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About The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current | View Entire Issue (March 19, 1905)
THE SUNDAY" OBEGOKIAy, PORTLAND, MABCH 19,- 1905.
of Black Peter
(HAVE never known my friend to be In
better form, both mental and physical,
' than in the year '25. His increasing:
fame Had brought with It an Immense
practice,, and I should be guilty of an In
discretion If I were even to hint at the
identity .of some of the Illustrious clients
who crossed our humble threshold in
Baker street. Holmes, however, like all
great artists, lived for his art's sake,
and, save in the case of the Duke of
Holdernesse, I have seldom known him
claim any large reward for his inesti
mable services. So unworldly was he
or so capricious that he frequently re
fused his help to the powerful and wealthy
where the problem made no appeal to
his sympathies, -while he -would devote
weeks of most Intense application to the
affairs of some humble client whose case
presented those strange and dramatic
qualities which appealed to his imagin
ation and challenged his Ingenuity.
In this memorable year '$3. a curious
and Incongruous succession of cases bad
engaged his attention, ranging from his
famous Investigation of the sudden death
of Cardinal Tosca an inquiry which was
carried out by him at the express desire
of His Holiness the Pope down to his
arrest of Wilson, the notorious canary
trainer, which removed a plague-spot
from the East End of London. Close on
the heels of these two famous cases
came the tragedy of Woodman's Lee.
and the very obscure circumstances
which surrounded the death of Captain
Peter Carey. No record of the doings
of Mr. Sherlock Holmes would be com
plete which did not Include some ac
count of this very unusual affair.
During the first week of July, my
friend had been absent so often and so
long from our lodgings that I knew he
had something on hand. The fact that
several rough-looking men called dur
ing that time and inquired for Captain
Basil maJe me understand that Holmes
was working somewhere under one of
the numerous disguises and names with
which' he concealed his own formid
able Identity. . He had at least five
small refuges in different parts of Lon
don, in which he was able to change
his personality. He said nothing- of
his business to me, and it was not my
habit of -forcing a confidence. The first
positive sign which he gave me of, the
direction which his investigation was
taking was an extraordinary one. He
had gone out before breakfast and I
had sat down to mine, when he strode
into the room, his hat upon his head
and a huge barbed-headed spear
tucked like an umbrella under his arm.
"Good gracious. Holmes!" I cried.
"You don't mean to say that you have
been walking about London with that
"I drove to the butcher's and back."
"And I return with an excellent ap
petite. There can be no question, my
dear Watson, of the value of exercise
before breakfast. But I "am prepared
to bet that you will not guess the form
that my exercise has taken."
"I will not attempt it."
He chuckled as he poured out the
coffee. "If you could have looked into
Allardyce's back shop, you would have
seen a dead pig swung from a hook in
the celling, and a gentleman in his
shirt sleeves furiously stabbing: at It
with this weapon. I was that ener
getic person, and I have satisfied my
self that by no exertion of my strength
can I transfix the pig: with a single
blow. Perhaps you would care to try?"
"Not for worlds. But why were you
"Because it seemed to me to have an
indirect bearing upon the mystery of
Woodman's Lee. Ah, Hopkins, I got i
your wire last night, and I have been !
expecting you. Come and Join us."
Our visitor was an exceedingly alert
man, SO years of age, dressed in a quiet
tweed suit, but retaining the erect
bearing of one who was accustomed to '
official uniform. I recognized him at
once as Stanley Hopkins, a young po
lice inspector, for whose future Holmes
had high hopes, while he in turn pro
fessed the admiration and respect of
a pupil for tho scientific methods of
the famous amateur. Hopkins brow
was clouded and he sat down with an
air of deep dejection.
"No, thank you. sir. I breakfasted
before I came round. I spent the night
In town, for I came up yesterday to
"And what had you to report?"
"Failure, sir; absolute failure."
"You have- made no progress?"
"Dear Ale! I must have a look at the
"I wisb. to heavens that you would.
Mr. Holmes. Ifs my first big chance,
and I am at my wits' end. For good
ness 6ake, corns down and lend me a
"Well, well, it Just happenB that I
have already read all the available evi
dence. Including the report of the in
quest, with some care. By the way,
what no you make of that tobacco
pouch, found on the scene of the crime?
Is there no clew there?"
Hopkins looked surprised.
"It was tho man's own pouch, sir.
His initials were inside it. And it was
of sealskin and ho was an old sealer-"
"But bo had no pipe."
"No, sir. we could find no pipe. In
deed, he smoked very little, and yet he
xnUrht have kept some tobacco for
"No doubt. I only mention it because
if I had been handling the case, I
should have been Inclined to make that
the starting-point of my investigation.
However, my friend. Dr. Watson,
knows nothing of this matter, and I
should be none the worse for hearing
the sequence of events once more. Just
4 .give us some short sketches of the es-
Stanley Hopkins drew a slip of paper
from his pocket.
"I have a few dates here which will
give you the career of the dead man.
Captain Peter Carey. He was born in
45 50 years of age. He was a most
daring' and successful seal and whale
fisher. In 1SS3 ho commanded, the
steam sealer Sea Unicorn., of Dundee.
Ho had then had several successful voy
ages in. succession, and In the following
year. ISSi; he retired. After that he
travelftd for some years, and finally he
bought a small place called Woodman's
Lee. near Forest Bow. in Sussex.
There he has lived for six years, and
there he dledJust a week ago today.
"There wore some most singular
points about the -man. In ordinary life,
he was a strict Puritan a silent.
Kloomy follow. His household con
sisted of his wife, his daughter,
aged 2f. and two female servants.
These last were continually chang
ing, for it was never a very cheery situa
tion, and sometimes it became past all
bearing- The man was an Intermittent
drunkard, and when he had the fit on
him ho was a perfect fiend. He has been
known to drive his' wife and daughter out
of doors in the middle of the night, and
flop them through tho park until tho
whole village outside the gates was
aroused by their screams.
"He was summoned once for a savage
assault upon the old vicar, who had called
upon him to remonstrate with him upon
his conduct. In short, Mr. Holmes, you
would go far before you found a more
dangerous man than Peter Carey, and I
have heard that he bore the same char
acter when, he commanded his ship. He
was known In the trade as Black Peter,
and the name was given him, not only on
account of his swarthy features and the
color of his huge beard, but for the hu
mors which were the terror of all around
him. I need not say that he was loathed
and avoided by every one of his neigh
bors, and 'that I have not heard one sin
gle word of sorrow about his terrible end.
"You must have read In the account of
the inquest about the man's cabin, Mr.
Holmes: but perhaps your friend here has
not heard of It. He had built hlmseu a
wooden outhouse he always called It the
'cabin' a few hundred yards from his
house, and It was here that he slept every
night. ,It was a little, single-roomed hut,
16 feet by 10. He kept the key in his.
pocket, made RIs own bed, cleaned it him
self, and allowed no other foot to cross
the threshold. There are small windows
on each side, which were covered by cur
tains and never opened. One of these
windows was turned toward the high
road, and when the light burned in It at
night the folk used to point It out to each
other and wonder what Black Peter was
doing In there. That's the window. Mr.
Holmes, which gave us one of the few
bits of positive evidence that came out at
You remember that a stonemason
named Slater, walking from Forest Row
about 1 o'clock la the morning two days
before the murder stopped as he passed
the grounds and looked at the square of
light still shining among the trees. He
swears that the shadow of a man's head
turned sideways was clearly visible on the
blind, and that this shadow was certainly
not that of Peter Carey, whom he know
well. It was that of a bearded man, but
the beard was short and bristled for
wards In a way very different from that
of the captain. Eo he says, but he had
been two hours in the public-house, and
It is some distance from the road to the
window. Besides, this refers to the Mon
day, and the crime was done upon tho
"On the Tuesday Peter Carey was In
one of his blackest moods, flushed with
drink and as savage as a dangerous wild
beast. He roamed about the house, and
the women ran for It when they heard
him coming. Late in the evening he went
down to his own hut. About 2 o'clock the
following morning his daughter, who slept
with her window open, heard a most fear
ful yell from that direction, but it was no
unusual thing for him to bawl and shout
when he was in drink, so no notice was
taken. On rising at 7, one of the maids
noticed that the door of the hut was
open, but so great was the terror which
the man caused that it was midday before
any one would venture down to see what
had become of him. Peeping into the
open door, they saw a sight which sent
them flying, with white faces, into the
village. Within an hour, I was on the
1 spot, and had taken over the case.
"Well. I have fairly steady nerves, as
you know. Mr. Holmes, but I give you
my word, that I got a shake when I put
my head -Into that little bouse. It was
droning like a harmonium with the files
and bluebottles, and the floor and walls
were like a slaughter-house. He had
called it a cabin, and a cabin It was,
sure enough, for you would have thought
that you were In a ship. There was a
bunk at one end, a sea chest, maps and
charts, a picture of the Sea Unicorn, a
line of logbooks on a shelf, all exactly as
one would expect to find It In a captain's
room. And there. In the middle of It,
was the man himself his fact twisted like
a lost soul in torment, and his great
brindled beard stuck upwards in his ago
ny. Right through his broad breast a
steel harpoon bad been driven, and It
had sunk deep into the wood of the wall
behind him. He was pinned like a beetle
on af card. Of course, he was quite dead,
and had been so from the Instant that
he had uttered that last yell of agony.
"I know your methods, sir, and I ap
plied them. Before I permitted any
thing to be moved, I examined most
carefully the ground outside, and also the
floor of the room. There were no foot
marks." "Meaning that you saw none?"
"I assure you, sir, that there were
"My good Hopkins, I have investigated
many crimes, but I have never yet seen
one which was committed by a flying
creature. As long as the criminal re
mains upon two legs so long must there
be some indentation, same abrasion, some
trifling displacement which can be de
tected by the scientific searcher. It Is
incredible that this blood-bespattered
room contained no trace which could have
aided us I understand, however, from
the Inquest that there were some ob
jects which you. failed to overlook."
The young inspector winced at my com
panion's Ironical comments.
"I was a fool not to call you In at the
time. Mr. Holmes. However, that's past
praying for now. Yes. there were several
objects In the room which called for spe
cial attention. One was the harpoon
with which the deed was committed. It
had been snatched down from a rack on
the- wait Two others remained there, and
there was a vacant place for the third.
On the stock was engraved. Ss. Sea. Uul
corn, Dundee.' This seemed to establish
that the crime had been done In a moment
of fury, and that the murderer had seized
the first weapon which came in his way.
The fact that the crime was committed
at 2 In the- morning, and yet Peter Carey
was fully dressed, suggested that he had
an appointment with the murderer, which
Is borne out by the fact that a bottle of
rum and two dirty glasses stood upon the
Yes," said Holmes; "I think that both
inferences are permissible. Was there
any other spirit but rum In the room?"
"Yes, there was a tantalus containing
brandy and whisky on the sea-chest. It
Is of no Importance to us, however, since
the decanters were full, and It had there
fore not been used."
"For all that. Its presence has some
significance." said Holmes. "However,
let ua hear some more about the objects
which do seem to you to bear upon the
"There was a tobacco pouch upon the
"What part of the table?"
"It lay In the middle. It was of coarse
sealskin the straight-haired skin, with a
leather thong to bind It. Inside was 'P.
C on the flap. There was half an ounce
of strong ship's tobacco In It."
"Excellent! What more?"
Stanley Hopkin drew from his pocket a
drab-covered notebook. The outside was
rough and worn, 'the leaves discolored.
On the first page were written the in
itial a "J. H. N." and the date "1SS3."
Holmes laid it on the table and examined
it in his minute way, while Hopkins arid
I gazed over each shoulder. On the sec
ond page were the printed letters "C. P. ,
R," and then came several sheets of
numbers. Another heading was "Ar
gentina." another "Costa Rica." and an
other 'San Paulo," each with pages of
signs and figures, after it.
"What do you make of these?" asked
"They appear to be lists of Stock Ex-J
change securities. I thought that 'J. H.
N.' were the initials of a broker, and
that C. P. R.' may have been his client."
"Try Canadian Pacific Railway." said
Stanley Hopkins . swore between his
teeth, and . struck his thigh with his
"What a fool I have been!" he cried.
"OXEN HOW HO TOU ACCOUNT TtB
"Of course. It if as you say. Then J.'
H. N.' are the only initials we have to
solve. I have already examined the old
Stock Exchange lists, and I can find no
one in 1SS3, either In the house or among
the outside brokers, whose Initials corre
spond with these. Yet I feel that the clew
is the most Important one that I hold.
You will admit, Mr. Holmes, that there
Is a- possibility that these Initials are
thoso of the second person who was pres
entIn other words, of the murderer.
I would also urge that the introduction
into the case of a document relating to
large masses of valuable securities gives
us for the first time some indication of a
motive for the crime."
Sherlock Holmes' face showed that he
was thoroughly taken aback by this new
"I must admit both your points," said
he. "I confess that this notebook, which
did not appear at the inquest, modifies
any views which I may have formed. I
had come to a theory of the crime in
which I can find no place for this. Have
you endeavored to trace any of the se
curities here mentioned?"
"Inquiries are now bejng made at the
ofices, but 7 fear that the complete reg
ister, of the stockholders of these South
American concerns Is In South America,
and that some weeks must elapse before
we can trace the shares."
Holmes had been examining the cover
of the notebook with bis magnifying lens.
"Surely there Is some discoloration
here." said he.
"Yes, sir. it Is a blood stain. I told you
that I picked the book off the floor.
'Was the blood stain above or below?"
"On the side next the boards."
"Which proves, of course, that the
book was dropped after tire crime was
"Exactly. Mr. " Holmes. I appreciated
that point, and I conjectured that it was
dropped by the murderer In his hurried
flight. It lay near the door."
"I suppose that none of these securi
ties have been found among the prop
erty of the dead man?"
"Have you any reason to suspect rob
bery?" "No. sir. Nothing seemed to have been
"Dear me,' It Is' certainly a very in
teresting case. Then there was a knife,
was there 'not?"
"A sheath-knife, still In Its sheath- It
lay at the feet of the dead man. Mrs.
Carey has identified it as being her hus
Holmes was lost In thought for some
"Well," said he, at last, "I suppose I
shall have to come out and have a look
Stanley Hopkins gave a cry of Joy.
"Thank you, sir. That will. Indeed, be
a weight off my mind."
Holmes shook his finger at the Inspec
tor. j "It would have been an easier task a
week ago," said -he. "But even now. my
visit may not be entirely fruitless. Wat
son, If you can spare the time, I should
be very glad of your company. If you
will call a four-wheeler. Hopkins, we
shall be ready to start for Forest Row
in a quarter of an hour."
Alighting at the small wayside station,
we drove for some miles through the re
mains of widespread woods, which were
once part of that great forest which for
so long held the Saxon Invaders at bay
the impenetrable "weald," for 60 years
the bulwark of Britain. Vast sections
of It have been cleared, for this Is the
seat of the first Ironworks of the coun
try, and the trees have been felled to.
smelt the ore. Now the richer fields of
the North have absorbed the trade, and
nothing save these ravaged groves and
great scars in the earth show the work
of the past. Here, In a clearing upon
the green slope of a hill, stood a lbng,
low, stone house, approached by a curv
ing drive running through the fields;
Nearer the road, and surrounded on three
sides by bushes, was a small outhouse,
one window and the door facing in our
direction. It was the scene of the mur
Stanley Hopkins led us first to the
bouse, where he introduced us to a hag
gard, gray-haired woman, the -widow of
the murdered man. whose gaunt and
deep-lined face, with the furtive look of
terror In the depths of her red-rimmed
eyes, told of the years of hardship and
ill-usage which she had endured. With
her was her daughter, a pale, falr-halred
girl, whose eyes blazed defiantly at us
as she told us that she was glad that her
father was dead, and that she blessed the
hand which had struck him down. It
was a terrible household that Black Peter
had made for himself, and It was with a
sense of relief that we found ourselves
In the sunlight again, and making our
way along a path which had been worn
across the fields by the feet of the dead
The outhouse was the simplest of dwell
ings, wooden-waljed. shingle-roofed, one
window beside the door and one on the
farther side. Stanley Hopkins drew the
key from his pocket and had stooped to
the lock, when he paused with a look of
attention and surprise upon his face.
"Some one has been tampering with It,"
There could be no doubt of the fact.
The woodwork was cut. and the scratches
showed white through the paint, as If
they had been that Instant done. Holmes
had been examining the window.
"Some one has tried to force this also.
THE THIRD APPLICANT WAS A
Whoever it was has failed to make his
way in. He must have been a very poor
"This is a most extraordinary thing,"
said the Inspector. "I could swear that
these marks were not here yesterday
"Some curious person from the village,
perhaps," I suggested.
"Very unlikely. Few of them would
dare to set foot In the grounds, far less
try to force - their way Into the cabin.
WThat do you think of It. Mr. Holmes?"
"I think that fortune Is very kind to
"You mean that the person will come
"It Is very probable. He came expecting
to find the door open. He tried to get In
with the blade of a very small penknife.
He could not manage it. What would
"Come again next night with a more
."So I should say. It will be our fault
If we are not there to receive him; Mean
while, let me see the Inside of the cabin."
The traces of the tragedy had been re
moved, but the furniture within the little
room still stood as It had been on the
night of the erlme. For two hours, with
most Intense concentration. Holmes ex
amined every object In turn, but his face
showed that his quest was not a success
ful one. Once only he paused In his pa
"Have you taken anything off this shelf,
"No, I have moved nothing."
"Something has' been taken. There is
less dust in this corner of the shalf than
elsewhere. It -may have been a book
lying on Its side. It may have been a
box. Well, well, I can do nothing more.
Let us walk In these beautiful woods,
Watson, and give a few hours to the
birds and the flowers. We shall meet
you here later, Hopkins, and see If we
can come to closer quarters with the
gentleman who has paid this visit in the
It was past eleven o'clock when wa
formed our little ambuscade. Hopkins
was for leaving the door of the hut open,
but Holmes was of the opinion that this
would rouse the suspicions of the stran
ger. The lock was a perfectly simple
one, and only a strong blade was needed
to push It back. Holmes also suggested
that we should wait, not Inside the hut.
but outside It among the bushes which
grew round the farther window. In this
way we should be able to watch our man
If he struck a light, and see what his
object was In this stealthy nocturnal
It was a long and melancholy vigil,
and yet brought with It something of the
thrill which the hunter feels when he
lies beside the water-pool, and waits for
the coming of tho thirsty beast of prey.
What savage creature was It which
might steal upon us out of the darkness?
Was It a fierce tiger of crime, which
could only be taken fighting hard with
flashing fang and claw, or would it prove
to be some skulking Jackal, dangerous
only to the weak and unguarded?
In absolute silence we crouched
amongst the bushes, waiting for what
ever might come. At first the steps of
a few belated villagers, or the sound of
voices from the village, lightened our
vigil, but one by one these Interruptions
died away, and an absolute stillness fell
upon us, save from the chimes of the
distant church, which told us of the
progress of the night, and for the rustle
and whisper of a fine rain falling amid
the foliage which roofed us In.
Half-past two had chimed, and It was
the darkest hour which precedes the
dawn, when we all started as a low but
sharp click came from the direction of
the gate. Someone had entered the drive.
Again there was a long silence, and I had
begun to fear that it was a false alarm,
when a stealthy step was heard upon
ilia Qihtr-1A? cf th$ hutt and -8, jaoraeat
later a metallic scraping and clinking.
The man was trying to force the lock.
This time his skill was greater or his
tool was better, for there was a sudden
snap and the creak of the hinges. Then
a match was struck, and the next Instant
the steady light from a candle filled the
Interior of the hut. Through the gauze
curtain our eyes were all riveted upon
the scene within.
The nocturnal visitor was a young man.
frail and thin, with a black moustache,
which intensified the deadly pallor of his
face. He could not have, been much
above twenty years of age. I have never
seen any human being who appeared to
be in such a pitiable frlgfit. for his teeth
were visibly chattering, and ho was shak
ing In every limb. He was dressed like
a gentleman. In Norfolk Jacket and knick
erbockers, with a cloth cap upon his
head. We watched him- staring round
with frightened eyes. Then he laid the
candle-end upon the table and disap
peared from our view Into one of the
corners. Hey returned with a large book,
one of the logbooks which formed a line
upon the shelves. Leaning on the table,
he rapidly turned over the leaves of this
volume until he came to the entry which
he sought. Then, with an angry ges
ture of his clenched hand, he closed the
book, replaced It in the corner and put
out the light. He had hardly turned to
leave the hut when Hopkins' hand was
MAN OF REMARKABLE APPEARANCE.
on the fellow's collar, and I heard his
loud gasp of terrors as he understood that
he was taken. The candle was relit, and
there was our wretched captive, shiver
ing and cowering in the grasp of the de
tective. He sank down upon the sea
chest, and looked helplessly from one of
us to the other.
"Now, my fine fellow," said Stanley
Hopkins, "who are you, and what do you
The man pulled himself together and
faced us with an effort at self-composure.
"You are detectives, I suppose?" said
he. "You imagine I am connected with
the death of Captain Peter Carey. I
assure you that I am innocent."
"We'll see about that.'' said Hopkins.
"First of all, what is your name?"
"It Is John Hopley Nellgan." '
I . saw Holmes and Hopkins exchange a
"What are you doing here?"
"Can I speak confidentially?"
"No, certainly not."
"Why should I tell you?"
"If you have no answer It may go badly
with you at the trial."
The young man winqed.
"Well, I will tell you," he said. "Why
should I not? And yet I hate to think
of this old scandal gaining a new lease
of life. Did you ever hear of Dawson and
I could see from Hopkin's face, that he
never had, but Hoimes was keenly In
terested. "You mean the West-country bankers,"
he said. "They failed for a million, ruined
half the county families of Cornwall, and
"Exactly. Nellgan was my father."
At last we were getting something posi
tive, and yet it seemed a long gap be
tween an absconding banker and Captain
Peter Carey pinned against the wall with
one of his own harpoons. We all listened
Intently to the young man's words.
"It was my father who was really con
cerned. Dawson had retired. I was only
ten years of age at that time, but I was
old enough to feel the shame and horror
of it all. It has always been said that
my father stole all the securities and
fled. It is not true. It was his belief
that If he was given time In which to
realize them, all would be well and every
creditor paid In full. He started In his
little yacht for Norway Just before the
warrant was Issued for his arrest. I can
remember that last night, when he bade
farewell to my mother. He left us a list
of securities he was taking, and he swore
he would, come back with his honor
cleared, and that none who trusted him
would suffer. Well, no word was ever
heard from him again. Both the yacht
and he vanished utterly. We believed,
my mother and I, that he and it, with the
securities which he had taken with him,
were at the bottom of the sea. We had a
faithful friend, however, who is a busi
ness man,, and it was he who discovered
some time ago that some of the securi
ties which my father had with him
had reappeared on the London market.
You can imagine our amazement. I
spent months in trying- to trace them,
and at last, after many doubtings and
difficulties, I discovered that the orig
inal seller had been . Captain Peter
Carey, the owner of this hut.
"Naturally, I made some inquiries
about the man. I found that he had
been In command of a whaler which
was due to return from the Arctic seas
at the very time when my father was
crossing to Norway- The Autumn of
that year was a stormy one, and there
was a Iony succession of southerly
gales. My father's yacht may well
have been blown to the north, and
there met by Captain Peter Carey's
ship. If that, were so, what had be
come of my father? In any case. If I
could prove from Peter Carey's evi
dence how these securities came on the
market It would be a proof that my
father,-had not sold them, and that he.
had no view to personal profit when
he took them.
"I came down to Sussex with the in
tention of seeing the captain, but It
was at .this moment that his terrlbl
death occurred. I read at the Inquest
a description of his cabin, in which it
stated that the old logbooks of his ves
sel were preserved in it. It struck me
that if I could see what occurred In
the month of August, 1S83, on board
the Sea Unicorn. I might settle the
mystery of my father's fate. I tried
last night to get at these logbooks, but
was unable to open the door. Tonight
I tried again and succeeded, but I find
that the pages which deal with that
month have been torn from the book.
It was at that moment I found myself
prisoner in your hands."
"Is that all?" asked Hopkins.
"Yes, that is all." His eyes shifted
as he said it.
"You have nothing else .to tell us?"
"No, there is nothing."
"You have not been here before last
"Then how do you account for that?"
cried Hopkins, as he held up the. damn
ing notebook, with the initials of our
prisoner on the first leaf and the blood
stain on the cover.
The wretched man collapsed. Ha
sank his face in his hands, and trem
bled all over.
"Where did you get it?" he groaned.
"I did not know. I thought I had lost
it at the hotel." ,
"That is enough." said Hopkins,
sternly. "Whatever else you have to
say, you must say in court. You will
walk down with me now to the police.)
station. Well. Mr. Holmes, I am veryl
much obliged to you and to your friend
for coming down to help me. As it turns
out your presence was unnecessary, and
I would have brought the case to thlaj
successful Issue without you. but. nonerf
the les3, I am grateful. Rooms hava!
been reserved for you at the Brambletyej
Hotel, so we can all walk down to the
village together." ,
"Well. Watson, what do you think ofi
It?" asked Holmes, aa we traveled back:
"I can see you are not satisfied."
"Oh, yes, my dear Watson. I am per-
fectly satisfied. At the same time
Stanley Hopkins methods do not com
mend themselves to me. I am disappoint
ed in Stanley Hopkins. I had hoped for
better things from him. One should al
ways look for a possible alternative, and
provide against it. It Is the first rule of
"What, then, is the alternative?"
"The line of Investigation which I havat
myself been pursuing. It may give us
nothing. I cannot tell. But at least I
shall follow It to the end."
Several letters were waiting for Holmes
at Baker street. He snatched one of them
up, opened It. and burst out in a trium
phant chuckle of laughter.
"Excellent, Watson! The alternative
develops. Have you telegraph forms?
Just write a couple of messages for me:
'Sumner, Shipping Agent. Ratcliff High
way. Send three men on. to arrive 10
tomorrow morning. Basil." That's my
name In those parts. The other Is: 'In
spector Stanley Hopkins, 46, Lord Street,
Brixton. Come breakfast tomorrow at!
9:30. Important. Wire if unable to come,
Sherlock Holmes. There. Watson,
this infernal case has haunted me for ten
days. I hereby banish It completely
from my presence. Tomorrow, I 'trust,
that we shall hear the last of It forever."
Sharp at the hour named Inspector
Stanley Hopkins appeared, and we sat
down together to the excellent breakfast
which Mrs. Hudson had prepared. The
young detective was In high spirits at hia-,
"You really think that your solution
must be correct?" asked Holmes.
"I could not imagine a more complete)
"It did not seem to me conclusive."
"You astonish me, Mr. Holmes. What
more could one ask for?"
"Does your explanation cover everj
"Undoubtedly. I find that young
Nellgan arrived at the-Bramblatye- HoUt
on the very day of the crime. He came
on the pretense of playing golf. His
room was on the ground floor, and he
could get out when he liked. The very
night he went down to Woodman's Lee.
saw Peter Carey at the hut. quarrelled
with him. and killed him with the har
poon. Then, horrified by what he had;
done, he fled out of the hut, dropping the
notebook which he had brought with him
In order to question Peter Carey about
these different securities. You may have
observed that some of them were marked
with ticks, and the others the great ma
joritywere not. Those which are ticked
have been traced on the London market,
but the others, presumably, were still In
the possession of Carey, and young Nell
gan. according to his own account, was
anxious to recover them In order to do
the right thing by his father's creditors.,
After his flight he did not dare to ap
proach the hut again for some time, but
at last forced himself to "do so In order
to obtain the Information which he need
ed. Surely that Is all simple and obvious."
Holmes smiled and shook his head.
"It seems to me to have only one draw
back. Hopkins, and that is that It is In
trlns'cally Impossible. Have you tried
to drive a harpoon through a body? No?
Tut. tut. my dear sir. you must really
pay attention to these details. My friend
Watson could tell you that I spent a
whole morning in that exercise. It is no
easy matter, and requires a strong and
practiced arm. But this blow was de
livered with such violence that the head
of the weapon sank deep Into the wall.
Do you Imagine that the anaemic youth
was capable of so frightful an assault?
Is he the man who hobnobbed in rum and
water with Black Peter in the dead of
night? Was it his profile that was seen
on the blind two nights before? No. no,
Hopkins, it Is another and more formida
ble person for whom we must seek.
The detective's face had grown longer
and longer during Holmes speech. His
hopes and his ambitions were are, crum
bling about him. But he would not aban
don his position without a struggle.
"You can't deny that Nellgan was pres
ent that night, Mr. Holmed. The book
will prove that. I fancy that I have evi
dence, enough to satisfy a Jury, even if
you are able to pick a hole in it. Be
sides, Mr. Holmes, I have laid my hand
upon nly man. As to this terrible person
of yours, where is he?"
"I rather fancy that he is on the
stair." said Holmes, serenely. "1 think.
Watson, that you would do well to put
that revolver where you can reach It."
He rose and laid a written paper upon &
side table. "Now we are ready," said he.
There had been some talking: in gruff
voices outside, and now Mrs. Hudson
opened tho door to rfay that there were
three men Inquiring for Captain Basil.
"Show them in one by one," said
The first who entered was a little rib-ston-plppin
of a man, with ruddy cheeks,
and fluffy white side whiskers. Holmes
had drawn a letter from his pocket.
"What name?" he asked
"I am sorry. Lancaster, but the berth
is full. Here Is half a sovereign for your
trouble. Just step Into this room and
wait there for a few minutes."
The second man was a long, dried-up
creature, with lank hair and sallow
cheeks. His name Nvas Hugh Pattlns.
He also received his dismissal, his half
sovereign and the order to wait.
The third applicant was a man of re
markable appearance. A fierce bulldog
face was framed In a tangle of hair and
beard, and two bold, dark" eyes gleamed
behind the cover of thick, tufted, over
hung eyebrows. He saluted and stood
sailor-fashion, turning- his cap round la
"Your name?" asked .Holmes.
"Patrick Cairns." f
"Yes. sir. Twenty-six voyages."
"Dundee, I suppose?"
Concluded, on page 45.),