A t 221B Baker Street we find Holmes just as Dr Watson’s note had described him: listless, unresponsive,
oblivious to all around him.
“He has not resorted to the needle as yet,” whispers Watson. “My plan may keep him from it,” indicating the
newspaper clippings in his hand.
“A tightrope walker at the Royal Italian Circus fell to his death... Foul play suspected... What do you think, Holmes?”
“‘Society Burglar strikes again’... Hmm, a series of burglaries... Six such over the period June 2nd to June 17th... On July 1st, the
seventh occurred at the home of Sir Sanford Leeds... As in the others, no sign of extensive search by the thief and only one
piece of jewellery involved... Victims elsewhere at the time. Here’s a complete list of the particulars, Holmes, if you’d care to
“Ah, here’s a puzzle... A hansom picked up a fare at its regular stand... The passenger spoke up when he realised that they were
heading in the wrong direction but got no answer... Oh, my... The cabbie was dead, still sitting upright in his seat, a knife in his
back!... A bobby managed to halt the vehicle... Around the cabbie’s neck was a pouch containing thirty Roman coins, denarii.”
“The stupid fools!” exclaims Holmes. “If they had allowed the horse to proceed, it would have led them to the scene of the
crime! Let me see that, Watson!”
Watson hands him the clipping and casts a self-satisfied smile in our direction.
As Holmes, his enthusiasm restored, occupies himself with the clipping, the doorbell rings.
“I beg you for your help, Mr Holmes,” entreats a tall, bespectacled young man, identifying himself as Gerald Locke.
“Three days ago, Guy Clarendon was found murdered at Halliday’s. It’s preposterous, but Miss Frances Nolan has been
charged and is being detained at Old Bailey.”
“I was just about to bring the matter to your attention, Holmes,” says Watson, waving another clipping.
“I cannot believe