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INTRODUCTION Dame History is so austere a lady that if one, has been so ill-advised as to take a liberty with her, one should hasten to make amends by repentance and confession. Events have been transposed to the extent of some few months in this narrative in order to preserve the continuity and evenness of the story. I hope so small a divergence may seem a venial error after so many centuries. For the rest, it is as accurate as a good deal of... more...

"Number 481 is no better, doctor," said the head-warder, in a slightly reproachful accent, looking in round the corner of my door. "Confound 481" I responded from behind the pages of the Australian Sketcher. "And 61 says his tubes are paining him. Couldn't you do anything for him?" "He is a walking drug-shop," said I. "He has the whole British pharmacopaæ inside him. I believe his tubes are as sound as yours are." "Then there's 7 and... more...

Mr. Sherlock Holmes Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before. It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed, of the sort which is known as a "Penang lawyer." Just under the head was a broad silver band nearly an... more...

PART I "Well, Mrs. Warren, I cannot see that you have any particular cause for uneasiness, nor do I understand why I, whose time is of some value, should interfere in the matter. I really have other things to engage me." So spoke Sherlock Holmes and turned back to the great scrapbook in which he was arranging and indexing some of his recent material. But the landlady had the pertinacity and also the cunning of her sex. She held her ground... more...

PREFACE The Title story of this volume was written about eighteen months before the outbreak of the war, and was intended to direct public attention to the great danger which threatened this country.  It is a matter of history how fully this warning has been justified and how, even down to the smallest details, the prediction has been fulfilled.  The writer must, however, most thankfully admit that what he did not foresee was the... more...


CHAPTER I The public may possibly wonder why it is that they have never heard in the papers of the fate of the passengers of the __Korosko__. In these days of universal press agencies, responsive to the slightest stimulus, it may well seem incredible that an international incident of such importance should remain so long unchronicled. Suffice it that there were very valid reasons, both of a personal and political nature, for holding it back. The... more...

CHAPTER I THE COAST OF FRANCE I dare say that I had already read my uncle's letter a hundred times, and I am sure that I knew it by heart. None the less I took it out of my pocket, and, sitting on the side of the lugger, I went over it again with as much attention as if it were for the first time. It was written in a prim, angular hand, such as one might expect from a man who had begun life as a village attorney, and it was addressed to Louis... more...

CHAPTER I. HOW THE BLACK SHEEP CAME FORTH FROM THE FOLD. The great bell of Beaulieu was ringing. Far away through the forest might be heard its musical clangor and swell. Peat-cutters on Blackdown and fishers upon the Exe heard the distant throbbing rising and falling upon the sultry summer air. It was a common sound in those parts—as common as the chatter of the jays and the booming of the bittern. Yet the fishers and the peasants raised... more...

CHAPTER I THE TWO NEEDFUL READJUSTMENTS It has been our fate, among all the innumerable generations of mankind, to face the most frightful calamity that has ever befallen the world. There is a basic fact which cannot be denied, and should not be overlooked. For a most important deduction must immediately follow from it. That deduction is that we, who have borne the pains, shall also learn the lesson which they were intended to convey. If we do... more...

Chapter 1—The Warning "I am inclined to think—" said I. "I should do so," Sherlock Holmes remarked impatiently. I believe that I am one of the most long-suffering of mortals; but I'll admit that I was annoyed at the sardonic interruption. "Really, Holmes," said I severely, "you are a little trying at times." He was too much absorbed with his own thoughts to give any immediate answer to my remonstrance. He leaned upon his hand,... more...