The Sunday Oregonian. (Portland, Ore.) 1881-current, September 24, 1905, PART FOUR, Page 47, Image 47

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f ! : mmim - . -,-
I ml I : "T.
The Adventure of the
Red-Headed League
lOnpyrbrht by A. Conaa Doyle and Harper j
& BTOS.)
MAO called mbom my friend. Mr. !
I Sherlock Habna en d.y in the
Aimnnii of hwt year, and found him
in aVe ronvermtion with a very stout,
arti-faced. elderly genCtaman. with flory
rat hr. Wkit iui apology for my in
rwatnn. I w? about to withdraw, whon
Hilaii palled mm Nbrttfttly iue the reom
ad rW the daer behind mc.
"To could not paestbty liave come at
better thaw, my dear Watson he said
wa afraid that yoa wore engaged."
"w I am. Very Mttch f8."
"The r out wait tn the naxt room."
at an. Thte gentleman, Mr. Wll-
n. ha aeon my partner and helper in
njr or mjr Moat successful oases, and
I kaw aa doubt that he will be of the
to me fa yours also."
genUctaaa half-rose from his
I aare a bob of grooting,. with
uueeaouing glance from
fat -encircled ayes.
Try tJe settee." said Holmes, relaps
UK Into Ms arm-chair and nutting his
tin together, as was his .custom
ttl Judicial moods. "T knnn- mv
wtoa. mat you share my love of
aaTtfcat is Mature and outside the con
vuaAltiM ami hum drum routine of every-
ajr aw. You have shown your relish
ar K by the enthusiasm which has
you to chronicle, and. If you
nty saying so. somewhat to
many oC my own little ad-
Tke utout
a, ojuArfe,
Mk natfl
have indeed been of the
Braateat tnterfwt to me," I observed.
Tou wBt remember that I remarked
other day. Jut before vc went into
lie very simple problem presented by
3a Mary Sutherland, that for strange
oaVcta and extraordinary comb! nnt ions
So to life lfaelf. which is always
arms tnutt any effort of the
it km wMch I took the liberty
'Tau did. doctor, but none the less you
nam roaae round to my view, for other
wla I shall keep on piling fact upon
tat on you. until your reason breaks
down under them and acknowledges me
rtghc Xow. Mr. Jabcz Wilson here
ood enough to call upon me
ta: mornlnc. and to begin a narrative
which prmulew. to be one of the most
sinautar which I have listened to for some
uaae. You hare heard me remark that
the otranaeut and moot wonderful things
are often connected not with the larger
but with the matter crimes, and occa
Mnualty. ladued. where there is room for
doubt whether y positive crime has
committed. As far I have heard
U m lmum1M lor to say whether
ib ureoent cae Is an instance of crime
or nai. hut the course of events is cer
tainty auMMc the moot Angular that I
hae twt Natenod to. Perhjs Mr. WIN
an. im w have the srat kindness
trt rerouawK-aee Vtour narrative. I ak you, '
n-M UH-rHy because mv friotul Dr Wa. .
n h not heard the opening part, but
ah becauav the peculiar nature of the
torT aake ate anxioue to have every
paurtbli detail front -our lips. As a rule,
when I have heard mo slight indication
of the courae of events. I am able to guide
myaelf hy the thouuands of other similar
carfo which occur to my memory. In tlie
present inatance I str forced to admit that
th farts are. to the best of my belief,
The portly client puffed out his chest
with an appearance of some little pride,
and putted a dirt- and wrinkled news
paper front the Inside pocket of his great
coat. As he ghiaoed down the advertlse
aaent cohuua. with his head thrust for
trard, and the paper flattened out upon
k!1- I..lo1 H K00 hmk 8t the man.
deudevored. after the fashion of my
fTy- to r the indications which
brht he preoented by his dress or ap
pearance 1 "l'r' ch. however, by
Inspection. Our iitor bore overy
aeJnf; an average commonplace
British tradesman, obese, pompous and
r"; n wr rather baggy gray shep
ards check trousers, a not over-clean
black frock-coat, unbuttoned in the front
aad a drab waitaroat with a hoavy brassy
Albert chain, and a souare pierced bit of
metal dauaJvBK do-n as an ornament. A
frared top-hat trad a faded brown over
cast with a wrinkled velvet collar lay
apon a. chair betdde him. Altogether,
Inaii ns i would, there was nothing re
markable about the man save his blazing
red bead, and the expression of extreme
chacrln and discontent upon, his features
Sherlock Hotme' quick eye took in mv
ccupstlnu. and he shook his head with
mM noticed my questioning
he has at some time done manual labor
that he take snug, that lie is a Free-
mu! been in China, and
tnat he has dune a considerable amount
of wtttns; lataly. I can doduce nothing
3dr. Jaboc 'WBsoa start od up in his
chair, with hw faroftager upon the paper
but his eye unoa my companion.
"How. In the name of good-fortune, did
you know all that, . Mr. Holmes?" he
asked. "How dM you know, for ox
aapie. thai 1 JNd manual labor? It's as
true a auspagNfar I began as a ship's
Your hands, my dear sir. Tour right
hand is uulte a sice larger than your left.
1 ou have worked with St. and the muscles
an me. developed."
Well, the anulC, then, and the Froe
ttasoury?" I woat ineult your Intelligence by
telling you hw I road that, ospocially
a, rather atist the strict rules of
your ordor. you use a arc-and-oompass
Ah. of eoursa. I forgrot that. But
the writing:?"
"V Hot eifta ch be indicated by that
rBh: cuff, so very shiny for five
Mx-he and the loft one with the
iMnooth patch near the otbow where you
rei it upon tfce doskr
Well, but China ?-
"Fa flab, that you have tattooed Im
medMtteiy above your right wrist could
nly hare ben done in China. I have
aaade a small study of tattoo marks,
and nave even, contributed to the Jit
rs'ure of the subject. That trick of
?tmmg the Ashes' scales of a delicate
lrfc i o.te peculiar to China.' When,
Ir, addition, I ce a Chinese coin hang
ins rrom youn watch-chain, the matter
becae. jcvoa more simple."
Mr aboa pYUKon laughed heavily.
"Weil, i netrr ld he, "I Xhought
at arst that yx had done something
clever, but I see "Sthat there was noth
Hg in it. after,alL-
"1 began to lhink. Watson." said
Holmes, 'that Itaake a mistake in ex
plaining "Omneijgnotum -pro mag
nifico.' you know, and my poor little
rejHtt-tisB, such bs It Is, will suffer
shipwreck if I nrn so candid. Can you
not flnd the advertisement, Mr. Wl
eonT -Ye. 1 have jrot it now,' ho an
swered, 'with his thick, red finger plant
ed half-way down the column. "Hr
it is.
This is what bns-an If all.
JURt renrt It fnr vmirKolf elrv"
I took the paper from him and road
as iojiows:
"To the Red-Headed Leagrue: On ac
count of the bequest of the late Eze
klah Hopkins, of Lebanon, Pa 1. S. A.,
there Is now another vacancy open
which entitles & member of the league
to a salary of 4 a week for purely
nominal services. All red-headed men
who are sound In body and mind, and
above the age of 21 years, are eligible.
Apply In person on. Monday, at 11
O'clock. tO Duncan T?rSS at fh nfflona
of the League, 7 Pope's Court, Fleet
"What on vnrth ilnoo flito rnno n T
ojaculafed, after I had twice read over
me exLraorainary announcement.
Holmes chUCkllwl mil -uTlc-irlnl In fete
chair, ns was his habit when in high
spirits. "It is a little oft the beaten
track. Isn't it?" said he. "And now.
Mr. Wilson, off von
tell us all about yourself, your house-
noia, ana tne enect which this adver
tisement had upon your fortunes. You
will first make a note. Anninr nt t.
paper and the date."
"It is the Morninc- fhrnnlpln nf
April 27. 1890. Just two months aco."
"Very grood. Now. Mr. Wilson V
"Well, it is Just as I have been toll.
Inc you. Mr. Sherloclr ITnlmoo M
Jabcz Wilson, mopping- his forehead:
x jmv . smaii pawnoroKors business
at Coburgr Square, near the city. It's
not a very large affair, and of lnte
years it has not done more than Just
Rive me a livlnrr. T lisnH tn lvn .1.1.
keep two assistants, but noiv I only
keep one; and I would have a Job to
pay him. hut that lie ir xt-mint- A
for half wagos, so as to learn the business."
"What is thp name nf tht. nhiutno.
youth?" askod Sherlock ITolmos. ;
HIS name IS Vincent Snanldlnrr
he's not such a youth, either. It's 'hard
to say his ace. T shonlrt nnt wick
smarter assistant, Mr. Holmes; and I
know very well that he could better
iiimseu ana earn twice what I am able
to give him. But. after all. if he is
satisfied, why should I put idoas in his
"Why. indeed: You ssero most for
tunate in having an ompiove wJio comes
under the full market price, it is not
uummon experience among: employers
in this age. I don't know that your as
sistant is not as remarkable as your
''h- e has his faults, too." said Mr.
" llson. "Xevr was such a follow for
Photography. Snapping away with a
camera when he ought to be improving
his mind, and then diving down into
the cellar like a rabbit Into its hole to
develop his pictures. That is his main
fault; but. on -the whole. Tie's a good
worker. There's no vice in -him."
"l!e Is ,st,U wlth you. I presume?"
does a bit of simple cooking, and keeps
the place clean that's all I have in
the house, for I am a widower, and
never had nnv frnnllr -nv 11
quietly, sir. the three of us; and we
koeP a rof over our heads, and pay
..tZ , ' 1 , e ao noirng more.
thJ hcJrst tMnF! that put us out was
that advertisement. Spaulding, he
uUwn into the office Just this dav
eight weeks, with this very paper In
his hand, and he says:
'I wish to the Lord. Mr. Wilson, that
a icu-notiaoa man.
" 'What's that?' I asks.
nn3hyu8Mr he' 'here's anothor va
cancy on the Leatrue nf t.i tt
Men. Its worth quite a little fortune
stand t o, tx KelS nd 1 undO-
n,n ihiV h6re Hre more vacancies
i Hail there urn man o v.. .
?fC Ht t,,e,r WV what to do
1 chl inv.v jr my hair would only
j change color, here's a nice little crib
! all ready for me to step into
J "'Why. what is it. then?' I asked.
... .v MS mj- nusiness came
to me instead of my having to go to it!
I was often weeks on end without put
ting my foot over the doormat. In
that way I didn't v . . An
was going on outside, and I was al
ways glad of a bit of news.
" 'Have you never hoard of the Lea me
of the Red-headed Men?- he askedfth
his eyes open.
" 'Xever.
u IHP'' I wonder it thati for vou are
eligible youVself for one of the vacancies.'
. u what are they worth?' I asked
,... mfrcly R "P16 of hundred a
nnf LUt, ",c work ls s,,eht- t need
not interfere very much with one's other
occupations "w
inlidmn5'01! as,,y -th,nk thaf that
made me prick up my ears, for the IjusI-
Joars Hnot bPP" over-EOod for some
I.m f an extra C0UP,e' oL hundred
would have been very handy. ,
r1,nie aU aDout t saldIt -
ell. said he. showing me 'the ad-
v.1 . . " ' w"'v , una mere Is
the address whem you should apply for
part culars. As far as I can mike out
Smiifn 0 ?"nd b' an American
millionaire. Ezeklnh Hnnvi.,
71,aJ i" hl? ?'ays- X was him
self red-beaded, and he had a great sym
pathy for all rod-hejidivt ...
he died, it was found that he had ieft his
enormous fortune In. the hands of trus
tees, with Instructions to apply the in
terest to the providing of easy berths to
men whose hair is of that color. From
ajl I hear it is splendid pay, and very lit
tle to do.
J.'Ub' aLd Jf 'lhere woula be millions
of red-headed men who would apply
' ot so many as you might think.' he
answered. 'You see, it Js really confined
to Londoners, and to grown men. This
American had started from London when
he was vountr and h txnntvri
old tow na good turn. Then, again, I have
heard it is no use your applying if your
. rwi, or uarK rea, or anything
but real bright, blaring, fiery red. Now
if you cared to apply, Mr. Wilson, you
would Just walk in; but perhaps It would
hardly be worth your while to put your
self out of the way for the sake of a few
hundred pounds."
"Now, It is a fact, gentlemen, as you
may see for j'ourselves. that my hair is-of
a very full and rich tint, so that It .seemed
to me that, if there was to be any com
petition in the matter, I stood as, good a
chance as any man that I had ever met.
Vincent Spaulding seemed to know so
much about Jt that I hoped he might
prove useful, so I Just ordered him to nut
n h- -t.ttr fnr th day.' and to come
tray with me. He was very willing
10 iiavc a nonaay. so we shut the business
up. and started off for the address that
was given in the advertisement.
"X never hope to see sucliya sight as
that again. 'Mr. Holmes. Trbm north,
south, east and west every man who had
a shade of red Jn his hair had tramped
into the city to answer the advertisement.
Fleet street was choked with red-headed
folk, and Pope'a Court loked like a ces
,terH orange barrow. I should not have
thought thpre were so many in the whole
country as were "brought together by that
single advertisement. Every shade of
color they we're straw, lemon, orange,
brick Irish-setter llvnr flat- hut
Spaulding said, there were not many w ; wlS aTack" Here' U
v2L ' l 10.. Tor yotr,el"C.rC "
WOUlrt have frtvnn it ttn. In nututlt K...
Spaulding would not hear of It. H6w be Tfad li! ,tt! IhuJ
did tt t Mtiirf nf imBn k... 1, v. 11 re this fashion
so weli, that I would not risk the loss of
"Eight weeks passed away like thlp. and
I had wrtllnn a Vint if Ahhnfc nnt iVohnn.
J and Armor and Architecture and Attica,
ana nopea witn' auigencc tnat I might
get on to the Bp before vcy long. It cost
me something In foolscap, and I had pret
ty nearly filled a shelf with my writings.
And then suddenly the whole business
came to- an edd."
"To an ondr
"Yea sir. And no later than' this .morn
ing. I went tb my work as usual 'a't 10
r-'elock. " but the door was shut -"and
locked, with a little square of card-board
hammered on to the middle of the panel
Is. and you can
introspective, and I want to introspect.
Come along!"
We traveled by the Underground as far,
as Aldersgate; and a short walk-took us
to Saxe-Coburg Square, the scene of the
singular story .which we had listened
to In the morning. It was a pokey, little.
I naDoy-gcnteei place, where fpur lines
01 dingy two-storied brick houses -looked
out into a small ralied-In inclosure, where
a lawn of weedy grass and a few clumps
of faded laurel bushes made a hard fight
against a smoke-laden and uncongenial
atmosphere. Three gilt balls and a brown
board with ."Jabez Wilson" in white let
ters, upon a corner house nnnnniiii th
. place where our red-headed client carried
on his business. Sherlock Holmes stopped
in iront ot it with nis head on .one side.
tr J ,5 .:. . 1 " 11 wiui nis neaa on .one side,
He heW un a niaee of white cardhnnrH . ami 1iVlt If ait n&m .i.k t-1 i.ri.
aoeut tne size of a sheet of notcDaner. Inc- brlhtiv hor-in nnov.nui im. ti,
! he walked slowly up the street, and then
I down again to the comer, still looking
Kceniy at tne nouses. .Finally he returned
to the pawnbroker's, and, having thumped
vigorously upon the" pavement with his
stick two or three times, he went up ti
the door and knocked. It was Instantly
opened by a bright-looking, elean-shaven
young fellow, who asked him to step in.
inanK you." said.. Holmes. "I only
did It I could not imn trine bur ho nnhwl 1
na putiea ana nutted until he got mc
through thecrowd and right up to the
steps which led to the office. There was
a double stream upon the stair, some going
up in hope, and some coming back deject
ed, but we wedged in as well as we could,
and soon found .ourselves in the office."
. "Your experience has been a most en
tertaining one." remarked Holmes, as his ! er oonslderatJon that we both burst Jnto I
w-' - inuoiu icucsuru 111s memory
with a huge pinch of snuff. "Pray con
tinue your very Interesting statement."
"There was nothing in the office but a
couple of wooden chairs and a deal table,
behind which sat a small man. with a
head that was ecn redder than mine. He
said a few words to each candidate as he
came up, and then he always managed to
And some fault In them which would dis
qualify them. Getting a vacancy did not
seem to be such a .very easy matter, after
all. However, when our turn came, the
little man was much more favorable to
me than to any of the others, and ho
closed the door as we entered, so that he
might have a private word with us.
" This Is Mr. Jabez Wilson,' said my
assistant, 'and he is willing to fill a
vacancy in the league.
" 'And he is admirably suited for It,"
the other answered. 'He has evory re
quirement. I cannot recall when I have
seen anything so fine.' He took a step
back, cocked his head on one side, and
gazed at my hair until I feit quite bash
ful. Then suddenly he plunged forward,
wrung my hand, and congratulated mc
warmly on my success.
" It would, be injustice to hesitate,' said
he. You will, however, I am sure, excuse
me for taking an obvious precaution.
v lin mxi nc seized mv na r in tviih ii.e
hands, and tugged until I yelled with pain.
Anere is water m your eyes," said he, as
he released me. I percei-e that all is as
It should be. But WA havo tn hn fu v-nf lit
for we have twice been deceived by wigs
and once by paint. I could tell you tales
of cobbler's wax which would dlturuat v
with human nature.' He stepped over to
the window, and shouted thrmifh it at ts
top of his voice that the vacancy was
filled. A trroan nf iMunnniiitmanr nam
till from below, and the fnllr alt trvwiuuwf
away in different directions, until there
was not a red neaa to ie seen except ray
own and that of the manager.
" My name, said he. Ms Mr. Duncan
Rop, and I am myself one of the. pen
sioners upon the fund left bv our nob!
WMin? w.v. vo.. rmtt,.r i But e eould not j.alp me in any way
"T anm.r h.t t I.- J I "e hl only wy that- If I waltiwl I
"His face fell ImmedAt
Itehr mr-y he saldt;
October 9. 1SS0."
vShorlock Holmes and I surveyed this
oar,t announcement and the rueful face
behind it. until the rnmlenl nf th
affair so completely overtopped every oth-
Kt. vuuniucrauOfl 11
a roar of lauchter.
"I oannot see that there is anything
very tunny, cried our client, flushing
up to the roots of his flaming head.
"If you can do nothing better than
laugh at me. I can go elsewhere.
"So. no!" criwl Holmes, shoving him
back into the chair from which he had
half risen. "I really wouldn't miss your
case fur the world. It is most refresh
ingly unusual. Rut there is. If you will
excuse my saying so, something Just a
little funny about it. Pray what steps
did you take when you found the card
upon tne uoor?
"I was staggered, sir. I did not kno.v
what to do. Then I called at the offices
'round, but none of them seemed to
know anything aborit It. Finally I wont
to the landlord, who is an" aecountant
living en the ground floor, and I asked
hlra if he could tell me what had be
come of the Red-headed League. He
saw tnat be bad never heard of anv
such body. Then I asked him who Mr.
Duncan Ross was. He answered that
the name was new to him.
-'Well. MUd I. 'the gentleman at
Xo. 4.
-'What, the rod-headed man?
" Oh. said he. 'his name wne Vliilam
Morris. He waa a solicitor, and, was
nsing my reom as .a temporary, conve
nience -until his new" premises were
ready. He moved out yesterday.'
-'Where eould I find hlmr "
"'Oh, at his new offices. He did tell
me the address. Yes. 17 King Edward
stroet. near St. Paul's.'
"I started off. Mr. Holmes, but whon
I got to that addres It whs a manu
factory of artificial knee-caps, and no
one in it had ever heard of cither Mr.
William Morris or Mr. Dunean Ross."
"And what did you do then?" asked
I -went home to Saxe-Coburg square,
and I took the advice of my assistant. !
wished to ask .you how you would go from
here to the Strand."
'Third right, fourth left." answered the
assistant promptly, closing the door.
"Smart fellow, that," observed Holmes,
as we walked away. "He Is. In my Judg
ment, the fourth smartest man In Lon
don, and for daring I am nosure that he
has riot a claim to be third. I have known
something of him before."
"Evidently," said I. "Mr. Wilson's as
sistant counts for a good deal in this mys
tery of the Red-headed League. I am sure
that 'you Inquired j-our way merely In
order that you might see him.'
"Not him."
What then?"
'The knees of his trousers."
"And what did you see?"
"What I exoeeted to see."
"Why did you beat the pavement?"
"My dear doctor, this ls a time for ob
servation, not for talk. We are spies in
an enemy's country- "We know something
of Saxe-Coburg square. Let us now ex
plore the parts which He behind It."
The road in which we found ourselves
as we turned round the corner from the
retired Saxe-Coburg Square presented as
groat a contrast to It as the front of a
picture does to the back. It was one of
the main arteries which convey the traffic
of the city to the north and west. The
roadway was blocked with the Immense
stream of commerce flowing in a double
tide Inward and outward, while the foot-
Daths were black with thn hnmlni.
swarm of pedestrians. It was difficult to
reuuze as we looKea at tne line 01 fine
shops and stately business premises that
they really abutted, on the other side upon
the faded and stagnant square which we
had Just quitted.
"Let me see." said Hnlmi stnndtnm tit
the corner and glancing along the .line,
"I should Just like to remember th order
of the houses here. It Is a hobby of
mine to have an exact knowledge of
London. There Is Mortimer's, the tobac
conist the Ilttl.. nensmnflr ahnn thn fn-
burg branch of the City and Suburban
Bank, the Vegetarian Restaurant, and
McFarlane's carriage building depot. That
carri-.5 us 'right on the ot!te hjock. And
way. "Our friend here Ls a wonderful
man for starting a chase. All he wants
13 an old dog to help him do the running
"I hope.,a wild goose. may not-be the
end of our chage," observed Mr. Merry
weather gloomily.
"You may place considerable confidence
In Mr. Holmes, sir," said the police agent
loftily. "He has his own little methods,
which are, if he won't mind my saying
so, just a little too theoretical and fan
tastic, but he has the makings of a de
tective in him. It Is not too much to say
that once or twice as in -that business
of the Sholto murder and the Agra treas
ure, he has been more nearly correct
than the officlai;force."
Oh. if you say so, Mr, Jones, it Is all
right." said the stramrer with dffornr.
"Still, 1 confess that I miss ray rubber.
It is the first Saturday night for seven
uiiu iwemy years tnat 1 nave not had my
I think you will find," said Sher-
iock Holmes, "that you will piny for
a higher stake tonight than you have
ever done yet, and that the play will
be more exciting. For you, Mr. Mer
ryweather. the stake, will he snm
30,000; and for you, Jones, It will be
me man upon wnomj'PU wish to lay
your hands." . .
"John Clay, the murderer, th"Ie,f,
umasner ana torger. He 3 a young' man,
Mr. Merry-weather, but he is at the
head of his profession, and I would
rather have my bracelets on-him than
on any criminal m .London. He s a re
markable man. ls vounc .tnhn pinv
His grandfather was a royal Duke, and
he himself has been to Eton and Ox
ford. His brain Is ns cunning- no hi
fingers, and though we meet signs of
mm at every turn, we never know
where to find the man himself. He'll
crack a crib in Scotland one week, nhd
uc raising money to build an orphan
age In Cornwall the nevt V- v,
on his track for years, and hn.v never
act eyes on nim yet."
I hope that I may have the pleasure
of Introducing yoj tonight. I've had
one or two little turns also urtth rr
John Clay, and I agree with you that
ne is at yne nenu rof his profession. It
Is past 10, however, and oulte time that
we siarieu. jt you two- will take the
first hansom. Watson ana I will follow
in tne seconu.
onuriocK JlOimes wan nnt wrr nnm.
municative during the long drive, and
lay back In the cab hummlm? th tim
which he had toard In the afternoon w
rattled through an-endless labyrinth of
gas-nc streets until we emerged into Far
nnguon street.
"We are close there now." ray friend
remarked. 'This fellow Merryweather ls
a oans airector, and personally interested
in tne matter. I thought it as well to
have Jones with us also. He Is not a
bad fellow, though an absolute imbecile
' prmesjuun. ne nas one positive
virtue. He Is as brave as a bulldog,. and
as tenacious as a lobster Jf he gets his
ciaws upon anyone. Here we are. and
tney are waiting for us.
r inorougnrare in which we had found" our- and a snicjrer. "Well would vnu niea, , ic morning. uur cans were sir, march. upstairs, where we can get a
. iuu bumuure ui cao 10 carry your nignness to the police
Air. Merryweather, we passed down a station?"
"t1?" passa8e and through a side door, 'That is better," said John Clny. se-
whlch he opened for us. Within there renely. He made a sweeping bow to the
was a small pnrrlilnr whlh nn.Io.i in t v.r-.. nr .. 1 11 j ' r .... ,
, ......... .,uu , . ui un, uiiu wnmcu uuieuy on in
uwmivc iron Kaie. x'nis also was
, ,u . ... . . : "v l- vuuvt, xii; oaG-uroJi. .1 . uiu 1 iiml v. A .. :,
vcyrlbuK Me! l u0 lVueh place without cmi ot coffin and then
you say that. The fund was. of mtmr a SCS. . 1 had Heard that you iand where all ls sweetne
th . r". -s" lo. Kvc aavice to and harmony, and there are no red-head
gentle breathing of my companions,
but I could distinguish the deeper,
heavier In-breath of the bulky Jones
from the thin, sighintr note nf the banir
rdirector. From my. nosltlon t innlrf
;lpok over the case InUhe' dlrecflon of
-the floor. Suddenly my eyes? caught
the glimmer of a light. .
At first It w-as" but a lurid spark upon,
the stone pavement. Then it length
ened out until it became a yellow tins,
and then, without any: warning or
sound, a gash seemed- to open and a
hand appeared, a white, almost wom
anly hand, which felt about In the cen
ter of the little area of light. For a
minute or more the hand, with its
writhing fingers, protruded out of the
floor. Then it. was withdrawn as sud
denly as it appeared, and all was dark'
again, save the single lurid spark
which marked a chink between the
Its disappearance, however wns hnf
momentary. With a rending, tearlnsr
sound, one of the- broad, white stones
turned over upon Its side, and left a
square, gaping " hole, throuch which
streamed the light of a lantern. Over
the edse there peeped a ,clean-cut boy
ish face, which looked keenK- nhnnt it
and then, with a hand on either side of
me apperture. drew Itself -shoulder
high and walst-hlirh nntti nn
rested upon the edge. In another In
stant he stood at the side of the hole,
and was hauling after him a compan
ion, lithe and small like himself, with
a pale face and a shock of very rod
"It's all clear." ho wh!
you the chisel and the bags. Great
Scott! Jump. Archie, Jump, and I'll
swing for It!"
Sherlock Holmes had snrunr- nut- !in4
seized the Intruder by the collar. The
other dived down the hole, and I heard
the sound of rendlntr cloth Vis Tnn-
clutched at his skirts. The llc-ht
flashed unon the barrel of
but Holmes hunting crop came down
on the man's wrist, and the pistol
clinked upon the stone floor.
"It's no'tise. John Plnv" Sntr? TTnlma
blandly. ."You have no chance at all"
"So I see." the other nnswerrt with
the utmost coolness. "T fnnov thnt mv
pal is all ritrht. thousrh T see von hm-
got his coat tails."
"There are three men waiting for
him at the door," said Holme?.
Oh. indeed! You seem to have done
the thine very comoletelv. t miter
complimervt you."
"And I you." Holmes answered..
'Your red-headed Idea was very new
and effective.
"You'll see your rial n era In nresentlv"
said Jones. "He's quicker at ellmhino'
down holes than I am. Just hold out
while I fix the derbies.'
'T beer that you will not tonnt. m
with your fllthy hands," remarked our
prisoner, as the handcuffs clattered
upon his wrists. "You may not be
aware that I hay royal blood In my
veins. - Have the troodness also, -nrhn
you address me always to say 'sir' and
please.' "
AH right." said Jones: with a stare
bur w-jrlL so- It's
A. sandwich an
off to a violin
where all ls sweetness and. delicacy
for the nroDasratlon and snread at . tHa
rea-noaus as wen as tor their mainte
nance. It is exceedingly unfortunate that
you should be a bachelor.'
-My face lengthened at this, Mr.
nwuic! ir 1 inowgnt uiat 1 was not to j u .nimi uc nappy 1 jwnonncr, uui h. composer 01 no or-
have the vacancy after all; but, after I 10 -,,c ,nto lt- From what you have . dinary merit. All the afternoon he sat
minHiuK 11 over inr m reu- m hmm h 1 imu m 1 1 11 1 11 n. 11 is oof-si Die mat !m v- . 111 inc siaii; wranDea in ine most nr-
iect napptness, genuy waving his long,
thin fingers In time to the music, while
said that it would be all right.
'In the case of another,' said he, 'the 1 Arst sight appear.
poor folk who were In need of It. I ! wi iiAn. .. .i.. ..
eamo right away to you." I drums." - -
"And you did very wlealy." sal.l : My friCnd was an enthusiastic musician.
uui jivn. xuai i tr in 21 ti pTPftpnin-iv 1 iwmr nimeir nnt Ani, a . n 1. 1 .
rerasrKBoie one, and i snail be happy I performer, but a composer of no or
I Old me I think it Is nnrilhl that nrnv.
er issues hang upon It than might at
objection might be fatal, but we must
stretch a point la favor of a man with
such a head of hair a.iyours. When phall
you be able to enter upon yeur new
, "Well, it If a little awkward, for I have
a business- already.' said I.
'' 'Oh, never mind about that .Mr. Wil
son!' said Vincent Stwukllnir. r ehalt h
able to look after, that for you.'
" 'What would be the hours?' 1 asked.
" Ten to two.'
"Now a pawnbroker' buslnca is most
ly done of an evening, Mr. Holmes, espe
cially Thursday and Friday evening,
which is Just before pay-day, so It wouia
suit me very well to earn a little in the
mornings. Besides. I knew that my as
sistant was a good man, and that he
would see to anything that turned up.
"That would iit me very well,' said
I. 'And the pay?
" 'Is 4 a weok.
'And the work?'
" 'Is purely nominal.'
" 'What do you call purefy nominal?.
" 'Well, you have to be in the office, or
at least in the building, the whole time.
If you leave, you forfeit your whole po
sition forever. The will is very clear
upon that point. You don't comply with
the renditions If you budge from the.offlce
during that time.
'It's only four hours a day, and I
snoutn n'M tmiiK.ot leavlngr said I
his gently smiling face and languid,
i dreamy eyes were as unlike those of
-Grave enough!" said Mr. Jabcz Wil
son. VhV. T hni'A lrtt four nmtn.l n
week." j Holmes, the sleuth-hound. Holmes the
"As far as you are personally con- ! relentless, keen-witted, ready-handed
corned." remarked Holmos. "I do not see cnmina agent, as it was possible to
that you have any grievance against this i conceive. In his singular character the
extraordinary' league. On the contrary ' nature alternately asserted itself.
you are, as I understand, richer by some aHU n,s extreme exactness ana astute
to say nothing of the minute knowl- "5s8 represented, as I have often thought
nJro vhuh t the reaction acalnst the noetic and mn,
subject which comes under the letter A. I templatlve mood which occasionally pre-
Xou have lost nothing by them." ' aominaiea m nim. ine swing of his
"Xo. sir. But I want to find out about nature took h,Tn from extreme languor to
them, and who they are. and what their ' devourlnS energy: and. as I knew well.
'No excu? will avail. said Mr. nn. i mFl
can ko. "neither nckness nor business
nor anything else. There you must stay,
or you lose your bllleL'
" 'And the workT
"Is to copy ' out the Encyclopedia Brl
tanniea." There is the first volume of It
in that rres:. You mu:t find vn An.n
ink. pens, and- blotting-paper, but we pro-
vwe tnis table aad chair. Will vnu iu
rtady tomorrowT ,
'Certainly,' I answered.
Then goodby. Mr. Jabez llsh m
let me congratulate you once more on the
important -position which you have been
fortunate enough lo xraln.' He hnnw. m
out of the room, and T u-aiii hnmn ...i.u
my appLstant, hardly knowing what to say
or do. I was so pleased at my own good
"Well. I thoucht over the mnlln. alt
day, and by evening I was in low spirits
again, for I liad quite persuaded myself
that the whole affair must be some great i
noax or iraua. tnough what Its object J
might be I could hot Imagine. It seemed
altogether past belief that anyone could
uibkc sucn a win. or mat tnev wnniit m
. . ; . . . i nj
them, and who they are, and what their
ooject was in playing this prank If It
was a prank upon me. It was a pretty
expensive Joke for them, for It cost them
two and thirty pounds."
"We shall endeavor to clear up these
points for you. And, first, one or. two
questions, -air. Wilson, This assistant of
youiw who first called your attention to
the advertisement how long had he been
with your . -
"About a month then."
"How did he come?"
"In answer to an advertisement."
"Was he the only applicant?" :
"No. I had a dozen."
"Why did you pick him?"
"Because he was handy, and . would
co roe cheap."
"At half-wages, "In fact."
"What is he like, this Vincent Spauld-
'Small. stout-built, very aulck In his
ways, no hnlr on his face, though he's
not short of 20. Han a white splash of
Holmes sot up in his chair in consld- I aay.
erable excitement. "I thought as much."
said he. "Have you ever observed that
his ears are pierced for earrings?"
"Yes. sir. He told me that a gypsy had
done It for him whon he was a lad."
"Hum!" aaid Holmes, sinking buck in
deep thought. "He is still with your
"Oh yes, sir; I have only Just left him.
"Aad has your business been attended
to In your absence?"
"Nothing to complain of, sir. There's
never very much to do of a morning."
. ne was never so truly lormldable as
I when, for days on "'end. h. had Jun
I lounging in his armchair amid the impro
visations ami ni DiacK-ietter editions,
j Then it was that the dust of the chase
' WOUld suddenly Mime nnon him rtnA tY,ar
his brilliant reasoning power would rise
to tne level of intuition, until those who
were unacquainted with his methods
would look askance at him as on a
man whose knowledge was not that of
other mortals. When I saw him that
afternoon, so enwrapped In the music at
St. Jame's Hall I felt that an evil time
might be coming upon those whom he
had set himself to hunt down.
"You want to go home, no doubt, doc-
iur. ne remarxeti. as we emerged
"Yes. It would be as well."
"And I have some business to do which
will take some hours. This business at
loourg bquare Is serions."
"Why serious?" j
"A considerable crime l in POntnmnla.
Hon. - I have every reason to believe that
we shall be In- time to stop It. But to
day being Saturday rather rwimnltMt too
nuuiers. i snail want your help tonight."
-rvi. woai time7
Ten will be early enough."
"I shall be at Baker street at "ten
" "Very well. And I say, doctor, there
muy oe some utile danger, so kindly
put your army revolver In your pocket."
wa.vca,nis nana, turned on his heel,
and disappeared in an Instant among the
I trust that I am not more dense than
my neignOOrS. bUt I WAS alwnv nnnreiwil
with a sense of my own stupidity in my
"That will do.' Mr. Wilson. I shall be i Y h. a senso of m? wn stupidity In my
happy to give you an opinion upon the ' Pa"nSs with Sherlock Holmes. Here I
subject In the course of a day or two ! " . ,,eard what he had heard, had seen
Today Ls Saturday, and I hope that by at ne "ad He,?n' nnd vet trom his words
Monday we may come to a conclusion. ,was ev'dent that he saw clearly not
-wen. watson." said Holmes, when our w M . nau nappeneu. out what was
"Well. Watson." said Hnlmoc ixhn
visttor nai left us. "ivhat do you make
of It all?"
"I make nothing of it." I answered
frankly. "It Is a mast mysterious business."
thine However in Ti,. miJt . ! Z,1B&' Jusl commonplace face ls the
paper I started off for Pope's Court.
ell, to my surprise and delight
everything was as right as poadble. The
table was set out ready for me, and Mr.
Duncan Ross was there to see that I got
fairly to work. Ho started me off upon
the letter A. and then he left mc. but
he would droo in from time to tima tn ow.
that all was right with me. At 2 o'clock
he bode me good-day,, complimented me
upon the amount that I had written and
locked the door, of the office after me.
This went on day after day, Mr.
Isolde, and on Saturday the manager
came In and planked down four golden
sovereigns for jny week's work. It was
the same the next week, and the same
the week after. Every morning I was
there at 10, and every afternoon I left at
2. By degrees Mr. Duncan Rosg took to
coming in only once of a morning, and
then, after a time, he did not come In at
all. Still, of course. I never dared to
leave the room for an Instant, for I was
vVti wncn ne ""Sht come, and- the
"To smoke." he answered. "It Is ni.
a three-pipe problem, and I beg that you
won't speak to me for SO minutes." He
curled himself up In his chair, with his
thin knees drawn up to his hawk-IIke
nose, and there he sat with his 'eyes
closed and his black clay pipe thrusting
out like the bill of some strange bird. I
had come to the conclusion that he had
dropped asleep, and. indeed. was nodding
myself, when he suddenly sprang out of
his chair, with the gesture of a man who
has made up his mind, and put his pipe
down upon the mantel-piece.
"Sarasate plays at the St. James' Hall
this afternoon." he remarked. "What do
you think. Watson? Could-your patients
spare you for a few bour7"
"I have nothing to .do today. My prac
tice Is never very absorbing."
'Then put on your hat and come. I am
going through the city first, and we can
have some lunch on the way. I observe
that there is a good deal of German music
on the programme, which is rather more
hille' , ,nn .Y. 188 " tn programme, which Is rather more
Wile, was such a sood one. ana suited me ' to my taste than Italian or French. 1$!
about to happen, while to me the whole
uuamcs was sun conrused and grotesque
As I drove home to my house in Ken
sington I thought over It all. from the ex
traordinary storv of th rkri.!iAr.,iwi
copier of the "Enclycopedla" down to the
iu ai oaxe-woourg square, and the omi
nous WOrds With Which h hnrt
from me. What was this nocturnal expe-
uiuuii, unu wny siiouiu I go armed?
Where were we going and what were we
to do? I had th hint from Tfnl
this smooth-faced pawnbroker's assistant
was a lormiuaoie man a man who might
play a deep game. I tried to puzzlo it out.
but gave it up In despair and set the
matter aside until night should bring an
It was a quarter past 9 when I started
from home and made tny way across the
Park, and so through Oxford street to
Baker street. Two hansoms were stand
ing at the door, and. us I entered the
passage, I heard the sound of voices from
above. On-entering his room I Xound
Holmes In animated conversation with
two men. one of whom I recognized as
Peter Jones, the official police agent
while the other was a long. thin, sad
faced man with a very shiny hat and op
pressively respectable frock coat
"Ha! Our party is complete." said
Holmes, buttoning -up his pea-jacket and
taking his. heavy hunting crop from the
rack. "Watson. I think you know Mr.
Jones, of Scotland Yard? Let me intro
duce you to Mr. Merryweather. who Is
to be our companion In tonight's adven
ture." -.
"We're hunting Jn couples again, doctor,
you see," said Jones, in his consequential
opened, and led down a flight of winding
stone steps, which terminated at another
formidable gate. Mr. Merryweather
stoppea to iitrnt a lantern, and thn con
ducted us down a dark, earth-sraellinir
passage, and so, after opening a third
door, Into a huge vault or cella. which
was piled all around
nmsslve boxes.
lOll f. re not von- rnlnomlilo frnm
jwe." Holmes remarked, ns he held up
tne i-ntern and gazed About lim
- "Nor from below," said Mr. Merry
weather. striking his stick upon the flags
which lined the floor. "Why, dear me.
if sounds quite hollow!" he remarked
looking ud in surnrise.
"I must really ask you to be a little
more quiet, said Holmes severely. "Von
.have already imperiled the whole success
ui um t-AiiCTimun. juigm i Deg tnat you
would have the goodness to sit down upon
one ot tnese boxes, and not to Interfere?"
The solemn Mr. Mirrvwenthcr norphoil
himself upon a crate, with a very injured
expression upon nia race, while Holmes
fell upon his knees upon the floor, and,
with the lantern and a magnifying lens,
began .to examine minutely the cracks be
tween the stones. A few seconds sufficed
to satisfy him, for he sprang to his feet
again, ana put nis glass in his pocket.
"We have at least an hour before us,"
he remarked: "for they ran hnrdK- tnt
any steps until the good pawnbroker Is
snieiy in c-efl. u.nen tney will not lose a
the custody of the detective.
"Really, Mr. Holmes," said Mr. Merry
weather. as we followed them from the
cellar. "I do not know how the bank can.
thank vou or rervriv voiij ThAro la tin
doubt that you have detected and de
feated In the most complete manner one
Of thfk mnct ftatorminail nttrwnn - KnMf.
with crates and 1 robbery that have ever come within mv
I , '
cnrei icinrir.
"I have Bad one or1 two llrtic
of my own to settle with Mr. John-clav "
sakl Holmes. "I have be&ri at some small
expense over this matter, which I shall
expect the bank to refund, but beyond
that I am amply renaid by havlmr had an
experience which is In many wars imimm
and by hearing the very remarkable nar
rative ui me ea-irieaaea jjeague.
iou see, Watson." he explained, in the
early hours of the morning, as we sat
OVer a glass Of WhiskV-nnd-snda In TLilroi-
street. "It was perfectly obvious from the
nrst mat tne only passible object of this
rather fantastic business of the ad vor
tisement of the League, and the copying
of the 'Encyclopedia, must be to get this
not over-bright pawnbroker out of the
way for a number of hours even.- Aav
It was a curious way of manncinir lt.
but. really, it would be difficult to sn fr
eest a better. Th mnthnd
suggested to Clay's ingenious mind by the
ceior or nis accomplice's hair. The 4 a
week was a lure which must draw him
and what was It to them, who were
playing for thousands? They put In the
mlnute. for "the sooner they do their work advertlsement. one rogue has the tcm
the longer time they will have for their P01"1 ofllce; tlje other rogue incites the
escape. v e are at present, doctor as
no doubt VOU have divined In thn collar
of the city branch of one of the principal
London banks. Mr. Merryweather Is the
cnairman of directjrs, md he will explain
to vou that there am reasnna n-hv tha
more' darintr criminals of Tendon .ihrniM
take a. considerable interest in this "cellar
at present.
"It Ls our French gold." whispered the
alrOCIOr. We hnvo nan vr51 warn
ings tnat an attempt mlghtrbe made upon
"Your 'French eold?"
"Yes. Wi had npcnslnn come mnntho
ago to ..strengthen our resources, and
borrowed, for that purpose, 30.CCO napo
leons rrom tne Bank of France. It has
beeome known that xco hnva n-op hfwl
occasion, to "'unpack the money, and that
it is still lying in our cellar. The crate
upon wnicn i sit contains zooo napoleons
man to apply for It, and. togcthqr they
manage to secure his absence every morn
ing in the week. From the time that T
heard of the assistant having come for
nair wages it was obvious to me that he
had some stronir motive for aeeurincr h&
"But how could you euess what the mru
tlve was?"
'Had there been women In the
I should have susnected a mere vuicar
Intrigue. That, however was out of th
question. The man's business was a small
one, and there was nothing In his house
which could account for such elaborate
preparations, and such an expenditure as
they were at. It must, then, be some
thing out of the- house. What could it
be? I thought of the assistant's fondness
for nhotoeranhv. and hf tHflr nt v-inich.
Ing into the cellar. The -cellar! There
was the end of this tangled cue. Then
I made inquiries as to this mysterious
-.i v. i . , , . .. X x mwue inquiries as to tn s mysterious
Swti" ,yerS ,l0ad flL Ur and found that I had to deal
reserve .Of, bullion Ls much lartrer at- nre- I i.w .i. . . . . . .
reserve .of, bullion Ls much larger at pres
ent than is usually kept In a single
branch office, and the directors have had
m!scivlhe.r'unnn the suhfeot "
"Which were very well Justified." ob
served. Jrioimes. "Aim now it is time that
we -arranged our little plans. I expect
that within an hour matters will come
to a head. In the meantime, Mr. Merry
weather. we must DUt the screen over
mat uarK lantern."
'And sit In the dark?"
T am afraid so. I had brought a
pack of cards in my pocket, and I
thouirht that, aa ti-tf wir a nn rtf par
ree, you might have your rubber, after
an. uui i see tnat tne enemy s. prep
arations have gone so far that we can-
noi risK tne presence ot a iignt. Ana,
flrst of all, we must choose our posi
tions. These are darintr men. and
thousrh IV thall tntr thom fit n rifu.
advantage, they may do us some harm
unless we are careful. T ahnlt stand
behlnd this crate, and do you conceal
yourselves behind those. Then, when
I flash a light unon them, close in
swiftly. If they fire. Watson, have no
compunction about shooting them"
I placed my revolver, cockedi. unon
ine top ot tne woooen case behind
vhlch T erouohed Tfntmsu ahni
Slide across thn front nf hint li nlnrn
and left us in nlter darkneas tnrh an
aDsoiute aancness-ns I have never be-
iore experience. Th.e smell of hot
metal remained to assure us that the
with one of the coolest and most daring
criminals In London. He was doing some
thing In the cellar somethlnc whih tont
many hours a day for months on end.
iwii couiu it oe, once more? I could
think of nothinir save that h
a tunnel to some other building.
"So far I had cot when -we wonf tn
visit the tfcene of action. I surprised you
by beating upon the pavement with my
stick, r was ascertaining whether the
cellar stretched out in front or behind
It was not In front. Then I rang the
bell. and. as I honed, the
swered it. We have had some skirmishes,
but we had never set eyes upon each
other before. I hardly looked at his
face. His knees were what I wished to
see. You" must yourself hnv m-n-irui
how Worn, wrinkled and vtnlnaA
were. They spoke of those hours of bur
rowing. The only remaining point was
what they were burrowing for. I walked
round the corner smw that th riT. a.
Suburban Bank abutted on our friend's
premises, and felt that"T had solved my
nroblem. When von drnvo Vmm.
the concert I called unon .cvnttani v., j
and upon the chairman of the bank di
rectors, with the result that you have
"And how could vou tell that tho
would make their attempt tonight?" I
asked. '
"Well, .when they elo.wd thofr ro..
Offices that WAS a sltrn that tv.a..
- o- mcj uucu
no longer about Mr, Jabez Wilson's pres
ence m oiner woros; tuat. they had corn-
light was still there, ready to flash out pleted: their tunnel. But It wbs eSeSE
at a moment's notice. ToW. with my. that they sh6uld use it soon! as It might
nerves -Krorked im tn n nlt.i, nf r- . .,, . . . . . as 11 miMic
k-.v... vi. up. uuiuuvereu- or tne bullion micht ho
fancy, there was something depressing removed. Saturday would suit them bette?
and subduing In the sudden rlonm. nnri- tho inem oeuer
and subduing -In the sudden gloom, and
in me coiu, aanic air or tne vault.
They have but one retreat." whim
pered Holmes. "That Is back through
the house into Saxe-Coburg square. I
hope that you have done -what I asked
you, Jones?"'
"I have an InSnector nnd t-arn nfttnar
waitlnsr at the fronf'door-.''
Then, we have stopped all the holes.
And now we must be' silent and wait."
What a time It seemed' i?mm
paring notes' af terrrard if was but air
nour anu a quarter, yet it appeared to
m mai me nignc must have almost
gone, and the dawn be breakinc- above
us. Mi" limbs were tvenrv- nn,i
x icarea 10 cnance mv nnsitton- vat m-..
nerves were worked up to the highest
than nv other d.i- aait wnuM
them two days for then- ccmiu .
all these reasons I expected them to come '
VYou reasoneillt out,n,. . t
claimed, in unfeigned admiration.' "It is t
so long a cnam, and yet every link rings
11 oc.
"It saved me fronrVinuf1 ho ani
yawnlhg. "Alas! I already el It clos
Ing in upon me. My Hfests"snent In one !
loner effort tn ucmiu rX- r
v....v jium lye cummuii-.
places of"existencc.These lf(tle problems
help me to do so." -.'.
Ana you are a oeneractor of the race.
said I.
He shru creed his. shonMoo fwrn r-
haps, after all, it is of some, Httle "use,"
he remarked. "L'homm e'et rfen '
llnti Lt , ' a,n,fl herln5 WM so rccavFe tout M iWrhnwt
acuta that I could nnt nnlir ha?, tu I ' . r , Klt