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  1. Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. The Return of Sherlock Holmes / His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. ISBN 13: 9781451561623
  4. Sherlock Holmes, HIS LAST BOW, Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection, Book # 8

The cast that around our duo are great such as Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson and Gregson and some of the villians are notorious as would be expected.

Paperback Editions

If you read these, like me - for Sherlock's genius, deduction and bizarre shenanigans mix with his relationship with his army doctor and biographer friend - then you will find a lot here to enjoy. I wouldn't start with this collection though. Adventures of This is the penultimate collection of Sherlock Holmes stories. I have spent my summer going through the Sherlock canon, and I am a bit sad to be nearing the end of my time with the great detective.

Even though some of the stories are not the best mysteries, they have a certain charm to them that makes them endearing to read. Watson's point of view. In this book we also learn that Holmes has retired and is now keeping bees at a small farm. Since I have spent so many weeks with Sherlock, I have been contemplating the vastness of his influence. So many modern detective shows and stories can be traced back to Doyle's creation. Why was he so iconic? It's true we appreciate his genius, just as we admire those who can see through the lies to the truth, who can follow the trail amidst the undergrowth, who can find the solution to the mystery.

But I think Sherlock would not have been quite so memorable if it had not been for his friendship with Dr. Watson always helped Holmes -- he humanized him. He even saved Holmes' life a few times! Sherlock always gets the praise, but I wish I could give Watson a pat on the back, too. Within this small collection are a few stories in which Doyle seems to have been going through his motions and who could blame him. I wish I read them sooner.

The adventure of the dying detective was absolutely superb. That story definitely had me hook from the start. Some of the stories were a little harder to get into than most but I really enjoyed them all either way.

Sherlock Holmes: HIS LAST BOW - FULL AudioBook

View 1 comment. There are times when only certain types of books will do, when one is feeling in need of some consoling literary friend. At such times I often reach for Agatha Christie, although another old and comforting literary companion is Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. This fairly slight volume contains eight fascinating Holmes stories, each of them a fairly decent length, utterly perfect to curl up with on a chilly December evening.

I adore the character of Holmes, it matches exactly the mood that Doyle cr There are times when only certain types of books will do, when one is feeling in need of some consoling literary friend. I adore the character of Holmes, it matches exactly the mood that Doyle creates so perfectly in each story. The tension and fear that lies beneath a rarefied Englishness, the dense fogs that swirl outside the windows of Baker Street, while a great mind is figuring out the unfathomable.

In my personal favourite 'The Adventure of the Devil's Foot' Holmes and Watson find themselves in a tiny Cornish village, where a woman has been apparently terrified to death, and two o her brothers left raving mad. In the final title story, a tale not narrated by Watson, the two old friends are brought back together some time after Holmes' retirement, it is August Although rather different in tome to the preceding stories it is a nice quiet finale.

A fairly good collection of Sherlock stories - I probably would have enjoyed them more though if I hadn't been binge reading the series as it made them rather predictable and formulaic. The last story was different than the others though, which I liked, but it did feel somewhat odd and out of place as it was set much later than the other cases and instead of the usual telegrams and carriages, it was all telephones and cars.

I'm hoping the next lot of stories are set later on as well, it would ma A fairly good collection of Sherlock stories - I probably would have enjoyed them more though if I hadn't been binge reading the series as it made them rather predictable and formulaic. I'm hoping the next lot of stories are set later on as well, it would make a nice change of pace. View all 16 comments. So, as I said previously , Not the last Sherlock Holmes book, although chronologically the last as it finishes at the dawn of The Great War.

Watson are taking a trip across a desert by hot-air balloon. There are not many landmarks; so eventually, they become lost. Luckily, while flying quite low, they see a man. Holmes shouts, "Sir, could you please tell me where we are? Holmes turns to Watson and asks: "My friend, do you know who that man is? First of all, the man thought before giving us an answer.

Secondly, his answer was absolutely correct. And thirdly, the answer he gave us was of no practical use, whatsoever! Apr 23, Dani rated it liked it Shelves: cops-detectives-and-crime , classics , short-stories-and-novellas , series-complete. His Last Bow is a collection of 7 short stories. It is my seventh Sherlock Holmes book and my fourth of the short story collections, and the shortest by far with less stories than the previous 3 collections.

Unfortunately, it is also probably my least favourite Sherlock Holmes read. It took me much longer to get through than the others. Some stories I did really enjoy, but there were some that just didn't grab me. This might be my favorite of the Holmes short story collections so far. Perhaps that's a sign that Doyle was becoming a sharper writer the more he wrote, or perhaps more judicious in which stories he decided to publish.

Or it might just be that he wrote with more of a gothic bent, and I really enjoy gothic lit!

Unusually gruesome for a Holmes story, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Anyway, this one is a solid contributor to the corpus by including another favorite element from other stories: the shadowy international organization. Holmes is such a creature of Victorian London that seeing him interacting with World War I feels disjointed, but that's not Doyle's fault. These later stories show Holmes and Watson increasingly interacting with a mechanized world that was only just coming into existence when they began their adventures. Jun 14, Sheila Beaumont rated it it was amazing Shelves: sherlock-holmes , spies , classics , mysteries-suspense-thrillers , rereads.

I totally enjoyed this penultimate volume of Sherlock Holmes short stories, not as long as the previous volumes, but just as entertaining. Apr 24, Charlie-Dee rated it it was amazing. Really enjoyed this set of stories. This is the shortest Holmes story collection: only eight stories and a preface written by Watson, explaining that Holmes is now retired to Sussex and keeping bees, and here are some stories he hasn't yet published about their adventures, including their very last one.

Because of the shortness, you feel it a little bit more when a story is a dud. In particular, I tho This is the shortest Holmes story collection: only eight stories and a preface written by Watson, explaining that Holmes is now retired to Sussex and keeping bees, and here are some stories he hasn't yet published about their adventures, including their very last one. In particular, I thought the first, double-length story, "The Adventure on Wisteria Lane," was a bit dull.

Though, to be fair, my mind wandered quite a bit and I didn't pay it the strictest attention. I claim this is because it was dull, but I suppooooose it might have been more interesting with more attention paid. I very much enjoyed most of this book. Mostly I just sort of can't believe I'm almost done with the entire Holmes canon. These stories are among some of the best short detective stories ever written. I find myself going back to them again and again.

There is plenty of mystery, but the focus is always on the solution or rather the solving of tragedies and crimes not the gory details of the crimes themselves. There are several curse words. The "worst" one is in the last story An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes. Jun 07, Tobin Elliott rated it it was amazing Shelves: 5-stars , audiobook , crime , fiction. As per usual, I enjoyed the hell out of this slim volume. For the most part, even though there are times where you can almost feel Arthur Conan Doyle really reaching for a new, unique challenge for Holmes and Watson, he still manages to pull off entertaining stories every time.

I have a newly acquired quirk. Blame it on Benedict. Benedict Cumberbatch. Yes, do. What a fabulous marketing move. So obviously, my first reaction is this: followed by an immediate purchase. I bought Benny home. Yes, I am a member of the dubiously titled "Cumber Collective". Accept it. I have. But I digress. Along the way, Sherlock and his trusty companion Dr.

Watson will deal with a yellow-devil, ponder over the unsavoury gift of a pair of cut-off ears, track down a perpetrator of fifty murders, outwit an obnoxious toad at his own poisonous game, save a beautiful single lady from an assuredly sticky end, be temporarily befuddled by the Devil's deeds and ultimately return from a self-appointed exile to do the country a sizeable favour. And now, back to my gushings. I have loved the detective at B Baker Street as a child, much before BBC decide to do the world a favour and fling a beautifully gaunt man with impeccable cheekbones and high-functioning sociopath written all over his wiry frame into our midst.

But today, I reread it with Benedict's Sherlock and Freeman's Watson strongly and indelibly imprinted in my mind. And it just makes the book so much better. Doyle's mysteries are works of art. And he keeps up the slick penmanship in this set of stories. The language is crisp and loaded with wry British asides. The descriptions of the characters, their fallacies, Sherlock 's deductions, Watson 's frustrations, Lestrade 's impotent dependency and wheeeeee, it's Mark Gatiss!!!

The pace never wavers and while the old-fashioned adventures may seem a tad staid for the modern readers, the charm is firmly in place. My favourite story is most definitely "The Last Bow". A supposedly retired Sherlock who has taken up beekeeping in the Sussex Downs has been recalled by the powers that be. Rather than a murder mystery, it's a spy story.

Set at the start of the First World War, it encapsulates Sherlock's attention to detail, his skill as a master of disguises and his reunion with his loyal mate, Watson. And the crowning bit is that uncharacteristically poetic and patriotic passage voiced by our prosaic Sherlock With flair and style, our beloved detective takes his legendary Last Bow. I'm actually listening to this concurrently with reading the second annotated Sherlock Holmes book. I enjoy reading the stories and copious notes. Why did they fly? There is a big fact.

Another big fact is the remarkable experience of our client, Scott Eccles. Now, my dear Watson, is it beyond the limits of human ingenuity to furnish an explanation which would cover both of these big facts? If it were one which would also admit of the mysterious note with its very curious phraseology, why, then it would be worth accepting as a temporary hypothesis.

If the fresh facts which come to our knowledge all fit themselves into the scheme, then our hypothesis may gradually become a solution. There were grave events afoot, as the sequel showed, and the coaxing of Scott Eccles to Wisteria Lodge had some connection with them. There is, on the face of it, something unnatural about this strange and sudden friendship between the young Spaniard and Scott Eccles. It was the former who forced the pace. He called upon Eccles at the other end of London on the very day after he first met him, and he kept in close touch with him until he got him down to Esher.

Now, what did he want with Eccles? What could Eccles supply? I see no charm in the man. He is not particularly intelligent—not a man likely to be congenial to a quick-witted Latin. Why, then, was he picked out from all the other people whom Garcia met as particularly suited to his purpose? Has he any one outstanding quality? I say that he has. He is the very type of conventional British respectability, and the very man as a witness to impress another Briton. You saw yourself how neither of the inspectors dreamed of questioning his statement, extraordinary as it was.

That is how I read the matter. We will suppose, for argument's sake, that the household of Wisteria Lodge are confederates in some design. The attempt, whatever it may be, is to come off, we will say, before one o'clock. By some juggling of the clocks it is quite possible that they may have got Scott Eccles to bed earlier than he thought, but in any case it is likely that when Garcia went out of his way to tell him that it was one it was really not more than twelve. If Garcia could do whatever he had to do and be back by the hour mentioned he had evidently a powerful reply to any accusation.

Here was this irreproachable Englishman ready to swear in any court of law that the accused was in the house all the time. It was an insurance against the worst. Still, it is an error to argue in front of your data. You find yourself insensibly twisting them round to fit your theories. We may find a jealous husband at the bottom of it all.

It was clearly a dangerous quest. She would not have said 'Godspeed' had it not been so. I suggest that 'D' stands for Dolores, a common female name in Spain. A Spaniard would write to a Spaniard in Spanish. The writer of this note is certainly English. Well, we can only possess our soul in patience until this excellent inspector come back for us. Meanwhile we can thank our lucky fate which has rescued us for a few short hours from the insufferable fatigues of idleness.

An answer had arrived to Holmes's telegram before our Surrey officer had returned. Holmes read it and was about to place it in his notebook when he caught a glimpse of my expectant face. He tossed it across with a laugh. Now, if the obvious reading of it is correct, and in order to keep the tryst one has to ascend a main stair and seek the seventh door in a corridor, it is perfectly clear that the house is a very large one. It is equally certain that this house cannot be more than a mile or two from Oxshott, since Garcia was walking in that direction and hoped, according to my reading of the facts, to be back in Wisteria Lodge in time to avail himself of an alibi, which would only be valid up to one o'clock.

As the number of large houses close to Oxshott must be limited, I adopted the obvious method of sending to the agents mentioned by Scott Eccles and obtaining a list of them. Here they are in this telegram, and the other end of our tangled skein must lie among them. It was nearly six o'clock before we found ourselves in the pretty Surrey village of Esher, with Inspector Baynes as our companion. Holmes and I had taken things for the night, and found comfortable quarters at the Bull. Finally we set out in the company of the detective on our visit to Wisteria Lodge. It was a cold, dark March evening, with a sharp wind and a fine rain beating upon our faces, a fit setting for the wild common over which our road passed and the tragic goal to which it led us.

A COLD and melancholy walk of a couple of miles brought us to a high wooden gate, which opened into a gloomy avenue of chestnuts. The curved and shadowed drive led us to a low, dark house, pitch-black against a slate-coloured sky. From the front window upon the left of the door there peeped a glimmer of a feeble light.

Through the fogged glass I dimly saw a man spring up from a chair beside the fire, and heard a sharp cry from within the room. An instant later a white-faced, hard-breathing policeman had opened the door, the candle wavering in his trembling hand. It has been a long evening, and I don't think my nerve is as good as it was. Then when you tapped at the window I thought it had come again. The light was just fading. I was sitting reading in the chair. I don't know what made me look up, but there was a face looking in at me through the lower pane. Lord, sir, what a face it was!

I'll see it in my dreams. It wasn't black, sir, nor was it white, nor any colour that I know but a kind of queer shade like clay with a splash of milk in it. Then there was the size of it—it was twice yours, sir. And the look of it—the great staring goggle eyes, and the line of white teeth like a hungry beast. I tell you, sir, I couldn't move a finger, nor get my breath, till it whisked away and was gone. Out I ran and through the shrubbery, but thank God there was no one there.

Arthur Conan Doyle

If it were the devil himself a constable on duty should never thank God that he could not lay his hands upon him. I suppose the whole thing is not a vision and a touch of nerves? If he was all on the same scale as his foot he must certainly have been a giant. Now, Mr. Holmes, with your permission, I will show you round the house. The various bedrooms and sitting-rooms had yielded nothing to a careful search.

Apparently the tenants had brought little or nothing with them, and all the furniture down to the smallest details had been taken over with the house. A good deal of clothing with the stamp of Marx and Co. Telegraphic inquiries had been already made which showed that Marx knew nothing of his customer save that he was a good payer.

Odds and ends, some pipes, a few novels, two of them in Spanish, and old-fashioned pinfire revolver, and a guitar were among the personal property. Holmes, I invite your attention to the kitchen. It was a gloomy, high-ceilinged room at the back of the house, with a straw litter in one corner, which served apparently as a bed for the cook.

The table was piled with half-eaten dishes and dirty plates, the debris of last night's dinner. He held up his candle before an extraordinary object which stood at the back of the dresser. It was so wrinkled and shrunken and withered that it was difficult to say what it might have been. One could but say that it was black and leathery and that it bore some resemblance to a dwarfish, human figure. At first, as I examined it, I thought that it was a mummified negro baby, and then it seemed a very twisted and ancient monkey. Finally I was left in doubt as to whether it was animal or human.

A double band of white shells were strung round the centre of it. In silence Baynes led the way to the sink and held forward his candle. The limbs and body of some large, white bird, torn savagely to pieces with the feathers still on, were littered all over it. Holmes pointed to the wattles on the severed head. But Mr. Baynes had kept his most sinister exhibit to the last. From under the sink he drew a zinc pail which contained a quantity of blood.

Then from the table he took a platter heaped with small pieces of charred bone. We raked all these out of the fire. We had a doctor in this morning. He says that they are not human. Your powers, if I may say so without offence, seem superior to your opportunities. We stagnate in the provinces. A case of this sort gives a man a chance, and I hope that I shall take it. What do you make of these bones? One of them is dead. Did his companions follow him and kill him? If they did we should have them, for every port is watched. But my own views are different.

Yes, sir, my own views are very different. It's only due to my own credit to do so. Your name is made, but I have still to make mine. I should be glad to be able to say afterwards that I had solved it without your help. My results are always very much at your service if you care to apply to me for them. I think that I have seen all that I wish in this house, and that my time may be more profitably employed elsewhere.

Au revoir and good luck! I could tell by numerous subtle signs, which might have been lost upon anyone but myself, that Holmes was on a hot scent. As impassive as ever to the casual observer, there were none the less a subdued eagerness and suggestion of tension in his brightened eyes and brisker manner which assured me that the game was afoot. After his habit he said nothing, and after mine I asked no questions. Sufficient for me to share the sport and lend my humble help to the capture without distracting that intent brain with needless interruption.

All would come round to me in due time. I waited, therefore—but to my ever-deepening disappointment I waited in vain. Day succeeded day, and my friend took no step forward. One morning he spent in town, and I learned from a casual reference that he had visited the British Museum. Save for this one excursion, he spent his days in long and often solitary walks, or in chatting with a number of village gossips whose acquaintance he had cultivated. With a spud, a tin box, and an elementary book on botany, there are instructive days to be spent.

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Occasionally in our rambles we came across Inspector Baynes. His fat, red face wreathed itself in smiles and his small eyes glittered as he greeted my companion. He said little about the case, but from that little we gathered that he also was not dissatisfied at the course of events. I must admit, however, that I was somewhat surprised when, some five days after the crime, I opened my morning paper to find in large letters:. It will be remembered that Mr. Garcia, of Wisteria Lodge, was found dead on Oxshott Common, his body showing signs of extreme violence, and that on the same night his servant and his cook fled, which appeared to show their participation in the crime.

It was suggested, but never proved, that the deceased gentleman may have had valuables in the house, and that their abstraction was the motive of the crime. Every effort was made by Inspector Baynes, who has the case in hand, to ascertain the hiding place of the fugitives, and he had good reason to believe that they had not gone far but were lurking in some retreat which had been already prepared.

It was certain from the first, however, that they would eventually be detected, as the cook, from the evidence of one or two tradespeople who have caught a glimpse of him through the window, was a man of most remarkable appearance—being a huge and hideous mulatto, with yellowish features of a pronounced negroid type. This man has been seen since the crime, for he was detected and pursued by Constable Walters on the same evening, when he had the audacity to revisit Wisteria Lodge.

Inspector Baynes, considering that such a visit must have some purpose in view and was likely, therefore, to be repeated, abandoned the house but left an ambuscade in the shrubbery. The man walked into the trap and was captured last night after a struggle in which Constable Downing was badly bitten by the savage. We understand that when the prison is brought before the magistrates a remand will be applied for by the police, and that great developments are hoped from his capture.

Pray don't think it a liberty if I give you a word of friendly warning. I don't want you to commit yourself too far unless you are sure. It seemed to me that something like a wink quivered for an instant over one of Mr. Baynes's tiny eyes. But we all have our own systems, Mr. You have yours, and maybe I have mine. This fellow is a perfect savage, as strong as a cart-horse and as fierce as the devil.

He chewed Downing's thumb nearly off before they could master him. He hardly speaks a word of English, and we can get nothing out of him but grunts. Holmes; I didn't say so. We all have our little ways. You try yours and I will try mine. That's the agreement. Holmes shrugged his shoulders as we walked away together.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes / His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle

He seems to be riding for a fall. Well, as he says, we must each try our own way and see what comes of it. But there's something in Inspector Baynes which I can't quite understand. Let me show you the evolution of this case so far as I have been able to follow it. Simple as it has been in its leading features, it has none the less presented surprising difficulties in the way of an arrest. There are gaps in that direction which we have still to fill. We may put aside this idea of Baynes's that Garcia's servants were concerned in the matter. The proof of this lies in the fact that it was HE who had arranged for the presence of Scott Eccles, which could only have been done for the purpose of an alibi.

It was Garcia, then, who had an enterprise, and apparently a criminal enterprise, in hand that night in the course of which he met his death. I say 'criminal' because only a man with a criminal enterprise desires to establish an alibi. Who, then, is most likely to have taken his life?

Surely the person against whom the criminal enterprise was directed. So far it seems to me that we are on safe ground. They were ALL confederates in the same unknown crime. If it came off when Garcia returned, any possible suspicion would be warded off by the Englishman's evidence, and all would be well. But the attempt was a dangerous one, and if Garcia did NOT return by a certain hour it was probable that his own life had been sacrificed. It had been arranged, therefore, that in such a case his two subordinates were to make for some prearranged spot where they could escape investigation and be in a position afterwards to renew their attempt.

That would fully explain the facts, would it not? The whole inexplicable tangle seemed to straighten out before me. I wondered, as I always did, how it had not been obvious to me before. That would explain his persistence, would it not? It indicates a confederate at the other end.

ISBN 13: 9781451561623

Now, where was the other end? I have already shown you that it could only lie in some large house, and that the number of large houses is limited. My first days in this village were devoted to a series of walks in which in the intervals of my botanical researches I made a reconnaissance of all the large houses and an examination of the family history of the occupants.

One house, and only one, riveted my attention. It is the famous old Jacobean grange of High Gable, one mile on the farther side of Oxshott, and less than half a mile from the scene of the tragedy. The other mansions belonged to prosaic and respectable people who live far aloof from romance. Henderson, of High Gable, was by all accounts a curious man to whom curious adventures might befall. I concentrated my attention, therefore, upon him and his household. I managed to see him on a plausible pretext, but I seemed to read in his dark, deep-set, brooding eyes that he was perfectly aware of my true business.

He is a man of fifty, strong, active, with iron-grey hair, great bunched black eyebrows, the step of a deer and the air of an emperor—a fierce, masterful man, with a red-hot spirit behind his parchment face. He is either a foreigner or has lived long in the tropics, for he is yellow and sapless, but tough as whipcord.

His friend and secretary, Mr. Lucas, is undoubtedly a foreigner, chocolate brown, wily, suave, and catlike, with a poisonous gentleness of speech. You see, Watson, we have come already upon two sets of foreigners—one at Wisteria Lodge and one at High Gable—so our gaps are beginning to close. Henderson has two children—girls of eleven and thirteen.

Their governess is a Miss Burnet, an Englishwoman of forty or thereabouts. There is also one confidential manservant. This little group forms the real family, for their travel about together, and Henderson is a great traveller, always on the move. It is only within the last weeks that he has returned, after a year's absence, to High Gable. I may add that he is enormously rich, and whatever his whims may be he can very easily satisfy them.

For the rest, his house is full of butlers, footmen, maidservants, and the usual overfed, underworked staff of a large English country house. There are no better instruments than discharged servants with a grievance, and I was lucky enough to find one. I call it luck, but it would not have come my way had I not been looking out for it. As Baynes remarks, we all have our systems. It was my system which enabled me to find John Warner, late gardener of High Gable, sacked in a moment of temper by his imperious employer.

He in turn had friends among the indoor servants who unite in their fear and dislike of their master. So I had my key to the secrets of the establishment. I don't pretend to understand it all yet, but very curious people anyway. It's a double-winged house, and the servants live on one side, the family on the other. There's no link between the two save for Henderson's own servant, who serves the family's meals.

Everything is carried to a certain door, which forms the one connection. Governess and children hardly go out at all, except into the garden. Henderson never by any chance walks alone. His dark secretary is like his shadow. The gossip among the servants is that their master is terribly afraid of something. They are very violent.

Twice Henderson has lashed at folk with his dog-whip, and only his long purse and heavy compensation have kept him out of the courts. We may take it that the letter came out of this strange household and was an invitation to Garcia to carry out some attempt which had already been planned. Who wrote the note?

It was someone within the citadel, and it was a woman. Who then but Miss Burnet, the governess? All our reasoning seems to point that way. At any rate, we may take it as a hypothesis and see what consequences it would entail. I may add that Miss Burnet's age and character make it certain that my first idea that there might be a love interest in our story is out of the question. What, then, might she be expected to do if she heard of his death? If he met it in some nefarious enterprise her lips might be sealed.

Still, in her heart, she must retain bitterness and hatred against those who had killed him and would presumably help so far as she could to have revenge upon them. Could we see her, then and try to use her? That was my first thought. But now we come to a sinister fact. Miss Burnet has not been seen by any human eye since the night of the murder. From that evening she has utterly vanished. Is she alive? Has she perhaps met her end on the same night as the friend whom she had summoned? Or is she merely a prisoner? There is the point which we still have to decide.

There is nothing upon which we can apply for a warrant. Our whole scheme might seem fantastic if laid before a magistrate. The woman's disappearance counts for nothing, since in that extraordinary household any member of it might be invisible for a week. And yet she may at the present moment be in danger of her life. All I can do is to watch the house and leave my agent, Warner, on guard at the gates.

We can't let such a situation continue. If the law can do nothing we must take the risk ourselves. It is accessible from the top of an outhouse. My suggestion is that you and I go to-night and see if we can strike at the very heart of the mystery. It was not, I must confess, a very alluring prospect.

The old house with its atmosphere of murder, the singular and formidable inhabitants, the unknown dangers of the approach, and the fact that we were putting ourselves legally in a false position all combined to damp my ardour. But there was something in the ice-cold reasoning of Holmes which made it impossible to shrink from any adventure which he might recommend.

One knew that thus, and only thus, could a solution be found. I clasped his hand in silence, and the die was cast. But it was not destined that our investigation should have so adventurous an ending. It was about five o'clock, and the shadows of the March evening were beginning to fall, when an excited rustic rushed into our room. They went by the last train. The lady broke away, and I've got her in a cab downstairs. In the cab was a woman, half-collapsed from nervous exhaustion. She bore upon her aquiline and emaciated face the traces of some recent tragedy. Her head hung listlessly upon her breast, but as she raised it and turned her dull eyes upon us I saw that her pupils were dark dots in the centre of the broad grey iris.

She was drugged with opium. Holmes," said our emissary, the discharged gardener. She was like one walking in her sleep, but when they tried to get her into the train she came to life and struggled. They pushed her into the carriage. She fought her way out again. I took her part, got her into a cab, and here we are. I shan't forget the face at the carriage window as I led her away. I'd have a short life if he had his way—the black-eyed, scowling, yellow devil.

We carried her upstairs, laid her on the sofa, and a couple of cups of the strongest coffee soon cleared her brain from the mists of the drug. Baynes had been summoned by Holmes, and the situation rapidly explained to him. Holmes, when you were crawling in the shrubbery at High Gable I was up one of the trees in the plantation and saw you down below. It was just who would get his evidence first.

I arrested the wrong man to make him believe that our eyes were off him. I knew he would be likely to clear off then and give us a chance of getting at Miss Burnet.

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  6. Sherlock Holmes His Final Bow.
  7. Wherever the High Gable folk go he will keep them in sight. But he must have been hard put to it when Miss Burnet broke away. However, your man picked her up, and it all ends well. We can't arrest without her evidence, that is clear, so the sooner we get a statement the better. The Tiger of San Pedro! The whole history of the man came back to me in a flash. He had made his name as the most lewd and bloodthirsty tyrant that had ever governed any country with a pretence to civilisation.

    Strong, fearless, and energetic, he had sufficient virtue to enable him to impose his odious vices upon a cowering people for ten or twelve years. His name was a terror through all Central America. At the end of that time there was a universal rising against him.

    But he was as cunning as he was cruel, and at the first whisper of coming trouble he had secretly conveyed his treasures aboard a ship which was manned by devoted adherents. It was an empty palace which was stormed by the insurgents next day. The dictator, his two children, his secretary, and his wealth had all escaped them. From that moment he had vanished from the world, and his identity had been a frequent subject for comment in the European press.

    Henderson he called himself, but I traced him back, Paris and Rome and Madrid to Barcelona, where his ship came in in ' They've been looking for him all the time for their revenge, but it is only now that they have begun to find him out. Now, again, it is the noble, chivalrous Garcia who has fallen, while the monster goes safe. But another will come, and yet another, until some day justice will be done; that is as certain as the rise of to-morrow's sun.

    What does the law of England care for the rivers of blood shed years ago in San Pedro, or for the shipload of treasure which this man has stolen?

    Sherlock Holmes, HIS LAST BOW, Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection, Book # 8

    To you they are like crimes committed in some other planet. But WE know. We have learned the truth in sorrow and in suffering. To us there is no fiend in hell like Juan Murillo, and no peace in life while his victims still cry for vengeance. I have heard that he was atrocious. But how are you affected? This villain's policy was to murder, on one pretext or another, every man who showed such promise that he might in time come to be a dangerous rival.

    He met me and married me there. A nobler man never lived upon earth. Unhappily, Murillo heard of his excellence, recalled him on some pretext, and had him shot. With a premonition of his fate he had refused to take me with him. His estates were confiscated, and I was left with a pittance and a broken heart.

    He escaped as you have just described. But the many whose lives he had ruined, whose nearest and dearest had suffered torture and death at his hands, would not let the matter rest. They banded themselves into a society which should never be dissolved until the work was done. It was my part after we had discovered in the transformed Henderson the fallen despot, to attach myself to his household and keep the others in touch with his movements. This I was able to do by securing the position of governess in his family. He little knew that the woman who faced him at every meal was the woman whose husband he had hurried at an hour's notice into eternity.

    I smiled on him, did my duty to his children, and bided my time. An attempt was made in Paris and failed. We zigzagged swiftly here and there over Europe to throw off the pursuers and finally returned to this house, which he had taken upon his first arrival in England. Knowing that he would return there, Garcia, who is the son of the former highest dignitary in San Pedro, was waiting with two trusty companions of humble station, all three fired with the same reasons for revenge.

    He could do little during the day, for Murillo took every precaution and never went out save with his satellite Lucas, or Lopez as he was known in the days of his greatness. At night, however, he slept alone, and the avenger might find him. On a certain evening, which had been prearranged, I sent my friend final instructions, for the man was forever on the alert and continually changed his room.

    I was to see that the doors were open and the signal of a green or white light in a window which faced the drive was to give notice if all was safe or if the attempt had better be postponed. In some way I had excited the suspicion of Lopez, the secretary. He crept up behind me and sprang upon me just as I had finished the note. He and his master dragged me to my room and held judgement upon me as a convicted traitress. Then and there they would have plunged their knives into me could they have seen how to escape the consequences of the deed.

    Finally, after much debate, they concluded that my murder was too dangerous. But they determined to get rid forever of Garcia. They had gagged me, and Murillo twisted my arm round until I gave him the address. I swear that he might have twisted it off had I understood what it would mean to Garcia. Lopez addressed the note which I had written, sealed it with his sleeve-link, and sent it by the hand of the servant, Jose. How they murdered him I do not know, save that it was Murillo's hand who struck him down, for Lopez had remained to guard me. I believe he must have waited among the gorse bushes through which the path winds and struck him down as he passed.

    At first they were of a mind to let him enter the house and to kill him as a detected burglar; but they argued that if they were mixed up in an inquiry their own identity would at once be publicly disclosed and they would be open to further attacks. With the death of Garcia, the pursuit might cease, since such a death might frighten others from the task. I have no doubt that there were times when my life hung in the balance. I was confined to my room, terrorised by the most horrible threats, cruelly ill-used to break my spirit—see this stab on my shoulder and the bruises from end to end of my arms—and a gag was thrust into my mouth on the one occasion when I tried to call from the window.

    For five days this cruel imprisonment continued, with hardly enough food to hold body and soul together. This afternoon a good lunch was brought me, but the moment after I took it I knew that I had been drugged. In a sort of dream I remember being half-led, half-carried to the carriage; in the same state I was conveyed to the train. Only then, when the wheels were almost moving, did I suddenly realise that my liberty lay in my own hands. I sprang out, they tried to drag me back, and had it not been for the help of this good man, who led me to the cab, I should never had broken away.

    Now, thank God, I am beyond their power forever. We had all listened intently to this remarkable statement. It was Holmes who broke the silence. There may be a hundred crimes in the background, but it is only on this one that they can be tried. Self-defence is one thing. To entice a man in cold blood with the object of murdering him is another, whatever danger you may fear from him.

    No, no, we shall all be justified when we see the tenants of High Gable at the next Guildford Assizes. It is a matter of history, however, that a little time was still to elapse before the Tiger of San Pedro should meet with his deserts. Wily and bold, he and his companion threw their pursuer off their track by entering a lodging-house in Edmonton Street and leaving by the back-gate into Curzon Square.

    From that day they were seen no more in England. Top Pick. PaperBack October 25, A dense yellow fog descends upon London. Tricksters, thieves and murderers stalk their prey undetected. Lawlessness abounds but it is no match for the penetrating mind of Sherlock Holmes as he investigates the strangest of cases. A woman receives a gruesome package - two human ears in a box. A vital government secret is threatened with exposure. Miss Brenda Tregennis is found scared to death - could she really have died from fright alone?

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