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The Return of Sherlock Holmes_Free Ebook

The Return of Sherlock Holmes_Free Ebook

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Project Gutenberg's The Return of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan DoyleThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: The Return of Sherlock HolmesAuthor: Arthur Conan DoyleRelease Date: July 8, 2007 [EBook #108][This file was first posted on March 8, 2006][Last updated: December 8, 2011][Last Updated: March 17, 2012]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ASCII*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES ***Produced by An Anonymous Volunteer and David Widger
THE RETURN OF SHERLOCK HOLMES,
A Collection of Holmes Adventures
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Contents
THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSETHE ADVENTURE OF THE NORWOOD BUILDERTHE ADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MENTHE ADVENTURE OF THE SOLITARY CYCLISTTHE ADVENTURE OF THE PRIORY SCHOOLTHE ADVENTURE OF BLACK PETER
The Return of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doylehttp://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/0/108/108-h/108-h.ht1 de 20001/10/2012 11:18 a.m.
 
THE ADVENTURE OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS MILVERTONTHE ADVENTURE OF THE SIX NAPOLEONSTHE ADVENTURE OF THE THREE STUDENTSTHE ADVENTURE OF THE GOLDEN PINCE-NEZTHE ADVENTURE OF THE MISSING THREE-QUARTERTHE ADVENTURE OF THE ABBEY GRANGETHE ADVENTURE OF THE SECOND STAIN
THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE
It was in the spring of the year 1894 that all London was interested, and thefashionable world dismayed, by the murder of the Honourable Ronald Adair undermost unusual and inexplicable circumstances. The public has already learned thoseparticulars of the crime which came out in the police investigation, but a good dealwas suppressed upon that occasion, since the case for the prosecution was sooverwhelmingly strong that it was not necessary to bring forward all the facts. Onlynow, at the end of nearly ten years, am I allowed to supply those missing links whichmake up the whole of that remarkable chain. The crime was of interest in itself, butthat interest was as nothing to me compared to the inconceivable sequel, whichafforded me the greatest shock and surprise of any event in my adventurous life.Even now, after this long interval, I find myself thrilling as I think of it, and feelingonce more that sudden flood of joy, amazement, and incredulity which utterlysubmerged my mind. Let me say to that public, which has shown some interest inthose glimpses which I have occasionally given them of the thoughts and actions of avery remarkable man, that they are not to blame me if I have not shared myknowledge with them, for I should have considered it my first duty to do so, had Inot been barred by a positive prohibition from his own lips, which was onlywithdrawn upon the third of last month.It can be imagined that my close intimacy with Sherlock Holmes had interested medeeply in crime, and that after his disappearance I never failed to read with care thevarious problems which came before the public. And I even attempted, more thanonce, for my own private satisfaction, to employ his methods in their solution,though with indifferent success. There was none, however, which appealed to melike this tragedy of Ronald Adair. As I read the evidence at the inquest, which led upto a verdict of willful murder against some person or persons unknown, I realizedmore clearly than I had ever done the loss which the community had sustained bythe death of Sherlock Holmes. There were points about this strange business whichwould, I was sure, have specially appealed to him, and the efforts of the police wouldhave been supplemented, or more probably anticipated, by the trained observationand the alert mind of the first criminal agent in Europe. All day, as I drove upon myround, I turned over the case in my mind and found no explanation which appearedto me to be adequate. At the risk of telling a twice-told tale, I will recapitulate thefacts as they were known to the public at the conclusion of the inquest.
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The Honourable Ronald Adair was the second son of the Earl of Maynooth, atthat time governor of one of the Australian colonies. Adair's mother had returnedfrom Australia to undergo the operation for cataract, and she, her son Ronald, andher daughter Hilda were living together at 427 Park Lane. The youth moved in thebest society—had, so far as was known, no enemies and no particular vices. He hadbeen engaged to Miss Edith Woodley, of Carstairs, but the engagement had beenbroken off by mutual consent some months before, and there was no sign that it hadleft any very profound feeling behind it. For the rest {sic} the man's life moved in anarrow and conventional circle, for his habits were quiet and his nature unemotional.Yet it was upon this easy-going young aristocrat that death came, in most strange andunexpected form, between the hours of ten and eleven-twenty on the night of March30, 1894.Ronald Adair was fond of cards—playing continually, but never for such stakes aswould hurt him. He was a member of the Baldwin, the Cavendish, and the Bagatellecard clubs. It was shown that, after dinner on the day of his death, he had played arubber of whist at the latter club. He had also played there in the afternoon. Theevidence of those who had played with him—Mr. Murray, Sir John Hardy, andColonel Moran—showed that the game was whist, and that there was a fairly equalfall of the cards. Adair might have lost five pounds, but not more. His fortune was aconsiderable one, and such a loss could not in any way affect him. He had playednearly every day at one club or other, but he was a cautious player, and usually rosea winner. It came out in evidence that, in partnership with Colonel Moran, he hadactually won as much as four hundred and twenty pounds in a sitting, some weeksbefore, from Godfrey Milner and Lord Balmoral. So much for his recent history as itcame out at the inquest.On the evening of the crime, he returned from the club exactly at ten. His motherand sister were out spending the evening with a relation. The servant deposed thatshe heard him enter the front room on the second floor, generally used as hissitting-room. She had lit a fire there, and as it smoked she had opened the window.No sound was heard from the room until eleven-twenty, the hour of the return of Lady Maynooth and her daughter. Desiring to say good-night, she attempted to enterher son's room. The door was locked on the inside, and no answer could be got totheir cries and knocking. Help was obtained, and the door forced. The unfortunateyoung man was found lying near the table. His head had been horribly mutilated byan expanding revolver bullet, but no weapon of any sort was to be found in theroom. On the table lay two banknotes for ten pounds each and seventeen pounds tenin silver and gold, the money arranged in little piles of varying amount. There weresome figures also upon a sheet of paper, with the names of some club friendsopposite to them, from which it was conjectured that before his death he wasendeavouring to make out his losses or winnings at cards.A minute examination of the circumstances served only to make the case morecomplex. In the first place, no reason could be given why the young man shouldhave fastened the door upon the inside. There was the possibility that the murdererhad done this, and had afterwards escaped by the window. The drop was at leasttwenty feet, however, and a bed of crocuses in full bloom lay beneath. Neither theflowers nor the earth showed any sign of having been disturbed, nor were there anymarks upon the narrow strip of grass which separated the house from the road.Apparently, therefore, it was the young man himself who had fastened the door. Buthow did he come by his death? No one could have climbed up to the window withoutleaving traces. Suppose a man had fired through the window, he would indeed be aremarkable shot who could with a revolver inflict so deadly a wound. Again, Park Lane is a frequented thoroughfare; there is a cab stand within a hundred yards of thehouse. No one had heard a shot. And yet there was the dead man and there the
The Return of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doylehttp://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/0/108/108-h/108-h.ht3 de 20001/10/2012 11:18 a.m.

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