His last bow: A Reminiscence of Sherlock Holmes

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THE SINGULAR EXPERIENCE OF MR. JOHN SCOTT ECCLES

FIND it recorded in my notebook that it was a bleak and windy day towards the end of March in the year 1892.

Holmes had received a telegram whilst we sat at our lunch, and he had scribbled a reply. He made no remark, but the matter remained in his thoughts,

for he stood in front of the fire afterward with a thoughtful face, smoking his pipe, and casting an occasional glance at the message.

Suddenly he turned upon me with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “I suppose, Watson, we must look upon you as a man of letters,” said he. “How do you define the word ‘grotesque’?”

“Strange remarkable,” I suggested. He shook his head at my definition. “There is surely something more than that,” said he; “some underlying suggestion of the tragic and the terrible.

If you cast your mind back to some of those narratives with which you have afflicted a long-suffering public, you will recognize how often the grotesque has deepened into the criminal.

Think of that little affair of the red-headed men. That was grotesque enough in the outset, and yet it ended in a desperate attempt at robbery.

Or, again, there was that most grotesque affair of the five orange pips, which led straight to a murderous conspiracy. The word puts me on the alert.

“Have just had most incredible and grotesque experience. May I consult you? Scott Eccles, Post Office, Charing Cross.

“Man or woman?” I asked. “Oh, man, of course. No woman would ever send a reply-paid telegram. She would have come.

AuthorArthur Conan Doyle
LanguageEnglish
Pages308
PDF Size12.5 MB
CategoryFiction & Novel

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