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Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

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10/22/2012

 
MemoirsofSherlockHolmesbySirArthurConanDoyle
formorefreeEBooks,visit:http://esnips.com/web/ebooks4u
 AdventureISilverBlaze"Iamafraid,Watson,thatIshallhavetogo,"saidHolmes,aswesatdowntogethertoourbreakfastonemorning."Go!Whereto?""ToDartmoor;toKing'sPyland."Iwasnotsurprised.Indeed,myonlywonderwasthathehadnotalreadybeenmixedupinthisextraordinarycase,whichwastheonetopicofconversationthroughthelengthandbreadthofEngland.Forawholedaymycompanionhadrambledabouttheroomwithhischinuponhischestandhisbrowsknitted,chargingandrecharginghispipewiththestrongestblacktobacco,andabsolutelydeaftoanyofmyquestionsorremarks.Fresheditionsofeverypaperhadbeensentupbyounewsagent,onlytobeglancedoverandtosseddownintoacorner.Yet,silentashewas,Iknewperfectlywellwhatitwasoverwhichhewasbrooding.Therewasbutoneproblembeforethepublicwhichcouldchallengehispowersofanalysis,andthatwasthesingulardisappearanceofthefavoritefortheWessexCup,andthetragicmurderofitstrainer.When,therefore,hesuddenlyannouncedhisintentionofsettingoutforthesceneofthedramaitwasonlywhatIhadbothexpectedandhopedfor."IshouldbemosthappytogodownwithyouifIshouldnotbeintheway,"saidI."MydearWatson,youwouldconferagreatfavoruponmebycoming.AndIthinkthatyourtimewillnotbemisspent,fortherearepointsaboutthecasewhichpromisetomakeitanabsolutelyuniqueone.Wehave,Ithink,justtimetocatchourtrainatPaddington,andIwillgofurtherintothematteruponou journey.Youwouldobligemebybringingwithyouyourveryexcellentfield-glass." AndsoithappenedthatanhourorsolaterIfoundmyselfinthecornerofafirst-classcarriageflyingalongenrouteforExeter,whileSherlockHolmes,withhissharp,eagerfaceframedinhisear-flappedtravelling-cap,dippedrapidlyintothebundleof freshpaperswhichhehadprocuredatPaddington.We
 
hadleftReadingfarbehindusbeforehethrustthelastoneofthemundertheseat,andofferedmehiscigar-case."Wearegoingwell,"saidhe,lookingoutthewindowandglancingathiswatch."Ourrateatpresentisfifty-threeandahalfmilesanhour.""Ihavenotobservedthequarter-mileposts,"saidI."NorhaveI.Butthetelegraphpostsuponthislinearesixtyyardsapart,andthecalculationisasimpleone.Ipresumethatyouhavelookedintothismatter ofthemurderofJohnStrakerandthedisappearanceof SilverBlaze?""IhaveseenwhattheTelegraphandtheChroniclehavetosay.""Itisoneofthosecaseswheretheartofthereasonershouldbeusedratherforthesiftingof detailsthanfortheacquiringoffreshevidence.Thetragedyhasbeensouncommon,socompleteandofsuchpersonalimportancetosomanypeople,thatwearesufferingfromaplethoraofsurmise,conjecture,andhypothesis.Thedifficultyistodetachtheframeworkoffact--ofabsoluteundeniablefact--fromtheembellishmentsoftheoristsandreporters.Then,havingestablishedourselvesuponthissoundbasis,itisourdutytoseewhatinferencesmaybedrawnandwhatarethespecialpointsuponwhichthewholemysteryturns.OnTuesdayeveningIreceivedtelegramsfrombothColonelRoss,theownerofthehorse,andfromInspectorGregory,whoislookingafterthecase,invitingmycooperation.""Tuesdayevening!"Iexclaimed."AndthisisThursdaymorning.Whydidn'tyougodownyesterday?""BecauseImadeablunder,mydearWatson--whichis,Iamafraid,amorecommonoccurrencethananyonewouldthinkwhoonlyknewmethroughyourmemoirs.ThefactisthatIcouldnotbelieveitpossiblethatthemostremarkablehorseinEnglandcouldlongremainconcealed,especiallyinsosparselyinhabitedaplaceasthenorthofDartmoor.FromhourtohouryesterdayIexpectedtohearthathehadbeenfound,andthathisabductorwasthemurdererofJohnStraker.When,however,anothermorninghadcome,andIfoundthatbeyondthearrestofyoungFitzroySimpsonnothinghadbeendone,Ifeltthatitwastimeformetotakeaction.YetinsomewaysIfeelthatyesterdayhasnotbeenwasted.""Youhaveformedatheory,then?""AtleastIhavegotagripoftheessentialfactsof thecase.Ishallenumeratethemtoyou,fornothingclearsupacasesomuchasstatingittoanotheperson,andIcanhardlyexpectyourco-operationifI
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donotshowyouthepositionfromwhichwestart."Ilaybackagainstthecushions,puffingatmycigar,whileHolmes,leaningforward,withhislong,thinforefingercheckingoffthepointsuponthepalmof hislefthand,gavemeasketchoftheeventswhichhadledtoourjourney."SilverBlaze,"saidhe,"isfromtheSomomystock,andholdsasbrilliantarecordashisfamousancestor.Heisnowinhisfifthyear,andhasbroughtinturneachoftheprizesoftheturftoColonelRoss,hisfortunateowner.Uptothetimeof thecatastrophehewasthefirstfavoritefortheWessexCup,thebettingbeingthreetooneonhim.Hehasalways,however,beenaprimefavoritewiththeracingpublic,andhasneveryetdisappointedthem,sothatevenatthoseoddsenormoussumsofmoneyhavebeenlaiduponhim.Itisobvious,therefore,thatthereweremanypeoplewhohadthestrongestinterestinpreventingSilverBlazefrombeingthereatthefalloftheflagnextTuesday."Thefactwas,ofcourse,appreciatedatKing'sPyland,wheretheColonel'straining-stableissituated.Everyprecautionwastakentoguardthefavorite.Thetrainer,JohnStraker,isaretired jockeywhorodeinColonelRoss'scolorsbeforehebecametooheavyfortheweighing-chair.HehasservedtheColonelforfiveyearsasjockeyandfosevenastrainer,andhasalwaysshownhimselftobeazealousandhonestservant.Underhimwerethreelads;fortheestablishmentwasasmallone,containingonlyfourhorsesinall.Oneoftheseladssatupeachnightinthestable,whiletheotherssleptintheloft.Allthreeboreexcellentcharacters.JohnStraker,whoisamarriedman,livedinasmallvillaabouttwohundredyardsfromthestables.Hehasnochildren,keepsonemaid-servant,andiscomfortablyoff.Thecountryroundisverylonely,butabouthalfamiletothenorththereisasmallclusterofvillaswhichhavebeenbuiltbyaTavistockcontractorfortheuseofinvalidsandotherswhomaywishtoenjoythepureDartmoorair.Tavistockitselfliestwomilestothewest,whileacrossthemoor,alsoabouttwomilesdistant,isthelargertrainingestablishmentofMapleton,whichbelongstoLordBackwater,andismanagedbySilasBrown.Ineveryotherdirectionthemoorisacompletewilderness,inhabitedonlybyafewroaminggypsies.SuchwasthegeneralsituationlastMondaynightwhenthecatastropheoccurred."Onthateveningthehorseshadbeenexercisedandwateredasusual,andthestableswerelockedupatnineo'clock.Twooftheladswalkeduptothetrainer'shouse,wheretheyhadsupperinthekitchen,whilethethird,NedHunter,remainedonguard.Atafewminutesafterninethemaid,EdithBaxter,carrieddowntothestableshissupper,whichconsistedofa
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