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Sherlock Holmes 1st book, pdf format, by A.C.DoyleAfter returning from Afghanistan, Dr. Watson meets Sherlock Holmes, they decide to go living together in Baker Street and Watson will fascinated from his friend's particular job and abilities very soon...If you're searching for the 9th and last Sherlock book, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, you can read it here: http://www.readsherlock.com/case-book.php 8 for some reason, I can't upload the file here...). Go and read it! there's The Sussex Vampire... :)

Transcript of A Study in Scarlet - Arthur Conan Doyle

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A Study in ScarletArthur Conan Doyle

Published: 1887Categorie(s): Fiction, Mystery & DetectiveSource: Wikisource

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About Doyle:Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, DL

(22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was aScottish author most noted for his storiesabout the detective Sherlock Holmes,which are generally considered a majorinnovation in the field of crime fiction,and the adventures of ProfessorChallenger. He was a prolific writerwhose other works include sciencefiction stories, historical novels, playsand romances, poetry, and non-fiction.Conan was originally a given name, butDoyle used it as part of his surname inhis later years. Source: Wikipedia

Also available on Feedbooks Doyle:

The Adventures of Sherlock

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Holmes (1892)The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes(1923)The Return of Sherlock Holmes(1905)The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes(1893)The Hound of the Baskervilles(1902)The Sign of the Four (1890)The Lost World (1912)His Last Bow (1917)The Valley of Fear (1915)The Disintegration Machine(1928)

Copyright: This work is available forcountries where copyright is Life+70

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and in the USA.

Note: This book is brought to you byFeedbookshttp://www.feedbooks.comStrictly for personal use, do not use thisfile for commercial purposes.

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Part 1Study in Scarlet

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1ChapterMr. Sherlock HolmesIn the year 1878 I took my degree ofDoctor of Medicine of the University ofLondon, and proceeded to Netley to gothrough the course prescribed forsurgeons in the army. Having completedmy studies there, I was duly attached tothe Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers asAssistant Surgeon. The regiment wasstationed in India at the time, and before

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I could join it, the second Afghan warhad broken out. On landing at Bombay, Ilearned that my corps had advancedthrough the passes, and was alreadydeep in the enemy's country. I followed,however, with many other officers whowere in the same situation as myself, andsucceeded in reaching Candahar insafety, where I found my regiment, and atonce entered upon my new duties.

The campaign brought honours andpromotion to many, but for me it hadnothing but misfortune and disaster. Iwas removed from my brigade andattached to the Berkshires, with whom Iserved at the fatal battle of Maiwand.There I was struck on the shoulder by aJezail bullet, which shattered the bone

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and grazed the subclavian artery. Ishould have fallen into the hands of themurderous Ghazis had it not been for thedevotion and courage shown by Murray,my orderly, who threw me across apack-horse, and succeeded in bringingme safely to the British lines.

Worn with pain, and weak from theprolonged hardships which I hadundergone, I was removed, with a greattrain of wounded sufferers, to the basehospital at Peshawar. Here I rallied, andhad already improved so far as to beable to walk about the wards, and evento bask a little upon the verandah, when Iwas struck down by enteric fever, thatcurse of our Indian possessions. Formonths my life was despaired of, and

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when at last I came to myself andbecame convalescent, I was so weak andemaciated that a medical boarddetermined that not a day should be lostin sending me back to England. I wasdispatched, accordingly, in the troopship"Orontes," and landed a month later onPortsmouth jetty, with my healthirretrievably ruined, but with permissionfrom a paternal government to spend thenext nine months in attempting toimprove it.

I had neither kith nor kin in England,and was therefore as free as air — or asfree as an income of eleven shillings andsixpence a day will permit a man to be.Under such circumstances, I naturallygravitated to London, that great cesspool

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into which all the loungers and idlers ofthe Empire are irresistibly drained.There I stayed for some time at a privatehotel in the Strand, leading acomfortless, meaningless existence, andspending such money as I had,considerably more freely than I ought.So alarming did the state of my financesbecome, that I soon realized that I musteither leave the metropolis and rusticatesomewhere in the country, or that I mustmake a complete alteration in my style ofliving. Choosing the latter alternative, Ibegan by making up my mind to leave thehotel, and to take up my quarters in someless pretentious and less expensivedomicile.

On the very day that I had come to this

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conclusion, I was standing at theCriterion Bar, when some one tapped meon the shoulder, and turning round Irecognized young Stamford, who hadbeen a dresser under me at Barts. Thesight of a friendly face in the greatwilderness of London is a pleasant thingindeed to a lonely man. In old daysStamford had never been a particularcrony of mine, but now I hailed him withenthusiasm, and he, in his turn, appearedto be delighted to see me. In theexuberance of my joy, I asked him tolunch with me at the Holborn, and westarted off together in a hansom.

"Whatever have you been doing withyourself, Watson?" he asked inundisguised wonder, as we rattled

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through the crowded London streets."You are as thin as a lath and as brownas a nut."

I gave him a short sketch of myadventures, and had hardly concluded itby the time that we reached ourdestination.

"Poor devil!" he said,commiseratingly, after he had listened tomy misfortunes. "What are you up tonow?"

"Looking for lodgings," I answered."Trying to solve the problem as towhether it is possible to get comfortablerooms at a reasonable price."

"That's a strange thing," remarked mycompanion; "you are the second man to-day that has used that expression to me."

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"And who was the first?" I asked."A fellow who is working at the

chemical laboratory up at the hospital.He was bemoaning himself this morningbecause he could not get someone to gohalves with him in some nice roomswhich he had found, and which were toomuch for his purse."

"By Jove!" I cried, "if he really wantssomeone to share the rooms and theexpense, I am the very man for him. Ishould prefer having a partner to beingalone."

Young Stamford looked ratherstrangely at me over his wine-glass."You don't know Sherlock Holmes yet,"he said; "perhaps you would not care forhim as a constant companion."

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"Why, what is there against him?""Oh, I didn't say there was anything

against him. He is a little queer in hisideas — an enthusiast in some branchesof science. As far as I know he is adecent fellow enough."

"A medical student, I suppose?" saidI.

"No — I have no idea what he intendsto go in for. I believe he is well up inanatomy, and he is a first-class chemist;but, as far as I know, he has never takenout any systematic medical classes. Hisstudies are very desultory and eccentric,but he has amassed a lot of out-of-theway knowledge which would astonishhis professors."

"Did you never ask him what he was

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going in for?" I asked."No; he is not a man that it is easy to

draw out, though he can becommunicative enough when the fancyseizes him."

"I should like to meet him," I said. "IfI am to lodge with anyone, I shouldprefer a man of studious and quiethabits. I am not strong enough yet tostand much noise or excitement. I hadenough of both in Afghanistan to last mefor the remainder of my naturalexistence. How could I meet this friendof yours?"

"He is sure to be at the laboratory,"returned my companion. "He eitheravoids the place for weeks, or else heworks there from morning to night. If you

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like, we shall drive round together afterluncheon."

"Certainly," I answered, and theconversation drifted away into otherchannels.

As we made our way to the hospitalafter leaving the Holborn, Stamford gaveme a few more particulars about thegentleman whom I proposed to take as afellow-lodger.

"You mustn't blame me if you don't geton with him," he said; "I know nothingmore of him than I have learned frommeeting him occasionally in thelaboratory. You proposed thisarrangement, so you must not hold meresponsible."

"If we don't get on it will be easy to

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part company," I answered. "It seems tome, Stamford," I added, looking hard atmy companion, "that you have somereason for washing your hands of thematter. Is this fellow's temper soformidable, or what is it? Don't bemealy-mouthed about it."

"It is not easy to express theinexpressible," he answered with alaugh. "Holmes is a little too scientificfor my tastes — it approaches to cold-bloodedness. I could imagine his givinga friend a little pinch of the latestvegetable alkaloid, not out ofmalevolence, you understand, but simplyout of a spirit of inquiry in order to havean accurate idea of the effects. To dohim justice, I think that he would take it

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himself with the same readiness. Heappears to have a passion for definiteand exact knowledge."

"Very right too.""Yes, but it may be pushed to excess.

When it comes to beating the subjects inthe dissecting-rooms with a stick, it iscertainly taking rather a bizarre shape."

"Beating the subjects!""Yes, to verify how far bruises may

be produced after death. I saw him at itwith my own eyes."

"And yet you say he is not a medicalstudent?"

"No. Heaven knows what the objectsof his studies are. But here we are, andyou must form your own impressionsabout him." As he spoke, we turned

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down a narrow lane and passed througha small side-door, which opened into awing of the great hospital. It wasfamiliar ground to me, and I needed noguiding as we ascended the bleak stonestaircase and made our way down thelong corridor with its vista ofwhitewashed wall and dun-coloureddoors. Near the further end a low archedpassage branched away from it and ledto the chemical laboratory.

This was a lofty chamber, lined andlittered with countless bottles. Broad,low tables were scattered about, whichbristled with retorts, test-tubes, and littleBunsen lamps, with their blue flickeringflames. There was only one student inthe room, who was bending over a

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distant table absorbed in his work. Atthe sound of our steps he glanced roundand sprang to his feet with a cry ofpleasure. "I've found it! I've found it," heshouted to my companion, runningtowards us with a test-tube in his hand."I have found a re-agent which isprecipitated by hoemoglobin, and bynothing else." Had he discovered a goldmine, greater delight could not haveshone upon his features.

"Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,"said Stamford, introducing us.

"How are you?" he said cordially,gripping my hand with a strength forwhich I should hardly have given himcredit. "You have been in Afghanistan, Iperceive."

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"How on earth did you know that?" Iasked in astonishment.

"Never mind," said he, chuckling tohimself. "The question now is abouthæmoglobin. No doubt you see thesignificance of this discovery of mine?"

"It is interesting, chemically, nodoubt," I answered, "but practically —"

"Why, man, it is the most practicalmedico-legal discovery for years. Don'tyou see that it gives us an infallible testfor blood stains. Come over here now!"He seized me by the coat-sleeve in hiseagerness, and drew me over to the tableat which he had been working. "Let ushave some fresh blood," he said, digginga long bodkin into his finger, anddrawing off the resulting drop of blood

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in a chemical pipette. "Now, I add thissmall quantity of blood to a litre ofwater. You perceive that the resultingmixture has the appearance of purewater. The proportion of blood cannotbe more than one in a million. I have nodoubt, however, that we shall be able toobtain the characteristic reaction." As hespoke, he threw into the vessel a fewwhite crystals, and then added somedrops of a transparent fluid. In an instantthe contents assumed a dull mahoganycolour, and a brownish dust wasprecipitated to the bottom of the glassjar.

"Ha! ha!" he cried, clapping hishands, and looking as delighted as achild with a new toy. "What do you think

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of that?""It seems to be a very delicate test," I

remarked."Beautiful! beautiful! The old

Guiacum test was very clumsy anduncertain. So is the microscopicexamination for blood corpuscles. Thelatter is valueless if the stains are a fewhours old. Now, this appears to act aswell whether the blood is old or new.Had this test been invented, there arehundreds of men now walking the earthwho would long ago have paid thepenalty of their crimes."

"Indeed!" I murmured."Criminal cases are continually

hinging upon that one point. A man issuspected of a crime months perhaps

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after it has been committed. His linen orclothes are examined, and brownishstains discovered upon them. Are theyblood stains, or mud stains, or ruststains, or fruit stains, or what are they?That is a question which has puzzledmany an expert, and why? Because therewas no reliable test. Now we have theSherlock Holmes' test, and there will nolonger be any difficulty."

His eyes fairly glittered as he spoke,and he put his hand over his heart andbowed as if to some applauding crowdconjured up by his imagination.

"You are to be congratulated," Iremarked, considerably surprised at hisenthusiasm.

"There was the case of von Bischoff

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at Frankfort last year. He wouldcertainly have been hung had this testbeen in existence. Then there was Masonof Bradford, and the notorious Muller,and Lefevre of Montpellier, and Samsonof new Orleans. I could name a score ofcases in which it would have beendecisive."

"You seem to be a walking calendarof crime," said Stamford with a laugh."You might start a paper on those lines.Call it the 'Police News of the Past.'"

"Very interesting reading it might bemade, too," remarked Sherlock Holmes,sticking a small piece of plaster over theprick on his finger. "I have to becareful," he continued, turning to mewith a smile, "for I dabble with poisons

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a good deal." He held out his hand as hespoke, and I noticed that it was allmottled over with similar pieces ofplaster, and discoloured with strongacids.

"We came here on business," saidStamford, sitting down on a high three-legged stool, and pushing another one inmy direction with his foot. "My friendhere wants to take diggings, and as youwere complaining that you could get noone to go halves with you, I thought that Ihad better bring you together."

Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted atthe idea of sharing his rooms with me. "Ihave my eye on a suite in Baker Street,"he said, "which would suit us down tothe ground. You don't mind the smell of

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strong tobacco, I hope?""I always smoke 'ship's' myself," I

answered."That's good enough. I generally have

chemicals about, and occasionally doexperiments. Would that annoy you?"

"By no means.""Let me see — what are my other

shortcomings. I get in the dumps at times,and don't open my mouth for days onend. You must not think I am sulky whenI do that. Just let me alone, and I'll soonbe right. What have you to confess now?It's just as well for two fellows to knowthe worst of one another before theybegin to live together."

I laughed at this cross-examination. "Ikeep a bull pup," I said, "and I object to

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rows because my nerves are shaken, andI get up at all sorts of ungodly hours, andI am extremely lazy. I have another set ofvices when I'm well, but those are theprincipal ones at present."

"Do you include violin-playing inyour category of rows?" he asked,anxiously.

"It depends on the player," Ianswered. "A well-played violin is atreat for the gods — a badly-played one—"

"Oh, that's all right," he cried, with amerry laugh. "I think we may considerthe thing as settled — that is, if therooms are agreeable to you."

"When shall we see them?""Call for me here at noon to-morrow,

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and we'll go together and settleeverything," he answered.

"All right — noon exactly," said I,shaking his hand.

We left him working among hischemicals, and we walked togethertowards my hotel.

"By the way," I asked suddenly,stopping and turning upon Stamford,"how the deuce did he know that I hadcome from Afghanistan?"

My companion smiled an enigmaticalsmile. "That's just his little peculiarity,"he said. "A good many people havewanted to know how he finds thingsout."

"Oh! a mystery is it?" I cried, rubbingmy hands. "This is very piquant. I am

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much obliged to you for bringing ustogether. 'The proper study of mankind isman,' you know."

"You must study him, then," Stamfordsaid, as he bade me good-bye. "You'llfind him a knotty problem, though. I'llwager he learns more about you than youabout him. Good-bye."

"Good-bye," I answered, and strolledon to my hotel, considerably interestedin my new acquaintance.

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2ChapterThe Science ofDeductionWe met next day as he had arranged, andinspected the rooms at No. 221B, BakerStreet, of which he had spoken at ourmeeting. They consisted of a couple ofcomfortable bed-rooms and a singlelarge airy sitting-room, cheerfullyfurnished, and illuminated by two broad

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windows. So desirable in every waywere the apartments, and so moderatedid the terms seem when dividedbetween us, that the bargain wasconcluded upon the spot, and we at onceentered into possession. That veryevening I moved my things round fromthe hotel, and on the following morningSherlock Holmes followed me withseveral boxes and portmanteaus. For aday or two we were busily employed inunpacking and laying out our property tothe best advantage. That done, wegradually began to settle down and toaccommodate ourselves to our newsurroundings.

Holmes was certainly not a difficultman to live with. He was quiet in his

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ways, and his habits were regular. It wasrare for him to be up after ten at night,and he had invariably breakfasted andgone out before I rose in the morning.Sometimes he spent his day at thechemical laboratory, sometimes in thedissecting-rooms, and occasionally inlong walks, which appeared to take himinto the lowest portions of the City.Nothing could exceed his energy whenthe working fit was upon him; but nowand again a reaction would seize him,and for days on end he would lie uponthe sofa in the sitting-room, hardlyuttering a word or moving a muscle frommorning to night. On these occasions Ihave noticed such a dreamy, vacantexpression in his eyes, that I might have

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suspected him of being addicted to theuse of some narcotic, had not thetemperance and cleanliness of his wholelife forbidden such a notion.

As the weeks went by, my interest inhim and my curiosity as to his aims inlife, gradually deepened and increased.His very person and appearance weresuch as to strike the attention of the mostcasual observer. In height he was ratherover six feet, and so excessively leanthat he seemed to be considerably taller.His eyes were sharp and piercing, saveduring those intervals of torpor to whichI have alluded; and his thin, hawk-likenose gave his whole expression an air ofalertness and decision. His chin, too,had the prominence and squareness

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which mark the man of determination.His hands were invariably blotted withink and stained with chemicals, yet hewas possessed of extraordinary delicacyof touch, as I frequently had occasion toobserve when I watched himmanipulating his fragile philosophicalinstruments.

The reader may set me down as ahopeless busybody, when I confess howmuch this man stimulated my curiosity,and how often I endeavoured to breakthrough the reticence which he showedon all that concerned himself. Beforepronouncing judgment, however, be itremembered, how objectless was mylife, and how little there was to engagemy attention. My health forbade me from

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venturing out unless the weather wasexceptionally genial, and I had nofriends who would call upon me andbreak the monotony of my dailyexistence. Under these circumstances, Ieagerly hailed the little mystery whichhung around my companion, and spentmuch of my time in endeavouring tounravel it.

He was not studying medicine. He hadhimself, in reply to a question,confirmed Stamford's opinion upon thatpoint. Neither did he appear to havepursued any course of reading whichmight fit him for a degree in science orany other recognized portal which wouldgive him an entrance into the learnedworld. Yet his zeal for certain studies

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was remarkable, and within eccentriclimits his knowledge was soextraordinarily ample and minute that hisobservations have fairly astounded me.Surely no man would work so hard orattain such precise information unless hehad some definite end in view.Desultory readers are seldomremarkable for the exactness of theirlearning. No man burdens his mind withsmall matters unless he has some verygood reason for doing so.

His ignorance was as remarkable ashis knowledge. Of contemporaryliterature, philosophy and politics heappeared to know next to nothing. Uponmy quoting Thomas Carlyle, he inquiredin the naivest way who he might be and

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what he had done. My surprise reached aclimax, however, when I foundincidentally that he was ignorant of theCopernican Theory and of thecomposition of the Solar System. Thatany civilized human being in thisnineteenth century should not be awarethat the earth travelled round the sunappeared to be to me such anextraordinary fact that I could hardlyrealize it.

"You appear to be astonished," hesaid, smiling at my expression ofsurprise. "Now that I do know it I shalldo my best to forget it."

"To forget it!""You see," he explained, "I consider

that a man's brain originally is like a

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little empty attic, and you have to stock itwith such furniture as you choose. A fooltakes in all the lumber of every sort thathe comes across, so that the knowledgewhich might be useful to him getscrowded out, or at best is jumbled upwith a lot of other things so that he has adifficulty in laying his hands upon it.Now the skilful workman is very carefulindeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the toolswhich may help him in doing his work,but of these he has a large assortment,and all in the most perfect order. It is amistake to think that that little room haselastic walls and can distend to anyextent. Depend upon it there comes atime when for every addition of

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knowledge you forget something that youknew before. It is of the highestimportance, therefore, not to haveuseless facts elbowing out the usefulones."

"But the Solar System!" I protested."What the deuce is it to me?" he

interrupted impatiently; "you say that wego round the sun. If we went round themoon it would not make a pennyworth ofdifference to me or to my work."

I was on the point of asking him whatthat work might be, but something in hismanner showed me that the questionwould be an unwelcome one. I ponderedover our short conversation, however,and endeavoured to draw my deductionsfrom it. He said that he would acquire no

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knowledge which did not bear upon hisobject. Therefore all the knowledgewhich he possessed was such as wouldbe useful to him. I enumerated in my ownmind all the various points upon whichhe had shown me that he wasexceptionally well-informed. I even tooka pencil and jotted them down. I couldnot help smiling at the document when Ihad completed it. It ran in this way —

SHERLOCK HOLMES — his limits.1. Knowledge of Literature. — Nil.2. Philosophy. — Nil.3. Astronomy. — Nil.4. Politics. — Feeble.5. Botany. — Variable. Well up in

belladonna, opium, and poisonsgenerally. Knows nothing of practical

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gardening.6. Geology. — Practical, but limited.

Tells at a glance different soils fromeach other. After walks has shown mesplashes upon his trousers, and told meby their colour and consistence in whatpart of London he had received them.

7. Chemistry. — Profound.8. Anatomy. — Accurate, but

unsystematic.9. Sensational Literature. — Immense.

He appears to know every detail ofevery horror perpetrated in the century.

10. Plays the violin well.11. Is an expert singlestick player,

boxer, and swordsman.12. Has a good practical knowledge

of British law.

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When I had got so far in my list Ithrew it into the fire in despair. "If I canonly find what the fellow is driving at byreconciling all these accomplishments,and discovering a calling which needsthem all," I said to myself, "I may aswell give up the attempt at once."

I see that I have alluded above to hispowers upon the violin. These werevery remarkable, but as eccentric as allhis other accomplishments. That hecould play pieces, and difficult pieces, Iknew well, because at my request he hasplayed me some of Mendelssohn'sLieder, and other favourites. When leftto himself, however, he would seldomproduce any music or attempt anyrecognized air. Leaning back in his arm-

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chair of an evening, he would close hiseyes and scrape carelessly at the fiddlewhich was thrown across his knee.Sometimes the chords were sonorousand melancholy. Occasionally they werefantastic and cheerful. Clearly theyreflected the thoughts which possessedhim, but whether the music aided thosethoughts, or whether the playing wassimply the result of a whim or fancy wasmore than I could determine. I mighthave rebelled against these exasperatingsolos had it not been that he usuallyterminated them by playing in quicksuccession a whole series of myfavourite airs as a slight compensationfor the trial upon my patience.

During the first week or so we had no

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callers, and I had begun to think that mycompanion was as friendless a man as Iwas myself. Presently, however, I foundthat he had many acquaintances, andthose in the most different classes ofsociety. There was one little sallow rat-faced, dark-eyed fellow who wasintroduced to me as Mr. Lestrade, andwho came three or four times in a singleweek. One morning a young girl called,fashionably dressed, and stayed for halfan hour or more. The same afternoonbrought a grey-headed, seedy visitor,looking like a Jew pedlar, who appearedto me to be much excited, and who wasclosely followed by a slip-shod elderlywoman. On another occasion an oldwhite-haired gentleman had an interview

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with my companion; and on another arailway porter in his velveteen uniform.When any of these nondescriptindividuals put in an appearance,Sherlock Holmes used to beg for the useof the sitting-room, and I would retire tomy bed-room. He always apologized tome for putting me to this inconvenience."I have to use this room as a place ofbusiness," he said, "and these people aremy clients." Again I had an opportunityof asking him a point blank question, andagain my delicacy prevented me fromforcing another man to confide in me. Iimagined at the time that he had somestrong reason for not alluding to it, buthe soon dispelled the idea by cominground to the subject of his own accord.

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It was upon the 4th of March, as Ihave good reason to remember, that Irose somewhat earlier than usual, andfound that Sherlock Holmes had not yetfinished his breakfast. The landlady hadbecome so accustomed to my late habitsthat my place had not been laid nor mycoffee prepared. With the unreasonablepetulance of mankind I rang the bell andgave a curt intimation that I was ready.Then I picked up a magazine from thetable and attempted to while away thetime with it, while my companionmunched silently at his toast. One of thearticles had a pencil mark at the heading,and I naturally began to run my eyethrough it.

Its somewhat ambitious title was "The

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Book of Life," and it attempted to showhow much an observant man might learnby an accurate and systematicexamination of all that came in his way.It struck me as being a remarkablemixture of shrewdness and of absurdity.The reasoning was close and intense, butthe deductions appeared to me to be far-fetched and exaggerated. The writerclaimed by a momentary expression, atwitch of a muscle or a glance of an eye,to fathom a man's inmost thoughts.Deceit, according to him, was animpossibility in the case of one trainedto observation and analysis. Hisconclusions were as infallible as somany propositions of Euclid. So startlingwould his results appear to the

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uninitiated that until they learned theprocesses by which he had arrived atthem they might well consider him as anecromancer.

"From a drop of water," said thewriter, "a logician could infer thepossibility of an Atlantic or a Niagarawithout having seen or heard of one orthe other. So all life is a great chain, thenature of which is known whenever weare shown a single link of it. Like allother arts, the Science of Deduction andAnalysis is one which can only beacquired by long and patient study nor islife long enough to allow any mortal toattain the highest possible perfection init. Before turning to those moral andmental aspects of the matter which

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present the greatest difficulties, let theenquirer begin by mastering moreelementary problems. Let him, onmeeting a fellow-mortal, learn at aglance to distinguish the history of theman, and the trade or profession towhich he belongs. Puerile as such anexercise may seem, it sharpens thefaculties of observation, and teaches onewhere to look and what to look for. By aman's finger nails, by his coat-sleeve, byhis boot, by his trouser knees, by thecallosities of his forefinger and thumb,by his expression, by his shirt cuffs —by each of these things a man's calling isplainly revealed. That all united shouldfail to enlighten the competent enquirerin any case is almost inconceivable."

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"What ineffable twaddle!" I cried,slapping the magazine down on the table,"I never read such rubbish in my life."

"What is it?" asked Sherlock Holmes."Why, this article," I said, pointing at

it with my egg spoon as I sat down to mybreakfast. "I see that you have read itsince you have marked it. I don't denythat it is smartly written. It irritates methough. It is evidently the theory of somearm-chair lounger who evolves all theseneat little paradoxes in the seclusion ofhis own study. It is not practical. Ishould like to see him clapped down in athird class carriage on the Underground,and asked to give the trades of all hisfellow-travellers. I would lay a thousandto one against him."

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"You would lose your money,"Sherlock Holmes remarked calmly. "Asfor the article I wrote it myself."

"You!""Yes, I have a turn both for

observation and for deduction. Thetheories which I have expressed there,and which appear to you to be sochimerical are really extremely practical— so practical that I depend upon themfor my bread and cheese."

"And how?" I asked involuntarily."Well, I have a trade of my own. I

suppose I am the only one in the world.I'm a consulting detective, if you canunderstand what that is. Here in Londonwe have lots of Government detectivesand lots of private ones. When these

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fellows are at fault they come to me, andI manage to put them on the right scent.They lay all the evidence before me, andI am generally able, by the help of myknowledge of the history of crime, to setthem straight. There is a strong familyresemblance about misdeeds, and if youhave all the details of a thousand at yourfinger ends, it is odd if you can't unravelthe thousand and first. Lestrade is awell-known detective. He got himselfinto a fog recently over a forgery case,and that was what brought him here."

"And these other people?""They are mostly sent on by private

inquiry agencies. They are all peoplewho are in trouble about something, andwant a little enlightening. I listen to their

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story, they listen to my comments, andthen I pocket my fee."

"But do you mean to say," I said, "thatwithout leaving your room you canunravel some knot which other men canmake nothing of, although they have seenevery detail for themselves?"

"Quite so. I have a kind of intuitionthat way. Now and again a case turns upwhich is a little more complex. Then Ihave to bustle about and see things withmy own eyes. You see I have a lot ofspecial knowledge which I apply to theproblem, and which facilitates matterswonderfully. Those rules of deductionlaid down in that article which arousedyour scorn, are invaluable to me inpractical work. Observation with me is

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second nature. You appeared to besurprised when I told you, on our firstmeeting, that you had come fromAfghanistan."

"You were told, no doubt.""Nothing of the sort. I knew you came

from Afghanistan. From long habit thetrain of thoughts ran so swiftly throughmy mind, that I arrived at the conclusionwithout being conscious of intermediatesteps. There were such steps, however.The train of reasoning ran, 'Here is agentleman of a medical type, but with theair of a military man. Clearly an armydoctor, then. He has just come from thetropics, for his face is dark, and that isnot the natural tint of his skin, for hiswrists are fair. He has undergone

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hardship and sickness, as his haggardface says clearly. His left arm has beeninjured. He holds it in a stiff andunnatural manner. Where in the tropicscould an English army doctor have seenmuch hardship and got his armwounded? Clearly in Afghanistan.' Thewhole train of thought did not occupy asecond. I then remarked that you camefrom Afghanistan, and you wereastonished."

"It is simple enough as you explain it,"I said, smiling. "You remind me ofEdgar Allen Poe's Dupin. I had no ideathat such individuals did exist outside ofstories."

Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe."No doubt you think that you are

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complimenting me in comparing me toDupin," he observed. "Now, in myopinion, Dupin was a very inferiorfellow. That trick of his of breaking inon his friends' thoughts with an aproposremark after a quarter of an hour'ssilence is really very showy andsuperficial. He had some analyticalgenius, no doubt; but he was by nomeans such a phenomenon as Poeappeared to imagine."

"Have you read Gaboriau's works?" Iasked. "Does Lecoq come up to youridea of a detective?"

Sherlock Holmes sniffed sardonically."Lecoq was a miserable bungler," hesaid, in an angry voice; "he had only onething to recommend him, and that was

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his energy. That book made mepositively ill. The question was how toidentify an unknown prisoner. I couldhave done it in twenty-four hours. Lecoqtook six months or so. It might be made atext-book for detectives to teach themwhat to avoid."

I felt rather indignant at having twocharacters whom I had admired treatedin this cavalier style. I walked over tothe window, and stood looking out intothe busy street. "This fellow may be veryclever," I said to myself, "but he iscertainly very conceited."

"There are no crimes and no criminalsin these days," he said, querulously."What is the use of having brains in ourprofession. I know well that I have it in

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me to make my name famous. No manlives or has ever lived who has broughtthe same amount of study and of naturaltalent to the detection of crime which Ihave done. And what is the result? Thereis no crime to detect, or, at most, somebungling villany with a motive sotransparent that even a Scotland Yardofficial can see through it."

I was still annoyed at his bumptiousstyle of conversation. I thought it best tochange the topic.

"I wonder what that fellow is lookingfor?" I asked, pointing to a stalwart,plainly-dressed individual who waswalking slowly down the other side ofthe street, looking anxiously at thenumbers. He had a large blue envelope

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in his hand, and was evidently the bearerof a message.

"You mean the retired sergeant ofMarines," said Sherlock Holmes.

"Brag and bounce!" thought I tomyself. "He knows that I cannot verifyhis guess."

The thought had hardly passed throughmy mind when the man whom we werewatching caught sight of the number onour door, and ran rapidly across theroadway. We heard a loud knock, a deepvoice below, and heavy steps ascendingthe stair.

"For Mr. Sherlock Holmes," he said,stepping into the room and handing myfriend the letter.

Here was an opportunity of taking the

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conceit out of him. He little thought ofthis when he made that random shot."May I ask, my lad," I said, in theblandest voice, "what your trade maybe?"

"Commissionaire, sir," he said,gruffly. "Uniform away for repairs."

"And you were?" I asked, with aslightly malicious glance at mycompanion.

"A sergeant, sir, Royal Marine LightInfantry, sir. No answer? Right, sir."

He clicked his heels together, raisedhis hand in a salute, and was gone.

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3ChapterThe Lauriston GardenMysteryI confess that I was considerably startledby this fresh proof of the practical natureof my companion's theories. My respectfor his powers of analysis increasedwondrously. There still remained somelurking suspicion in my mind, however,that the whole thing was a pre-arranged

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episode, intended to dazzle me, thoughwhat earthly object he could have intaking me in was past mycomprehension. When I looked at him hehad finished reading the note, and hiseyes had assumed the vacant, lack-lustreexpression which showed mentalabstraction.

"How in the world did you deducethat?" I asked.

"Deduce what?" said he, petulantly."Why, that he was a retired sergeant

of Marines.""I have no time for trifles," he

answered, brusquely; then with a smile,"Excuse my rudeness. You broke thethread of my thoughts; but perhaps it isas well. So you actually were not able to

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see that that man was a sergeant ofMarines?"

"No, indeed.""It was easier to know it than to

explain why I knew it. If you were askedto prove that two and two made four,you might find some difficulty, and yetyou are quite sure of the fact. Evenacross the street I could see a great blueanchor tattooed on the back of thefellow's hand. That smacked of the sea.He had a military carriage, however,and regulation side whiskers. There wehave the marine. He was a man withsome amount of self-importance and acertain air of command. You must haveobserved the way in which he held hishead and swung his cane. A steady,

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respectable, middle-aged man, too, onthe face of him — all facts which led meto believe that he had been a sergeant."

"Wonderful!" I ejaculated."Commonplace," said Holmes, though

I thought from his expression that he waspleased at my evident surprise andadmiration. "I said just now that therewere no criminals. It appears that I amwrong — look at this!" He threw meover the note which the commissionairehad brought."

"Why," I cried, as I cast my eye overit, "this is terrible!"

"It does seem to be a little out of thecommon," he remarked, calmly. "Wouldyou mind reading it to me aloud?"

This is the letter which I read to him

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HOLMES:"There has been a bad business during

the night at 3, Lauriston Gardens, off theBrixton Road. Our man on the beat sawa light there about two in the morning,and as the house was an empty one,suspected that something was amiss. Hefound the door open, and in the frontroom, which is bare of furniture,discovered the body of a gentleman,well dressed, and having cards in hispocket bearing the name of 'Enoch J.Drebber, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.'There had been no robbery, nor is thereany evidence as to how the man met hisdeath. There are marks of blood in the

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room, but there is no wound upon hisperson. We are at a loss as to how hecame into the empty house; indeed, thewhole affair is a puzzler. If you cancome round to the house any time beforetwelve, you will find me there. I haveleft everything in statu quo until I hearfrom you. If you are unable to come Ishall give you fuller details, and wouldesteem it a great kindness if you wouldfavour me with your opinion.

Yours faithfully,"TOBIAS GREGSON.""Gregson is the smartest of the

Scotland Yarders," my friend remarked;"he and Lestrade are the pick of a badlot. They are both quick and energetic,but conventional — shockingly so. They

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have their knives into one another, too.They are as jealous as a pair ofprofessional beauties. There will besome fun over this case if they are bothput upon the scent."

I was amazed at the calm way inwhich he rippled on. "Surely there is nota moment to be lost," I cried, "shall I goand order you a cab?"

"I'm not sure about whether I shall go.I am the most incurably lazy devil thatever stood in shoe leather — that is,when the fit is on me, for I can be spryenough at times."

"Why, it is just such a chance as youhave been longing for."

"My dear fellow, what does it matterto me. Supposing I unravel the whole

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matter, you may be sure that Gregson,Lestrade, and Co. will pocket all thecredit. That comes of being an unofficialpersonage."

"But he begs you to help him.""Yes. He knows that I am his

superior, and acknowledges it to me; buthe would cut his tongue out before hewould own it to any third person.However, we may as well go and have alook. I shall work it out on my ownhook. I may have a laugh at them if Ihave nothing else. Come on!"

He hustled on his overcoat, andbustled about in a way that showed thatan energetic fit had superseded theapathetic one.

"Get your hat," he said.

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"You wish me to come?""Yes, if you have nothing better to

do." A minute later we were both in ahansom, driving furiously for the BrixtonRoad.

It was a foggy, cloudy morning, and adun-coloured veil hung over the house-tops, looking like the reflection of themud-coloured streets beneath. Mycompanion was in the best of spirits, andprattled away about Cremona fiddles,and the difference between aStradivarius and an Amati. As formyself, I was silent, for the dull weatherand the melancholy business upon whichwe were engaged, depressed my spirits.

"You don't seem to give much thoughtto the matter in hand," I said at last,

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interrupting Holmes' musicaldisquisition.

"No data yet," he answered. "It is acapital mistake to theorize before youhave all the evidence. It biases thejudgment."

"You will have your data soon," Iremarked, pointing with my finger; "thisis the Brixton Road, and that is thehouse, if I am not very much mistaken."

"So it is. Stop, driver, stop!" We werestill a hundred yards or so from it, but heinsisted upon our alighting, and wefinished our journey upon foot.

Number 3, Lauriston Gardens wore anill-omened and minatory look. It wasone of four which stood back some littleway from the street, two being occupied

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and two empty. The latter looked outwith three tiers of vacant melancholywindows, which were blank and dreary,save that here and there a "To Let" cardhad developed like a cataract upon thebleared panes. A small garden sprinkledover with a scattered eruption of sicklyplants separated each of these housesfrom the street, and was traversed by anarrow pathway, yellowish in colour,and consisting apparently of a mixture ofclay and of gravel. The whole place wasvery sloppy from the rain which hadfallen through the night. The garden wasbounded by a three-foot brick wall witha fringe of wood rails upon the top, andagainst this wall was leaning a stalwartpolice constable, surrounded by a small

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knot of loafers, who craned their necksand strained their eyes in the vain hopeof catching some glimpse of theproceedings within.

I had imagined that Sherlock Holmeswould at once have hurried into thehouse and plunged into a study of themystery. Nothing appeared to be furtherfrom his intention. With an air ofnonchalance which, under thecircumstances, seemed to me to borderupon affectation, he lounged up anddown the pavement, and gazed vacantlyat the ground, the sky, the oppositehouses and the line of railings. Havingfinished his scrutiny, he proceededslowly down the path, or rather downthe fringe of grass which flanked the

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path, keeping his eyes riveted upon theground. Twice he stopped, and once Isaw him smile, and heard him utter anexclamation of satisfaction. There weremany marks of footsteps upon the wetclayey soil, but since the police hadbeen coming and going over it, I wasunable to see how my companion couldhope to learn anything from it. Still I hadhad such extraordinary evidence of thequickness of his perceptive faculties,that I had no doubt that he could see agreat deal which was hidden from me.

At the door of the house we were metby a tall, white-faced, flaxen-hairedman, with a notebook in his hand, whorushed forward and wrung mycompanion's hand with effusion. "It is

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indeed kind of you to come," he said, "Ihave had everything left untouched."

"Except that!" my friend answered,pointing at the pathway. "If a herd ofbuffaloes had passed along there couldnot be a greater mess. No doubt,however, you had drawn your ownconclusions, Gregson, before youpermitted this."

"I have had so much to do inside thehouse," the detective said evasively."My colleague, Mr. Lestrade, is here. Ihad relied upon him to look after this."

Holmes glanced at me and raised hiseyebrows sardonically. "With two suchmen as yourself and Lestrade upon theground, there will not be much for athird party to find out," he said.

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Gregson rubbed his hands in a self-satisfied way. "I think we have done allthat can be done," he answered; "it's aqueer case though, and I knew your tastefor such things."

"You did not come here in a cab?"asked Sherlock Holmes.

"No, sir.""Nor Lestrade?""No, sir.""Then let us go and look at the room."

With which inconsequent remark hestrode on into the house, followed byGregson, whose features expressed hisastonishment.

A short passage, bare planked anddusty, led to the kitchen and offices.Two doors opened out of it to the left

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and to the right. One of these hadobviously been closed for many weeks.The other belonged to the dining-room,which was the apartment in which themysterious affair had occurred. Holmeswalked in, and I followed him with thatsubdued feeling at my heart which thepresence of death inspires.

It was a large square room, lookingall the larger from the absence of allfurniture. A vulgar flaring paper adornedthe walls, but it was blotched in placeswith mildew, and here and there greatstrips had become detached and hungdown, exposing the yellow plasterbeneath. Opposite the door was a showyfireplace, surmounted by a mantelpieceof imitation white marble. On one corner

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of this was stuck the stump of a red waxcandle. The solitary window was sodirty that the light was hazy anduncertain, giving a dull grey tinge toeverything, which was intensified by thethick layer of dust which coated thewhole apartment.

All these details I observedafterwards. At present my attention wascentred upon the single grim motionlessfigure which lay stretched upon theboards, with vacant sightless eyesstaring up at the discoloured ceiling. Itwas that of a man about forty-three orforty-four years of age, middle-sized,broad shouldered, with crisp curlingblack hair, and a short stubbly beard. Hewas dressed in a heavy broadcloth frock

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coat and waistcoat, with light-colouredtrousers, and immaculate collar andcuffs. A top hat, well brushed and trim,was placed upon the floor beside him.His hands were clenched and his armsthrown abroad, while his lower limbswere interlocked as though his deathstruggle had been a grievous one. On hisrigid face there stood an expression ofhorror, and as it seemed to me, of hatred,such as I have never seen upon humanfeatures. This malignant and terriblecontortion, combined with the lowforehead, blunt nose, and prognathousjaw gave the dead man a singularlysimious and ape-like appearance, whichwas increased by his writhing, unnaturalposture. I have seen death in many

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forms, but never has it appeared to me ina more fearsome aspect than in that darkgrimy apartment, which looked out uponone of the main arteries of suburbanLondon.

Lestrade, lean and ferret-like as ever,was standing by the doorway, andgreeted my companion and myself.

"This case will make a stir, sir," heremarked. "It beats anything I have seen,and I am no chicken."

"There is no clue?" said Gregson."None at all," chimed in Lestrade.Sherlock Holmes approached the

body, and, kneeling down, examined itintently. "You are sure that there is nowound?" he asked, pointing to numerousgouts and splashes of blood which lay

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all round."Positive!" cried both detectives."Then, of course, this blood belongs

to a second individual — presumablythe murderer, if murder has beencommitted. It reminds me of thecircumstances attendant on the death ofVan Jansen, in Utrecht, in the year '34.Do you remember the case, Gregson?"

"No, sir.""Read it up — you really should.

There is nothing new under the sun. Ithas all been done before."

As he spoke, his nimble fingers wereflying here, there, and everywhere,feeling, pressing, unbuttoning,examining, while his eyes wore the samefar-away expression which I have

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already remarked upon. So swiftly wasthe examination made, that one wouldhardly have guessed the minuteness withwhich it was conducted. Finally, hesniffed the dead man's lips, and thenglanced at the soles of his patent leatherboots.

"He has not been moved at all?" heasked.

"No more than was necessary for thepurposes of our examination."

"You can take him to the mortuarynow," he said. "There is nothing more tobe learned."

Gregson had a stretcher and four menat hand. At his call they entered theroom, and the stranger was lifted andcarried out. As they raised him, a ring

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tinkled down and rolled across the floor.Lestrade grabbed it up and stared at itwith mystified eyes.

"There's been a woman here," hecried. "It's a woman's wedding-ring."

He held it out, as he spoke, upon thepalm of his hand. We all gathered roundhim and gazed at it. There could be nodoubt that that circlet of plain gold hadonce adorned the finger of a bride.

"This complicates matters," saidGregson. "Heaven knows, they werecomplicated enough before."

"You're sure it doesn't simplifythem?" observed Holmes. "There'snothing to be learned by staring at it.What did you find in his pockets?"

"We have it all here," said Gregson,

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pointing to a litter of objects upon one ofthe bottom steps of the stairs. "A goldwatch, No. 97163, by Barraud, ofLondon. Gold Albert chain, very heavyand solid. Gold ring, with masonicdevice. Gold pin — bull-dog's head,with rubies as eyes. Russian leathercard-case, with cards of Enoch J.Drebber of Cleveland, correspondingwith the E. J. D. upon the linen. Nopurse, but loose money to the extent ofseven pounds thirteen. Pocket edition ofBoccaccio's 'Decameron,' with name ofJoseph Stangerson upon the fly-leaf.Two letters — one addressed to E. J.Drebber and one to Joseph Stangerson."

"At what address?""American Exchange, Strand — to be

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left till called for. They are both fromthe Guion Steamship Company, and referto the sailing of their boats fromLiverpool. It is clear that this unfortunateman was about to return to New York."

"Have you made any inquiries as tothis man, Stangerson?"

"I did it at once, sir," said Gregson. "Ihave had advertisements sent to all thenewspapers, and one of my men hasgone to the American Exchange, but hehas not returned yet."

"Have you sent to Cleveland?""We telegraphed this morning.""How did you word your inquiries?""We simply detailed the

circumstances, and said that we shouldbe glad of any information which could

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help us.""You did not ask for particulars on

any point which appeared to you to becrucial?"

"I asked about Stangerson.""Nothing else? Is there no

circumstance on which this whole caseappears to hinge? Will you not telegraphagain?"

"I have said all I have to say," saidGregson, in an offended voice.

Sherlock Holmes chuckled to himself,and appeared to be about to make someremark, when Lestrade, who had been inthe front room while we were holdingthis conversation in the hall, reappearedupon the scene, rubbing his hands in apompous and self-satisfied manner.

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"Mr. Gregson," he said, "I have justmade a discovery of the highestimportance, and one which would havebeen overlooked had I not made acareful examination of the walls."

The little man's eyes sparkled as hespoke, and he was evidently in a state ofsuppressed exultation at having scored apoint against his colleague.

"Come here," he said, bustling backinto the room, the atmosphere of whichfelt clearer since the removal of itsghastly inmate. "Now, stand there!"

He struck a match on his boot andheld it up against the wall.

"Look at that!" he said, triumphantly.I have remarked that the paper had

fallen away in parts. In this particular

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corner of the room a large piece hadpeeled off, leaving a yellow square ofcoarse plastering. Across this barespace there was scrawled in blood-redletters a single word —

RACHE."What do you think of that?" cried the

detective, with the air of a showmanexhibiting his show. "This wasoverlooked because it was in the darkestcorner of the room, and no one thought oflooking there. The murderer has writtenit with his or her own blood. See thissmear where it has trickled down thewall! That disposes of the idea ofsuicide anyhow. Why was that cornerchosen to write it on? I will tell you. Seethat candle on the mantelpiece. It was lit

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at the time, and if it was lit this cornerwould be the brightest instead of thedarkest portion of the wall."

"And what does it mean now that youhave found it?" asked Gregson in adepreciatory voice.

"Mean? Why, it means that the writerwas going to put the female nameRachel, but was disturbed before he orshe had time to finish. You mark mywords, when this case comes to becleared up you will find that a womannamed Rachel has something to do withit. It's all very well for you to laugh, Mr.Sherlock Holmes. You may be verysmart and clever, but the old hound is thebest, when all is said and done."

"I really beg your pardon!" said my

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companion, who had ruffled the littleman's temper by bursting into anexplosion of laughter. "You certainlyhave the credit of being the first of us tofind this out, and, as you say, it bearsevery mark of having been written by theother participant in last night's mystery. Ihave not had time to examine this roomyet, but with your permission I shall doso now."

As he spoke, he whipped a tapemeasure and a large round magnifyingglass from his pocket. With these twoimplements he trotted noiselessly aboutthe room, sometimes stopping,occasionally kneeling, and once lyingflat upon his face. So engrossed was hewith his occupation that he appeared to

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have forgotten our presence, for hechattered away to himself under hisbreath the whole time, keeping up arunning fire of exclamations, groans,whistles, and little cries suggestive ofencouragement and of hope. As Iwatched him I was irresistibly remindedof a pure-blooded well-trained foxhoundas it dashes backwards and forwardsthrough the covert, whining in itseagerness, until it comes across the lostscent. For twenty minutes or more hecontinued his researches, measuring withthe most exact care the distance betweenmarks which were entirely invisible tome, and occasionally applying his tapeto the walls in an equallyincomprehensible manner. In one place

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he gathered up very carefully a little pileof grey dust from the floor, and packed itaway in an envelope. Finally, heexamined with his glass the word uponthe wall, going over every letter of itwith the most minute exactness. Thisdone, he appeared to be satisfied, for hereplaced his tape and his glass in hispocket.

"They say that genius is an infinitecapacity for taking pains," he remarkedwith a smile. "It's a very bad definition,but it does apply to detective work."

Gregson and Lestrade had watchedthe manoeuvres of their amateurcompanion with considerable curiosityand some contempt. They evidentlyfailed to appreciate the fact, which I had

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begun to realize, that Sherlock Holmes'smallest actions were all directedtowards some definite and practical end.

"What do you think of it, sir?" theyboth asked.

"It would be robbing you of the creditof the case if I was to presume to helpyou," remarked my friend. "You aredoing so well now that it would be apity for anyone to interfere." There wasa world of sarcasm in his voice as hespoke. "If you will let me know howyour investigations go," he continued, "Ishall be happy to give you any help Ican. In the meantime I should like tospeak to the constable who found thebody. Can you give me his name andaddress?"

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Lestrade glanced at his note-book."John Rance," he said. "He is off dutynow. You will find him at 46, AudleyCourt, Kennington Park Gate."

Holmes took a note of the address."Come along, Doctor," he said; "we

shall go and look him up. I'll tell you onething which may help you in the case,"he continued, turning to the twodetectives. "There has been murderdone, and the murderer was a man. Hewas more than six feet high, was in theprime of life, had small feet for hisheight, wore coarse, square-toed bootsand smoked a Trichinopoly cigar. Hecame here with his victim in a four-wheeled cab, which was drawn by ahorse with three old shoes and one new

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one on his off fore leg. In all probabilitythe murderer had a florid face, and thefinger-nails of his right hand wereremarkably long. These are only a fewindications, but they may assist you."

Lestrade and Gregson glanced at eachother with an incredulous smile.

"If this man was murdered, how wasit done?" asked the former.

"Poison," said Sherlock Holmescurtly, and strode off. "One other thing,Lestrade," he added, turning round at thedoor: "'Rache,' is the German for'revenge;' so don't lose your time lookingfor Miss Rachel."

With which Parthian shot he walkedaway, leaving the two rivals open-mouthed behind him.

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4ChapterWhat John Rance Hadto TellIt was one o'clock when we left No. 3,Lauriston Gardens. Sherlock Holmes ledme to the nearest telegraph office,whence he dispatched a long telegram.He then hailed a cab, and ordered thedriver to take us to the address given usby Lestrade.

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"There is nothing like first handevidence," he remarked; "as a matter offact, my mind is entirely made up uponthe case, but still we may as well learnall that is to be learned."

"You amaze me, Holmes," said I."Surely you are not as sure as youpretend to be of all those particularswhich you gave."

"There's no room for a mistake," heanswered. "The very first thing which Iobserved on arriving there was that acab had made two ruts with its wheelsclose to the curb. Now, up to last night,we have had no rain for a week, so thatthose wheels which left such a deepimpression must have been there duringthe night. There were the marks of the

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horse's hoofs, too, the outline of one ofwhich was far more clearly cut than thatof the other three, showing that that wasa new shoe. Since the cab was thereafter the rain began, and was not there atany time during the morning — I haveGregson's word for that — it followsthat it must have been there during thenight, and, therefore, that it brought thosetwo individuals to the house."

"That seems simple enough," said I;"but how about the other man's height?"

"Why, the height of a man, in ninecases out of ten, can be told from thelength of his stride. It is a simplecalculation enough, though there is nouse my boring you with figures. I hadthis fellow's stride both on the clay

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outside and on the dust within. Then Ihad a way of checking my calculation.When a man writes on a wall, hisinstinct leads him to write about thelevel of his own eyes. Now that writingwas just over six feet from the ground. Itwas child's play."

"And his age?" I asked."Well, if a man can stride four and a-

half feet without the smallest effort, hecan't be quite in the sere and yellow.That was the breadth of a puddle on thegarden walk which he had evidentlywalked across. Patent-leather boots hadgone round, and Square-toes had hoppedover. There is no mystery about it at all.I am simply applying to ordinary life afew of those precepts of observation and

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deduction which I advocated in thatarticle. Is there anything else that puzzlesyou?"

"The finger nails and theTrichinopoly," I suggested.

"The writing on the wall was donewith a man's forefinger dipped in blood.My glass allowed me to observe that theplaster was slightly scratched in doingit, which would not have been the case ifthe man's nail had been trimmed. Igathered up some scattered ash from thefloor. It was dark in colour and flakey— such an ash as is only made by aTrichinopoly. I have made a specialstudy of cigar ashes — in fact, I havewritten a monograph upon the subject. Iflatter myself that I can distinguish at a

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glance the ash of any known brand,either of cigar or of tobacco. It is just insuch details that the skilled detectivediffers from the Gregson and Lestradetype."

"And the florid face?" I asked."Ah, that was a more daring shot,

though I have no doubt that I was right.You must not ask me that at the presentstate of the affair."

I passed my hand over my brow. "Myhead is in a whirl," I remarked; "themore one thinks of it the moremysterious it grows. How came thesetwo men — if there were two men —into an empty house? What has becomeof the cabman who drove them? Howcould one man compel another to take

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poison? Where did the blood comefrom? What was the object of themurderer, since robbery had no part init? How came the woman's ring there?Above all, why should the second manwrite up the German word RACHEbefore decamping? I confess that Icannot see any possible way ofreconciling all these facts."

My companion smiled approvingly."You sum up the difficulties of the

situation succinctly and well," he said."There is much that is still obscure,though I have quite made up my mind onthe main facts. As to poor Lestrade'sdiscovery it was simply a blind intendedto put the police upon a wrong track, bysuggesting Socialism and secret

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societies. It was not done by a German.The A, if you noticed, was printedsomewhat after the German fashion.Now, a real German invariably prints inthe Latin character, so that we maysafely say that this was not written byone, but by a clumsy imitator whooverdid his part. It was simply a ruse todivert inquiry into a wrong channel. I'mnot going to tell you much more of thecase, Doctor. You know a conjuror getsno credit when once he has explained histrick, and if I show you too much of mymethod of working, you will come to theconclusion that I am a very ordinaryindividual after all."

"I shall never do that," I answered;"you have brought detection as near an

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exact science as it ever will be broughtin this world."

My companion flushed up withpleasure at my words, and the earnestway in which I uttered them. I hadalready observed that he was assensitive to flattery on the score of hisart as any girl could be of her beauty.

"I'll tell you one other thing," he said."Patent leathers and Square-toes came inthe same cab, and they walked down thepathway together as friendly as possible— arm-in-arm, in all probability. Whenthey got inside they walked up and downthe room — or rather, Patent-leathersstood still while Square-toes walked upand down. I could read all that in thedust; and I could read that as he walked

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he grew more and more excited. That isshown by the increased length of hisstrides. He was talking all the while, andworking himself up, no doubt, into afury. Then the tragedy occurred. I've toldyou all I know myself now, for the rest ismere surmise and conjecture. We have agood working basis, however, on whichto start. We must hurry up, for I want togo to Halle's concert to hear NormanNeruda this afternoon."

This conversation had occurred whileour cab had been threading its waythrough a long succession of dingystreets and dreary by-ways. In thedingiest and dreariest of them our driversuddenly came to a stand. "That's AudleyCourt in there," he said, pointing to a

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narrow slit in the line of dead-colouredbrick. "You'll find me here when youcome back."

Audley Court was not an attractivelocality. The narrow passage led us intoa quadrangle paved with flags and linedby sordid dwellings. We picked our wayamong groups of dirty children, andthrough lines of discoloured linen, untilwe came to Number 46, the door ofwhich was decorated with a small slipof brass on which the name Rance wasengraved. On enquiry we found that theconstable was in bed, and we wereshown into a little front parlour to awaithis coming.

He appeared presently, looking a littleirritable at being disturbed in his

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slumbers. "I made my report at theoffice," he said.

Holmes took a half-sovereign from hispocket and played with it pensively."We thought that we should like to hearit all from your own lips," he said.

"I shall be most happy to tell youanything I can," the constable answeredwith his eyes upon the little golden disk.

"Just let us hear it all in your own wayas it occurred."

Rance sat down on the horsehair sofa,and knitted his brows as thoughdetermined not to omit anything in hisnarrative.

"I'll tell it ye from the beginning," hesaid. "My time is from ten at night to sixin the morning. At eleven there was a

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fight at the 'White Hart'; but bar that allwas quiet enough on the beat. At oneo'clock it began to rain, and I met HarryMurcher — him who has the HollandGrove beat — and we stood together atthe corner of Henrietta Street a-talkin'.Presently — maybe about two or a littleafter — I thought I would take a lookround and see that all was right down theBrixton Road. It was precious dirty andlonely. Not a soul did I meet all the waydown, though a cab or two went past me.I was a strollin' down, thinkin' betweenourselves how uncommon handy a fourof gin hot would be, when suddenly theglint of a light caught my eye in thewindow of that same house. Now, Iknew that them two houses in Lauriston

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Gardens was empty on account of himthat owns them who won't have thedrains seed to, though the very last tenantwhat lived in one of them died o' typhoidfever. I was knocked all in a heaptherefore at seeing a light in the window,and I suspected as something waswrong. When I got to the door —"

"You stopped, and then walked backto the garden gate," my companioninterrupted. "What did you do that for?"

Rance gave a violent jump, and staredat Sherlock Holmes with the utmostamazement upon his features.

"Why, that's true, sir," he said; "thoughhow you come to know it, Heaven onlyknows. Ye see, when I got up to the doorit was so still and so lonesome, that I

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thought I'd be none the worse for someone with me. I ain't afeared of anythingon this side o' the grave; but I thoughtthat maybe it was him that died o' thetyphoid inspecting the drains what killedhim. The thought gave me a kind o' turn,and I walked back to the gate to see if Icould see Murcher's lantern, but therewasn't no sign of him nor of anyoneelse."

"There was no one in the street?""Not a livin' soul, sir, nor as much as

a dog. Then I pulled myself together andwent back and pushed the door open. Allwas quiet inside, so I went into the roomwhere the light was a-burnin'. There wasa candle flickerin' on the mantelpiece —a red wax one — and by its light I saw

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—""Yes, I know all that you saw. You

walked round the room several times,and you knelt down by the body, andthen you walked through and tried thekitchen door, and then —"

John Rance sprang to his feet with afrightened face and suspicion in his eyes."Where was you hid to see all that?" hecried. "It seems to me that you knows adeal more than you should."

Holmes laughed and threw his cardacross the table to the constable. "Don'tget arresting me for the murder," he said."I am one of the hounds and not the wolf;Mr. Gregson or Mr. Lestrade willanswer for that. Go on, though. What didyou do next?"

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Rance resumed his seat, withouthowever losing his mystified expression."I went back to the gate and sounded mywhistle. That brought Murcher and twomore to the spot."

"Was the street empty then?""Well, it was, as far as anybody that

could be of any good goes.""What do you mean?"The constable's features broadened

into a grin. "I've seen many a drunk chapin my time," he said, "but never anyoneso cryin' drunk as that cove. He was atthe gate when I came out, a-leanin' upagin the railings, and a-singin' at thepitch o' his lungs about Columbine'sNew-fangled Banner, or some such stuff.He couldn't stand, far less help."

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"What sort of a man was he?" askedSherlock Holmes.

John Rance appeared to be somewhatirritated at this digression. "He was anuncommon drunk sort o' man," he said."He'd ha' found hisself in the station ifwe hadn't been so took up."

"His face — his dress — didn't younotice them?" Holmes broke inimpatiently.

"I should think I did notice them,seeing that I had to prop him up — meand Murcher between us. He was a longchap, with a red face, the lower partmuffled round —"

"That will do," cried Holmes. "Whatbecame of him?"

"We'd enough to do without lookin'

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after him," the policeman said, in anaggrieved voice. "I'll wager he found hisway home all right."

"How was he dressed?""A brown overcoat.""Had he a whip in his hand?""A whip — no.""He must have left it behind,"

muttered my companion. "You didn'thappen to see or hear a cab after that?"

"No.""There's a half-sovereign for you," my

companion said, standing up and takinghis hat. "I am afraid, Rance, that you willnever rise in the force. That head ofyours should be for use as well asornament. You might have gained yoursergeant's stripes last night. The man

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whom you held in your hands is the manwho holds the clue of this mystery, andwhom we are seeking. There is no use ofarguing about it now; I tell you that it isso. Come along, Doctor."

We started off for the cab together,leaving our informant incredulous, butobviously uncomfortable.

"The blundering fool," Holmes said,bitterly, as we drove back to ourlodgings. "Just to think of his havingsuch an incomparable bit of good luck,and not taking advantage of it."

"I am rather in the dark still. It is truethat the description of this man tallieswith your idea of the second party in thismystery. But why should he come backto the house after leaving it? That is not

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the way of criminals.""The ring, man, the ring: that was

what he came back for. If we have noother way of catching him, we canalways bait our line with the ring. I shallhave him, Doctor — I'll lay you two toone that I have him. I must thank you forit all. I might not have gone but for you,and so have missed the finest study Iever came across: a study in scarlet, eh?Why shouldn't we use a little art jargon.There's the scarlet thread of murderrunning through the colourless skein oflife, and our duty is to unravel it, andisolate it, and expose every inch of it.And now for lunch, and then for NormanNeruda. Her attack and her bowing aresplendid. What's that little thing of

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Chopin's she plays so magnificently:Tra-la-la-lira-lira-lay."

Leaning back in the cab, this amateurbloodhound carolled away like a larkwhile I meditated upon the many-sidedness of the human mind.

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5ChapterOur AdvertisementBrings a VisitorOur morning's exertions had been toomuch for my weak health, and I wastired out in the afternoon. After Holmes'departure for the concert, I lay downupon the sofa and endeavoured to get acouple of hours' sleep. It was a uselessattempt. My mind had been too much

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excited by all that had occurred, and thestrangest fancies and surmises crowdedinto it. Every time that I closed my eyes Isaw before me the distorted baboon-likecountenance of the murdered man. Sosinister was the impression which thatface had produced upon me that I foundit difficult to feel anything but gratitudefor him who had removed its ownerfrom the world. If ever human featuresbespoke vice of the most malignant type,they were certainly those of Enoch J.Drebber, of Cleveland. Still Irecognized that justice must be done, andthat the depravity of the victim was nocondonment in the eyes of the law.

The more I thought of it the moreextraordinary did my companion's

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hypothesis, that the man had beenpoisoned, appear. I remembered how hehad sniffed his lips, and had no doubtthat he had detected something whichhad given rise to the idea. Then, again, ifnot poison, what had caused the man'sdeath, since there was neither wound normarks of strangulation? But, on the otherhand, whose blood was that which layso thickly upon the floor? There were nosigns of a struggle, nor had the victimany weapon with which he might havewounded an antagonist. As long as allthese questions were unsolved, I felt thatsleep would be no easy matter, either forHolmes or myself. His quiet self-confident manner convinced me that hehad already formed a theory which

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explained all the facts, though what itwas I could not for an instant conjecture.

He was very late in returning — solate, that I knew that the concert couldnot have detained him all the time.Dinner was on the table before heappeared.

"It was magnificent," he said, as hetook his seat. "Do you remember whatDarwin says about music? He claimsthat the power of producing andappreciating it existed among the humanrace long before the power of speechwas arrived at. Perhaps that is why weare so subtly influenced by it. There arevague memories in our souls of thosemisty centuries when the world was inits childhood."

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"That's rather a broad idea," Iremarked.

"One's ideas must be as broad asNature if they are to interpret Nature," heanswered. "What's the matter? You'renot looking quite yourself. This BrixtonRoad affair has upset you."

"To tell the truth, it has," I said. "Iought to be more case-hardened after myAfghan experiences. I saw my owncomrades hacked to pieces at Maiwandwithout losing my nerve."

"I can understand. There is a mysteryabout this which stimulates theimagination; where there is noimagination there is no horror. Have youseen the evening paper?"


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"It gives a fairly good account of theaffair. It does not mention the fact thatwhen the man was raised up, a woman'swedding ring fell upon the floor. It isjust as well it does not."

"Why?""Look at this advertisement," he

answered. "I had one sent to every paperthis morning immediately after theaffair."

He threw the paper across to me and Iglanced at the place indicated. It was thefirst announcement in the "Found"column. "In Brixton Road, this morning,"it ran, "a plain gold wedding ring, foundin the roadway between the 'White Hart'Tavern and Holland Grove. Apply Dr.Watson, 221B, Baker Street, between

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eight and nine this evening.""Excuse my using your name," he said.

"If I used my own some of thesedunderheads would recognize it, andwant to meddle in the affair."

"That is all right," I answered. "Butsupposing anyone applies, I have noring."

"Oh yes, you have," said he, handingme one. "This will do very well. It isalmost a facsimile."

"And who do you expect will answerthis advertisement."

"Why, the man in the brown coat —our florid friend with the square toes. Ifhe does not come himself he will sendan accomplice."

"Would he not consider it as too

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dangerous?""Not at all. If my view of the case is

correct, and I have every reason tobelieve that it is, this man would ratherrisk anything than lose the ring.According to my notion he dropped itwhile stooping over Drebber's body, anddid not miss it at the time. After leavingthe house he discovered his loss andhurried back, but found the policealready in possession, owing to his ownfolly in leaving the candle burning. Hehad to pretend to be drunk in order toallay the suspicions which might havebeen aroused by his appearance at thegate. Now put yourself in that man'splace. On thinking the matter over, itmust have occurred to him that it was

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possible that he had lost the ring in theroad after leaving the house. Whatwould he do, then? He would eagerlylook out for the evening papers in thehope of seeing it among the articlesfound. His eye, of course, would lightupon this. He would be overjoyed. Whyshould he fear a trap? There would beno reason in his eyes why the finding ofthe ring should be connected with themurder. He would come. He will come.You shall see him within an hour?"

"And then?" I asked."Oh, you can leave me to deal with

him then. Have you any arms?""I have my old service revolver and a

few cartridges.""You had better clean it and load it.

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He will be a desperate man, and though Ishall take him unawares, it is as well tobe ready for anything."

I went to my bedroom and followedhis advice. When I returned with thepistol the table had been cleared, andHolmes was engaged in his favouriteoccupation of scraping upon his violin.

"The plot thickens," he said, as Ientered; "I have just had an answer to myAmerican telegram. My view of the caseis the correct one."

"And that is?" I asked eagerly."My fiddle would be the better for

new strings," he remarked. "Put yourpistol in your pocket. When the fellowcomes speak to him in an ordinary way.Leave the rest to me. Don't frighten him

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by looking at him too hard.""It is eight o'clock now," I said,

glancing at my watch."Yes. He will probably be here in a

few minutes. Open the door slightly.That will do. Now put the key on theinside. Thank you! This is a queer oldbook I picked up at a stall yesterday —'De Jure inter Gentes' — published inLatin at Liege in the Lowlands, in 1642.Charles' head was still firm on hisshoulders when this little brown-backedvolume was struck off."

"Who is the printer?""Philippe de Croy, whoever he may

have been. On the fly-leaf, in very fadedink, is written 'Ex libris GuliolmiWhyte.' I wonder who William Whyte

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was. Some pragmatical seventeenthcentury lawyer, I suppose. His writinghas a legal twist about it. Here comesour man, I think."

As he spoke there was a sharp ring atthe bell. Sherlock Holmes rose softlyand moved his chair in the direction ofthe door. We heard the servant passalong the hall, and the sharp click of thelatch as she opened it.

"Does Dr. Watson live here?" asked aclear but rather harsh voice. We couldnot hear the servant's reply, but the doorclosed, and some one began to ascendthe stairs. The footfall was an uncertainand shuffling one. A look of surprisepassed over the face of my companion ashe listened to it. It came slowly along the

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passage, and there was a feeble tap atthe door.

"Come in," I cried.At my summons, instead of the man of

violence whom we expected, a very oldand wrinkled woman hobbled into theapartment. She appeared to be dazzledby the sudden blaze of light, and afterdropping a curtsey, she stood blinking atus with her bleared eyes and fumbling inher pocket with nervous, shaky fingers. Iglanced at my companion, and his facehad assumed such a disconsolateexpression that it was all I could do tokeep my countenance.

The old crone drew out an eveningpaper, and pointed at our advertisement."It's this as has brought me, good

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gentlemen," she said, dropping anothercurtsey; "a gold wedding ring in theBrixton Road. It belongs to my girlSally, as was married only this timetwelvemonth, which her husband issteward aboard a Union boat, and whathe'd say if he come 'ome and found herwithout her ring is more than I can think,he being short enough at the best o'times, but more especially when he hasthe drink. If it please you, she went to thecircus last night along with —"

"Is that her ring?" I asked."The Lord be thanked!" cried the old

woman; "Sally will be a glad womanthis night. That's the ring."

"And what may your address be?" Iinquired, taking up a pencil.

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"13, Duncan Street, Houndsditch. Aweary way from here."

"The Brixton Road does not liebetween any circus and Houndsditch,"said Sherlock Holmes sharply.

The old woman faced round andlooked keenly at him from her little red-rimmed eyes. "The gentleman asked mefor my address," she said. "Sally lives inlodgings at 3, Mayfield Place,Peckham."

"And your name is —?""My name is Sawyer — her's is

Dennis, which Tom Dennis married her— and a smart, clean lad, too, as long ashe's at sea, and no steward in thecompany more thought of; but when onshore, what with the women and what

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with liquor shops —""Here is your ring, Mrs. Sawyer," I

interrupted, in obedience to a sign frommy companion; "it clearly belongs toyour daughter, and I am glad to be ableto restore it to the rightful owner."

With many mumbled blessings andprotestations of gratitude the old cronepacked it away in her pocket, andshuffled off down the stairs. SherlockHolmes sprang to his feet the momentthat she was gone and rushed into hisroom. He returned in a few secondsenveloped in an ulster and a cravat. "I'llfollow her," he said, hurriedly; "shemust be an accomplice, and will lead meto him. Wait up for me." The hall doorhad hardly slammed behind our visitor

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before Holmes had descended the stair.Looking through the window I could seeher walking feebly along the other side,while her pursuer dogged her some littledistance behind. "Either his wholetheory is incorrect," I thought to myself,"or else he will be led now to the heartof the mystery." There was no need forhim to ask me to wait up for him, for Ifelt that sleep was impossible until Iheard the result of his adventure.

It was close upon nine when he setout. I had no idea how long he might be,but I sat stolidly puffing at my pipe andskipping over the pages of HenriMurger's "Vie de Boheme." Ten o'clockpassed, and I heard the footsteps of themaid as they pattered off to bed. Eleven,

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and the more stately tread of thelandlady passed my door, bound for thesame destination. It was close upontwelve before I heard the sharp sound ofhis latch-key. The instant he entered Isaw by his face that he had not beensuccessful. Amusement and chagrinseemed to be struggling for the mastery,until the former suddenly carried theday, and he burst into a hearty laugh.

"I wouldn't have the Scotland Yardersknow it for the world," he cried,dropping into his chair; "I have chaffedthem so much that they would never havelet me hear the end of it. I can afford tolaugh, because I know that I will be evenwith them in the long run."

"What is it then?" I asked.

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"Oh, I don't mind telling a storyagainst myself. That creature had gone alittle way when she began to limp andshow every sign of being foot-sore.Presently she came to a halt, and haileda four-wheeler which was passing. Imanaged to be close to her so as to hearthe address, but I need not have been soanxious, for she sang it out loud enoughto be heard at the other side of the street,'Drive to 13, Duncan Street,Houndsditch,' she cried. This begins tolook genuine, I thought, and having seenher safely inside, I perched myselfbehind. That's an art which everydetective should be an expert at. Well,away we rattled, and never drew reinuntil we reached the street in question. I

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hopped off before we came to the door,and strolled down the street in an easy,lounging way. I saw the cab pull up. Thedriver jumped down, and I saw himopen the door and stand expectantly.Nothing came out though. When Ireached him he was groping aboutfrantically in the empty cab, and givingvent to the finest assorted collection ofoaths that ever I listened to. There wasno sign or trace of his passenger, and Ifear it will be some time before he getshis fare. On inquiring at Number 13 wefound that the house belonged to arespectable paperhanger, namedKeswick, and that no one of the nameeither of Sawyer or Dennis had everbeen heard of there."

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"You don't mean to say," I cried, inamazement, "that that tottering, feebleold woman was able to get out of the cabwhile it was in motion, without eitheryou or the driver seeing her?"

"Old woman be damned!" saidSherlock Holmes, sharply. "We were theold women to be so taken in. It musthave been a young man, and an activeone, too, besides being an incomparableactor. The get-up was inimitable. Hesaw that he was followed, no doubt, andused this means of giving me the slip. Itshows that the man we are after is not aslonely as I imagined he was, but hasfriends who are ready to risk somethingfor him. Now, Doctor, you are lookingdone-up. Take my advice and turn in."

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I was certainly feeling very weary, soI obeyed his injunction. I left Holmesseated in front of the smouldering fire,and long into the watches of the night Iheard the low, melancholy wailings ofhis violin, and knew that he was stillpondering over the strange problemwhich he had set himself to unravel.

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6ChapterTobias Gregson ShowsWhat He Can DoThe papers next day were full of the"Brixton Mystery," as they termed it.Each had a long account of the affair,and some had leaders upon it inaddition. There was some information inthem which was new to me. I still retainin my scrap-book numerous clippings

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and extracts bearing upon the case. Hereis a condensation of a few of them:—

The Daily Telegraph remarked that inthe history of crime there had seldombeen a tragedy which presented strangerfeatures. The German name of thevictim, the absence of all other motive,and the sinister inscription on the wall,all pointed to its perpetration bypolitical refugees and revolutionists.The Socialists had many branches inAmerica, and the deceased had, nodoubt, infringed their unwritten laws,and been tracked down by them. Afteralluding airily to the Vehmgericht, aquatofana, Carbonari, the Marchioness deBrinvilliers, the Darwinian theory, theprinciples of Malthus, and the Ratcliff

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Highway murders, the article concludedby admonishing the Government andadvocating a closer watch overforeigners in England.

The Standard commented upon thefact that lawless outrages of the sortusually occurred under a LiberalAdministration. They arose from theunsettling of the minds of the masses,and the consequent weakening of allauthority. The deceased was anAmerican gentleman who had beenresiding for some weeks in theMetropolis. He had stayed at theboarding-house of Madame Charpentier,in Torquay Terrace, Camberwell. Hewas accompanied in his travels by hisprivate secretary, Mr. Joseph

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Stangerson. The two bade adieu to theirlandlady upon Tuesday, the 4th inst., anddeparted to Euston Station with theavowed intention of catching theLiverpool express. They wereafterwards seen together upon theplatform. Nothing more is known of themuntil Mr. Drebber's body was, asrecorded, discovered in an empty housein the Brixton Road, many miles fromEuston. How he came there, or how hemet his fate, are questions which are stillinvolved in mystery. Nothing is knownof the whereabouts of Stangerson. Weare glad to learn that Mr. Lestrade andMr. Gregson, of Scotland Yard, are bothengaged upon the case, and it isconfidently anticipated that these well-

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known officers will speedily throw lightupon the matter.

The Daily News observed that therewas no doubt as to the crime being apolitical one. The despotism and hatredof Liberalism which animated theContinental Governments had had theeffect of driving to our shores a numberof men who might have made excellentcitizens were they not soured by therecollection of all that they hadundergone. Among these men there wasa stringent code of honour, anyinfringement of which was punished bydeath. Every effort should be made tofind the secretary, Stangerson, and toascertain some particulars of the habitsof the deceased. A great step had been

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gained by the discovery of the address ofthe house at which he had boarded — aresult which was entirely due to theacuteness and energy of Mr. Gregson ofScotland Yard.

Sherlock Holmes and I read thesenotices over together at breakfast, andthey appeared to afford himconsiderable amusement.

"I told you that, whatever happened,Lestrade and Gregson would be sure toscore."

"That depends on how it turns out.""Oh, bless you, it doesn't matter in the

least. If the man is caught, it will be onaccount of their exertions; if he escapes,it will be in spite of their exertions. It'sheads I win and tails you lose. Whatever

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they do, they will have followers. 'Unsot trouve toujours un plus sot quil'admire.'"

"What on earth is this?" I cried, for atthis moment there came the pattering ofmany steps in the hall and on the stairs,accompanied by audible expressions ofdisgust upon the part of our landlady.

"It's the Baker Street division of thedetective police force," said mycompanion, gravely; and as he spokethere rushed into the room half a dozenof the dirtiest and most ragged streetArabs that ever I clapped eyes on.

"'Tention!" cried Holmes, in a sharptone, and the six dirty little scoundrelsstood in a line like so many disreputablestatuettes. "In future you shall send up

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Wiggins alone to report, and the rest ofyou must wait in the street. Have youfound it, Wiggins?"

"No, sir, we hain't," said one of theyouths.

"I hardly expected you would. Youmust keep on until you do. Here are yourwages. He handed each of them ashilling. "Now, off you go, and comeback with a better report next time."

He waved his hand, and theyscampered away downstairs like somany rats, and we heard their shrillvoices next moment in the street.

"There's more work to be got out ofone of those little beggars than out of adozen of the force," Holmes remarked."The mere sight of an official-looking

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person seals men's lips. Theseyoungsters, however, go everywhere andhear everything. They are as sharp asneedles, too; all they want isorganisation."

"Is it on this Brixton case that you areemploying them?" I asked.

"Yes; there is a point which I wish toascertain. It is merely a matter of time.Hullo! we are going to hear some newsnow with a vengeance! Here is Gregsoncoming down the road with beatitudewritten upon every feature of his face.Bound for us, I know. Yes, he isstopping. There he is!"

There was a violent peal at the bell,and in a few seconds the fair-haireddetective came up the stairs, three steps

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at a time, and burst into our sitting-room."My dear fellow," he cried, wringing

Holmes' unresponsive hand,"congratulate me! I have made the wholething as clear as day."

A shade of anxiety seemed to me tocross my companion's expressive face.

"Do you mean that you are on the righttrack?" he asked.

"The right track! Why, sir, we havethe man under lock and key."

"And his name is?""Arthur Charpentier, sub-lieutenant in

Her Majesty's navy," cried Gregson,pompously, rubbing his fat hands andinflating his chest.

Sherlock Holmes gave a sigh of relief,and relaxed into a smile.

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"Take a seat, and try one of thesecigars," he said. "We are anxious toknow how you managed it. Will youhave some whiskey and water?"

"I don't mind if I do," the detectiveanswered. "The tremendous exertionswhich I have gone through during the lastday or two have worn me out. Not somuch bodily exertion, you understand, asthe strain upon the mind. You willappreciate that, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,for we are both brain-workers."

"You do me too much honour," saidHolmes, gravely. "Let us hear how youarrived at this most gratifying result."

The detective seated himself in thearm-chair, and puffed complacently athis cigar. Then suddenly he slapped his

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thigh in a paroxysm of amusement."The fun of it is," he cried, "that that

fool Lestrade, who thinks himself sosmart, has gone off upon the wrong trackaltogether. He is after the secretaryStangerson, who had no more to do withthe crime than the babe unborn. I have nodoubt that he has caught him by thistime."

The idea tickled Gregson so much thathe laughed until he choked.

"And how did you get your clue?""Ah, I'll tell you all about it. Of

course, Doctor Watson, this is strictlybetween ourselves. The first difficultywhich we had to contend with was thefinding of this American's antecedents.Some people would have waited until

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their advertisements were answered, oruntil parties came forward andvolunteered information. That is notTobias Gregson's way of going to work.You remember the hat beside the deadman?"

"Yes," said Holmes; "by JohnUnderwood and Sons, 129, CamberwellRoad."

Gregson looked quite crest-fallen."I had no idea that you noticed that,"

he said. "Have you been there?""No.""Ha!" cried Gregson, in a relieved

voice; "you should never neglect achance, however small it may seem."

"To a great mind, nothing is little,"remarked Holmes, sententiously.

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"Well, I went to Underwood, andasked him if he had sold a hat of that sizeand description. He looked over hisbooks, and came on it at once. He hadsent the hat to a Mr. Drebber, residing atCharpentier's Boarding Establishment,Torquay Terrace. Thus I got at hisaddress."

"Smart — very smart!" murmuredSherlock Holmes.

"I next called upon MadameCharpentier," continued the detective. "Ifound her very pale and distressed. Herdaughter was in the room, too — anuncommonly fine girl she is, too; shewas looking red about the eyes and herlips trembled as I spoke to her. Thatdidn't escape my notice. I began to smell

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a rat. You know the feeling, Mr.Sherlock Holmes, when you come uponthe right scent — a kind of thrill in yournerves. 'Have you heard of themysterious death of your late boarderMr. Enoch J. Drebber, of Cleveland?' Iasked.

"The mother nodded. She didn't seemable to get out a word. The daughterburst into tears. I felt more than ever thatthese people knew something of thematter.

"'At what o'clock did Mr. Drebberleave your house for the train?' I asked.

"'At eight o'clock,' she said, gulping inher throat to keep down her agitation.'His secretary, Mr. Stangerson, said thatthere were two trains — one at 9.15 and

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one at 11. He was to catch the first."'And was that the last which you saw

of him?'"A terrible change came over the

woman's face as I asked the question.Her features turned perfectly livid. Itwas some seconds before she could getout the single word 'Yes' — and when itdid come it was in a husky unnaturaltone.

"There was silence for a moment, andthen the daughter spoke in a calm clearvoice.

"'No good can ever come offalsehood, mother,' she said. 'Let us befrank with this gentleman. We did seeMr. Drebber again.'

"'God forgive you!' cried Madame

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Charpentier, throwing up her hands andsinking back in her chair. 'You havemurdered your brother.'

"'Arthur would rather that we spokethe truth,' the girl answered firmly.

"'You had best tell me all about itnow,' I said. 'Half-confidences areworse than none. Besides, you do notknow how much we know of it.'

"'On your head be it, Alice!' cried hermother; and then, turning to me, 'I willtell you all, sir. Do not imagine that myagitation on behalf of my son arises fromany fear lest he should have had a handin this terrible affair. He is utterlyinnocent of it. My dread is, however,that in your eyes and in the eyes of othershe may appear to be compromised. That

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however is surely impossible. His highcharacter, his profession, his antecedentswould all forbid it.'

"'Your best way is to make a cleanbreast of the facts,' I answered. 'Dependupon it, if your son is innocent he will benone the worse.'

"'Perhaps, Alice, you had better leaveus together,' she said, and her daughterwithdrew. 'Now, sir,' she continued, 'Ihad no intention of telling you all this,but since my poor daughter hasdisclosed it I have no alternative.Having once decided to speak, I will tellyou all without omitting any particular.'

"'It is your wisest course,' said I."'Mr. Drebber has been with us nearly

three weeks. He and his secretary, Mr.

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Stangerson, had been travelling on theContinent. I noticed a "Copenhagen"label upon each of their trunks, showingthat that had been their last stoppingplace. Stangerson was a quiet reservedman, but his employer, I am sorry to say,was far otherwise. He was coarse in hishabits and brutish in his ways. The verynight of his arrival he became very muchthe worse for drink, and, indeed, aftertwelve o'clock in the day he couldhardly ever be said to be sober. Hismanners towards the maid-servants weredisgustingly free and familiar. Worst ofall, he speedily assumed the sameattitude towards my daughter, Alice, andspoke to her more than once in a waywhich, fortunately, she is too innocent to

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understand. On one occasion he actuallyseized her in his arms and embraced her— an outrage which caused his ownsecretary to reproach him for hisunmanly conduct.'

"'But why did you stand all this,' Iasked. 'I suppose that you can get rid ofyour boarders when you wish.'

"Mrs. Charpentier blushed at mypertinent question. 'Would to God that Ihad given him notice on the very day thathe came,' she said. 'But it was a soretemptation. They were paying a pound aday each — fourteen pounds a week, andthis is the slack season. I am a widow,and my boy in the Navy has cost memuch. I grudged to lose the money. Iacted for the best. This last was too

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much, however, and I gave him notice toleave on account of it. That was thereason of his going.'

"'Well?'"'My heart grew light when I saw him

drive away. My son is on leave justnow, but I did not tell him anything of allthis, for his temper is violent, and he ispassionately fond of his sister. When Iclosed the door behind them a loadseemed to be lifted from my mind. Alas,in less than an hour there was a ring atthe bell, and I learned that Mr. Drebberhad returned. He was much excited, andevidently the worse for drink. He forcedhis way into the room, where I wassitting with my daughter, and made someincoherent remark about having missed

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his train. He then turned to Alice, andbefore my very face, proposed to herthat she should fly with him. "You are ofage," he said, "and there is no law tostop you. I have money enough and tospare. Never mind the old girl here, butcome along with me now straight away.You shall live like a princess." PoorAlice was so frightened that she shrunkaway from him, but he caught her by thewrist and endeavoured to draw hertowards the door. I screamed, and at thatmoment my son Arthur came into theroom. What happened then I do notknow. I heard oaths and the confusedsounds of a scuffle. I was too terrified toraise my head. When I did look up I sawArthur standing in the doorway laughing,

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with a stick in his hand. "I don't thinkthat fine fellow will trouble us again,"he said. "I will just go after him and seewhat he does with himself." With thosewords he took his hat and started offdown the street. The next morning weheard of Mr. Drebber's mysteriousdeath.'

"This statement came from Mrs.Charpentier's lips with many gasps andpauses. At times she spoke so low that Icould hardly catch the words. I madeshorthand notes of all that she said,however, so that there should be nopossibility of a mistake."

"It's quite exciting," said SherlockHolmes, with a yawn. "What happenednext?"

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"When Mrs. Charpentier paused," thedetective continued, "I saw that thewhole case hung upon one point. Fixingher with my eye in a way which I alwaysfound effective with women, I asked herat what hour her son returned.

"'I do not know,' she answered."'Not know?'"'No; he has a latch-key, and he let

himself in.'"'After you went to bed?'"'Yes.'"'When did you go to bed?'"'About eleven.'"'So your son was gone at least two

hours?'"'Yes.'"'Possibly four or five?'

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"'Yes.'"'What was he doing during that time?'"'I do not know,' she answered,

turning white to her very lips."Of course after that there was nothing

more to be done. I found out whereLieutenant Charpentier was, took twoofficers with me, and arrested him.When I touched him on the shoulder andwarned him to come quietly with us, heanswered us as bold as brass, 'I supposeyou are arresting me for being concernedin the death of that scoundrel Drebber,'he said. We had said nothing to himabout it, so that his alluding to it had amost suspicious aspect."

"Very," said Holmes."He still carried the heavy stick which

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the mother described him as having withhim when he followed Drebber. It was astout oak cudgel."

"What is your theory, then?""Well, my theory is that he followed

Drebber as far as the Brixton Road.When there, a fresh altercation arosebetween them, in the course of whichDrebber received a blow from the stick,in the pit of the stomach, perhaps, whichkilled him without leaving any mark. Thenight was so wet that no one was about,so Charpentier dragged the body of hisvictim into the empty house. As to thecandle, and the blood, and the writing onthe wall, and the ring, they may all be somany tricks to throw the police on to thewrong scent."

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"Well done!" said Holmes in anencouraging voice. "Really, Gregson,you are getting along. We shall makesomething of you yet."

"I flatter myself that I have managed itrather neatly," the detective answeredproudly. "The young man volunteered astatement, in which he said that afterfollowing Drebber some time, the latterperceived him, and took a cab in orderto get away from him. On his way homehe met an old shipmate, and took a longwalk with him. On being asked wherethis old shipmate lived, he was unable togive any satisfactory reply. I think thewhole case fits together uncommonlywell. What amuses me is to think ofLestrade, who had started off upon the

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wrong scent. I am afraid he won't makemuch of it. Why, by Jove, here's the veryman himself!"

It was indeed Lestrade, who hadascended the stairs while we weretalking, and who now entered the room.The assurance and jauntiness whichgenerally marked his demeanour anddress were, however, wanting. His facewas disturbed and troubled, while hisclothes were disarranged and untidy. Hehad evidently come with the intention ofconsulting with Sherlock Holmes, for onperceiving his colleague he appeared tobe embarrassed and put out. He stood inthe centre of the room, fumblingnervously with his hat and uncertainwhat to do. "This is a most extraordinary

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case," he said at last — "a mostincomprehensible affair."

"Ah, you find it so, Mr. Lestrade!"cried Gregson, triumphantly. "I thoughtyou would come to that conclusion.Have you managed to find the Secretary,Mr. Joseph Stangerson?"

"The Secretary, Mr. JosephStangerson," said Lestrade gravely,"was murdered at Halliday's PrivateHotel about six o'clock this morning."

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7ChapterLight in the DarknessThe intelligence with which Lestradegreeted us was so momentous and sounexpected, that we were all three fairlydumfoundered. Gregson sprang out of hischair and upset the remainder of hiswhiskey and water. I stared in silence atSherlock Holmes, whose lips werecompressed and his brows drawn downover his eyes.

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"Stangerson too!" he muttered. "Theplot thickens."

"It was quite thick enough before,"grumbled Lestrade, taking a chair. "Iseem to have dropped into a sort ofcouncil of war."

"Are you — are you sure of this pieceof intelligence?" stammered Gregson.

"I have just come from his room," saidLestrade. "I was the first to discoverwhat had occurred."

"We have been hearing Gregson'sview of the matter," Holmes observed."Would you mind letting us know whatyou have seen and done?"

"I have no objection," Lestradeanswered, seating himself. "I freelyconfess that I was of the opinion that

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Stangerson was concerned in the deathof Drebber. This fresh development hasshown me that I was completelymistaken. Full of the one idea, I setmyself to find out what had become ofthe Secretary. They had been seentogether at Euston Station about half-pasteight on the evening of the third. At twoin the morning Drebber had been foundin the Brixton Road. The question whichconfronted me was to find out howStangerson had been employed between8.30 and the time of the crime, and whathad become of him afterwards. Itelegraphed to Liverpool, giving adescription of the man, and warningthem to keep a watch upon the Americanboats. I then set to work calling upon all

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the hotels and lodging-houses in thevicinity of Euston. You see, I argued thatif Drebber and his companion hadbecome separated, the natural course forthe latter would be to put up somewherein the vicinity for the night, and then tohang about the station again nextmorning."

"They would be likely to agree onsome meeting-place beforehand,"remarked Holmes.

"So it proved. I spent the whole ofyesterday evening in making enquiriesentirely without avail. This morning Ibegan very early, and at eight o'clock Ireached Halliday's Private Hotel, inLittle George Street. On my enquiry as towhether a Mr. Stangerson was living

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there, they at once answered me in theaffirmative.

"'No doubt you are the gentlemanwhom he was expecting,' they said. 'Hehas been waiting for a gentleman for twodays.'

"'Where is he now?' I asked."'He is upstairs in bed. He wished to

be called at nine.'"'I will go up and see him at once,' I

said."It seemed to me that my sudden

appearance might shake his nerves andlead him to say something unguarded.The Boots volunteered to show me theroom: it was on the second floor, andthere was a small corridor leading up toit. The Boots pointed out the door to me,

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and was about to go downstairs againwhen I saw something that made me feelsickish, in spite of my twenty years'experience. From under the door therecurled a little red ribbon of blood,which had meandered across the passageand formed a little pool along theskirting at the other side. I gave a cry,which brought the Boots back. He nearlyfainted when he saw it. The door waslocked on the inside, but we put ourshoulders to it, and knocked it in. Thewindow of the room was open, andbeside the window, all huddled up, laythe body of a man in his nightdress. Hewas quite dead, and had been for sometime, for his limbs were rigid and cold.When we turned him over, the Boots

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recognized him at once as being thesame gentleman who had engaged theroom under the name of JosephStangerson. The cause of death was adeep stab in the left side, which musthave penetrated the heart. And nowcomes the strangest part of the affair.What do you suppose was above themurdered man?"

I felt a creeping of the flesh, and apresentiment of coming horror, evenbefore Sherlock Holmes answered.

"The word RACHE, written in lettersof blood," he said.

"That was it," said Lestrade, in anawe-struck voice; and we were all silentfor a while.

There was something so methodical

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and so incomprehensible about the deedsof this unknown assassin, that it imparteda fresh ghastliness to his crimes. Mynerves, which were steady enough on thefield of battle tingled as I thought of it.

"The man was seen," continuedLestrade. "A milk boy, passing on hisway to the dairy, happened to walkdown the lane which leads from themews at the back of the hotel. Henoticed that a ladder, which usually laythere, was raised against one of thewindows of the second floor, which waswide open. After passing, he lookedback and saw a man descend the ladder.He came down so quietly and openlythat the boy imagined him to be somecarpenter or joiner at work in the hotel.

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He took no particular notice of him,beyond thinking in his own mind that itwas early for him to be at work. He hasan impression that the man was tall, hada reddish face, and was dressed in along, brownish coat. He must havestayed in the room some little time afterthe murder, for we found blood-stainedwater in the basin, where he had washedhis hands, and marks on the sheets wherehe had deliberately wiped his knife."

I glanced at Holmes on hearing thedescription of the murderer, whichtallied so exactly with his own. Therewas, however, no trace of exultation orsatisfaction upon his face.

"Did you find nothing in the roomwhich could furnish a clue to the

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murderer?" he asked."Nothing. Stangerson had Drebber's

purse in his pocket, but it seems that thiswas usual, as he did all the paying.There was eighty odd pounds in it, butnothing had been taken. Whatever themotives of these extraordinary crimes,robbery is certainly not one of them.There were no papers or memoranda inthe murdered man's pocket, except asingle telegram, dated from Clevelandabout a month ago, and containing thewords, 'J. H. is in Europe.' There was noname appended to this message."

"And there was nothing else?"Holmes asked.

"Nothing of any importance. Theman's novel, with which he had read

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himself to sleep was lying upon the bed,and his pipe was on a chair beside him.There was a glass of water on the table,and on the window-sill a small chipointment box containing a couple ofpills."

Sherlock Holmes sprang from hischair with an exclamation of delight.

"The last link," he cried, exultantly."My case is complete."

The two detectives stared at him inamazement.

"I have now in my hands," mycompanion said, confidently, "all thethreads which have formed such atangle. There are, of course, details to befilled in, but I am as certain of all themain facts, from the time that Drebber

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parted from Stangerson at the station, upto the discovery of the body of the latter,as if I had seen them with my own eyes. Iwill give you a proof of my knowledge.Could you lay your hand upon thosepills?"

"I have them," said Lestrade,producing a small white box; "I tookthem and the purse and the telegram,intending to have them put in a place ofsafety at the Police Station. It was themerest chance my taking these pills, for Iam bound to say that I do not attach anyimportance to them."

"Give them here," said Holmes."Now, Doctor," turning to me, "are thoseordinary pills?"

They certainly were not. They were of

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a pearly grey colour, small, round, andalmost transparent against the light."From their lightness and transparency, Ishould imagine that they are soluble inwater," I remarked.

"Precisely so," answered Holmes."Now would you mind going down andfetching that poor little devil of a terrierwhich has been bad so long, and whichthe landlady wanted you to put out of itspain yesterday."

I went downstairs and carried the dogupstair in my arms. It's labouredbreathing and glazing eye showed that itwas not far from its end. Indeed, itssnow-white muzzle proclaimed that ithad already exceeded the usual term ofcanine existence. I placed it upon a

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cushion on the rug."I will now cut one of these pills in

two," said Holmes, and drawing hispenknife he suited the action to the word."One half we return into the box forfuture purposes. The other half I willplace in this wine glass, in which is ateaspoonful of water. You perceive thatour friend, the Doctor, is right, and that itreadily dissolves."

"This may be very interesting," saidLestrade, in the injured tone of one whosuspects that he is being laughed at, "Icannot see, however, what it has to dowith the death of Mr. JosephStangerson."

"Patience, my friend, patience! Youwill find in time that it has everything to

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do with it. I shall now add a little milkto make the mixture palatable, and onpresenting it to the dog we find that helaps it up readily enough."

As he spoke he turned the contents ofthe wine glass into a saucer and placedit in front of the terrier, who speedilylicked it dry. Sherlock Holmes' earnestdemeanour had so far convinced us thatwe all sat in silence, watching theanimal intently, and expecting somestartling effect. None such appeared,however. The dog continued to liestretched upon the cushion, breathing ina laboured way, but apparently neitherthe better nor the worse for its draught.

Holmes had taken out his watch, andas minute followed minute without

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result, an expression of the utmostchagrin and disappointment appearedupon his features. He gnawed his lip,drummed his fingers upon the table, andshowed every other symptom of acuteimpatience. So great was his emotion,that I felt sincerely sorry for him, whilethe two detectives smiled derisively, byno means displeased at this check whichhe had met.

"It can't be a coincidence," he cried,at last springing from his chair andpacing wildly up and down the room; "itis impossible that it should be a merecoincidence. The very pills which Isuspected in the case of Drebber areactually found after the death ofStangerson. And yet they are inert. What

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can it mean? Surely my whole chain ofreasoning cannot have been false. It isimpossible! And yet this wretched dog isnone the worse. Ah, I have it! I have it!"With a perfect shriek of delight herushed to the box, cut the other pill intwo, dissolved it, added milk, andpresented it to the terrier. Theunfortunate creature's tongue seemedhardly to have been moistened in itbefore it gave a convulsive shiver inevery limb, and lay as rigid and lifelessas if it had been struck by lightning.

Sherlock Holmes drew a long breath,and wiped the perspiration from hisforehead. "I should have more faith," hesaid; "I ought to know by this time thatwhen a fact appears to be opposed to a

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long train of deductions, it invariablyproves to be capable of bearing someother interpretation. Of the two pills inthat box one was of the most deadlypoison, and the other was entirelyharmless. I ought to have known thatbefore ever I saw the box at all."

This last statement appeared to me tobe so startling, that I could hardlybelieve that he was in his sober senses.There was the dead dog, however, toprove that his conjecture had beencorrect. It seemed to me that the mists inmy own mind were gradually clearingaway, and I began to have a dim, vagueperception of the truth.

"All this seems strange to you,"continued Holmes, "because you failed

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at the beginning of the inquiry to graspthe importance of the single real cluewhich was presented to you. I had thegood fortune to seize upon that, andeverything which has occurred sincethen has served to confirm my originalsupposition, and, indeed, was the logicalsequence of it. Hence things which haveperplexed you and made the case moreobscure, have served to enlighten meand to strengthen my conclusions. It is amistake to confound strangeness withmystery. The most commonplace crimeis often the most mysterious because itpresents no new or special features fromwhich deductions may be drawn. Thismurder would have been infinitely moredifficult to unravel had the body of the

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victim been simply found lying in theroadway without any of those outre andsensational accompaniments which haverendered it remarkable. These strangedetails, far from making the case moredifficult, have really had the effect ofmaking it less so."

Mr. Gregson, who had listened to thisaddress with considerable impatience,could contain himself no longer. "Lookhere, Mr. Sherlock Holmes," he said,"we are all ready to acknowledge thatyou are a smart man, and that you haveyour own methods of working. We wantsomething more than mere theory andpreaching now, though. It is a case oftaking the man. I have made my case out,and it seems I was wrong. Young

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Charpentier could not have beenengaged in this second affair. Lestradewent after his man, Stangerson, and itappears that he was wrong too. Youhave thrown out hints here, and hintsthere, and seem to know more than wedo, but the time has come when we feelthat we have a right to ask you straighthow much you do know of the business.Can you name the man who did it?"

"I cannot help feeling that Gregson isright, sir," remarked Lestrade. "We haveboth tried, and we have both failed. Youhave remarked more than once since Ihave been in the room that you had allthe evidence which you require. Surelyyou will not withhold it any longer."

"Any delay in arresting the assassin,"

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I observed, "might give him time toperpetrate some fresh atrocity."

Thus pressed by us all, Holmesshowed signs of irresolution. Hecontinued to walk up and down the roomwith his head sunk on his chest and hisbrows drawn down, as was his habitwhen lost in thought.

"There will be no more murders," hesaid at last, stopping abruptly and facingus. "You can put that consideration outof the question. You have asked me if Iknow the name of the assassin. I do. Themere knowing of his name is a smallthing, however, compared with thepower of laying our hands upon him.This I expect very shortly to do. I havegood hopes of managing it through my

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own arrangements; but it is a thing whichneeds delicate handling, for we have ashrewd and desperate man to deal with,who is supported, as I have hadoccasion to prove, by another who is asclever as himself. As long as this manhas no idea that anyone can have a cluethere is some chance of securing him; butif he had the slightest suspicion, hewould change his name, and vanish in aninstant among the four millioninhabitants of this great city. Withoutmeaning to hurt either of your feelings, Iam bound to say that I consider thesemen to be more than a match for theofficial force, and that is why I have notasked your assistance. If I fail I shall, ofcourse, incur all the blame due to this

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omission; but that I am prepared for. Atpresent I am ready to promise that theinstant that I can communicate with youwithout endangering my owncombinations, I shall do so."

Gregson and Lestrade seemed to befar from satisfied by this assurance, orby the depreciating allusion to thedetective police. The former had flushedup to the roots of his flaxen hair, whilethe other's beady eyes glistened withcuriosity and resentment. Neither of themhad time to speak, however, before therewas a tap at the door, and the spokesmanof the street Arabs, young Wiggins,introduced his insignificant andunsavoury person.

"Please, sir," he said, touching his

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forelock, "I have the cab downstairs.""Good boy," said Holmes, blandly.

"Why don't you introduce this pattern atScotland Yard?" he continued, taking apair of steel handcuffs from a drawer."See how beautifully the spring works.They fasten in an instant."

"The old pattern is good enough,"remarked Lestrade, "if we can only findthe man to put them on."

"Very good, very good," said Holmes,smiling. "The cabman may as well helpme with my boxes. Just ask him to stepup, Wiggins."

I was surprised to find my companionspeaking as though he were about to setout on a journey, since he had not saidanything to me about it. There was a

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small portmanteau in the room, and thishe pulled out and began to strap. He wasbusily engaged at it when the cabmanentered the room.

"Just give me a help with this buckle,cabman," he said, kneeling over his task,and never turning his head.

The fellow came forward with asomewhat sullen, defiant air, and putdown his hands to assist. At that instantthere was a sharp click, the jangling ofmetal, and Sherlock Holmes sprang tohis feet again.

"Gentlemen," he cried, with flashingeyes, "let me introduce you to Mr.Jefferson Hope, the murderer of EnochDrebber and of Joseph Stangerson."

The whole thing occurred in a moment

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— so quickly that I had no time torealize it. I have a vivid recollection ofthat instant, of Holmes' triumphantexpression and the ring of his voice, ofthe cabman's dazed, savage face, as heglared at the glittering handcuffs, whichhad appeared as if by magic upon hiswrists. For a second or two we mighthave been a group of statues. Then, withan inarticulate roar of fury, the prisonerwrenched himself free from Holmes'sgrasp, and hurled himself through thewindow. Woodwork and glass gave waybefore him; but before he got quitethrough, Gregson, Lestrade, and Holmessprang upon him like so manystaghounds. He was dragged back intothe room, and then commenced a terrific

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conflict. So powerful and so fierce washe, that the four of us were shaken offagain and again. He appeared to have theconvulsive strength of a man in anepileptic fit. His face and hands wereterribly mangled by his passage throughthe glass, but loss of blood had no effectin diminishing his resistance. It was notuntil Lestrade succeeded in getting hishand inside his neckcloth and half-strangling him that we made him realizethat his struggles were of no avail; andeven then we felt no security until wehad pinioned his feet as well as hishands. That done, we rose to our feetbreathless and panting.

"We have his cab," said SherlockHolmes. "It will serve to take him to

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Scotland Yard. And now, gentlemen," hecontinued, with a pleasant smile, "wehave reached the end of our littlemystery. You are very welcome to putany questions that you like to me now,and there is no danger that I will refuseto answer them."

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Part 2The Country of the


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1ChapterOn the Great AlkaliPlainIn the central portion of the great NorthAmerican Continent there lies an aridand repulsive desert, which for many along year served as a barrier against theadvance of civilisation. From the SierraNevada to Nebraska, and from theYellowstone River in the north to the

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Colorado upon the south, is a region ofdesolation and silence. Nor is Naturealways in one mood throughout this grimdistrict. It comprises snow-capped andlofty mountains, and dark and gloomyvalleys. There are swift-flowing riverswhich dash through jagged canons; andthere are enormous plains, which inwinter are white with snow, and insummer are grey with the saline alkalidust. They all preserve, however, thecommon characteristics of barrenness,inhospitality, and misery.

There are no inhabitants of this landof despair. A band of Pawnees or ofBlackfeet may occasionally traverse it inorder to reach other hunting-grounds, butthe hardiest of the braves are glad to

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lose sight of those awesome plains, andto find themselves once more upon theirprairies. The coyote skulks among thescrub, the buzzard flaps heavily throughthe air, and the clumsy grizzly bearlumbers through the dark ravines, andpicks up such sustenance as it canamongst the rocks. These are the soledwellers in the wilderness.

In the whole world there can be nomore dreary view than that from thenorthern slope of the Sierra Blanco. Asfar as the eye can reach stretches thegreat flat plain-land, all dusted overwith patches of alkali, and intersected byclumps of the dwarfish chaparral bushes.On the extreme verge of the horizon lie along chain of mountain peaks, with their

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rugged summits flecked with snow. Inthis great stretch of country there is nosign of life, nor of anything appertainingto life. There is no bird in the steel-blueheaven, no movement upon the dull, greyearth — above all, there is absolutesilence. Listen as one may, there is noshadow of a sound in all that mightywilderness; nothing but silence —complete and heart-subduing silence.

It has been said there is nothingappertaining to life upon the broad plain.That is hardly true. Looking down fromthe Sierra Blanco, one sees a pathwaytraced out across the desert, whichwinds away and is lost in the extremedistance. It is rutted with wheels andtrodden down by the feet of many

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adventurers. Here and there there arescattered white objects which glisten inthe sun, and stand out against the dulldeposit of alkali. Approach, andexamine them! They are bones: somelarge and coarse, others smaller andmore delicate. The former havebelonged to oxen, and the latter to men.For fifteen hundred miles one may tracethis ghastly caravan route by thesescattered remains of those who hadfallen by the wayside.

Looking down on this very scene,there stood upon the fourth of May,eighteen hundred and forty-seven, asolitary traveller. His appearance wassuch that he might have been the verygenius or demon of the region. An

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observer would have found it difficult tosay whether he was nearer to forty or tosixty. His face was lean and haggard,and the brown parchment-like skin wasdrawn tightly over the projecting bones;his long, brown hair and beard were allflecked and dashed with white; his eyeswere sunken in his head, and burnedwith an unnatural lustre; while the handwhich grasped his rifle was hardly morefleshy than that of a skeleton. As hestood, he leaned upon his weapon forsupport, and yet his tall figure and themassive framework of his bonessuggested a wiry and vigorousconstitution. His gaunt face, however,and his clothes, which hung so baggilyover his shrivelled limbs, proclaimed

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what it was that gave him that senile anddecrepit appearance. The man was dying— dying from hunger and from thirst.

He had toiled painfully down theravine, and on to this little elevation, inthe vain hope of seeing some signs ofwater. Now the great salt plain stretchedbefore his eyes, and the distant belt ofsavage mountains, without a signanywhere of plant or tree, which mightindicate the presence of moisture. In allthat broad landscape there was no gleamof hope. North, and east, and west helooked with wild questioning eyes, andthen he realised that his wanderings hadcome to an end, and that there, on thatbarren crag, he was about to die. "Whynot here, as well as in a feather bed,

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twenty years hence," he muttered, as heseated himself in the shelter of aboulder.

Before sitting down, he had depositedupon the ground his useless rifle, andalso a large bundle tied up in a greyshawl, which he had carried slung overhis right shoulder. It appeared to besomewhat too heavy for his strength, forin lowering it, it came down on theground with some little violence.Instantly there broke from the greyparcel a little moaning cry, and from itthere protruded a small, scared face,with very bright brown eyes, and twolittle speckled, dimpled fists.

"You've hurt me!" said a childishvoice reproachfully.

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"Have I though," the man answeredpenitently, "I didn't go for to do it." Ashe spoke he unwrapped the grey shawland extricated a pretty little girl of aboutfive years of age, whose dainty shoesand smart pink frock with its little linenapron all bespoke a mother's care. Thechild was pale and wan, but her healthyarms and legs showed that she hadsuffered less than her companion.

"How is it now?" he answeredanxiously, for she was still rubbing thetowsy golden curls which covered theback of her head.

"Kiss it and make it well," she said,with perfect gravity, shoving the injuredpart up to him. "That's what mother usedto do. Where's mother?"

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"Mother's gone. I guess you'll see herbefore long."

"Gone, eh!" said the little girl. "Funny,she didn't say good-bye; she 'mostalways did if she was just goin' over toAuntie's for tea, and now she's beenaway three days. Say, it's awful dry, ain'tit? Ain't there no water, nor nothing toeat?"

"No, there ain't nothing, dearie. You'lljust need to be patient awhile, and thenyou'll be all right. Put your head up aginme like that, and then you'll feel bullier.It ain't easy to talk when your lips is likeleather, but I guess I'd best let you knowhow the cards lie. What's that you'vegot?"

"Pretty things! fine things!" cried the

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little girl enthusiastically, holding uptwo glittering fragments of mica. "Whenwe goes back to home I'll give them tobrother Bob."

"You'll see prettier things than themsoon," said the man confidently. "Youjust wait a bit. I was going to tell youthough — you remember when we leftthe river?"

"Oh, yes.""Well, we reckoned we'd strike

another river soon, d'ye see. But therewas somethin' wrong; compasses, ormap, or somethin', and it didn't turn up.Water ran out. Just except a little dropfor the likes of you and — and —"

"And you couldn't wash yourself,"interrupted his companion gravely,

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staring up at his grimy visage."No, nor drink. And Mr. Bender, he

was the fust to go, and then Indian Pete,and then Mrs. McGregor, and thenJohnny Hones, and then, dearie, yourmother."

"Then mother's a deader too," criedthe little girl dropping her face in herpinafore and sobbing bitterly.

"Yes, they all went except you andme. Then I thought there was somechance of water in this direction, so Iheaved you over my shoulder and wetramped it together. It don't seem asthough we've improved matters. There'san almighty small chance for us now!"

"Do you mean that we are going to dietoo?" asked the child, checking her sobs,

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and raising her tear-stained face."I guess that's about the size of it.""Why didn't you say so before?" she

said, laughing gleefully. "You gave mesuch a fright. Why, of course, now aslong as we die we'll be with motheragain."

"Yes, you will, dearie.""And you too. I'll tell her how awful

good you've been. I'll bet she meets us atthe door of Heaven with a big pitcher ofwater, and a lot of buckwheat cakes, hot,and toasted on both sides, like Bob andme was fond of. How long will it befirst?"

"I don't know — not very long." Theman's eyes were fixed upon the northernhorizon. In the blue vault of the heaven

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there had appeared three little speckswhich increased in size every moment,so rapidly did they approach. Theyspeedily resolved themselves into threelarge brown birds, which circled overthe heads of the two wanderers, and thensettled upon some rocks whichoverlooked them. They were buzzards,the vultures of the west, whose comingis the forerunner of death.

"Cocks and hens," cried the little girlgleefully, pointing at their ill-omenedforms, and clapping her hands to makethem rise. "Say, did God make thiscountry?"

"In course He did," said hercompanion, rather startled by thisunexpected question.

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"He made the country down inIllinois, and He made the Missouri," thelittle girl continued. "I guess somebodyelse made the country in these parts. It'snot nearly so well done. They forgot thewater and the trees."

"What would ye think of offering upprayer?" the man asked diffidently.

"It ain't night yet," she answered."It don't matter. It ain't quite regular,

but He won't mind that, you bet. You sayover them ones that you used to sayevery night in the waggon when we wason the Plains."

"Why don't you say some yourself?"the child asked, with wondering eyes.

"I disremember them," he answered."I hain't said none since I was half the

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height o' that gun. I guess it's never toolate. You say them out, and I'll stand byand come in on the choruses."

"Then you'll need to kneel down, andme too," she said, laying the shawl outfor that purpose. "You've got to put yourhands up like this. It makes you feel kindo' good."

It was a strange sight had there beenanything but the buzzards to see it. Sideby side on the narrow shawl knelt thetwo wanderers, the little prattling childand the reckless, hardened adventurer.Her chubby face, and his haggard,angular visage were both turned up tothe cloudless heaven in heartfelt entreatyto that dread being with whom they wereface to face, while the two voices — the

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one thin and clear, the other deep andharsh — united in the entreaty for mercyand forgiveness. The prayer finished,they resumed their seat in the shadow ofthe boulder until the child fell asleep,nestling upon the broad breast of herprotector. He watched over her slumberfor some time, but Nature proved to betoo strong for him. For three days andthree nights he had allowed himselfneither rest nor repose. Slowly theeyelids drooped over the tired eyes, andthe head sunk lower and lower upon thebreast, until the man's grizzled beardwas mixed with the gold tresses of hiscompanion, and both slept the same deepand dreamless slumber.

Had the wanderer remained awake for

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another half hour a strange sight wouldhave met his eyes. Far away on theextreme verge of the alkali plain thererose up a little spray of dust, very slightat first, and hardly to be distinguishedfrom the mists of the distance, butgradually growing higher and broaderuntil it formed a solid, well-definedcloud. This cloud continued to increasein size until it became evident that itcould only be raised by a great multitudeof moving creatures. In more fertilespots the observer would have come tothe conclusion that one of those greatherds of bisons which graze upon theprairie land was approaching him. Thiswas obviously impossible in these aridwilds. As the whirl of dust drew nearer

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to the solitary bluff upon which the twocastaways were reposing, the canvas-covered tilts of waggons and the figuresof armed horsemen began to show upthrough the haze, and the apparitionrevealed itself as being a great caravanupon its journey for the West. But what acaravan! When the head of it hadreached the base of the mountains, therear was not yet visible on the horizon.Right across the enormous plainstretched the straggling array, waggonsand carts, men on horseback, and men onfoot. Innumerable women who staggeredalong under burdens, and children whotoddled beside the waggons or peepedout from under the white coverings. Thiswas evidently no ordinary party of

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immigrants, but rather some nomadpeople who had been compelled fromstress of circumstances to seekthemselves a new country. There rosethrough the clear air a confusedclattering and rumbling from this greatmass of humanity, with the creaking ofwheels and the neighing of horses. Loudas it was, it was not sufficient to rousethe two tired wayfarers above them.

At the head of the column there rode ascore or more of grave ironfaced men,clad in sombre homespun garments andarmed with rifles. On reaching the baseof the bluff they halted, and held a shortcouncil among themselves.

"The wells are to the right, mybrothers," said one, a hard-lipped,

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clean-shaven man with grizzly hair."To the right of the Sierra Blanco —

so we shall reach the Rio Grande," saidanother.

"Fear not for water," cried a third."He who could draw it from the rockswill not now abandon His own chosenpeople."

"Amen! Amen!" responded the wholeparty.

They were about to resume theirjourney when one of the youngest andkeenest-eyed uttered an exclamation andpointed up at the rugged crag abovethem. From its summit there fluttered alittle wisp of pink, showing up hard andbright against the grey rocks behind. Atthe sight there was a general reining up

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of horses and unslinging of guns, whilefresh horsemen came galloping up toreinforce the vanguard. The word'Redskins' was on every lip.

"There can't be any number of Injunshere," said the elderly man whoappeared to be in command. "We havepassed the Pawnees, and there are noother tribes until we cross the greatmountains."

"Shall I go forward and see, BrotherStangerson," asked one of the band.

"And I," "and I," cried a dozen voices."Leave your horses below and we

will await you here," the Elderanswered. In a moment the youngfellows had dismounted, fastened theirhorses, and were ascending the

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precipitous slope which led up to theobject which had excited their curiosity.They advanced rapidly and noiselessly,with the confidence and dexterity ofpractised scouts. The watchers from theplain below could see them flit fromrock to rock until their figures stood outagainst the skyline. The young man whohad first given the alarm was leadingthem. Suddenly his followers saw himthrow up his hands, as though overcomewith astonishment, and on joining himthey were affected in the same way bythe sight which met their eyes.

On the little plateau which crownedthe barren hill there stood a single giantboulder, and against this boulder therelay a tall man, long-bearded and hard-

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featured, but of an excessive thinness.His placid face and regular breathingshowed that he was fast asleep. Besidehim lay a little child, with her roundwhite arms encircling his brown sinewyneck, and her golden haired head restingupon the breast of his velveteen tunic.Her rosy lips were parted, showing theregular line of snow-white teeth within,and a playful smile played over herinfantile features. Her plump little whitelegs terminating in white socks and neatshoes with shining buckles, offered astrange contrast to the long shrivelledmembers of her companion. On the ledgeof rock above this strange couple therestood three solemn buzzards, who, at thesight of the new comers uttered raucous

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screams of disappointment and flappedsullenly away.

The cries of the foul birds awoke thetwo sleepers who stared about them inbewilderment. The man staggered to hisfeet and looked down upon the plainwhich had been so desolate when sleephad overtaken him, and which was nowtraversed by this enormous body of menand of beasts. His face assumed anexpression of incredulity as he gazed,and he passed his boney hand over hiseyes. "This is what they call delirium, Iguess," he muttered. The child stoodbeside him, holding on to the skirt of hiscoat, and said nothing but looked allround her with the wonderingquestioning gaze of childhood.

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The rescuing party were speedily ableto convince the two castaways that theirappearance was no delusion. One ofthem seized the little girl, and hoistedher upon his shoulder, while two otherssupported her gaunt companion, andassisted him towards the waggons.

"My name is John Ferrier," thewanderer explained; "me and that littleun are all that's left o' twenty-onepeople. The rest is all dead o' thirst andhunger away down in the south."

"Is she your child?" asked someone."I guess she is now," the other cried,

defiantly; "she's mine 'cause I saved her.No man will take her from me. She'sLucy Ferrier from this day on. Who areyou, though?" he continued, glancing

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with curiosity at his stalwart, sunburnedrescuers; "there seems to be a powerfullot of ye."

"Nigh upon ten thousand," said one ofthe young men; "we are the persecutedchildren of God — the chosen of theAngel Merona."

"I never heard tell on him," said thewanderer. "He appears to have chosen afair crowd of ye."

"Do not jest at that which is sacred,"said the other sternly. "We are of thosewho believe in those sacred writings,drawn in Egyptian letters on plates ofbeaten gold, which were handed unto theholy Joseph Smith at Palmyra. We havecome from Nauvoo, in the State ofIllinois, where we had founded our

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temple. We have come to seek a refugefrom the violent man and from thegodless, even though it be the heart ofthe desert."

The name of Nauvoo evidentlyrecalled recollections to John Ferrier. "Isee," he said, "you are the Mormons."

"We are the Mormons," answered hiscompanions with one voice.

"And where are you going?""We do not know. The hand of God is

leading us under the person of ourProphet. You must come before him. Heshall say what is to be done with you."

They had reached the base of the hillby this time, and were surrounded bycrowds of the pilgrims — pale-facedmeek-looking women, strong laughing

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children, and anxious earnest-eyed men.Many were the cries of astonishment andof commiseration which arose from themwhen they perceived the youth of one ofthe strangers and the destitution of theother. Their escort did not halt,however, but pushed on, followed by agreat crowd of Mormons, until theyreached a waggon, which wasconspicuous for its great size and for thegaudiness and smartness of itsappearance. Six horses were yoked to it,whereas the others were furnished withtwo, or, at most, four a-piece. Beside thedriver there sat a man who could nothave been more than thirty years of age,but whose massive head and resoluteexpression marked him as a leader. He

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was reading a brown-backed volume,but as the crowd approached he laid itaside, and listened attentively to anaccount of the episode. Then he turned tothe two castaways.

"If we take you with us," he said, insolemn words, "it can only be asbelievers in our own creed. We shallhave no wolves in our fold. Better farthat your bones should bleach in thiswilderness than that you should prove tobe that little speck of decay which intime corrupts the whole fruit. Will youcome with us on these terms?"

"Guess I'll come with you on anyterms," said Ferrier, with such emphasisthat the grave Elders could not restrain asmile. The leader alone retained his

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stern, impressive expression."Take him, Brother Stangerson," he

said, "give him food and drink, and thechild likewise. Let it be your task also toteach him our holy creed. We havedelayed long enough. Forward! On, on toZion!"

"On, on to Zion!" cried the crowd ofMormons, and the words rippled downthe long caravan, passing from mouth tomouth until they died away in a dullmurmur in the far distance. With acracking of whips and a creaking ofwheels the great wagons got into motion,and soon the whole caravan waswinding along once more. The Elder towhose care the two waifs had beencommitted, led them to his waggon,

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where a meal was already awaitingthem.

"You shall remain here," he said. "In afew days you will have recovered fromyour fatigues. In the meantime, rememberthat now and for ever you are of ourreligion. Brigham Young has said it, andhe has spoken with the voice of JosephSmith, which is the voice of God."

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2ChapterThe Flower of UtahThis is not the place to commemorate thetrials and privations endured by theimmigrant Mormons before they came totheir final haven. From the shores of theMississippi to the western slopes of theRocky Mountains they had struggled onwith a constancy almost unparalleled inhistory. The savage man, and the savagebeast, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and disease

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— every impediment which Naturecould place in the way, had all beenovercome with Anglo-Saxon tenacity.Yet the long journey and the accumulatedterrors had shaken the hearts of thestoutest among them. There was not onewho did not sink upon his knees inheartfelt prayer when they saw the broadvalley of Utah bathed in the sunlightbeneath them, and learned from the lipsof their leader that this was the promisedland, and that these virgin acres were tobe theirs for evermore.

Young speedily proved himself to bea skilful administrator as well as aresolute chief. Maps were drawn andcharts prepared, in which the future citywas sketched out. All around farms were

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apportioned and allotted in proportion tothe standing of each individual. Thetradesman was put to his trade and theartisan to his calling. In the town streetsand squares sprang up, as if by magic. Inthe country there was draining andhedging, planting and clearing, until thenext summer saw the whole countrygolden with the wheat crop. Everythingprospered in the strange settlement.Above all, the great temple which theyhad erected in the centre of the city grewever taller and larger. From the firstblush of dawn until the closing of thetwilight, the clatter of the hammer andthe rasp of the saw was never absentfrom the monument which the immigrantserected to Him who had led them safe

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through many dangers.The two castaways, John Ferrier and

the little girl who had shared his fortunesand had been adopted as his daughter,accompanied the Mormons to the end oftheir great pilgrimage. Little LucyFerrier was borne along pleasantlyenough in Elder Stangerson's waggon, aretreat which she shared with theMormon's three wives and with his son,a headstrong forward boy of twelve.Having rallied, with the elasticity ofchildhood, from the shock caused by hermother's death, she soon became a petwith the women, and reconciled herselfto this new life in her moving canvas-covered home. In the meantime Ferrierhaving recovered from his privations,

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distinguished himself as a useful guideand an indefatigable hunter. So rapidlydid he gain the esteem of his newcompanions, that when they reached theend of their wanderings, it wasunanimously agreed that he should beprovided with as large and as fertile atract of land as any of the settlers, withthe exception of Young himself, and ofStangerson, Kemball, Johnston, andDrebber, who were the four principalElders.

On the farm thus acquired JohnFerrier built himself a substantial log-house, which received so manyadditions in succeeding years that itgrew into a roomy villa. He was a manof a practical turn of mind, keen in his

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dealings and skilful with his hands. Hisiron constitution enabled him to workmorning and evening at improving andtilling his lands. Hence it came aboutthat his farm and all that belonged to himprospered exceedingly. In three years hewas better off than his neighbours, in sixhe was well-to-do, in nine he was rich,and in twelve there were not half adozen men in the whole of Salt Lake Citywho could compare with him. From thegreat inland sea to the distant WahsatchMountains there was no name betterknown than that of John Ferrier.

There was one way and only one inwhich he offended the susceptibilities ofhis co-religionists. No argument orpersuasion could ever induce him to set

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up a female establishment after themanner of his companions. He nevergave reasons for this persistent refusal,but contented himself by resolutely andinflexibly adhering to his determination.There were some who accused him oflukewarmness in his adopted religion,and others who put it down to greed ofwealth and reluctance to incur expense.Others, again, spoke of some early loveaffair, and of a fair-haired girl who hadpined away on the shores of the Atlantic.Whatever the reason, Ferrier remainedstrictly celibate. In every other respecthe conformed to the religion of the youngsettlement, and gained the name of beingan orthodox and straight-walking man.

Lucy Ferrier grew up within the log-

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house, and assisted her adopted father inall his undertakings. The keen air of themountains and the balsamic odour of thepine trees took the place of nurse andmother to the young girl. As yearsucceeded to year she grew taller andstronger, her cheek more rudy, and herstep more elastic. Many a wayfarer uponthe high road which ran by Ferrier's farmfelt long-forgotten thoughts revive intheir mind as they watched her lithegirlish figure tripping through thewheatfields, or met her mounted uponher father's mustang, and managing itwith all the ease and grace of a truechild of the West. So the bud blossomedinto a flower, and the year which sawher father the richest of the farmers left

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her as fair a specimen of Americangirlhood as could be found in the wholePacific slope.

It was not the father, however, whofirst discovered that the child haddeveloped into the woman. It seldom isin such cases. That mysterious change istoo subtle and too gradual to bemeasured by dates. Least of all does themaiden herself know it until the tone of avoice or the touch of a hand sets herheart thrilling within her, and she learns,with a mixture of pride and of fear, that anew and a larger nature has awokenwithin her. There are few who cannotrecall that day and remember the onelittle incident which heralded the dawnof a new life. In the case of Lucy Ferrier

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the occasion was serious enough initself, apart from its future influence onher destiny and that of many besides.

It was a warm June morning, and theLatter Day Saints were as busy as thebees whose hive they have chosen fortheir emblem. In the fields and in thestreets rose the same hum of humanindustry. Down the dusty high roadsdefiled long streams of heavily-ladenmules, all heading to the west, for thegold fever had broken out in California,and the Overland Route lay through theCity of the Elect. There, too, weredroves of sheep and bullocks coming infrom the outlying pasture lands, andtrains of tired immigrants, men andhorses equally weary of their

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interminable journey. Through all thismotley assemblage, threading her waywith the skill of an accomplished rider,there galloped Lucy Ferrier, her fair faceflushed with the exercise and her longchestnut hair floating out behind her. Shehad a commission from her father in theCity, and was dashing in as she had donemany a time before, with all thefearlessness of youth, thinking only ofher task and how it was to be performed.The travel-stained adventurers gazedafter her in astonishment, and even theunemotional Indians, journeying in withtheir pelties, relaxed their accustomedstoicism as they marvelled at the beautyof the pale-faced maiden.

She had reached the outskirts of the

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city when she found the road blocked bya great drove of cattle, driven by a half-dozen wild-looking herdsmen from theplains. In her impatience sheendeavoured to pass this obstacle bypushing her horse into what appeared tobe a gap. Scarcely had she got fairly intoit, however, before the beasts closed inbehind her, and she found herselfcompletely imbedded in the movingstream of fierce-eyed, long-hornedbullocks. Accustomed as she was to dealwith cattle, she was not alarmed at hersituation, but took advantage of everyopportunity to urge her horse on in thehopes of pushing her way through thecavalcade. Unfortunately the horns ofone of the creatures, either by accident

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or design, came in violent contact withthe flank of the mustang, and excited it tomadness. In an instant it reared up uponits hind legs with a snort of rage, andpranced and tossed in a way that wouldhave unseated any but a most skilfulrider. The situation was full of peril.Every plunge of the excited horsebrought it against the horns again, andgoaded it to fresh madness. It was allthat the girl could do to keep herself inthe saddle, yet a slip would mean aterrible death under the hoofs of theunwieldy and terrified animals.Unaccustomed to sudden emergencies,her head began to swim, and her gripupon the bridle to relax. Choked by therising cloud of dust and by the steam

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from the struggling creatures, she mighthave abandoned her efforts in despair,but for a kindly voice at her elbowwhich assured her of assistance. At thesame moment a sinewy brown handcaught the frightened horse by the curb,and forcing a way through the drove,soon brought her to the outskirts.

"You're not hurt, I hope, miss," saidher preserver, respectfully.

She looked up at his dark, fierce face,and laughed saucily. "I'm awfulfrightened," she said, naively; "whoeverwould have thought that Poncho wouldhave been so scared by a lot of cows?"

"Thank God you kept your seat," theother said earnestly. He was a tall,savage-looking young fellow, mounted

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on a powerful roan horse, and clad in therough dress of a hunter, with a long rifleslung over his shoulders. "I guess youare the daughter of John Ferrier," heremarked, "I saw you ride down fromhis house. When you see him, ask him ifhe remembers the Jefferson Hopes of St.Louis. If he's the same Ferrier, my fatherand he were pretty thick."

"Hadn't you better come and askyourself?" she asked, demurely.

The young fellow seemed pleased atthe suggestion, and his dark eyessparkled with pleasure. "I'll do so," hesaid, "we've been in the mountains fortwo months, and are not over and abovein visiting condition. He must take us ashe finds us."

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"He has a good deal to thank you for,and so have I," she answered, "he'sawful fond of me. If those cows hadjumped on me he'd have never got overit."

"Neither would I," said hercompanion.

"You! Well, I don't see that it wouldmake much matter to you, anyhow. Youain't even a friend of ours."

The young hunter's dark face grew sogloomy over this remark that LucyFerrier laughed aloud.

"There, I didn't mean that," she said;"of course, you are a friend now. Youmust come and see us. Now I must pushalong, or father won't trust me with hisbusiness any more. Good-bye!"

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"Good-bye," he answered, raising hisbroad sombrero, and bending over herlittle hand. She wheeled her mustanground, gave it a cut with her riding-whip, and darted away down the broadroad in a rolling cloud of dust.

Young Jefferson Hope rode on withhis companions, gloomy and taciturn. Heand they had been among the NevadaMountains prospecting for silver, andwere returning to Salt Lake City in thehope of raising capital enough to worksome lodes which they had discovered.He had been as keen as any of them uponthe business until this sudden incidenthad drawn his thoughts into anotherchannel. The sight of the fair young girl,as frank and wholesome as the Sierra

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breezes, had stirred his volcanic,untamed heart to its very depths. Whenshe had vanished from his sight, herealized that a crisis had come in hislife, and that neither silver speculationsnor any other questions could ever be ofsuch importance to him as this new andall-absorbing one. The love which hadsprung up in his heart was not thesudden, changeable fancy of a boy, butrather the wild, fierce passion of a manof strong will and imperious temper. Hehad been accustomed to succeed in allthat he undertook. He swore in his heartthat he would not fail in this if humaneffort and human perseverance couldrender him successful.

He called on John Ferrier that night,

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and many times again, until his face wasa familiar one at the farm-house. John,cooped up in the valley, and absorbed inhis work, had had little chance oflearning the news of the outside worldduring the last twelve years. All thisJefferson Hope was able to tell him, andin a style which interested Lucy as wellas her father. He had been a pioneer inCalifornia, and could narrate many astrange tale of fortunes made andfortunes lost in those wild, halcyon days.He had been a scout too, and a trapper, asilver explorer, and a ranchman.Wherever stirring adventures were to behad, Jefferson Hope had been there insearch of them. He soon became afavourite with the old farmer, who spoke

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eloquently of his virtues. On suchoccasions, Lucy was silent, but herblushing cheek and her bright, happyeyes, showed only too clearly that heryoung heart was no longer her own. Herhonest father may not have observedthese symptoms, but they were assuredlynot thrown away upon the man who hadwon her affections.

It was a summer evening when hecame galloping down the road andpulled up at the gate. She was at thedoorway, and came down to meet him.He threw the bridle over the fence andstrode up the pathway.

"I am off, Lucy," he said, taking hertwo hands in his, and gazing tenderlydown into her face; "I won't ask you to

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come with me now, but will you beready to come when I am here again?"

"And when will that be?" she asked,blushing and laughing.

"A couple of months at the outside. Iwill come and claim you then, mydarling. There's no one who can standbetween us."

"And how about father?" she asked."He has given his consent, provided

we get these mines working all right. Ihave no fear on that head."

"Oh, well; of course, if you and fatherhave arranged it all, there's no more tobe said," she whispered, with her cheekagainst his broad breast.

"Thank God!" he said, hoarsely,stooping and kissing her. "It is settled,

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then. The longer I stay, the harder it willbe to go. They are waiting for me at thecanon. Good-bye, my own darling —good-bye. In two months you shall seeme."

He tore himself from her as he spoke,and, flinging himself upon his horse,galloped furiously away, never evenlooking round, as though afraid that hisresolution might fail him if he took oneglance at what he was leaving. She stoodat the gate, gazing after him until hevanished from her sight. Then shewalked back into the house, the happiestgirl in all Utah.

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3ChapterJohn Ferrier Talkswith the ProphetThree weeks had passed since JeffersonHope and his comrades had departedfrom Salt Lake City. John Ferrier's heartwas sore within him when he thought ofthe young man's return, and of theimpending loss of his adopted child. Yether bright and happy face reconciled him

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to the arrangement more than anyargument could have done. He hadalways determined, deep down in hisresolute heart, that nothing would everinduce him to allow his daughter to weda Mormon. Such a marriage he regardedas no marriage at all, but as a shame anda disgrace. Whatever he might think ofthe Mormon doctrines, upon that onepoint he was inflexible. He had to sealhis mouth on the subject, however, for toexpress an unorthodox opinion was adangerous matter in those days in theLand of the Saints.

Yes, a dangerous matter — sodangerous that even the most saintlydared only whisper their religiousopinions with bated breath, lest

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something which fell from their lipsmight be misconstrued, and bring down aswift retribution upon them. The victimsof persecution had now turnedpersecutors on their own account, andpersecutors of the most terribledescription. Not the Inquisition ofSeville, nor the German Vehm-gericht,nor the Secret Societies of Italy, wereever able to put a more formidablemachinery in motion than that which casta cloud over the State of Utah.

Its invisibility, and the mystery whichwas attached to it, made thisorganization doubly terrible. It appearedto be omniscient and omnipotent, and yetwas neither seen nor heard. The manwho held out against the Church

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vanished away, and none knew whitherhe had gone or what had befallen him.His wife and his children awaited him athome, but no father ever returned to tellthem how he had fared at the hands ofhis secret judges. A rash word or a hastyact was followed by annihilation, andyet none knew what the nature might beof this terrible power which wassuspended over them. No wonder thatmen went about in fear and trembling,and that even in the heart of thewilderness they dared not whisper thedoubts which oppressed them.

At first this vague and terrible powerwas exercised only upon therecalcitrants who, having embraced theMormon faith, wished afterwards to

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pervert or to abandon it. Soon, however,it took a wider range. The supply ofadult women was running short, andpolygamy without a female populationon which to draw was a barren doctrineindeed. Strange rumours began to bebandied about — rumours of murderedimmigrants and rifled camps in regionswhere Indians had never been seen.Fresh women appeared in the harems ofthe Elders — women who pined andwept, and bore upon their faces thetraces of an unextinguishable horror.Belated wanderers upon the mountainsspoke of gangs of armed men, masked,stealthy, and noiseless, who flitted bythem in the darkness. These tales andrumours took substance and shape, and

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were corroborated and re-corroborated,until they resolved themselves into adefinite name. To this day, in the lonelyranches of the West, the name of theDanite Band, or the Avenging Angels, isa sinister and an ill-omened one.

Fuller knowledge of the organizationwhich produced such terrible resultsserved to increase rather than to lessenthe horror which it inspired in the mindsof men. None knew who belonged to thisruthless society. The names of theparticipators in the deeds of blood andviolence done under the name of religionwere kept profoundly secret. The veryfriend to whom you communicated yourmisgivings as to the Prophet and hismission, might be one of those who

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would come forth at night with fire andsword to exact a terrible reparation.Hence every man feared his neighbour,and none spoke of the things which werenearest his heart.

One fine morning, John Ferrier wasabout to set out to his wheatfields, whenhe heard the click of the latch, and,looking through the window, saw a stout,sandy-haired, middle-aged man comingup the pathway. His heart leapt to hismouth, for this was none other than thegreat Brigham Young himself. Full oftrepidation — for he knew that such avisit boded him little good — Ferrierran to the door to greet the Mormonchief. The latter, however, received hissalutations coldly, and followed him

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with a stern face into the sitting-room."Brother Ferrier," he said, taking a

seat, and eyeing the farmer keenly fromunder his light-coloured eyelashes, "thetrue believers have been good friends toyou. We picked you up when you werestarving in the desert, we shared ourfood with you, led you safe to theChosen Valley, gave you a goodly shareof land, and allowed you to wax richunder our protection. Is not this so?"

"It is so," answered John Ferrier."In return for all this we asked but one

condition: that was, that you shouldembrace the true faith, and conform inevery way to its usages. This youpromised to do, and this, if commonreport says truly, you have neglected."

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"And how have I neglected it?" askedFerrier, throwing out his hands inexpostulation. "Have I not given to thecommon fund? Have I not attended at theTemple? Have I not —?"

"Where are your wives?" askedYoung, looking round him. "Call them in,that I may greet them."

"It is true that I have not married,"Ferrier answered. "But women werefew, and there were many who hadbetter claims than I. I was not a lonelyman: I had my daughter to attend to mywants."

"It is of that daughter that I wouldspeak to you," said the leader of theMormons. "She has grown to be theflower of Utah, and has found favour in

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the eyes of many who are high in theland."

John Ferrier groaned internally."There are stories of her which I

would fain disbelieve — stories that sheis sealed to some Gentile. This must bethe gossip of idle tongues. What is thethirteenth rule in the code of the saintedJoseph Smith? 'Let every maiden of thetrue faith marry one of the elect; for ifshe wed a Gentile, she commits agrievous sin.' This being so, it isimpossible that you, who profess theholy creed, should suffer your daughterto violate it."

John Ferrier made no answer, but heplayed nervously with his riding-whip.

"Upon this one point your whole faith

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shall be tested — so it has been decidedin the Sacred Council of Four. The girlis young, and we would not have herwed grey hairs, neither would wedeprive her of all choice. We Eldershave many heifers, * but our childrenmust also be provided. Stangerson has ason, and Drebber has a son, and either ofthem would gladly welcome yourdaughter to their house. Let her choosebetween them. They are young and rich,and of the true faith. What say you tothat?"

Ferrier remained silent for some littletime with his brows knitted.

"You will give us time," he said atlast. "My daughter is very young — sheis scarce of an age to marry."

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"She shall have a month to choose,"said Young, rising from his seat. "At theend of that time she shall give heranswer."

He was passing through the door,when he turned, with flushed face andflashing eyes. "It were better for you,John Ferrier," he thundered, "that youand she were now lying blanchedskeletons upon the Sierra Blanco, thanthat you should put your weak willsagainst the orders of the Holy Four!"

With a threatening gesture of his hand,he turned from the door, and Ferrierheard his heavy step scrunching alongthe shingly path.

He was still sitting with his elbowsupon his knees, considering how he

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should broach the matter to his daughterwhen a soft hand was laid upon his, andlooking up, he saw her standing besidehim. One glance at her pale, frightenedface showed him that she had heard whathad passed.

"I could not help it," she said, inanswer to his look. "His voice rangthrough the house. Oh, father, father,what shall we do?"

"Don't you scare yourself," heanswered, drawing her to him, andpassing his broad, rough handcaressingly over her chestnut hair."We'll fix it up somehow or another.You don't find your fancy kind o'lessening for this chap, do you?"

A sob and a squeeze of his hand was

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her only answer."No; of course not. I shouldn't care to

hear you say you did. He's a likely lad,and he's a Christian, which is more thanthese folk here, in spite o' all theirpraying and preaching. There's a partystarting for Nevada to-morrow, and I'llmanage to send him a message lettinghim know the hole we are in. If I knowanything o' that young man, he'll be backhere with a speed that would whipelectro-telegraphs."

Lucy laughed through her tears at herfather's description.

"When he comes, he will advise usfor the best. But it is for you that I amfrightened, dear. One hears — one hearssuch dreadful stories about those who

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oppose the Prophet: something terriblealways happens to them."

"But we haven't opposed him yet," herfather answered. "It will be time to lookout for squalls when we do. We have aclear month before us; at the end of that,I guess we had best shin out of Utah."

"Leave Utah!""That's about the size of it.""But the farm?""We will raise as much as we can in

money, and let the rest go. To tell thetruth, Lucy, it isn't the first time I havethought of doing it. I don't care aboutknuckling under to any man, as these folkdo to their darned prophet. I'm a free-born American, and it's all new to me.Guess I'm too old to learn. If he comes

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browsing about this farm, he mightchance to run up against a charge ofbuckshot travelling in the oppositedirection."

"But they won't let us leave," hisdaughter objected.

"Wait till Jefferson comes, and we'llsoon manage that. In the meantime, don'tyou fret yourself, my dearie, and don'tget your eyes swelled up, else he'll bewalking into me when he sees you.There's nothing to be afeared about, andthere's no danger at all."

John Ferrier uttered these consolingremarks in a very confident tone, but shecould not help observing that he paidunusual care to the fastening of the doorsthat night, and that he carefully cleaned

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and loaded the rusty old shotgun whichhung upon the wall of his bedroom.

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4ChapterA Flight for LifeOn the morning which followed hisinterview with the Mormon Prophet,John Ferrier went in to Salt Lake City,and having found his acquaintance, whowas bound for the Nevada Mountains, heentrusted him with his message toJefferson Hope. In it he told the youngman of the imminent danger whichthreatened them, and how necessary it

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was that he should return. Having donethus he felt easier in his mind, andreturned home with a lighter heart.

As he approached his farm, he wassurprised to see a horse hitched to eachof the posts of the gate. Still moresurprised was he on entering to find twoyoung men in possession of his sitting-room. One, with a long pale face, wasleaning back in the rocking-chair, withhis feet cocked up upon the stove. Theother, a bull-necked youth with coarsebloated features, was standing in front ofthe window with his hands in his pocket,whistling a popular hymn. Both of themnodded to Ferrier as he entered, and theone in the rocking-chair commenced theconversation.

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"Maybe you don't know us," he said."This here is the son of Elder Drebber,and I'm Joseph Stangerson, whotravelled with you in the desert when theLord stretched out His hand and gatheredyou into the true fold."

"As He will all the nations in His owngood time," said the other in a nasalvoice; "He grindeth slowly butexceeding small."

John Ferrier bowed coldly. He hadguessed who his visitors were.

"We have come," continuedStangerson, "at the advice of our fathersto solicit the hand of your daughter forwhichever of us may seem good to youand to her. As I have but four wives andBrother Drebber here has seven, it

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appears to me that my claim is thestronger one."

"Nay, nay, Brother Stangerson," criedthe other; "the question is not how manywives we have, but how many we cankeep. My father has now given over hismills to me, and I am the richer man."

"But my prospects are better," said theother, warmly. "When the Lord removesmy father, I shall have his tanning yardand his leather factory. Then I am yourelder, and am higher in the Church."

"It will be for the maiden to decide,"rejoined young Drebber, smirking at hisown reflection in the glass. "We willleave it all to her decision."

During this dialogue, John Ferrier hadstood fuming in the doorway, hardly able

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to keep his riding-whip from the backsof his two visitors.

"Look here," he said at last, stridingup to them, "when my daughter summonsyou, you can come, but until then I don'twant to see your faces again."

The two young Mormons stared at himin amazement. In their eyes thiscompetition between them for themaiden's hand was the highest ofhonours both to her and her father.

"There are two ways out of the room,"cried Ferrier; "there is the door, andthere is the window. Which do you careto use?"

His brown face looked so savage, andhis gaunt hands so threatening, that hisvisitors sprang to their feet and beat a

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hurried retreat. The old farmer followedthem to the door.

"Let me know when you have settledwhich it is to be," he said, sardonically.

"You shall smart for this!" Stangersoncried, white with rage. "You have defiedthe Prophet and the Council of Four. Youshall rue it to the end of your days."

"The hand of the Lord shall be heavyupon you," cried young Drebber; "Hewill arise and smite you!"

"Then I'll start the smiting," exclaimedFerrier furiously, and would have rushedupstairs for his gun had not Lucy seizedhim by the arm and restrained him.Before he could escape from her, theclatter of horses' hoofs told him that theywere beyond his reach.

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"The young canting rascals!" heexclaimed, wiping the perspiration fromhis forehead; "I would sooner see you inyour grave, my girl, than the wife ofeither of them."

"And so should I, father," sheanswered, with spirit; "but Jeffersonwill soon be here."

"Yes. It will not be long before hecomes. The sooner the better, for we donot know what their next move may be."

It was, indeed, high time that someonecapable of giving advice and helpshould come to the aid of the sturdy oldfarmer and his adopted daughter. In thewhole history of the settlement there hadnever been such a case of rankdisobedience to the authority of the

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Elders. If minor errors were punished sosternly, what would be the fate of thisarch rebel. Ferrier knew that his wealthand position would be of no avail tohim. Others as well known and as richas himself had been spirited awaybefore now, and their goods given overto the Church. He was a brave man, buthe trembled at the vague, shadowyterrors which hung over him. Any knowndanger he could face with a firm lip, butthis suspense was unnerving. Heconcealed his fears from his daughter,however, and affected to make light ofthe whole matter, though she, with thekeen eye of love, saw plainly that hewas ill at ease.

He expected that he would receive

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some message or remonstrance fromYoung as to his conduct, and he was notmistaken, though it came in an unlooked-for manner. Upon rising next morning hefound, to his surprise, a small square ofpaper pinned on to the coverlet of hisbed just over his chest. On it wasprinted, in bold straggling letters:—

"Twenty-nine days are given you foramendment, and then —"

The dash was more fear-inspiring thanany threat could have been. How thiswarning came into his room puzzledJohn Ferrier sorely, for his servantsslept in an outhouse, and the doors andwindows had all been secured. Hecrumpled the paper up and said nothingto his daughter, but the incident struck a

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chill into his heart. The twenty-nine dayswere evidently the balance of the monthwhich Young had promised. Whatstrength or courage could avail againstan enemy armed with such mysteriouspowers? The hand which fastened thatpin might have struck him to the heart,and he could never have known who hadslain him.

Still more shaken was he nextmorning. They had sat down to theirbreakfast when Lucy with a cry ofsurprise pointed upwards. In the centreof the ceiling was scrawled, with aburned stick apparently, the number 28.To his daughter it was unintelligible, andhe did not enlighten her. That night he satup with his gun and kept watch and

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ward. He saw and he heard nothing, andyet in the morning a great 27 had beenpainted upon the outside of his door.

Thus day followed day; and as sure asmorning came he found that his unseenenemies had kept their register, and hadmarked up in some conspicuous positionhow many days were still left to him outof the month of grace. Sometimes thefatal numbers appeared upon the walls,sometimes upon the floors, occasionallythey were on small placards stuck uponthe garden gate or the railings. With allhis vigilance John Ferrier could notdiscover whence these daily warningsproceeded. A horror which was almostsuperstitious came upon him at the sightof them. He became haggard and

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restless, and his eyes had the troubledlook of some hunted creature. He had butone hope in life now, and that was forthe arrival of the young hunter fromNevada.

Twenty had changed to fifteen andfifteen to ten, but there was no news ofthe absentee. One by one the numbersdwindled down, and still there came nosign of him. Whenever a horsemanclattered down the road, or a drivershouted at his team, the old farmerhurried to the gate thinking that help hadarrived at last. At last, when he saw fivegive way to four and that again to three,he lost heart, and abandoned all hope ofescape. Single-handed, and with hislimited knowledge of the mountains

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which surrounded the settlement, heknew that he was powerless. The more-frequented roads were strictly watchedand guarded, and none could pass alongthem without an order from the Council.Turn which way he would, thereappeared to be no avoiding the blowwhich hung over him. Yet the old mannever wavered in his resolution to partwith life itself before he consented towhat he regarded as his daughter'sdishonour.

He was sitting alone one eveningpondering deeply over his troubles, andsearching vainly for some way out ofthem. That morning had shown the figure2 upon the wall of his house, and thenext day would be the last of the allotted

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time. What was to happen then? Allmanner of vague and terrible fanciesfilled his imagination. And his daughter— what was to become of her after hewas gone? Was there no escape from theinvisible network which was drawn allround them. He sank his head upon thetable and sobbed at the thought of hisown impotence.

What was that? In the silence he hearda gentle scratching sound — low, butvery distinct in the quiet of the night. Itcame from the door of the house. Ferriercrept into the hall and listened intently.There was a pause for a few moments,and then the low insidious sound wasrepeated. Someone was evidentlytapping very gently upon one of the

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panels of the door. Was it some midnightassassin who had come to carry out themurderous orders of the secret tribunal?Or was it some agent who was markingup that the last day of grace had arrived.John Ferrier felt that instant death wouldbe better than the suspense which shookhis nerves and chilled his heart.Springing forward, he drew the bolt andthrew the door open.

Outside all was calm and quiet. Thenight was fine, and the stars weretwinkling brightly overhead. The littlefront garden lay before the farmer's eyesbounded by the fence and gate, butneither there nor on the road was anyhuman being to be seen. With a sigh ofrelief, Ferrier looked to right and to left,

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until happening to glance straight downat his own feet he saw to hisastonishment a man lying flat upon hisface upon the ground, with arms and legsall asprawl.

So unnerved was he at the sight that heleaned up against the wall with his handto his throat to stifle his inclination tocall out. His first thought was that theprostrate figure was that of somewounded or dying man, but as hewatched it he saw it writhe along theground and into the hall with the rapidityand noiselessness of a serpent. Oncewithin the house the man sprang to hisfeet, closed the door, and revealed to theastonished farmer the fierce face andresolute expression of Jefferson Hope.

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"Good God!" gasped John Ferrier."How you scared me! Whatever madeyou come in like that."

"Give me food," the other said,hoarsely. "I have had no time for bite orsup for eight-and-forty hours." He flunghimself upon the cold meat and breadwhich were still lying upon the tablefrom his host's supper, and devoured itvoraciously. "Does Lucy bear up well?"he asked, when he had satisfied hishunger.

"Yes. She does not know the danger,"her father answered.

"That is well. The house is watchedon every side. That is why I crawled myway up to it. They may be darned sharp,but they're not quite sharp enough to

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catch a Washoe hunter."John Ferrier felt a different man now

that he realized that he had a devotedally. He seized the young man's leatheryhand and wrung it cordially. "You're aman to be proud of," he said. "There arenot many who would come to share ourdanger and our troubles."

"You've hit it there, pard," the younghunter answered. "I have a respect foryou, but if you were alone in thisbusiness I'd think twice before I put myhead into such a hornet's nest. It's Lucythat brings me here, and before harmcomes on her I guess there will be oneless o' the Hope family in Utah."

"What are we to do?""To-morrow is your last day, and

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unless you act to-night you are lost. Ihave a mule and two horses waiting inthe Eagle Ravine. How much moneyhave you?"

"Two thousand dollars in gold, andfive in notes."

"That will do. I have as much more toadd to it. We must push for Carson Citythrough the mountains. You had bestwake Lucy. It is as well that the servantsdo not sleep in the house."

While Ferrier was absent, preparinghis daughter for the approaching journey,Jefferson Hope packed all the eatablesthat he could find into a small parcel,and filled a stoneware jar with water,for he knew by experience that themountain wells were few and far

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between. He had hardly completed hisarrangements before the farmer returnedwith his daughter all dressed and readyfor a start. The greeting between thelovers was warm, but brief, for minuteswere precious, and there was much to bedone.

"We must make our start at once,"said Jefferson Hope, speaking in a lowbut resolute voice, like one who realizesthe greatness of the peril, but has steeledhis heart to meet it. "The front and backentrances are watched, but with cautionwe may get away through the sidewindow and across the fields. Once onthe road we are only two miles from theRavine where the horses are waiting. Bydaybreak we should be half-way through

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the mountains.""What if we are stopped," asked

Ferrier.Hope slapped the revolver butt which

protruded from the front of his tunic. "Ifthey are too many for us we shall taketwo or three of them with us," he saidwith a sinister smile.

The lights inside the house had allbeen extinguished, and from thedarkened window Ferrier peered overthe fields which had been his own, andwhich he was now about to abandon forever. He had long nerved himself to thesacrifice, however, and the thought ofthe honour and happiness of his daughteroutweighed any regret at his ruinedfortunes. All looked so peaceful and

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happy, the rustling trees and the broadsilent stretch of grain-land, that it wasdifficult to realize that the spirit ofmurder lurked through it all. Yet thewhite face and set expression of theyoung hunter showed that in hisapproach to the house he had seenenough to satisfy him upon that head.

Ferrier carried the bag of gold andnotes, Jefferson Hope had the scantyprovisions and water, while Lucy had asmall bundle containing a few of hermore valued possessions. Opening thewindow very slowly and carefully, theywaited until a dark cloud had somewhatobscured the night, and then one by onepassed through into the little garden.With bated breath and crouching figures

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they stumbled across it, and gained theshelter of the hedge, which they skirteduntil they came to the gap which openedinto the cornfields. They had justreached this point when the young manseized his two companions and draggedthem down into the shadow, where theylay silent and trembling.

It was as well that his prairie traininghad given Jefferson Hope the ears of alynx. He and his friends had hardlycrouched down before the melancholyhooting of a mountain owl was heardwithin a few yards of them, which wasimmediately answered by another hoot ata small distance. At the same moment avague shadowy figure emerged from thegap for which they had been making, and

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uttered the plaintive signal cry again, onwhich a second man appeared out of theobscurity.

"To-morrow at midnight," said thefirst who appeared to be in authority."When the Whip-poor-Will calls threetimes."

"It is well," returned the other. "ShallI tell Brother Drebber?"

"Pass it on to him, and from him to theothers. Nine to seven!"

"Seven to five!" repeated the other,and the two figures flitted away indifferent directions. Their concludingwords had evidently been some form ofsign and countersign. The instant thattheir footsteps had died away in thedistance, Jefferson Hope sprang to his

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feet, and helping his companions throughthe gap, led the way across the fields atthe top of his speed, supporting and half-carrying the girl when her strengthappeared to fail her.

"Hurry on! hurry on!" he gasped fromtime to time. "We are through the line ofsentinels. Everything depends on speed.Hurry on!"

Once on the high road they made rapidprogress. Only once did they meetanyone, and then they managed to slipinto a field, and so avoid recognition.Before reaching the town the hunterbranched away into a rugged and narrowfootpath which led to the mountains.Two dark jagged peaks loomed abovethem through the darkness, and the defile

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which led between them was the EagleCanon in which the horses wereawaiting them. With unerring instinctJefferson Hope picked his way amongthe great boulders and along the bed of adried-up watercourse, until he came tothe retired corner, screened with rocks,where the faithful animals had beenpicketed. The girl was placed upon themule, and old Ferrier upon one of thehorses, with his money-bag, whileJefferson Hope led the other along theprecipitous and dangerous path.

It was a bewildering route for anyonewho was not accustomed to face Naturein her wildest moods. On the one side agreat crag towered up a thousand feet ormore, black, stern, and menacing, with

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long basaltic columns upon its ruggedsurface like the ribs of some petrifiedmonster. On the other hand a wild chaosof boulders and debris made all advanceimpossible. Between the two ran theirregular track, so narrow in places thatthey had to travel in Indian file, and sorough that only practised riders couldhave traversed it at all. Yet in spite ofall dangers and difficulties, the hearts ofthe fugitives were light within them, forevery step increased the distancebetween them and the terrible despotismfrom which they were flying.

They soon had a proof, however, thatthey were still within the jurisdiction ofthe Saints. They had reached the verywildest and most desolate portion of the

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pass when the girl gave a startled cry,and pointed upwards. On a rock whichoverlooked the track, showing out darkand plain against the sky, there stood asolitary sentinel. He saw them as soonas they perceived him, and his militarychallenge of "Who goes there?" rangthrough the silent ravine.

"Travelers for Nevada," saidJefferson Hope, with his hand upon therifle which hung by his saddle.

They could see the lonely watcherfingering his gun, and peering down atthem as if dissatisfied at their reply.

"By whose permission?" he asked."The Holy Four," answered Ferrier.

His Mormon experiences had taught himthat that was the highest authority to

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which he could refer."Nine from seven," cried the sentinel."Seven from five," returned Jefferson

Hope promptly, remembering thecountersign which he had heard in thegarden.

"Pass, and the Lord go with you," saidthe voice from above. Beyond his postthe path broadened out, and the horseswere able to break into a trot. Lookingback, they could see the solitary watcherleaning upon his gun, and knew that theyhad passed the outlying post of thechosen people, and that freedom laybefore them.

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5ChapterThe Avenging AngelsAll night their course lay throughintricate defiles and over irregular androck-strewn paths. More than once theylost their way, but Hope's intimateknowledge of the mountains enabledthem to regain the track once more.When morning broke, a scene ofmarvellous though savage beauty laybefore them. In every direction the great

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snow-capped peaks hemmed them in,peeping over each other's shoulders tothe far horizon. So steep were the rockybanks on either side of them, that thelarch and the pine seemed to besuspended over their heads, and to needonly a gust of wind to come hurtlingdown upon them. Nor was the fearentirely an illusion, for the barren valleywas thickly strewn with trees andboulders which had fallen in a similarmanner. Even as they passed, a greatrock came thundering down with ahoarse rattle which woke the echoes inthe silent gorges, and startled the wearyhorses into a gallop.

As the sun rose slowly above theeastern horizon, the caps of the great

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mountains lit up one after the other, likelamps at a festival, until they were allruddy and glowing. The magnificentspectacle cheered the hearts of the threefugitives and gave them fresh energy. Ata wild torrent which swept out of aravine they called a halt and wateredtheir horses, while they partook of ahasty breakfast. Lucy and her fatherwould fain have rested longer, butJefferson Hope was inexorable. "Theywill be upon our track by this time," hesaid. "Everything depends upon ourspeed. Once safe in Carson we may restfor the remainder of our lives."

During the whole of that day theystruggled on through the defiles, and byevening they calculated that they were

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more than thirty miles from theirenemies. At night-time they chose thebase of a beetling crag, where the rocksoffered some protection from the chillwind, and there huddled together forwarmth, they enjoyed a few hours' sleep.Before daybreak, however, they were upand on their way once more. They hadseen no signs of any pursuers, andJefferson Hope began to think that theywere fairly out of the reach of theterrible organization whose enmity theyhad incurred. He little knew how far thatiron grasp could reach, or how soon itwas to close upon them and crush them.

About the middle of the second day oftheir flight their scanty store ofprovisions began to run out. This gave

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the hunter little uneasiness, however, forthere was game to be had among themountains, and he had frequently beforehad to depend upon his rifle for theneeds of life. Choosing a sheltered nook,he piled together a few dried branchesand made a blazing fire, at which hiscompanions might warm themselves, forthey were now nearly five thousand feetabove the sea level, and the air wasbitter and keen. Having tethered thehorses, and bade Lucy adieu, he threwhis gun over his shoulder, and set out insearch of whatever chance might throwin his way. Looking back he saw the oldman and the young girl crouching overthe blazing fire, while the three animalsstood motionless in the back-ground.

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Then the intervening rocks hid them fromhis view.

He walked for a couple of milesthrough one ravine after another withoutsuccess, though from the marks upon thebark of the trees, and other indications,he judged that there were numerousbears in the vicinity. At last, after two orthree hours' fruitless search, he wasthinking of turning back in despair, whencasting his eyes upwards he saw a sightwhich sent a thrill of pleasure throughhis heart. On the edge of a juttingpinnacle, three or four hundred feetabove him, there stood a creaturesomewhat resembling a sheep inappearance, but armed with a pair ofgigantic horns. The big-horn — for so it

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is called — was acting, probably, as aguardian over a flock which wereinvisible to the hunter; but fortunately itwas heading in the opposite direction,and had not perceived him. Lying on hisface, he rested his rifle upon a rock, andtook a long and steady aim beforedrawing the trigger. The animal spranginto the air, tottered for a moment uponthe edge of the precipice, and then camecrashing down into the valley beneath.

The creature was too unwieldy to lift,so the hunter contented himself withcutting away one haunch and part of theflank. With this trophy over his shoulder,he hastened to retrace his steps, for theevening was already drawing in. He hadhardly started, however, before he

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realized the difficulty which faced him.In his eagerness he had wandered farpast the ravines which were known tohim, and it was no easy matter to pickout the path which he had taken. Thevalley in which he found himself dividedand sub-divided into many gorges,which were so like each other that it wasimpossible to distinguish one from theother. He followed one for a mile ormore until he came to a mountain torrentwhich he was sure that he had neverseen before. Convinced that he had takenthe wrong turn, he tried another, but withthe same result. Night was coming onrapidly, and it was almost dark beforehe at last found himself in a defile whichwas familiar to him. Even then it was no

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easy matter to keep to the right track, forthe moon had not yet risen, and the highcliffs on either side made the obscuritymore profound. Weighed down with hisburden, and weary from his exertions, hestumbled along, keeping up his heart bythe reflection that every step brought himnearer to Lucy, and that he carried withhim enough to ensure them food for theremainder of their journey.

He had now come to the mouth of thevery defile in which he had left them.Even in the darkness he could recognizethe outline of the cliffs which bounded it.They must, he reflected, be awaiting himanxiously, for he had been absent nearlyfive hours. In the gladness of his heart heput his hands to his mouth and made the

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glen re-echo to a loud halloo as a signalthat he was coming. He paused andlistened for an answer. None came savehis own cry, which clattered up thedreary silent ravines, and was borneback to his ears in countless repetitions.Again he shouted, even louder thanbefore, and again no whisper came backfrom the friends whom he had left such ashort time ago. A vague, nameless dreadcame over him, and he hurried onwardsfrantically, dropping the precious foodin his agitation.

When he turned the corner, he camefull in sight of the spot where the firehad been lit. There was still a glowingpile of wood ashes there, but it hadevidently not been tended since his

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departure. The same dead silence stillreigned all round. With his fears allchanged to convictions, he hurried on.There was no living creature near theremains of the fire: animals, man,maiden, all were gone. It was only tooclear that some sudden and terribledisaster had occurred during his absence— a disaster which had embraced themall, and yet had left no traces behind it.

Bewildered and stunned by this blow,Jefferson Hope felt his head spin round,and had to lean upon his rifle to savehimself from falling. He was essentiallya man of action, however, and speedilyrecovered from his temporaryimpotence. Seizing a half-consumedpiece of wood from the smouldering

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fire, he blew it into a flame, andproceeded with its help to examine thelittle camp. The ground was all stampeddown by the feet of horses, showing thata large party of mounted men hadovertaken the fugitives, and the directionof their tracks proved that they hadafterwards turned back to Salt Lake City.Had they carried back both of hiscompanions with them? Jefferson Hopehad almost persuaded himself that theymust have done so, when his eye fellupon an object which made every nerveof his body tingle within him. A littleway on one side of the camp was a low-lying heap of reddish soil, which hadassuredly not been there before. Therewas no mistaking it for anything but a

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newly-dug grave. As the young hunterapproached it, he perceived that a stickhad been planted on it, with a sheet ofpaper stuck in the cleft fork of it. Theinscription upon the paper was brief, butto the point:

JOHN FERRIER,FORMERLY OF SALT LAKE CITY,Died August 4th, 1860.The sturdy old man, whom he had left

so short a time before, was gone, then,and this was all his epitaph. JeffersonHope looked wildly round to see if therewas a second grave, but there was nosign of one. Lucy had been carried backby their terrible pursuers to fulfil heroriginal destiny, by becoming one of theharem of the Elder's son. As the young

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fellow realized the certainty of her fate,and his own powerlessness to prevent it,he wished that he, too, was lying withthe old farmer in his last silent resting-place.

Again, however, his active spiritshook off the lethargy which springsfrom despair. If there was nothing elseleft to him, he could at least devote hislife to revenge. With indomitablepatience and perseverance, JeffersonHope possessed also a power ofsustained vindictiveness, which he mayhave learned from the Indians amongstwhom he had lived. As he stood by thedesolate fire, he felt that the only onething which could assuage his griefwould be thorough and complete

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retribution, brought by his own handupon his enemies. His strong will anduntiring energy should, he determined,be devoted to that one end. With a grim,white face, he retraced his steps towhere he had dropped the food, andhaving stirred up the smouldering fire,he cooked enough to last him for a fewdays. This he made up into a bundle,and, tired as he was, he set himself towalk back through the mountains uponthe track of the avenging angels.

For five days he toiled footsore andweary through the defiles which he hadalready traversed on horseback. At nighthe flung himself down among the rocks,and snatched a few hours of sleep; butbefore daybreak he was always well on

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his way. On the sixth day, he reached theEagle Canon, from which they hadcommenced their ill-fated flight. Thencehe could look down upon the home of thesaints. Worn and exhausted, he leanedupon his rifle and shook his gaunt handfiercely at the silent widespread citybeneath him. As he looked at it, heobserved that there were flags in someof the principal streets, and other signsof festivity. He was still speculating asto what this might mean when he heardthe clatter of horse's hoofs, and saw amounted man riding towards him. As heapproached, he recognized him as aMormon named Cowper, to whom hehad rendered services at different times.He therefore accosted him when he got

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up to him, with the object of finding outwhat Lucy Ferrier's fate had been.

"I am Jefferson Hope," he said. "Youremember me."

The Mormon looked at him withundisguised astonishment — indeed, itwas difficult to recognize in this tattered,unkempt wanderer, with ghastly whiteface and fierce, wild eyes, the spruceyoung hunter of former days. Having,however, at last, satisfied himself as tohis identity, the man's surprise changedto consternation.

"You are mad to come here," he cried."It is as much as my own life is worth tobe seen talking with you. There is awarrant against you from the Holy Fourfor assisting the Ferriers away."

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"I don't fear them, or their warrant,"Hope said, earnestly. "You must knowsomething of this matter, Cowper. Iconjure you by everything you hold dearto answer a few questions. We havealways been friends. For God's sake,don't refuse to answer me."

"What is it?" the Mormon askeduneasily. "Be quick. The very rocks haveears and the trees eyes."

"What has become of Lucy Ferrier?""She was married yesterday to young

Drebber. Hold up, man, hold up, youhave no life left in you."

"Don't mind me," said Hope faintly.He was white to the very lips, and hadsunk down on the stone against which hehad been leaning. "Married, you say?"

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"Married yesterday — that's whatthose flags are for on the EndowmentHouse. There was some words betweenyoung Drebber and young Stangerson asto which was to have her. They'd bothbeen in the party that followed them, andStangerson had shot her father, whichseemed to give him the best claim; butwhen they argued it out in council,Drebber's party was the stronger, so theProphet gave her over to him. No onewon't have her very long though, for Isaw death in her face yesterday. She ismore like a ghost than a woman. Are youoff, then?"

"Yes, I am off," said Jefferson Hope,who had risen from his seat. His facemight have been chiselled out of marble,

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so hard and set was its expression,while its eyes glowed with a balefullight.

"Where are you going?""Never mind," he answered; and,

slinging his weapon over his shoulder,strode off down the gorge and so awayinto the heart of the mountains to thehaunts of the wild beasts. Amongst themall there was none so fierce and sodangerous as himself.

The prediction of the Mormon wasonly too well fulfilled. Whether it wasthe terrible death of her father or theeffects of the hateful marriage into whichshe had been forced, poor Lucy neverheld up her head again, but pined awayand died within a month. Her sottish

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husband, who had married herprincipally for the sake of John Ferrier'sproperty, did not affect any great grief athis bereavement; but his other wivesmourned over her, and sat up with herthe night before the burial, as is theMormon custom. They were groupedround the bier in the early hours of themorning, when, to their inexpressiblefear and astonishment, the door wasflung open, and a savage-looking,weather-beaten man in tattered garmentsstrode into the room. Without a glance ora word to the cowering women, hewalked up to the white silent figurewhich had once contained the pure soulof Lucy Ferrier. Stooping over her, hepressed his lips reverently to her cold

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forehead, and then, snatching up herhand, he took the wedding-ring from herfinger. "She shall not be buried in that,"he cried with a fierce snarl, and beforean alarm could be raised sprang downthe stairs and was gone. So strange andso brief was the episode, that thewatchers might have found it hard tobelieve it themselves or persuade otherpeople of it, had it not been for theundeniable fact that the circlet of goldwhich marked her as having been a bridehad disappeared.

For some months Jefferson Hopelingered among the mountains, leading astrange wild life, and nursing in his heartthe fierce desire for vengeance whichpossessed him. Tales were told in the

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City of the weird figure which was seenprowling about the suburbs, and whichhaunted the lonely mountain gorges.Once a bullet whistled throughStangerson's window and flattened itselfupon the wall within a foot of him. Onanother occasion, as Drebber passedunder a cliff a great boulder crasheddown on him, and he only escaped aterrible death by throwing himself uponhis face. The two young Mormons werenot long in discovering the reason ofthese attempts upon their lives, and ledrepeated expeditions into the mountainsin the hope of capturing or killing theirenemy, but always without success. Thenthey adopted the precaution of nevergoing out alone or after nightfall, and of

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having their houses guarded. After a timethey were able to relax these measures,for nothing was either heard or seen oftheir opponent, and they hoped that timehad cooled his vindictiveness.

Far from doing so, it had, if anything,augmented it. The hunter's mind was of ahard, unyielding nature, and thepredominant idea of revenge had takensuch complete possession of it that therewas no room for any other emotion. Hewas, however, above all thingspractical. He soon realized that even hisiron constitution could not stand theincessant strain which he was puttingupon it. Exposure and want ofwholesome food were wearing him out.If he died like a dog among the

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mountains, what was to become of hisrevenge then? And yet such a death wassure to overtake him if he persisted. Hefelt that that was to play his enemy'sgame, so he reluctantly returned to theold Nevada mines, there to recruit hishealth and to amass money enough toallow him to pursue his object withoutprivation.

His intention had been to be absent ayear at the most, but a combination ofunforeseen circumstances prevented hisleaving the mines for nearly five. At theend of that time, however, his memory ofhis wrongs and his craving for revengewere quite as keen as on that memorablenight when he had stood by JohnFerrier's grave. Disguised, and under an

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assumed name, he returned to Salt LakeCity, careless what became of his ownlife, as long as he obtained what heknew to be justice. There he found eviltidings awaiting him. There had been aschism among the Chosen People a fewmonths before, some of the youngermembers of the Church having rebelledagainst the authority of the Elders, andthe result had been the secession of acertain number of the malcontents, whohad left Utah and become Gentiles.Among these had been Drebber andStangerson; and no one knew whitherthey had gone. Rumour reported thatDrebber had managed to convert a largepart of his property into money, and thathe had departed a wealthy man, while

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his companion, Stangerson, wascomparatively poor. There was no clueat all, however, as to their whereabouts.

Many a man, however vindictive,would have abandoned all thought ofrevenge in the face of such a difficulty,but Jefferson Hope never faltered for amoment. With the small competence hepossessed, eked out by such employmentas he could pick up, he travelled fromtown to town through the United States inquest of his enemies. Year passed intoyear, his black hair turned grizzled, butstill he wandered on, a humanbloodhound, with his mind wholly setupon the one object upon which he haddevoted his life. At last his perseverancewas rewarded. It was but a glance of a

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face in a window, but that one glancetold him that Cleveland in Ohiopossessed the men whom he was inpursuit of. He returned to his miserablelodgings with his plan of vengeance allarranged. It chanced, however, thatDrebber, looking from his window, hadrecognized the vagrant in the street, andhad read murder in his eyes. He hurriedbefore a justice of the peace,accompanied by Stangerson, who hadbecome his private secretary, andrepresented to him that they were indanger of their lives from the jealousyand hatred of an old rival. That eveningJefferson Hope was taken into custody,and not being able to find sureties, wasdetained for some weeks. When at last

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he was liberated, it was only to find thatDrebber's house was deserted, and thathe and his secretary had departed forEurope.

Again the avenger had been foiled,and again his concentrated hatred urgedhim to continue the pursuit. Funds werewanting, however, and for some time hehad to return to work, saving everydollar for his approaching journey. Atlast, having collected enough to keep lifein him, he departed for Europe, andtracked his enemies from city to city,working his way in any menial capacity,but never overtaking the fugitives. Whenhe reached St. Petersburg they haddeparted for Paris; and when hefollowed them there he learned that they

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had just set off for Copenhagen. At theDanish capital he was again a few dayslate, for they had journeyed on toLondon, where he at last succeeded inrunning them to earth. As to whatoccurred there, we cannot do better thanquote the old hunter's own account, asduly recorded in Dr. Watson's Journal,to which we are already under suchobligations.

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6ChapterA Continuation of theReminiscences of JohnWatson, M.D.Our prisoner's furious resistance did notapparently indicate any ferocity in hisdisposition towards ourselves, for onfinding himself powerless, he smiled inan affable manner, and expressed hishopes that he had not hurt any of us in the

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scuffle. "I guess you're going to take meto the police-station," he remarked toSherlock Holmes. "My cab's at the door.If you'll loose my legs I'll walk down toit. I'm not so light to lift as I used to be."

Gregson and Lestrade exchangedglances as if they thought thisproposition rather a bold one; butHolmes at once took the prisoner at hisword, and loosened the towel which wehad bound round his ankles. He rose andstretched his legs, as though to assurehimself that they were free once more. Iremember that I thought to myself, as Ieyed him, that I had seldom seen a morepowerfully built man; and his darksunburned face bore an expression ofdetermination and energy which was as

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formidable as his personal strength."If there's a vacant place for a chief of

the police, I reckon you are the man forit," he said, gazing with undisguisedadmiration at my fellow-lodger. "Theway you kept on my trail was a caution."

"You had better come with me," saidHolmes to the two detectives.

"I can drive you," said Lestrade."Good! and Gregson can come inside

with me. You too, Doctor, you havetaken an interest in the case and may aswell stick to us."

I assented gladly, and we alldescended together. Our prisoner madeno attempt at escape, but stepped calmlyinto the cab which had been his, and wefollowed him. Lestrade mounted the box,

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whipped up the horse, and brought us ina very short time to our destination. Wewere ushered into a small chamberwhere a police Inspector noted downour prisoner's name and the names of themen with whose murder he had beencharged. The official was a white-facedunemotional man, who went through hisduties in a dull mechanical way. "Theprisoner will be put before themagistrates in the course of the week,"he said; "in the mean time, Mr. JeffersonHope, have you anything that you wish tosay? I must warn you that your wordswill be taken down, and may be usedagainst you."

"I've got a good deal to say," ourprisoner said slowly. "I want to tell you

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gentlemen all about it.""Hadn't you better reserve that for

your trial?" asked the Inspector."I may never be tried," he answered.

"You needn't look startled. It isn'tsuicide I am thinking of. Are you aDoctor?" He turned his fierce dark eyesupon me as he asked this last question.

"Yes; I am," I answered."Then put your hand here," he said,

with a smile, motioning with hismanacled wrists towards his chest.

I did so; and became at onceconscious of an extraordinary throbbingand commotion which was going oninside. The walls of his chest seemed tothrill and quiver as a frail buildingwould do inside when some powerful

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engine was at work. In the silence of theroom I could hear a dull humming andbuzzing noise which proceeded from thesame source.

"Why," I cried, "you have an aorticaneurism!"

"That's what they call it," he said,placidly. "I went to a Doctor last weekabout it, and he told me that it is boundto burst before many days passed. It hasbeen getting worse for years. I got itfrom over-exposure and under-feedingamong the Salt Lake Mountains. I'vedone my work now, and I don't care howsoon I go, but I should like to leave someaccount of the business behind me. Idon't want to be remembered as acommon cut-throat."

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The Inspector and the two detectiveshad a hurried discussion as to theadvisability of allowing him to tell hisstory.

"Do you consider, Doctor, that thereis immediate danger?" the former asked.

"Most certainly there is," I answered."In that case it is clearly our duty, in

the interests of justice, to take hisstatement," said the Inspector. "You areat liberty, sir, to give your account,which I again warn you will be takendown."

"I'll sit down, with your leave," theprisoner said, suiting the action to theword. "This aneurism of mine makes meeasily tired, and the tussle we had halfan hour ago has not mended matters. I'm

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on the brink of the grave, and I am notlikely to lie to you. Every word I say isthe absolute truth, and how you use it isa matter of no consequence to me."

With these words, Jefferson Hopeleaned back in his chair and began thefollowing remarkable statement. Hespoke in a calm and methodical manner,as though the events which he narratedwere commonplace enough. I can vouchfor the accuracy of the subjoinedaccount, for I have had access toLestrade's note-book, in which theprisoner's words were taken downexactly as they were uttered.

"It don't much matter to you why Ihated these men," he said; "it's enoughthat they were guilty of the death of two

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human beings — a father and a daughter— and that they had, therefore, forfeitedtheir own lives. After the lapse of timethat has passed since their crime, it wasimpossible for me to secure a convictionagainst them in any court. I knew of theirguilt though, and I determined that Ishould be judge, jury, and executionerall rolled into one. You'd have done thesame, if you have any manhood in you, ifyou had been in my place.

"That girl that I spoke of was to havemarried me twenty years ago. She wasforced into marrying that same Drebber,and broke her heart over it. I took themarriage ring from her dead finger, and Ivowed that his dying eyes should restupon that very ring, and that his last

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thoughts should be of the crime forwhich he was punished. I have carried itabout with me, and have followed himand his accomplice over two continentsuntil I caught them. They thought to tireme out, but they could not do it. If I dieto-morrow, as is likely enough, I dieknowing that my work in this world isdone, and well done. They haveperished, and by my hand. There isnothing left for me to hope for, or todesire.

"They were rich and I was poor, sothat it was no easy matter for me tofollow them. When I got to London mypocket was about empty, and I found thatI must turn my hand to something for myliving. Driving and riding are as natural

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to me as walking, so I applied at acabowner's office, and soon gotemployment. I was to bring a certain suma week to the owner, and whatever wasover that I might keep for myself. Therewas seldom much over, but I managed toscrape along somehow. The hardest jobwas to learn my way about, for I reckonthat of all the mazes that ever werecontrived, this city is the most confusing.I had a map beside me though, and whenonce I had spotted the principal hotelsand stations, I got on pretty well.

"It was some time before I found outwhere my two gentlemen were living;but I inquired and inquired until at last Idropped across them. They were at aboarding-house at Camberwell, over on

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the other side of the river. When once Ifound them out I knew that I had them atmy mercy. I had grown my beard, andthere was no chance of their recognizingme. I would dog them and follow themuntil I saw my opportunity. I wasdetermined that they should not escapeme again.

"They were very near doing it for allthat. Go where they would aboutLondon, I was always at their heels.Sometimes I followed them on my cab,and sometimes on foot, but the formerwas the best, for then they could not getaway from me. It was only early in themorning or late at night that I could earnanything, so that I began to get behindhand with my employer. I did not mind

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that, however, as long as I could lay myhand upon the men I wanted.

"They were very cunning, though.They must have thought that there wassome chance of their being followed, forthey would never go out alone, andnever after nightfall. During two weeks Idrove behind them every day, and neveronce saw them separate. Drebberhimself was drunk half the time, butStangerson was not to be caught napping.I watched them late and early, but neversaw the ghost of a chance; but I was notdiscouraged, for something told me thatthe hour had almost come. My only fearwas that this thing in my chest mightburst a little too soon and leave my workundone.

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"At last, one evening I was driving upand down Torquay Terrace, as the streetwas called in which they boarded, whenI saw a cab drive up to their door.Presently some luggage was brought out,and after a time Drebber and Stangersonfollowed it, and drove off. I whipped upmy horse and kept within sight of them,feeling very ill at ease, for I feared thatthey were going to shift their quarters. AtEuston Station they got out, and I left aboy to hold my horse, and followed themon to the platform. I heard them ask forthe Liverpool train, and the guardanswer that one had just gone and therewould not be another for some hours.Stangerson seemed to be put out at that,but Drebber was rather pleased than

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otherwise. I got so close to them in thebustle that I could hear every word thatpassed between them. Drebber said thathe had a little business of his own to do,and that if the other would wait for himhe would soon rejoin him. Hiscompanion remonstrated with him, andreminded him that they had resolved tostick together. Drebber answered that thematter was a delicate one, and that hemust go alone. I could not catch whatStangerson said to that, but the otherburst out swearing, and reminded himthat he was nothing more than his paidservant, and that he must not presume todictate to him. On that the Secretary gaveit up as a bad job, and simply bargainedwith him that if he missed the last train

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he should rejoin him at Halliday'sPrivate Hotel; to which Drebberanswered that he would be back on theplatform before eleven, and made hisway out of the station.

"The moment for which I had waitedso long had at last come. I had myenemies within my power. Together theycould protect each other, but singly theywere at my mercy. I did not act,however, with undue precipitation. Myplans were already formed. There is nosatisfaction in vengeance unless theoffender has time to realize who it is thatstrikes him, and why retribution hascome upon him. I had my plans arrangedby which I should have the opportunityof making the man who had wronged me

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understand that his old sin had found himout. It chanced that some days before agentleman who had been engaged inlooking over some houses in the BrixtonRoad had dropped the key of one of themin my carriage. It was claimed that sameevening, and returned; but in the intervalI had taken a moulding of it, and had aduplicate constructed. By means of this Ihad access to at least one spot in thisgreat city where I could rely upon beingfree from interruption. How to getDrebber to that house was the difficultproblem which I had now to solve.

"He walked down the road and wentinto one or two liquor shops, staying fornearly half-an-hour in the last of them.When he came out he staggered in his

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walk, and was evidently pretty well on.There was a hansom just in front of me,and he hailed it. I followed it so closethat the nose of my horse was within ayard of his driver the whole way. Werattled across Waterloo Bridge andthrough miles of streets, until, to myastonishment, we found ourselves backin the Terrace in which he had boarded.I could not imagine what his intentionwas in returning there; but I went on andpulled up my cab a hundred yards or sofrom the house. He entered it, and hishansom drove away. Give me a glass ofwater, if you please. My mouth gets drywith the talking."

I handed him the glass, and he drank itdown.

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"That's better," he said. "Well, Iwaited for a quarter of an hour, or more,when suddenly there came a noise likepeople struggling inside the house. Nextmoment the door was flung open and twomen appeared, one of whom wasDrebber, and the other was a young chapwhom I had never seen before. Thisfellow had Drebber by the collar, andwhen they came to the head of the stepshe gave him a shove and a kick whichsent him half across the road. 'Youhound,' he cried, shaking his stick at him;'I'll teach you to insult an honest girl!' Hewas so hot that I think he would havethrashed Drebber with his cudgel, onlythat the cur staggered away down theroad as fast as his legs would carry him.

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He ran as far as the corner, and then,seeing my cab, he hailed me and jumpedin. 'Drive me to Halliday's PrivateHotel,' said he.

"When I had him fairly inside my cab,my heart jumped so with joy that I fearedlest at this last moment my aneurismmight go wrong. I drove along slowly,weighing in my own mind what it wasbest to do. I might take him right out intothe country, and there in some desertedlane have my last interview with him. Ihad almost decided upon this, when hesolved the problem for me. The craze fordrink had seized him again, and heordered me to pull up outside a ginpalace. He went in, leaving word that Ishould wait for him. There he remained

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until closing time, and when he came outhe was so far gone that I knew the gamewas in my own hands.

"Don't imagine that I intended to killhim in cold blood. It would only havebeen rigid justice if I had done so, but Icould not bring myself to do it. I hadlong determined that he should have ashow for his life if he chose to takeadvantage of it. Among the many billetswhich I have filled in America duringmy wandering life, I was once janitorand sweeper out of the laboratory atYork College. One day the professorwas lecturing on poisions, and heshowed his students some alkaloid, as hecalled it, which he had extracted fromsome South American arrow poison, and

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which was so powerful that the leastgrain meant instant death. I spotted thebottle in which this preparation waskept, and when they were all gone, Ihelped myself to a little of it. I was afairly good dispenser, so I worked thisalkaloid into small, soluble pills, andeach pill I put in a box with a similarpill made without the poison. Idetermined at the time that when I hadmy chance, my gentlemen should eachhave a draw out of one of these boxes,while I ate the pill that remained. Itwould be quite as deadly, and a gooddeal less noisy than firing across ahandkerchief. From that day I hadalways my pill boxes about with me, andthe time had now come when I was to

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use them."It was nearer one than twelve, and a

wild, bleak night, blowing hard andraining in torrents. Dismal as it wasoutside, I was glad within — so gladthat I could have shouted out from pureexultation. If any of you gentlemen haveever pined for a thing, and longed for itduring twenty long years, and thensuddenly found it within your reach, youwould understand my feelings. I lit acigar, and puffed at it to steady mynerves, but my hands were trembling,and my temples throbbing withexcitement. As I drove, I could see oldJohn Ferrier and sweet Lucy looking atme out of the darkness and smiling at me,just as plain as I see you all in this room.

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All the way they were ahead of me, oneon each side of the horse until I pulledup at the house in the Brixton Road.

"There was not a soul to be seen, nora sound to be heard, except the drippingof the rain. When I looked in at thewindow, I found Drebber all huddledtogether in a drunken sleep. I shook himby the arm, 'It's time to get out,' I said.

"'All right, cabby,' said he."I suppose he thought we had come to

the hotel that he had mentioned, for hegot out without another word, andfollowed me down the garden. I had towalk beside him to keep him steady, forhe was still a little top-heavy. When wecame to the door, I opened it, and ledhim into the front room. I give you my

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word that all the way, the father and thedaughter were walking in front of us.

"'It's infernally dark,' said he,stamping about.

"'We'll soon have a light,' I said,striking a match and putting it to a waxcandle which I had brought with me.'Now, Enoch Drebber,' I continued,turning to him, and holding the light tomy own face, 'who am I?'

"He gazed at me with bleared,drunken eyes for a moment, and then Isaw a horror spring up in them, andconvulse his whole features, whichshowed me that he knew me. Hestaggered back with a livid face, and Isaw the perspiration break out upon hisbrow, while his teeth chattered in his

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head. At the sight, I leaned my backagainst the door and laughed loud andlong. I had always known that vengeancewould be sweet, but I had never hopedfor the contentment of soul which nowpossessed me.

"'You dog!' I said; 'I have hunted youfrom Salt Lake City to St. Petersburg,and you have always escaped me. Now,at last your wanderings have come to anend, for either you or I shall never seeto-morrow's sun rise.' He shrunk stillfurther away as I spoke, and I could seeon his face that he thought I was mad. SoI was for the time. The pulses in mytemples beat like sledge-hammers, and Ibelieve I would have had a fit of somesort if the blood had not gushed from my

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nose and relieved me."'What do you think of Lucy Ferrier

now?' I cried, locking the door, andshaking the key in his face. 'Punishmenthas been slow in coming, but it hasovertaken you at last.' I saw his cowardlips tremble as I spoke. He would havebegged for his life, but he knew well thatit was useless.

"'Would you murder me?' hestammered.

"'There is no murder,' I answered.'Who talks of murdering a mad dog?What mercy had you upon my poordarling, when you dragged her from herslaughtered father, and bore her away toyour accursed and shameless harem.'

"'It was not I who killed her father,' he

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cried."'But it was you who broke her

innocent heart,' I shrieked, thrusting thebox before him. 'Let the high God judgebetween us. Choose and eat. There isdeath in one and life in the other. I shalltake what you leave. Let us see if thereis justice upon the earth, or if we areruled by chance.'

"He cowered away with wild criesand prayers for mercy, but I drew myknife and held it to his throat until he hadobeyed me. Then I swallowed the other,and we stood facing one another insilence for a minute or more, waiting tosee which was to live and which was todie. Shall I ever forget the look whichcame over his face when the first

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warning pangs told him that the poisonwas in his system? I laughed as I saw it,and held Lucy's marriage ring in front ofhis eyes. It was but for a moment, for theaction of the alkaloid is rapid. A spasmof pain contorted his features; he threwhis hands out in front of him, staggered,and then, with a hoarse cry, fell heavilyupon the floor. I turned him over with myfoot, and placed my hand upon his heart.There was no movement. He was dead!

"The blood had been streaming frommy nose, but I had taken no notice of it. Idon't know what it was that put it into myhead to write upon the wall with it.Perhaps it was some mischievous ideaof setting the police upon a wrong track,for I felt light-hearted and cheerful. I

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remembered a German being found inNew York with RACHE written upabove him, and it was argued at the timein the newspapers that the secretsocieties must have done it. I guessedthat what puzzled the New Yorkerswould puzzle the Londoners, so I dippedmy finger in my own blood and printed iton a convenient place on the wall. ThenI walked down to my cab and found thatthere was nobody about, and that thenight was still very wild. I had drivensome distance when I put my hand intothe pocket in which I usually kept Lucy'sring, and found that it was not there. Iwas thunderstruck at this, for it was theonly memento that I had of her. Thinkingthat I might have dropped it when I

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stooped over Drebber's body, I droveback, and leaving my cab in a sidestreet, I went boldly up to the house —for I was ready to dare anything ratherthan lose the ring. When I arrived there, Iwalked right into the arms of a police-officer who was coming out, and onlymanaged to disarm his suspicions bypretending to be hopelessly drunk.

"That was how Enoch Drebber cameto his end. All I had to do then was to doas much for Stangerson, and so pay offJohn Ferrier's debt. I knew that he wasstaying at Halliday's Private Hotel, and Ihung about all day, but he never cameout. I fancy that he suspected somethingwhen Drebber failed to put in anappearance. He was cunning, was

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Stangerson, and always on his guard. Ifhe thought he could keep me off bystaying indoors he was very muchmistaken. I soon found out which was thewindow of his bedroom, and early nextmorning I took advantage of someladders which were lying in the lanebehind the hotel, and so made my wayinto his room in the grey of the dawn. Iwoke him up and told him that the hourhad come when he was to answer for thelife he had taken so long before. Idescribed Drebber's death to him, and Igave him the same choice of thepoisoned pills. Instead of grasping at thechance of safety which that offered him,he sprang from his bed and flew at mythroat. In self-defence I stabbed him to

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the heart. It would have been the same inany case, for Providence would neverhave allowed his guilty hand to pick outanything but the poison.

"I have little more to say, and it's aswell, for I am about done up. I went oncabbing it for a day or so, intending tokeep at it until I could save enough totake me back to America. I was standingin the yard when a ragged youngsterasked if there was a cabby there calledJefferson Hope, and said that his cabwas wanted by a gentleman at 221B,Baker Street. I went round, suspecting noharm, and the next thing I knew, thisyoung man here had the bracelets on mywrists, and as neatly shackled as ever Isaw in my life. That's the whole of my

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story, gentlemen. You may consider meto be a murderer; but I hold that I am justas much an officer of justice as you are."

So thrilling had the man's narrativebeen, and his manner was so impressivethat we had sat silent and absorbed.Even the professional detectives, blaseas they were in every detail of crime,appeared to be keenly interested in theman's story. When he finished we sat forsome minutes in a stillness which wasonly broken by the scratching ofLestrade's pencil as he gave the finishingtouches to his shorthand account.

"There is only one point on which Ishould like a little more information,"Sherlock Holmes said at last. "Who wasyour accomplice who came for the ring

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which I advertised?"The prisoner winked at my friend

jocosely. "I can tell my own secrets," hesaid, "but I don't get other people intotrouble. I saw your advertisement, and Ithought it might be a plant, or it might bethe ring which I wanted. My friendvolunteered to go and see. I think you'llown he did it smartly."

"Not a doubt of that," said Holmesheartily.

"Now, gentlemen," the Inspectorremarked gravely, "the forms of the lawmust be complied with. On Thursday theprisoner will be brought before themagistrates, and your attendance will berequired. Until then I will be responsiblefor him." He rang the bell as he spoke,

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and Jefferson Hope was led off by acouple of warders, while my friend and Imade our way out of the Station and tooka cab back to Baker Street.

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7ChapterThe ConclusionWe had all been warned to appearbefore the magistrates upon theThursday; but when the Thursday camethere was no occasion for our testimony.A higher Judge had taken the matter inhand, and Jefferson Hope had beensummoned before a tribunal where strictjustice would be meted out to him. Onthe very night after his capture the

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aneurism burst, and he was found in themorning stretched upon the floor of thecell, with a placid smile upon his face,as though he had been able in his dyingmoments to look back upon a useful life,and on work well done.

"Gregson and Lestrade will be wildabout his death," Holmes remarked, aswe chatted it over next evening. "Wherewill their grand advertisement be now?"

"I don't see that they had very much todo with his capture," I answered.

"What you do in this world is a matterof no consequence," returned mycompanion, bitterly. "The question is,what can you make people believe thatyou have done. Never mind," hecontinued, more brightly, after a pause.

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"I would not have missed theinvestigation for anything. There hasbeen no better case within myrecollection. Simple as it was, therewere several most instructive pointsabout it."

"Simple!" I ejaculated."Well, really, it can hardly be

described as otherwise," said SherlockHolmes, smiling at my surprise. "Theproof of its intrinsic simplicity is, thatwithout any help save a few veryordinary deductions I was able to lay myhand upon the criminal within threedays."

"That is true," said I."I have already explained to you that

what is out of the common is usually a

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guide rather than a hindrance. In solvinga problem of this sort, the grand thing isto be able to reason backwards. That isa very useful accomplishment, and avery easy one, but people do not practiseit much. In the every-day affairs of life itis more useful to reason forwards, andso the other comes to be neglected.There are fifty who can reasonsynthetically for one who can reasonanalytically."

"I confess," said I, "that I do not quitefollow you."

"I hardly expected that you would. Letme see if I can make it clearer. Mostpeople, if you describe a train of eventsto them, will tell you what the resultwould be. They can put those events

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together in their minds, and argue fromthem that something will come to pass.There are few people, however, who, ifyou told them a result, would be able toevolve from their own innerconsciousness what the steps werewhich led up to that result. This poweris what I mean when I talk of reasoningbackwards, or analytically."

"I understand," said I."Now this was a case in which you

were given the result and had to findeverything else for yourself. Now let meendeavour to show you the differentsteps in my reasoning. To begin at thebeginning. I approached the house, asyou know, on foot, and with my mindentirely free from all impressions. I

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naturally began by examining theroadway, and there, as I have alreadyexplained to you, I saw clearly the marksof a cab, which, I ascertained by inquiry,must have been there during the night. Isatisfied myself that it was a cab and nota private carriage by the narrow gaugeof the wheels. The ordinary Londongrowler is considerably less wide than agentleman's brougham.

"This was the first point gained. I thenwalked slowly down the garden path,which happened to be composed of aclay soil, peculiarly suitable for takingimpressions. No doubt it appeared toyou to be a mere trampled line of slush,but to my trained eyes every mark uponits surface had a meaning. There is no

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branch of detective science which is soimportant and so much neglected as theart of tracing footsteps. Happily, I havealways laid great stress upon it, andmuch practice has made it second natureto me. I saw the heavy footmarks of theconstables, but I saw also the track ofthe two men who had first passedthrough the garden. It was easy to tellthat they had been before the others,because in places their marks had beenentirely obliterated by the others comingupon the top of them. In this way mysecond link was formed, which told methat the nocturnal visitors were two innumber, one remarkable for his height(as I calculated from the length of hisstride), and the other fashionably

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dressed, to judge from the small andelegant impression left by his boots.

"On entering the house this lastinference was confirmed. My well-booted man lay before me. The tall one,then, had done the murder, if murderthere was. There was no wound upon thedead man's person, but the agitatedexpression upon his face assured me thathe had foreseen his fate before it cameupon him. Men who die from heartdisease, or any sudden natural cause,never by any chance exhibit agitationupon their features. Having sniffed thedead man's lips I detected a slightly soursmell, and I came to the conclusion thathe had had poison forced upon him.Again, I argued that it had been forced

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upon him from the hatred and fearexpressed upon his face. By the methodof exclusion, I had arrived at this result,for no other hypothesis would meet thefacts. Do not imagine that it was a veryunheard of idea. The forcibleadministration of poison is by no meansa new thing in criminal annals. Thecases of Dolsky in Odessa, and ofLeturier in Montpellier, will occur atonce to any toxicologist.

"And now came the great question asto the reason why. Robbery had not beenthe object of the murder, for nothing wastaken. Was it politics, then, or was it awoman? That was the question whichconfronted me. I was inclined from thefirst to the latter supposition. Political

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assassins are only too glad to do theirwork and to fly. This murder had, on thecontrary, been done most deliberately,and the perpetrator had left his tracks allover the room, showing that he had beenthere all the time. It must have been aprivate wrong, and not a political one,which called for such a methodicalrevenge. When the inscription wasdiscovered upon the wall I was moreinclined than ever to my opinion. Thething was too evidently a blind. Whenthe ring was found, however, it settledthe question. Clearly the murderer hadused it to remind his victim of somedead or absent woman. It was at thispoint that I asked Gregson whether hehad enquired in his telegram to

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Cleveland as to any particular point inMr. Drebber's former career. Heanswered, you remember, in thenegative.

"I then proceeded to make a carefulexamination of the room, whichconfirmed me in my opinion as to themurderer's height, and furnished me withthe additional details as to theTrichinopoly cigar and the length of hisnails. I had already come to theconclusion, since there were no signs ofa struggle, that the blood which coveredthe floor had burst from the murderer'snose in his excitement. I could perceivethat the track of blood coincided with thetrack of his feet. It is seldom that anyman, unless he is very full-blooded,

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breaks out in this way through emotion,so I hazarded the opinion that thecriminal was probably a robust andruddy-faced man. Events proved that Ihad judged correctly.

"Having left the house, I proceeded todo what Gregson had neglected. Itelegraphed to the head of the police atCleveland, limiting my enquiry to thecircumstances connected with themarriage of Enoch Drebber. The answerwas conclusive. It told me that Drebberhad already applied for the protection ofthe law against an old rival in love,named Jefferson Hope, and that thissame Hope was at present in Europe. Iknew now that I held the clue to themystery in my hand, and all that

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remained was to secure the murderer."I had already determined in my own

mind that the man who had walked intothe house with Drebber, was none otherthan the man who had driven the cab.The marks in the road showed me thatthe horse had wandered on in a waywhich would have been impossible hadthere been anyone in charge of it. Where,then, could the driver be, unless he wereinside the house? Again, it is absurd tosuppose that any sane man would carryout a deliberate crime under the veryeyes, as it were, of a third person, whowas sure to betray him. Lastly,supposing one man wished to doganother through London, what bettermeans could he adopt than to turn

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cabdriver. All these considerations ledme to the irresistible conclusion thatJefferson Hope was to be found amongthe jarveys of the Metropolis.

"If he had been one there was noreason to believe that he had ceased tobe. On the contrary, from his point ofview, any sudden chance would belikely to draw attention to himself. Hewould, probably, for a time at least,continue to perform his duties. Therewas no reason to suppose that he wasgoing under an assumed name. Whyshould he change his name in a countrywhere no one knew his original one? Itherefore organized my Street Arabdetective corps, and sent themsystematically to every cab proprietor in

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London until they ferreted out the manthat I wanted. How well they succeeded,and how quickly I took advantage of it,are still fresh in your recollection. Themurder of Stangerson was an incidentwhich was entirely unexpected, butwhich could hardly in any case havebeen prevented. Through it, as youknow, I came into possession of thepills, the existence of which I hadalready surmised. You see the wholething is a chain of logical sequenceswithout a break or flaw."

"It is wonderful!" I cried. "Yourmerits should be publicly recognized.You should publish an account of thecase. If you won't, I will for you."

"You may do what you like, Doctor,"

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he answered. "See here!" he continued,handing a paper over to me, "look atthis!"

It was the Echo for the day, and theparagraph to which he pointed wasdevoted to the case in question.

"The public," it said, "have lost asensational treat through the suddendeath of the man Hope, who wassuspected of the murder of Mr. EnochDrebber and of Mr. Joseph Stangerson.The details of the case will probably benever known now, though we areinformed upon good authority that thecrime was the result of an old standingand romantic feud, in which love andMormonism bore a part. It seems thatboth the victims belonged, in their

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younger days, to the Latter Day Saints,and Hope, the deceased prisoner, hailsalso from Salt Lake City. If the case hashad no other effect, it, at least, brings outin the most striking manner the efficiencyof our detective police force, and willserve as a lesson to all foreigners thatthey will do wisely to settle their feudsat home, and not to carry them on toBritish soil. It is an open secret that thecredit of this smart capture belongsentirely to the well-known ScotlandYard officials, Messrs. Lestrade andGregson. The man was apprehended, itappears, in the rooms of a certain Mr.Sherlock Holmes, who has himself, asan amateur, shown some talent in thedetective line, and who, with such

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instructors, may hope in time to attain tosome degree of their skill. It is expectedthat a testimonial of some sort will bepresented to the two officers as a fittingrecognition of their services."

"Didn't I tell you so when westarted?" cried Sherlock Holmes with alaugh. "That's the result of all our Studyin Scarlet: to get them a testimonial!"

"Never mind," I answered, "I have allthe facts in my journal, and the publicshall know them. In the meantime youmust make yourself contented by theconsciousness of success, like theRoman miser —

"'Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudoIpse domi simul ac nummos contemplarin arca.'"

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Arthur Conan DoyleThe Sign of the FourFirst published in 1890, The Sign of Four is Sir ArthurConan Doyle's second book starring legendary

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detective Sherlock Holmes. The story is complex,involving a secret between four ex-cons from Indiaand a hidden treasure. More complex than the firstHolmes novel, The Sign of Four also introduces thedetective's drug habit and leaves breadcrumbs for thereader that lead toward the final resolution.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Hound of the BaskervillesThe rich landowner Sir Charles Baskerville is founddead in the park of his manor surrounded by the grimmoor of Dartmoor, in the county of Devon. His deathseems to have been caused by a heart attack, but thevictim's best friend, Dr. Mortimer, is convinced that thestrike was due to a supernatural creature, whichhaunts the moor in the shape of an enormous hound,with blazing eyes and jaws. In order to protectBaskerville's heir, Sir Henry, who's arriving to Londonfrom Canada, Dr. Mortimer asks for Sherlock Holmes'help, telling him also of the so-called Baskervilles'curse, according to which a monstrous hound has beenhaunting and killing the family males for centuries, in

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revenge for the misdeeds of one Sir Hugo Baskerville,who lived at the time of Oliver Cromwell.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Memoirs of Sherlock HolmesThe Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a collection ofSherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1894,by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Return of Sherlock HolmesThe Return of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of 13Sherlock Holmes stories, originally published in 1903-1904, by Arthur Conan Doyle.The book was first published on March 7, 1905 byGeorges Newnes, Ltd and in a Colonial edition byLongmans. 30,000 copies were made of the initial printrun. The US edition by McClure, Phillips & Co. addedanother 28,000 to the run.This was the first Holmes collection since 1893, when

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Holmes had "died" in "The Adventure of the FinalProblem". Having published The Hound of theBaskervilles in 1901–1902 (although setting it beforeHolmes' death) Doyle came under intense pressure torevive his famous character.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Casebook of Sherlock HolmesThe last twelve stories written about Holmes andWatson, these tales reflect the disillusioned world ofthe 1920s in which they were written. Some of thesharpest turns of wit in English literature arecontrasted by dark images of psychological tragedy,suicide, and incest in a collection of tales that havehaunted generations of readers.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Adventures of Sherlock HolmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection oftwelve stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his

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famous detective and illustrated by Sidney Paget.These are the first of the Sherlock Holmes shortstories, originally published as single stories in theStrand Magazine from July 1891 to June 1892. Thebook was published in England on October 14, 1892 byGeorge Newnes Ltd and in a US Edition on October15 by Harper. The initial combined print run was14,500 copies.

Arthur Conan DoyleHis Last BowHis Last Bow is a collection of seven Sherlock Holmesstories (eight in American editions) by Arthur ConanDoyle, as well as the title of one of the stories in thatcollection. Originally published in 1917, it contains thevarious Holmes stories published between 1908 and1913, as well as the one-off title story from 1917.The collection was originally called Reminiscences ofSherlock Holmes and did not contain the actual storyHis Last Bow, which appeared later, after the full-length The Valley of Fear was published. Howeverlater editions added it and changed the title. Some

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recent complete editions have restored the earlier title.When the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes werepublished in the USA for the first time, the publishersbelieved "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" wastoo scandalous for the American public, since it dealtwith the theme of adultery. As a result, this story wasnot published in the USA until many years later, whenit was added to His Last Bow. Even today, mostAmerican editions of the canon include it with His LastBow, while most British editions keep the story in itsoriginal place in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

Arthur Conan DoyleThe Valley of FearThe plot of the novel is based very loosely on the real-life activities of the Molly Maguires and, particularly, ofPinkerton agent James McParland.The novel is divided into two parts: in the first, Holmesinvestigates an apparent murder and discovers that thebody belongs to another man; and in the second, thestory of the man originally thought to have been thevictim is told.

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Arthur Conan DoyleThe Lost WorldThe Lost World is a novel released in 1912 by ArthurConan Doyle concerning an expedition to a plateau inSouth America where prehistoric animals (dinosaursand other extinct creatures) still survive. The characterof Professor Challenger was introduced in this book.Interestingly, for a seminal work of dinosaur-relatedfiction, the animals only occupy a small portion of thenarrative. Much more time is devoted to a warbetween early human hominids and a vicious tribe ofape-like creatures.

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