The Sign Of Four
The Tragedy of Pondicherry Lodge
It was nearly eleven o'clock when we reached this final stage of our night's adventures. We had left the damp fog of the great city behind us, and the night was fairly fine. A warm wind blew from the westward, and heavy clouds moved slowly across the sky, with half a moon peeping occasionally through the rifts. It was clear enough to see for some distance, but Thaddeus Sholto took down one of the sidelamps from the carriage to give us a better light upon our way.
Pondicherry Lodge stood in its own grounds and was girt round with a very high stone wall topped with broken glass. A single narrow iron–clamped door formed the only means of entrance. On this our guide knocked with a peculiar postman–like rat–tat.
"Who is there?" cried a gruff voice from within.
"It is I, McMurdo. You surely know my knock by this time."
There was a grumbling sound and a clanking and jarring of keys. The door swung heavily back, and a short, deep–chested man stood in the opening, with the yellow light of the lantern shining upon his protruded face and twinkling, distrustful eyes.
"That you, Mr. Thaddeus? But who are the others? I had no orders about them from the master."
"No, McMurdo? You surprise me! I told my brother last night that I should bring some friends."
"He hain't been out o' his rooms to–day, Mr. Thaddeus, and I have no orders. You know very well that I must stick to regula– tions. I can let you in, but your friends they must just stop where they are."
This was an unexpected obstacle. Thaddeus Sholto looked about him in a perplexed and helpless manner.
"This is too bad of you, McMurdo!" he said. "If I guarantee them, that is enough for you. There is the young lady, too. She cannot wait on the pubiic road at this hour."
"Very sorry, Mr. Thaddeus," said the porter inexorably. "Folk may be friends o' yours, and yet no friend o' the master's. He pays me well to do my duty, and my duty I'll do. I don't know none o' your friends."
"Oh, yes you do, McMurdo," cried Sherlock Holmes ge– nially. "I don't think you can have forgotten me. Don't you remember that amateur who fought three rounds with you at Alison's rooms on the night of your benefit four years back?"
"Not Mr. Sherlock Holmes!" roared the prize–fighter. "God's truth! how could I have mistook you? If instead o' standin' there so quiet you had just stepped up and given me that cross–hit of yours under the jaw, I'd ha' known you without a question. Ah, you're one that has wasted your gifts, you have! You might have aimed high, if you had joined the fancy."
"You see, Watson, if all else fails me, I have still one of the scientific professions open to me," said Holmes, laughing. "Our friend won't keep us out in the cold now, I am sure."
"In you come, sir, in you come –– you and your friends," he answered. "Very sorry, Mr. Thaddeus, but orders are very strict. Had to be certain of your friends before I let them in."
Inside, a gravel path wound through desolate grounds to a huge clump of a house, square and prosaic, all plunged in shadow save where a moonbeam struck one corner and glim– mered in a garret window. The vast size of the building, with its gloom and its deathly silence, struck a chill to the heart. Even Thaddeus Sholto seemed ill at ease, and the lantern quivered and rattled in his hand.
"I cannot understand it," he said. "There must be some mistake. I distinctly told Bartholomew that we should be here, and yet there is no light in his window. I do not know what to make of it."
"Does he always guard the premises in this way?" asked Holmes.
"Yes; he has followed my father's custom. He was the fa– vourite son you know, and I sometimes think that my father may have told him more than he ever told me. That is Bartholomew's window up there where the moonshine strikes. It is quite bright, but there is no light from within, I think."
"None," said Holmes. "But I see the glint of a light in that little window beside the door."
"Ah, that is the housekeeper's room. That is where old Mrs. Bernstone sits. She can tell us all about it. But perhaps you would not mind waiting here for a minute or two, for if we all go in together, and she has had no word of our coming, she may be alarmed. But, hush! what is that?"
He held up the lantern, and his hand shook until the circles of light flickered and wavered all round us. Miss Morstan seized my wrist, and we all stood, with thumping hearts, straining our ears. From the great black house there sounded through the silent night the saddest and most pitiful of sounds –– the shrill, broken whimpering of a frightened woman.
"It is Mrs. Bernstone," said Sholto. "She is the only woman in the house. Wait here. I shall be back in a moment."
He hurried, for the door and knocked in his peculiar way. We could see a tall old woman admit him and sway with pleasure at the very sight of him.
"Oh, Mr. Thaddeus, sir, I am so glad you have come! I am so glad you have come, Mr. Thaddeus, sir!"
We heard her reiterated rejoicings until the door was closed and her voice died away into a muffled monotone.
Our guide had left us the lantern. Holmes swung it slowly round and peered keenly at the house and at the great rubbish– heaps which cumbered the grounds. Miss Morstan and I stood together, and her hand was in mine. A wondrous subtle thing is love, for here were we two, who had never seen each other before that day, between whom no word or even look of affec– tion had ever passed, and yet now in an hour of trouble our hands instinctively sought for each other. I have marvelled at it since, but at the time it seemed the most natural thing that I should go out to her so, and, as she has often told me, there was in her also the instinct to turn to me for comfort and protection. So we stood hand in hand like two children, and there was peace in our hearts for all the dark things that surrounded us.
"What a strange place!" she said, looking round.
"It looks as though all the moles in England had been let loose in it. I have seen something of the sort on the side of a hill near Ballarat, where the prospectors had been at work."
"And from the same cause," said Holmes. "These are the traces of the treasure–seekers. You must remember that they were six years looking for it. No wonder that the grounds look like a gravel–pit. "
At that moment the door of the house burst open, and Thad– deus Sholto came running out, with his hands thrown forward and terror in his eyes.
"There is something amiss with Bartholomew!" he cried. "I am frightened! My nerves cannot stand it."
He was, indeed, half blubbering with fear, and his twitching, feeble face peeping out from the great astrakhan collar had the helpless, appealing expression of a terrified child.
"Come into the house," said Holmes in his crisp, firm way.
"Yes, do!" pleaded Thaddeus Sholto. "I really do not feel equal to giving directions."
We all followed him into the housekeeper's room, which stood upon the lefthand side of the passage. The old woman was pacing up and down with a scared look and restless, picking fingers, but the sight of Miss Morstan appeared to have a sooth– ing effect upon her.
"God bless your sweet, calm face!" she cried with a hysteri– cal sob. "It does me good to see you. Oh, but I have been sorely tried this day!"
Our companion patted her thin, work–worn hand and mur– mured some few words of kindly, womanly comfort which brought the colour back into the other's bloodless cheeks.
"Master has locked himself in and will not answer me," she explained. "All day I have waited to hear from him, for he often likes to be alone– but an hour ago I feared that something was amiss, so I went up and peeped through the keyhole. You must go up, Mr. Thaddeus –– you must go up and look for yourself. I have seen Mr. Bartholomew Sholto in joy and in sorrow for ten long years, but I never saw him with such a face on him as that."
Sherlock Holmes took the lamp and led the way, for Thaddeus Sholto's teeth were chattering in his head. So shaken was he that I had to pass my hand under his arm as we went up the stairs, for his knees were trembling under him. Twice as we ascended, Holmes whipped his lens out of his pocket and carefully exam– ined marks which appeared to me to be mere shapeless smudges of dust upon the cocoanut–matting which served as a stair–carpet. He walked slowly from step to step, holding the lamp low, and shooting keen glances to right and left. Miss Morstan had re– mained behind with the frightened housekeeper.
The third flight of stairs ended in a straight passage of some length, with a great picture in Indian tapestry upon the right of it and three doors upon the left. Holmes advanced along it in the same slow and methodical way, while we kept close at his heels, with our long black shadows streaming backward down the corridor. The third door was that which we were seeking. Holmes knocked without receiving any answer, and then tried to turn the handle and force it open. It was locked on the inside, however, and by a broad and powerful bolt, as we could see when we set our lamp up against it. The key being turned, however, the hole was not entirely closed. Sherlock Holmes bent down to it and instantly rose again with a sharp intaking of the breath.
"There is something devilish in this, Watson," said he, more moved than I had ever before seen him. "What do you make of it?"
I stooped to the hole and recoiled in horror. Moonlight was streaming into the room, and it was bright with a vague and shifty radiance. Looking straight at me and suspended, as it were, in the air, for all beneath was in shadow, there hung a face –– the very face of our companion Thaddeus. There was the same high, shining head, the same circular bristle of red hair, the same bloodless countenance. The features were set, however, in a horrible smile, a fixed and unnatural grin, which in that still and moonlit room was more jarring to the nerves than any scowl or contortion. So like was the face to that of our little friend that I looked round at him to make sure that he was indeed with us. Then I recalled to mind that he had mentioned to us that his brother and he were twins.
"This is terrible!" I said to Holmes. "What is to be done?"
"The door must come down," he answered, and springing against it, he put all his weight upon the lock.
It creaked and groaned but did not yield. Together we flung ourselves upon it once more, and this time it gave way with a sudden snap, and we found ourselves within Bartholomew Sholto's chamber.
It appeared to have been fitted up as a chemical laboratory. A double line of glass–stoppered bottles was drawn up upon the wall opposite the door, and the table was littered over with Bunsen burners, test–tubes, and retorts. In the corners stood carboys of acid in wicker baskets. One of these appeared to leak or to have been broken, for a stream of dark–coloured liquid had trickled out from it, and the air was heavy with a peculiarly pungent, tarlike odour. A set of steps stood at one side of the room in the midst of a litter of lath and plaster, and above them there was an opening in the ceiling large enough for a man to pass through. At the foot of the steps a long coil of rope was thrown carelessly together.
By the table in a wooden armchair the master of the house was seated all in a heap, with his head sunk upon his left shoulder and that ghastly, inscrutable smile upon his face. He was stiff and cold and had clearly been dead many hours. It seemed to me that not only his features but all his limbs were twisted and turned in the most fantastic fashion. By his hand upon the table there lay a peculiar instrument –– a brown, close–grained stick, with a stone head like a hammer, rudely lashed on with coarse twine. Beside it was a torn sheet of note–paper with some words scrawled upon it. Holmes glanced at it and then handed it to me.
''You see," he said with a significant raising of the eyebrows.
In the light of the lantern I read with a thrill of horror, "The sign of the four."
"In God's name, what does it all mean?" I asked.
"It means murder," said he, stooping over the dead man. "Ah! I expected it. Look here!"
He pointed to what looked like a long dark thorn stuck in the skin just above the ear.
"It looks like a thorn," said I.
"It is a thorn. You may pick it out. But be careful, for it is poisoned."
I took it up between my finger and thumb. It came away from the skin so readily that hardly any mark was left behind. One tiny speck of blood showed where the puncture had been.
"This is all an insoluble mystery to me," said I. "It grows darker instead of clearer."
"On the contrary," he answered, "it clears every instant. I only require a few missing links to have an entirely connected case."
We had almost forgotten our companion's presence since we entered the chamber. He was still standing in the doorway, the very picture of terror, wringing his hands and moaning to him– self. Suddenly, however, he broke out into a sharp, querulous cry.
"The treasure is gone!" he said. "They have robbed him of the treasure! There is the hole through which we lowered it. I helped him to do it! I was the last person who saw him! I left him here last night, and I heard him lock the door as I came downstairs."
"What time was that?"
"It was ten o'clock. And now he is dead, and the police will be called in, and I shall be suspected of having had a hand in it. Oh, yes, I am sure I shall. But you don't think so, gentlemen? Surely you don't think that it was l? Is it likely that I would have brought you here if it were l? Oh, dear! oh, dear! I know that I shall go mad!"
He jerked his arms and stamped his feet in a kind of convul– sive frenzy.
"You have no reason for fear, Mr. Sholto," said Holmes kindly, putting his hand upon his shoulder; "take my advice and drive down to the station to report the matter to the police. Offer to assist them in every way. We shall wait here until your return."
The little man obeyed in a half–stupefied fashion, and we heard him stumbling down the stairs in the dark.
Sherlock Holmes Gives a Demonstration
Now, Watson," said Holmes, rubbing his hands, "we have half an hour to ourselves. Let us make good use of it. My case is, as I have told you, almost complete; but we must not err on the side of overconfidence. Simple as the case seems now, there may be something deeper underlying it."
"Simple!" I ejaculated.
"Surely," said he with something of the air of a clinical professor expounding to his class. "Just sit in the corner there, that your footprints may not complicate matters. Now to work! In the first place, how did these folk come and how did they go? The door has not been opened since last night. How of the window?" He carried the lamp across to it, muttering his obser– vations aloud the while but addressing them to himself rather than to me. "Window is snibbed on the inner side. Frame–work is solid. No hinges at the side. Let us open it. No water–pipe near. Roof quite out of reach. Yet a man has mounted by the window. It rained a little last night. Here is the print of a foot in mould upon the sill. And here is a circular muddy mark, and here again upon the floor, and here again by the table. See bere, Watson! This is really a very pretty demonstration."
I looked at the round, well–defined muddy discs.
"That is not a foot–mark," said I.
"It is something much more valuable to us. It is the impres– sion of a wooden stump. You see here on the sill is the boot– mark, a heavy boot with a broad metal heel, and beside it is the mark of the timber–toe."
"It is the wooden–legged man."
"Quite so. But there has been someone else –– a very able and efficient ally. Could you scale that wall, Doctor?"
I looked out of the open window. The moon still shone brightiy on that angle of the house. We were a good sixty feet from the ground, and, look where I would, I could see no foothold, nor as much as a crevice in the brickwork.
(cont. top of next column) Top
"It is absolutely impossible," I answered.
"Without aid it is so. But suppose you had a friend up here who lowered you this good stout rope which I see in the corner, securing one end of it to this great hook in the wall. Then, I think, if you were an active man, you might swarm up, wooden leg and all. You would depart, of course, in the same fashion, and your ally would draw up the rope, untie it from the hook, shut the window, snib it on the inside, and get away in the way that he originally came. As a minor point, it may be noted," he continued, fingering the rope, "that our wooden–legged friend, though a fair climber, was not a professional sailor. His hands were far from horny. My lens discloses more than one blood– mark, especially towards the end of the rope, from which I gather that he slipped down with such velocity that he took the skin off his hands."
"This is all very well," said I; "but the thing becomes more unintelligible than ever. How about this mysterious ally? How came he into the room?"
"Yes, the ally!" repeated Holmes pensively. "There are fea– tures of interest about this ally. He lifts the case from the regions of the commonplace. I fancy that this ally breaks fresh ground in the annals of crime in this country –– though parallel cases sug– gest themselves from India and, if my memory serves me, from Senegambia."
"How came he, then?" I reiterated. "The door is locked; the window is inaccessible. Was it through the chimney?"
"The grate is much too small," he answered. "I had already considered that possibility."
"How, then?" I persisted.
"You will not apply my precept," he said, shaking his head. "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth? We know that he did not come through the door, the window, or the chimney. We also know that he could not have been concealed in the room, as there is no concealment possible. When, then, did he come?"
"He came through the hole in the roof!" I cried.
"Of course he did. He must have done so. If you will have the kindness to hold the lamp for me, we shall now extend our researches to the room above &nash;&nash; the secret room in which the treasure was found."
He mounted the steps, and, seizing a rafter with either hand, he swung himself up into the garret. Then, lying on his face, he reached down for the lamp and held it while I followed him.
The chamber in which we found ourselves was about ten feet one way and six the other. The floor was formed by the rafters, with thin lath and plaster between, so that in walking one had to step from beam to beam. The roof ran up to an apex and was evidently the inner shell of the true roof of the house. There was no furniture of any sort, and the accumulated dust of years lay thick upon the floor.
"Here you are, you see," said Sherlock Holmes, putting his hand against the sloping wall. "This is a trapdoor which leads out on to the roof. I can press it back, and here is the roof itself, sloping at a gentle angle. This, then, is the way by which Number One entered. Let us see if we can find some other traces of his individuality?"
He held down the lamp to the floor, and as he did so I saw for the second time that night a startled, surprised look come over his face. For myself, as I followed his gaze, my skin was cold under my clothes. The floor was covered thickly with the prints of a naked foot &nash;&nash; clear, well&nash;defined, perfectly formed, but scarce half the size of those of an ordinary man.
"Holmes," I said in a whisper, "a child has done this horrid thing."
He had recovered his self&nash;possession in an instant.
"I was staggered for the moment," he said, "but the thing is quite natural. My memory failed me, or I should have been able to foretell it. There is nothing more to be learned here. Let us go down."
"What is your theory, then, as to those footmarks?" I asked eagerly when we had regained the lower room once more.
"My dear Watson, try a little analysis yourself," said he with a touch of impatience. "You know my methods. Apply them, and it will be instructive to compare results."
"I cannot conceive anything which will cover the facts," I answered.
"It will be clear enough to you soon," he said, in an offhand way. "I think that there is nothing else of importance here, but I will look."
He whipped out his lens and a tape measure and hurried about the room on his knees, measuring, comparing, examining, with his long thin nose only a few inches from the planks and his beady eyes gleaming and deep&nash;set like those of a bird. So swift, silent, and furtive were his movements, like those of a trained bloodhound picking out a scent, that I could not but think what a terrible criminal he would have made had he turned his energy and sagacity against the law instead of exerting them in its defence. As he hunted about, he kept muttering to himself, and finally he broke out into a loud crow of delight.
"We are certainly in luck," said he. "We ought to have very little trouble now. Number One has had the misfortune to tread in the creosote. You can see the outline of the edge of his small foot here at the side of this evil&nash;smelling mess. The carboy has been cracked, you see, and the stuff has leaked out.
"What then?" I asked.
"Why, we have got him, that's all," said he.
"I know a dog that would follow that scent to the world's end. If a pack can track a trailed herring across a shire, how far can a specially trained hound follow so pungent a smell as this? It sounds like a sum in the rule of three. The answer should give us the &nash;&nash; But hallo! here are the accredited representatives of the law."
Heavy steps and the clamour of loud voices were audible from below, and the hall door shut with a loud crash.
"Before they come," said Holmes, "just put your hand here on this poor fellow's arm, and here on his leg. What do you feel?"
The muscles are as hard as a board," I answered.
"Quite so. They are in a state of extreme contraction, far exceeding the usual rigor mortis. Coupled with this distortion of the face, this Hippocratic smile, or 'risus sardonicus,' as the old writers called it, what conclusion would it suggest to your mind?"
"Death from some powerful vegetable alkaloid," I answered, "some strychnine&nash;like substance which would produce tetanus."
"That was the idea which occurred to me the instant I saw the drawn muscles of the face. On getting into the room I at once looked for the means by which the poison had entered the system. As you saw, I discovered a thorn which had been driven or shot with no great force into the scalp. You observe that the part struck was that which would be turned towards the hole in the ceiling if the man were erect in his chair. Now examine this thorn."
I took it up gingerly and held it in the light of the lantern. It was long, sharp, and black, with a glazed look near the point as though some gummy substance had dried upon it. The blunt end had been trimmed and rounded off with a knife.
"Is that an English thorn?" he asked.
"No, it certainly is not."
"With all these data you should be able to draw some just inference. But here are the regulars, so the auxiliary forces may beat a retreat."
As he spoke, the steps which had been coming nearer sounded loudly on the passage, and a very stout, portly man in a gray suit strode heavily into the room. He was red&nash;faced, burly, and plethoric, with a pair of very small twinkling eyes which looked keenly out from between swollen and puffy pouches. He was closely followed by an inspector in uniform and by the still palpitating Thaddeus Sholto.
"Here's a business!" he cried in a muffled, husky voice. "Here's a pretty business! But who are all these? Why, the house seems to be as full as a rabbit&nash;warren!"
"I think you must recollect me, Mr. Athelney Jones," said Holmes quietly.
"Why, of course I do!" he wheezed. "It's Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the theorist. Remember you! I'll never forget how you lectured us all on causes and inferences and effects in the Bishopgate jewel case. It's true you set us on the right track; but you'll own now that it was more by good luck than good guidance."
"It was a piece of very simple reasoning."
"Oh, come, now, come! Never be ashamed to own up. But what is all this? Bad business! Bad business! Stern facts here &nash;&nash; no room for theories. How lucky that I happened to be out at Norwood over another case! I was at the station when the message arrived. What d'you think the man died of?"
"Oh, this is hardly a case for me to theorize over," said Holmes dryly.
"No, no. Still, we can't deny that you hit the nail on the head sometimes. Dear me! Door locked, I understand. Jewels worth half a million missing. How was the window?"
"Fastened; but there are steps on the sill."
"Well, well, if it was fastened the steps could have nothing to do with the matter. That's common sense. Man might have died in a fit; but then the jewels are missing. Ha! I have a theory. These flashes come upon me at times. &nash;&nash; Just step outside, Ser&nash; geant, and you, Mr. Sholto. Your friend can remain. &nash;&nash; What do you think of this, Holmes? Sholto was, on his own confession, with his brother last night. The brother died in a fit, on which Sholto walked off with the treasure? How's that?"
"On which the dead man very considerately got up and locked the door on the inside."
"Hum! There's a flaw there. Let us apply common sense to the matter. This Thaddeus Sholto was with his brother; there was a quarrel: so much we know. The brother is dead and the jewels are gone. So much also we know. No one saw the brother from the time Thaddeus left him. His bed had not been slept in. Thaddeus is evidently in a most disturbed state of mind. His appearance is &nash;&nash; well, not attractive. You see that I am weaving my web round Thaddeus. The net begins to close upon him."
"You are not quite in possession of the facts yet," said Holmes. "This splinter of wood, which I have every reason to believe to be poisoned, was in the man's scalp where you still see the mark; this card, inscribed as you see it, was on the table, and beside it lay this rather curious stone&nash;headed instrument. How does all that fit into your theory?"
"Confirms it in every respect," said the fat detective pom&nash; pously. "House is full of Indian curiosities. Thaddeus brought this up, and if this splinter be poisonous Thaddeus may as well have made murderous use of it as any other man. The card is some hocus&nash;pocus &nash;&nash; a blind, as like as not. The only question is, how did he depart? Ah, of course, here is a hole in the roof."
With great activity, considering his bulk, he sprang up the steps and squeezed through into the garret, and immediately afterwards we heard his exulting voice proclaiming that he had found the trapdoor.
"He can find something," remarked Holmes, shrugging his shoulders; "he has occasional glimmerings of reason. ll n'y a pas des sots si incommodes que ceux qui ont de l'esprit!"
"You see!" said Athelney Jones, reappearing down the steps again; "facts are better than theories, after all. My view of the case is confirmed. There is a trapdoor communicating with the roof, and it is partly open."
"It was I who opened it."
"Oh, indeed! You did notice it, then?" He seemed a little crestfallen at the discovery. "Well, whoever noticed it, it shows how our gentleman got away. Inspector!"
"Yes, sir," from the passage.
"Ask Mr. Sholto to step this way. &nash;&nash; Mr. Sholto, it is my duty to inform you that anything which you may say will be used against you. I arrest you in the Queen's name as being concerned in the death of your brother."
"There, now! Didn't I tell you!" cried the poor little man throwing out his hands and looking from one to the other of us.
"Don't trouble yourself about it, Mr. Sholto," said Holmes; "I think that I can engage to clear you of the charge."
"Don't promise too much, Mr. Theorist, don't promise too much!" snapped the detective. "You may find it a harder matter than you think."
"Not only will I clear him, Mr. Jones, but I will make you a free present of the name and description of one of the two people who were in this room last night. His name, I have every reason to believe, is Jonathan Small. He is a poorly educated man, small, active, with his right leg off, and wearing a wooden stump which is worn away upon the inner side. His left boot has a coarse, square&nash;toed sole, with an iron band round the heel. He is a middle&nash;aged man, much sunburned, and has been a convict. These few indications may be of some assistance to you, coupled with the fact that there is a good deal of skin missing from the palm of his hand. The other man &nash;&nash;"
"Ah! the other man?" asked Athelney Jones in a sneering voice, but impressed none the less, as I could easily see, by the precision of the other's manner.
"Is a rather curious person," said Sherlock Holmes, turning upon his heel. "I hope before very long to be able to introduce you to the pair of them. A word with you, Watson."
He led me out to the head of the stair.
"This unexpected occurrence," he said, "has caused us rather to lose sight of the original purpose of our journey."
"I have just been thinking so," I answered; "it is not right that Miss Morstan should remain in this stricken house."
"No. You must escort her home. She lives with Mrs. Cecil Forrester in Lower Camberwell, so it is not very far. I will wait for you here if you will drive out again. Or perhaps you are too tired?"
"By no means. I don't think I could rest until I know more of this fantastic business. I have seen something of the rough side of life, but I give you my word that this quick succession of strange surprises to&nash;night has shaken my nerve completely. I should like, however, to see the matter through with you, now that I have got so far."
"Your presence will be of great service to me," he answered. "We shall work the case out independently and leave this fellow Jones to exult over any mare's&nash;nest which he may choose to construct. When you have dropped Miss Morstan, I wish you to go on to No. 3 Pinchin Lane, down near the water's edge at Lambeth. The third house on the right&nash;hand side is a bird&nash; stuffer's; Sherman is the name. You will see a weasel holding a young rabbit in the window. Knock old Sherman up and tell him, with my compliments, that I want Toby at once. You will bring Toby back in the cab with you."
"A dog, I suppose."
"Yes, a queer mongrel with a most amazing power of scent. I would rather have Toby's help than that of the whole detective force of London."
"I shall bring him then," said I. "It is one now. I ought to be back before three if I can get a fresh horse."
"And I," said Holmes, "shall see what I can learn from Mrs. Bernstone and from the Indian servant, who, Mr. Thaddeus tells me, sleeps in the next garret. Then I shall study the great Jones's methods and listen to his not too delicate sarcasms.
" 'Wir sind gewohnt dass die Menschen verhohnen was sie nicht verstehen.'
"Goethe is always pithy."