Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes' Stories - 4
His Last Bow
Published in 1917, His Last Bow contained eight Sherlock Holmes stories, including The Adventure of the Cardboard Box, which did not appear in the British publication due to the "adult" nature of the tale. This story however, was published in The Strand Magazine collection under the original collected stories titled The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
The stories in the fourth collection are:
Wisteria Lodge 1908
The Red Circle 1911
The Cardboard Box 1893
The Bruce-Partington Plans 1908
The Dying Detective 1913
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax 1911
The Devil's Foot 1910
His Last Bow 1917
Wisteria Lodge 1908
When a Spanish colleague invites Mr Scott Eccles to his house for dinner, the Englishman is rather disappointed in the hard-to-follow conversation and poor quality food provided by his European host. Next morning however, he finds that not only is there no breakfast, but that he is entirely alone in the house - Senor Garcia , the cook and the valet have all disappeared. Believing the police will think him foolish for reporting such an odd incident, Eccles seeks the advice of Sherlock Holmes. The police, on the other hand, have been following Eccles and quickly arrive at Baker Street with the news that the Spaniard has been found murdered near his house. Holmes and Watson set out on their own investigation and find a dangerous criminal ...
"I have looked into this case with some care, and I am not convinced that you are on the right lines. I don't want you to commit yourself too far unless you are sure."
The Red Circle 1911
A bewildered landlady seeks the help of Sherlock Holmes when one of her tenants seems unwilling to come out of his room. Holmes quickly works out a possible theory and he and Watson set off to check it out. Things take a mysterious turn though, when the watchful pair intercept a signal from a room across the street and discover they are not the only ones on the trail of the mysterious tenant...
"Yes, by Jove, it's a danger signal. There he goes again!"
The Cardboard Box (1893)
On a hot summer's day in August, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are relaxing at 221B Baker Street feeling rather bored, when they read about an unusual mystery in the papers. A woman in her 50's receives a gruesome gift through the post - a small cardboard box containing two severed human ears. Inspector Lestrade is already on the case and invites Holmes and Watson along to cast their deductive powers over the matter.
"I think that it is more than probable - " he paused and I was surprised on glancing round that he was staring with singular intentness at the lady's profile...
The Bruce-Partington Plans (1908)
When secret plans for a submarine are stolen from a government office, Mycroft Holmes calls in his younger brother to investigate. The prime suspect - a young clerk called Cadogan West - is found dead on a railway line with the vital plans stuffed in his pockets. The most important elements of the plans however, are missing. Holmes and Watson begin their investigation by visiting Aldgate Underground station where Holmes notes with interest that the dead man did not have a ticket...
"Points," he muttered. "The points..."
The Dying Detective (1913)
Late one afternoon, a distraught Mrs Hudson hurries to Dr Watson's house to tell him the grave news: Sherlock Holmes is dying. Watson immediately rushes to the aid of his Baker Street friend with the intention of doing everything he can to aid the recovery of the great detective. Holmes is in a state - pale, withdrawn and literally wasting away, but urges Watson to stay at least four feet away from him lest he too should succumb to the contagious disease he is suffering from. It seems that Holmes has contracted Tapanuli fever and only one man in London can help him. Watson is eager to dash off to fetch this individual, but Holmes compels him to wait until 6.00pm. Dr Watson stays his hand, but is a little perplexed at the instructions his companion gives him for when the visitor finally arrives. Nevertheless, the good doctor follows them to the letter...
"Do what you can for me. Let bygones be bygones," he whispered.
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax (1911)
Retired governess Mrs Dobney, contacts Sherlock Holmes when her former employer Lady Frances Carfax mysteriously stops her regular correspondence. Wealthy and unmarried, Frances Carfax has been travelling in Europe, and has written regularly to Mrs Dobney every fortnight - until five weeks ago. Known for carrying many of her precious jewels on her person, Lady Frances is an obvious target for villains and Holmes immediately suspects foul play. He quickly dispatches Dr Watson to Lausanne to trace the missing woman.
Watson soon discovers that Lady Frances has been seen in the company of another couple - Dr Shlessinger and his wife - and is known to have travelled with them for a while. When Watson learns that another stranger has also been seen in her company, he seeks more information from Marie - Lady Frances' former maid...
"There is the very man of whom I speak!"
The Devil's Foot (1910)
On the grounds of Sherlock Holmes' ill-health, Dr Watson persuades his companion to take a short holiday in Cornwall, with the aim of avoiding anything that might cause stress or agitation to the Baker Street sleuth. Nevertheless, the pair find themselves called upon to investigate when a strange event results in the death of a woman and the apparent madness of her brothers. The vicar, Mr Roundhay, and his lodger Mortimer Tregennis, arrive at the cottage where the illustrious detective and his trusty associate are staying, and urge them to intervene. Their theory that some malevolence force has somehow entered the siblings' house and left them in this dreadful state is of course, not one which Holmes will easily consider...
"I fear," said Holmes "that if the matter is beyond humanity, it is certainly beyond me."
His Last Bow (1917)
In August 1914, in the garden of an English country house, two Germans discuss their mission. Von Bork and Baron Von Herling are keen to return to Berlin to the praise and applause that surely awaits their success. First, though, Von Bork has a meeting with his top American agent - known only as Altmont - who is bringing a final package to him, detailing important naval signals. Von Bork however, has not reckoned with the interference of Sherlock Holmes...
"There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet."