right,' . said he, coming ;
: back.> 'l.knqw. that clerks; are sometimes
v curlous'as Ho their, master's affairs.*;, Now^
wej cap^talk s in safety.*.H e, r drew;up his
: chair ; very s - close ': to ' mine,*; and / began '\u25a0_ to \u25a0
i. stare fat \ nie "\u25a0: again \u25a0 with' the ; same ques- \u25a0
tioningjiand^thoughtf ill look. ;\u25a0:',; ;\u25a0,\u25a0\u25a0:\u25a0'"'-"; \u25a0 , \u25a0\u25a0:\u25a0'"'-"
]iP"A. Z feeling | of % repulsion ~and •! of r some-
I thing t akin <: to 1? f ear ..?; had ;ibegun % to . rise •
\u25a0 wlthto \mfe ; at \u25a0 the'atr^rige ' ahtl6» " of * this
• fleshless ! man. >Eyon ' iny/drf ad of ; lpsingj
a client^could not ! restrain me from show- -
'\u25a0 Inglmy! impatience.";:/ r :"V- :;""\u25a0•\u25a0 /''- v ' : ,; r '
\u25a0- " 'I beg; that i you [ will: state. your busi
ness, sir, osaid'0 said' I;^'rny*' time; ls^bf •,value.V'
Heaven ; forgive ine^for/that last jsentence. "
/but:the^wocds^cameito:rhy.llps'." ' : ,
/ *,"_ t f low] would* fifty guineas for a night's
/work*suit you?-- he asked. ** T
" 'MoatTadmlrably.*; ~ ; /; . ; ;
, /" *I ':S&yj a. night's .work. ; but ; ah ; hour's
wbuld?,be; nearer; the niark^ I /simply
iwant "/your; ;; opinion 1> about j; a*; hydraulic ;
/ stampingi machine).whlch '- lias "' got } out'\ of
gear; -j--;If iybu 'show* us'i'wtiat iis i *WTo"ngf t wej
shall soon set It; right 'barselves^WhatMo'
iybuilhlnklbf sucli:a;cbmmlsslon:as ; tb.kt?' r -
x'V|The kWork^Qpp^ars to' be light 'and the :
pay/ magiilficent .*".'.-'.' ';,.\u25a0'>. •, V'
r;c;",^Preclaeiy/sb.'|'.We ; shall ttvan t you to
/^omeltchnlght.by^UieilastUrain^; %" ; ' -
: rl*U Where ? to ?V >i : ; %"{•':^ ;?;\u25a0> \u25a0/ : *". : '\u25a0:\u25a0: \u25a0; *\u25a0 ' \u25a0- ; / 1.. :
:i ; •', ;T6j Eyf bra; iin T Berkshire:?; It; is : at Ut-^
I tie" pltic'e 1 near/ the riders ! of
ana* within .seven miles of Reading. There
Is a train from PaddJngton which will
'bring you* tberelat about U*ls. f v " ,
" 'Very good.' I^P*ǤS!hbSsJbl
. "'I; shall : come down In a carriage to
meet you.'-: "
" 'There is a drive, then?*
** /Yes, 1 . our little place Is quite : out in
the country. It Is a good seven miles from
Eyford- station.'
;"'Tfien we can hardly get there before
midnight. , I suppose there would be no
chance of a train back. I should be com
pelled to stop the night.' ,
" 'Yes; we could easily give you a
shakedown.' r< : ,
,;",'Tbat; Is very awkward. Cquld I not
come, at some more convenient hour?*
"./We have judged it best that you
should i come late. It \is~ to recompense
you for any inconvenience that we are
paying \u25a0to ; you.' *a " young and unknown
man, a fee which would buy an opinion
from the very heads of your profession.
Still, of course, if you would like to draw
out of ; the business- there is plenty of
time to do so." -
- "I thought of the 50 guineas and of how
very useful they "would be to me. 'Not. at
all,' said. l. 'I shall be very happy to ac
commodate , myself ' to your wishes. I
should MkeV however, to understand a lit
tle more clearly what It is that you wish
nietodo.'.; »'
V" 'Quite so. It is very natural that the
pledge of secrecy, which we have exacted
from you should have roused^ yourcurlos
lty.;/•!;• have' no • wish to commit ; yoii to
anjthing without* your having -It all : laW " !
before \ you. :? I , suppose that wa are abso
lutely, saf el from eavesdroppers?*
: \
1 V^Then ; the matter stand* thus. You
are probably \ aware f that " ; fuller's earth
ris> valuable' product, and that It is only
found in one or two places In England?*
•" 'I have heard so.* "
\u25a0\u25a0r\\% "Some ; little ' time ago I bought - a
small plßcerra >very small ptace-^-with
in ten: miles of ellc 1 1 was; f ortu-^
; hate ] enough ; to' discover that : there was
lit'deposlt.oI it'deposlt .of r fuller's -earth in ! one of my
> fields.% Onrexdmihing '.'-\u25a0 it,- however,"" l
i found that-. this 'deposit was : a very
; I??.? 1 ] •' 9 P e - ; a Sd : that ? it \ formed ' a link
betSyeen : two '; very i much : larger ones
up^n I the ; right ' and \ lef t-^bbth of them,^
h9h 9 w .* vc ' r «'-.** l;l ;t h Q .krbunds "of I my:nelgh
;b*ors.V .Tnese" r good "people were abso- :
lutelyj Ignorant^ that their " land con
ltallied jthatlwhJch T was , quite : aa valu
fabl^'asia'golil jniihe."^ Naturally," it iwas
ito^tny. Intcrest T totbuy^thelr!land before
" th.eyjdi^coyered lts.true value;-but;-un
_ f orturia,tely;:;l : had? no 'capital* by ' which i
IJ could "do this:/ I : took ;a' few \ of . my
? friends .into , thb secret, I however," and
they /suggested .that^we" should "quietly
V secretly ""work (our fown HltUe* de- v
t- poslt.7 and It hat 1 in ?. this ..^We should :
I earn] thei moneys which" /tould enable: iis '
..This W« ;
C nav< ? K»ow3 been**idoing- f for ;*sbme^ time.
< and in ; brder.^ to ; help ; us^ in our "opera- •
I tie ns "; wf /erected" a : hydraulic 7% press.
; This rpress," as I have already eiplained,
v ha 3. got out of border, and iwe-wlsli^ your
advice; upon /the subject.' We' "g^iard
our secret very jealously, howaver. vi
if It once became known that we had
hydraulic engineers coming to our lit
tle house. It would soon rouse Inquiry,
and "then, If the facts cam* out. It
would be good-by to any chance ot get
ting these fields and carrying out our
plans. That is why I have mad* you
promise me that you will not tell a hu
man being that you. are going to -Ey
ford to-night. I hape that I make It
all plain?' _ _.
•.•••l -Quite follow you.' said I. -ma
only point which I could not quite un
derstand was what use you could mak»
of a hydraulic press in excavating: iul
ler*s-earth, which, as T understand. I»
dug out like gravel from a pit.' j
- 'Ah r said he. carelessly. *w« ha.T«(
our own process. We compress tnfi^j
earth into bricks, so as to remora
them without revealing 1 what they are.
But that Is a mere detail. I have tak
en you fully into my confidence .now.
Mr. Hatherley. and I have shown N you
how I trust you. Then, at Eyf ord at
11:15/ . -
" 'I shall certainly be there.*
" "And not a word to a souL* He
looked -at me with a last, . long. Ques
tioning gaze, and then, pressing s>7
hand In a cold, dank grasp, ha hurried
from the room.
"Well, when I cams to think it all' over
In cool blood I was very much astonished,
as you may both think, at this sudden
commission which bad been intrusted to
me. On the one hand, of course, I was*
glad, for the fee was at least tenfold
what Z should have asked had I set a
price upon my own services, and - it : was
possible that this order might lead to .
other one?. - On the other- hand the face
and manner ot my patron had made an
unpleasant Impression upon me. and I
could not think that his explanation of the*
fuller's earth was sufficient to explain
the necessity for my coming at midnight, *
and his extreme anxiety lest I should tell
any one of my errand. However. I threw
all fears to the winds, ata a hearty sup
per, drove to Paddlngton and started off.
having obeyed to the letter the- injunc
tion as to holding my tongue!. ,
"At Reading I had to change not only •
my carriage, but my station. However.
I was in time for the last train to Eyf ord,
and I reached the little dim-lit station
after II o'clock. I was tho only passes-^*
ger.who got out there, and there was no'
one upon the> platform save a slngrls
sleepy porter with a lantern. As I passed
; out through the wicket gate, however. I
found my acquaintance of the morning
waiting in the shadow upon the other
side. Without a word he grasped my arm '
and hurried me into a carriage, the door
of which , was standing open. He drew
up the windows on either side, tapped on
\he woodwork, and away we went as fast
as the hor so could go."
"One horse?" Interjected Holmes.
"Yes, only one."
"Did you observe the color?"
"Yes. I saw It by the side-lights when
Z was stepping into the carriage. It was
a chestnut."
"Tlred-looklnr or fresh T"
"Oh. fresh and glossy."
"Thank you. I am sorry to have inter
rupted you. Pray continue 'your most
intsrestlnz statement." \u25a0* . . >r",^!f
"Away -we 'went then, drove
for at least an hour; ' Colonel Lyaander
Btark had said that it was only seven
miles, but I should think, from the rate
that we' seemed to go, and from the
tima that -we took, that It must have
been nearer twelve. Ho sat at my side *
In silence- all the time, and I was aware,
more than once, .when I ' glanced In his
direction, that he was looking at me
with great Intensity. The country roads \u2666
seem to be not very good in that part
of the world, for we lurched and jolted
terribly. I tried to look out of the win
dows to see something of where we were.
but they were made of frosted glass, and •
I could make out nothing save the occ»--,>*
Blonal bright blur of a ? passing light. V,
Now and then I hazarded somo remark
to break the monotony : of the journey,
but the colonel answered only in mono
syllables and . the conversation soon
flagged. At last. \u25a0 However, the* bumpinc
of the road was exchanged for the crisp
smoothness qf a gravel 'drive, and the
carriage, came to a stand. Colonel Ly
sander Stark sprang -out. and, aa 1 fol
lowed after him. pulled me- swiftly into
a porch which gaped in front ot us. We
stepped, as it were, right out of the.
carriage and Into ' the hall, so that Z
failed to catch ' the most fleeting glance
of ..the front of the nous*. The Instant
that I had crossed the threshold th« door
slammed heavily behind us and I heard
faintly the rattle of tha " wheels aa th« *
carriage drove away.
"It ; was pitch dark msid» the sous*
and the s colonel fumbled about ; looking
for matches and muttering under his
breath. Suddenly a door, opened at the.
; other end of the passage* and ' a long*
golden bar of light shot out In our di
rection. It grew broader and" a woman
appeared with a lamp in her hand, which,
she held above her head, pushing her
face forward and peering at us. - z coula
see that she was : pretty, and from th«
gloss with which the light shoaa upon
her dark dress I knew that it was a
ridh material. " She ; spoke ; a' few words
in a foreign tongue in a \ tone as though
asking a question, and when my compan
ion answered in a gruff monosyllable she
gave each a start that the, lamp nearly A
fell from her hand. Colonel : Stark went
up to her, whispered something in her
ear, and then, pushing her back Into the
room whence she had. come, he 'walked '
toward me again with the ' lamp, in his
hand. BpH
Jrou will have the kindness"
to wait in this room for a few minutes •
.said he, throwing open "another door It
was a quiet, little, plainly furnished room
with^ a round In the center, on
which several German books were scat
tered Colonel Stark laid down the lamp
on the top of a harmonium • beside ' tho
door. I shall. not keep you/walthur an
Instant,' said he. ; and vanished * into the -
darkness. *"•"„,
* v? " : ?lanc«d at the . books upon the
£2™ n R f lU ? pite :°* ** Ignorance-o? '
- German. l could see that two of them
were treatises- on science, the -other?
polked: across to the window." hoping
that I might catch some glimpse of thf
countryside, but an oak shutter? heavily
; was fold«d ; across It. It w«
a wonderf ully silent houses I There ira
an old clock ticking -loudly somewhere"
in the, passage, but: other wise^ every
mf O 'i 7 u v nea3 *«es«v began.: to; steal . over
me \Who : were* these; German : people
and what^were • they Sdoing. living**
this strange, out-oc-the-way .place'
Ana^where-was the. place? i-i: was tin
miles or,; so from^ Eyford, that' Wall*
t , ne 3'' but > whether north, east or wesit
1 .. had , no idea: \ For matter. 8 Read-
lng..and,po93ibly-oth«;rj.-irsa towns
- -w ere jwlthiu : that radius. sk> r th^ place
ntight not; be so" secluded after aiL.Yet
; U iwasTqulte' certain, fromtthefabsolute .^
'that- we wer« ; in , the"' country" v
I paced up and i down the room.' hum
. mlns a tune under myibreata to keen
up my spiriw. acid feelln* that X was

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