I was weary of our little sitting-room and gladly acquiesced.
For three hours we strolled about together, watching the ever-changing kaleidoscope of
life as it ebbs and flows through Fleet Street and the Strand. His characteristic talk,
with its keen observance of detail and subtle power of inference, held me amused and
enthralled. It was ten oclock before we reached Baker Street again. A brougham was
waiting at our door.
Hum! A doctorsgeneral practitioner, I
perceive, said Holmes. Not been long in practice, but has a good deal to do.
Come to consult us, I fancy! Lucky we came back!
I was sufficiently conversant with Holmess methods to be
able to follow his reasoning, and to see that the nature and state of the various medical
instruments in the wicker basket which hung in the lamp-light inside the brougham had
given him the data for his swift deduction. The light in our window above showed that this
late visit was indeed intended for us. With some curiosity as to what could have sent a
brother medico to us at such an hour, I followed Holmes into our sanctum.
A pale, taper-faced man with sandy whiskers rose up from a
chair by the fire as we entered. His age may not have been more than three or four and
thirty, but his haggard expression and unhealthy hue told of a life which had sapped his
strength and robbed him of his youth. His manner was nervous and shy, like that of a  sensitive gentleman, and the
thin white hand which he laid on the mantelpiece as he rose was that of an artist rather
than of a surgeon. His dress was quiet and sombrea black frock-coat, dark trousers,
and a touch of colour about his necktie.
Good-evening, Doctor, said Holmes cheerily.
I am glad to see that you have only been waiting a very few minutes.
You spoke to my coachman, then?
No, it was the candle on the side-table that told me.
Pray resume your seat and let me know how I can serve you.
My name is Dr. Percy Trevelyan, said our visitor,
and I live at 403 Brook Street.
Are you not the author of a monograph upon obscure
nervous lesions? I asked.
His pale cheeks flushed with pleasure at hearing that his work
was known to me.
I so seldom hear of the work that I thought it was quite
dead, said he. My publishers gave me a most discouraging account of its sale.
You are yourself, I presume, a medical man?
A retired army surgeon.
My own hobby has always been nervous disease. I should
wish to make it an absolute specialty, but of course a man must take what he can get at
first. This, however, is beside the question, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, and I quite appreciate
how valuable your time is. The fact is that a very singular train of events has occurred
recently at my house in Brook Street, and to-night they came to such a head that I felt it
was quite impossible for me to wait another hour before asking for your advice and
Sherlock Holmes sat down and lit his pipe. You are very
welcome to both, said he. Pray let me have a detailed account of what the
circumstances are which have disturbed you.
One or two of them are so trivial, said Dr.
Trevelyan, that really I am almost ashamed to mention them. But the matter is so
inexplicable, and the recent turn which it has taken is so elaborate, that I shall lay it
all before you, and you shall judge what is essential and what is not.
I am compelled, to begin with, to say something of my
own college career. I am a London University man, you know, and I am sure that you will
not think that I am unduly singing my own praises if I say that my student career was
considered by my professors to be a very promising one. After I had graduated I continued
to devote myself to research, occupying a minor position in Kings College Hospital,
and I was fortunate enough to excite considerable interest by my research into the
pathology of catalepsy, and finally to win the Bruce Pinkerton prize and medal by the
monograph on nervous lesions to which your friend has just alluded. I should not go too
far if I were to say that there was a general impression at that time that a distinguished
career lay before me.
But the one great stumbling-block lay in my want of
capital. As you will readily understand, a specialist who aims high is compelled to start
in one of a dozen streets in the Cavendish Square quarter, all of which entail enormous
rents and furnishing expenses. Besides this preliminary outlay, he must be prepared to
keep himself for some years, and to hire a presentable carriage and horse. To do this was
quite beyond my power, and I could only hope that by economy I might in ten years
time save enough to enable me to put up my plate. Suddenly, however, an unexpected
incident opened up quite a new prospect to me.
This was a visit from a gentleman of the name of
Blessington, who was a  complete
stranger to me. He came up into my room one morning, and plunged into business in an
You are the same Percy Trevelyan who has had so
distinguished a career and won a great prize lately? said he.
Answer me frankly, he continued, for
you will find it to your interest to do so. You have all the cleverness which makes a
successful man. Have you the tact?
I could not help smiling at the abruptness of the
I trust that I have my share, I said.
Any bad habits? Not drawn towards drink,
Really, sir! I cried.
Quite right! Thats all right! But I was
bound to ask. With all these qualities, why are you not in practice?
I shrugged my shoulders.
Come, come! said he in his bustling way.
Its the old story. More in your brains than in your pocket, eh? What would you
say if I were to start you in Brook Street?
I stared at him in astonishment.
Oh, its for my sake, not for yours,
he cried. Ill be perfectly frank with you, and if it suits you it will suit me
very well. I have a few thousands to invest, dye see, and I think Ill sink
them in you.
But why? I gasped.
Well, its just like any other speculation,
and safer than most.
What am I to do, then?
Ill tell you. Ill take the house,
furnish it, pay the maids, and run the whole place. All you have to do is just to wear out
your chair in the consulting-room. Ill let you have pocket-money and everything.
Then you hand over to me three quarters of what you earn, and you keep the other quarter
This was the strange proposal, Mr. Holmes, with which
the man Blessington approached me. I wont weary you with the account of how we
bargained and negotiated. It ended in my moving into the house next Lady Day, and starting
in practice on very much the same conditions as he had suggested. He came himself to live
with me in the character of a resident patient. His heart was weak, it appears, and he
needed constant medical supervision. He turned the two best rooms of the first floor into
a sitting-room and bedroom for himself. He was a man of singular habits, shunning company
and very seldom going out. His life was irregular, but in one respect he was regularity
itself. Every evening, at the same hour, he walked into the consulting-room, examined the
books, put down five and three-pence for every guinea that I had earned, and carried the
rest off to the strong-box in his own room.
I may say with confidence that he never had occasion to
regret his speculation. From the first it was a success. A few good cases and the
reputation which I had won in the hospital brought me rapidly to the front, and during the
last few years I have made him a rich man.
So much, Mr. Holmes, for my past history and my
relations with Mr. Blessington. It only remains for me now to tell you what has occurred
to bring me here to-night.
Some weeks ago Mr. Blessington came down to me in, as it
seemed to me, a state of considerable agitation. He spoke of some burglary which, he said,
had been  committed in
the West End, and he appeared, I remember, to be quite unnecessarily excited about it,
declaring that a day should not pass before we should add stronger bolts to our windows
and doors. For a week he continued to be in a peculiar state of restlessness, peering
continually out of the windows, and ceasing to take the short walk which had usually been
the prelude to his dinner. From his manner it struck me that he was in mortal dread of
something or somebody, but when I questioned him upon the point he became so offensive
that I was compelled to drop the subject. Gradually, as time passed, his fears appeared to
die away, and he renewed his former habits, when a fresh event reduced him to the pitiable
state of prostration in which he now lies.
What happened was this. Two days ago I received the
letter which I now read to you. Neither address nor date is attached to it.
- A Russian nobleman who is now resident in England [it
runs], would be glad to avail himself of the professional assistance of Dr. Percy
Trevelyan. He has been for some years a victim to cataleptic attacks, on which, as is well
known, Dr. Trevelyan is an authority. He proposes to call at about a quarter-past six
to-morrow evening, if Dr. Trevelyan will make it convenient to be at home.
This letter interested me deeply, because the chief
difficulty in the study of catalepsy is the rareness of the disease. You may believe,
then, that I was in my consulting-room when, at the appointed hour, the page showed in the
He was an elderly man, thin, demure, and
commonplaceby no means the conception one forms of a Russian nobleman. I was much
more struck by the appearance of his companion. This was a tall young man, surprisingly
handsome, with a dark, fierce face, and the limbs and chest of a Hercules. He had his hand
under the others arm as they entered, and helped him to a chair with a tenderness
which one would hardly have expected from his appearance.
You will excuse my coming in, Doctor,
said he to me, speaking English with a slight lisp. This is my father, and his
health is a matter of the most overwhelming importance to me.
I was touched by this filial anxiety. You would,
perhaps, care to remain during the consultation? said I.
Not for the world, he cried with a gesture
of horror. It is more painful to me than I can express. If I were to see my father
in one of these dreadful seizures I am convinced that I should never survive it. My own
nervous system is an exceptionally sensitive one. With your permission, I will remain in
the waiting-room while you go into my fathers case.
To this, of course, I assented, and the young man
withdrew. The patient and I then plunged into a discussion of his case, of which I took
exhaustive notes. He was not remarkable for intelligence, and his answers were frequently
obscure, which I attributed to his limited acquaintance with our language. Suddenly,
however, as I sat writing, he ceased to give any answer at all to my inquiries, and on my
turning towards him I was shocked to see that he was sitting bolt upright in his chair,
staring at me with a perfectly blank and rigid face. He was again in the grip of his
My first feeling, as I have just said, was one of
pity and horror. My second, I fear, was rather one of professional satisfaction. I made
notes of my patients pulse and temperature, tested the rigidity of his muscles, and
examined his  reflexes.
There was nothing markedly abnormal in any of these conditions, which harmonized with my
former experiences. I had obtained good results in such cases by the inhalation of nitrite
of amyl, and the present seemed an admirable opportunity of testing its virtues. The
bottle was downstairs in my laboratory, so, leaving my patient seated in his chair, I ran
down to get it. There was some little delay in finding itfive minutes, let us
sayand then I returned. Imagine my amazement to find the room empty and the patient
Of course, my first act was to run into the
waiting-room. The son had gone also. The hall door had been closed, but not shut. My page
who admits patients is a new boy and by no means quick. He waits downstairs and runs up to
show patients out when I ring the consulting-room bell. He had heard nothing, and the
affair remained a complete mystery. Mr. Blessington came in from his walk shortly
afterwards, but I did not say anything to him upon the subject, for, to tell the truth, I
have got in the way of late of holding as little communication with him as possible.
Well, I never thought that I should see anything more of
the Russian and his son, so you can imagine my amazement when, at the very same hour this
evening, they both came marching into my consulting-room, just as they had done before.
I feel that I owe you a great many apologies for
my abrupt departure yesterday, Doctor, said my patient.
I confess that I was very much surprised at
it, said I.
Well, the fact is, he remarked, that
when I recover from these attacks my mind is always very clouded as to all that has gone
before. I woke up in a strange room, as it seemed to me, and made my way out into the
street in a sort of dazed way when you were absent.
And I, said the son, seeing my father
pass the door of the waiting-room, naturally thought that the consultation had come to an
end. It was not until we had reached home that I began to realize the true state of
Well, said I, laughing, there is no
harm done except that you puzzled me terribly; so if you, sir, would kindly step into the
waiting-room I shall be happy to continue our consultation which was brought to so abrupt
For half an hour or so I discussed the old
gentlemans symptoms with him, and then, having prescribed for him, I saw him go off
upon the arm of his son.
I have told you that Mr. Blessington generally chose
this hour of the day for his exercise. He came in shortly afterwards and passed upstairs.
An instant later I heard him running down, and he burst into my consulting-room like a man
who is mad with panic.
Who has been in my room? he cried.
No one, said I.
Its a lie! he yelled. Come up
I passed over the grossness of his language, as he
seemed half out of his mind with fear. When I went upstairs with him he pointed to several
footprints upon the light carpet.
Do you mean to say those are mine? he
They were certainly very much larger than any which he
could have made, and were evidently quite fresh. It rained hard this afternoon, as you
know, and my patients were the only people who called. It must have been the case, then,
that the man in the waiting-room had, for some unknown reason, while I was busy with the
other, ascended to the room of my resident patient. Nothing had been touched  or taken, but there were the
footprints to prove that the intrusion was an undoubted fact.
Mr. Blessington seemed more excited over the matter than
I should have thought possible, though of course it was enough to disturb anybodys
peace of mind. He actually sat crying in an armchair, and I could hardly get him to speak
coherently. It was his suggestion that I should come round to you, and of course I at once
saw the propriety of it, for certainly the incident is a very singular one, though he
appears to completely overrate its importance. If you would only come back with me in my
brougham, you would at least be able to soothe him, though I can hardly hope that you will
be able to explain this remarkable occurrence.
Sherlock Holmes had listened to this long narrative with an
intentness which showed me that his interest was keenly aroused. His face was as impassive
as ever, but his lids had drooped more heavily over his eyes, and his smoke had curled up
more thickly from his pipe to emphasize each curious episode in the doctors tale. As
our visitor concluded, Holmes sprang up without a word, handed me my hat, picked his own
from the table, and followed Dr. Trevelyan to the door. Within a quarter of an hour we had
been dropped at the door of the physicians residence in Brook Street, one of those
sombre, flat-faced houses which one associates with a West End practice. A small page
admitted us, and we began at once to ascend the broad, well-carpeted stair.
But a singular interruption brought us to a standstill. The
light at the top was suddenly whisked out, and from the darkness came a reedy, quavering
I have a pistol, it cried. I give you my
word that Ill fire if you come any nearer.
This really grows outrageous, Mr. Blessington,
cried Dr. Trevelyan.
Oh, then it is you, Doctor, said the voice with a
great heave of relief. But those other gentlemen, are they what they pretend to
We were conscious of a long scrutiny out of the darkness.
Yes, yes, its all right, said the voice at
last. You can come up, and I am sorry if my precautions have annoyed you.
He relit the stair gas as he spoke, and we saw before us a
singular-looking man, whose appearance, as well as his voice, testified to his jangled
nerves. He was very fat, but had apparently at some time been much fatter, so that the
skin hung about his face in loose pouches, like the cheeks of a bloodhound. He was of a
sickly colour, and his thin, sandy hair seemed to bristle up with the intensity of his
emotion. In his hand he held a pistol, but he thrust it into his pocket as we advanced.
Good-evening, Mr. Holmes, said he. I am
sure I am very much obliged to you for coming round. No one ever needed your advice more
than I do. I suppose that Dr. Trevelyan has told you of this most unwarrantable intrusion
into my rooms.
Quite so, said Holmes. Who are these two
men, Mr. Blessington, and why do they wish to molest you?
Well, well, said the resident patient in a nervous
fashion, of course it is hard to say that. You can hardly expect me to answer that,
Do you mean that you dont know?
Come in here, if you please. Just have the kindness to
step in here.
He led the way into his bedroom, which was large and
You see that, said he, pointing to a big black box
at the end of his bed. I have never been a very rich man, Mr. Holmesnever made
but one investment in  my
life, as Dr. Trevelyan would tell you. But I dont believe in bankers. I would never
trust a banker, Mr. Holmes. Between ourselves, what little I have is in that box, so you
can understand what it means to me when unknown people force themselves into my
Holmes looked at Blessington in his questioning way and shook
I cannot possibly advise you if you try to deceive
me, said he.
But I have told you everything.
Holmes turned on his heel with a gesture of disgust.
Good-night, Dr. Trevelyan, said he.
And no advice for me? cried Blessington in a
My advice to you, sir, is to speak the truth.
A minute later we were in the street and walking for home. We
had crossed Oxford Street and were halfway down Harley Street before I could get a word
from my companion.
Sorry to bring you out on such a fools errand,
Watson, he said at last. It is an interesting case, too, at the bottom of
I can make little of it, I confessed.
Well, it is quite evident that there are two
menmore, perhaps, but at least twowho are determined for some reason to get at
this fellow Blessington. I have no doubt in my mind that both on the first and on the
second occasion that young man penetrated to Blessingtons room, while his
confederate, by an ingenious device, kept the doctor from interfering.
And the catalepsy?
A fraudulent imitation, Watson, though I should hardly
dare to hint as much to our specialist. It is a very easy complaint to imitate. I have
done it myself.
By the purest chance Blessington was out on each
occasion. Their reason for choosing so unusual an hour for a consultation was obviously to
insure that there should be no other patient in the waiting-room. It just happened,
however, that this hour coincided with Blessingtons constitutional, which seems to
show that they were not very well acquainted with his daily routine. Of course, if they
had been merely after plunder they would at least have made some attempt to search for it.
Besides, I can read in a mans eye when it is his own skin that he is frightened for.
It is inconceivable that this fellow could have made two such vindictive enemies as these
appear to be without knowing of it. I hold it, therefore, to be certain that he does know
who these men are, and that for reasons of his own he suppresses it. It is just possible
that to-morrow may find him in a more communicative mood.
Is there not one alternative, I suggested,
grotesquely improbable, no doubt, but still just conceivable? Might the whole story
of the cataleptic Russian and his son be a concoction of Dr. Trevelyans, who has,
for his own purposes, been in Blessingtons rooms?
I saw in the gas-light that Holmes wore an amused smile at
this brilliant departure of mine.
My dear fellow, said he, it was one of the
first solutions which occurred to me, but I was soon able to corroborate the doctors
tale. This young man has left prints upon the stair-carpet which made it quite superfluous
for me to ask to see those which he had made in the room. When I tell you that his shoes
were square-toed instead of being pointed like Blessingtons, and were quite an inch
and a  third longer
than the doctors, you will acknowledge that there can be no doubt as to his
individuality. But we may sleep on it now, for I shall be surprised if we do not hear
something further from Brook Street in the morning.
Sherlock Holmess prophecy was soon fulfilled, and in
a dramatic fashion. At half-past seven next morning, in the first dim glimmer of daylight,
I found him standing by my bedside in his dressing-gown.
Theres a brougham waiting for us, Watson,
Whats the matter, then?
The Brook Street business.
Any fresh news?
Tragic, but ambiguous, said he, pulling up the
blind. Look at thisa sheet from a notebook, with For Gods sake
come at once. P. T., scrawled upon it in pencil. Our friend, the doctor, was hard
put to it when he wrote this. Come along, my dear fellow, for its an urgent
In a quarter of an hour or so we were back at the
physicians house. He came running out to meet us with a face of horror.
Oh, such a business! he cried with his hands to
Blessington has committed suicide!
Yes, he hanged himself during the night.
We had entered, and the doctor had preceded us into what was
evidently his waiting-room.
I really hardly know what I am doing, he cried.
The police are already upstairs. It has shaken me most dreadfully.
When did you find it out?
He has a cup of tea taken in to him early every morning.
When the maid entered, about seven, there the unfortunate fellow was hanging in the middle
of the room. He had tied his cord to the hook on which the heavy lamp used to hang, and he
had jumped off from the top of the very box that he showed us yesterday.
Holmes stood for a moment in deep thought.
With your permission, said he at last, I
should like to go upstairs and look into the matter.
We both ascended, followed by the doctor.
It was a dreadful sight which met us as we entered the bedroom
door. I have spoken of the impression of flabbiness which this man Blessington conveyed.
As he dangled from the hook it was exaggerated and intensified until he was scarce human
in his appearance. The neck was drawn out like a plucked chickens, making the rest
of him seem the more obese and unnatural by the contrast. He was clad only in his long
night-dress, and his swollen ankles and ungainly feet protruded starkly from beneath it.
Beside him stood a smart-looking police-inspector, who was taking notes in a pocketbook.
Ah, Mr. Holmes, said he heartily as my friend
entered, I am delighted to see you.
Good-morning, Lanner, answered Holmes; you
wont think me an intruder, I am sure. Have you heard of the events which led up to
Yes, I heard something of them.
you formed any opinion?
As far as I can see, the man has been driven out of his
senses by fright. The bed has been well slept in, you see. Theres his impression,
deep enough. Its about five in the morning, you know, that suicides are most common.
That would be about his time for hanging himself. It seems to have been a very deliberate
I should say that he has been dead about three hours,
judging by the rigidity of the muscles, said I.
Noticed anything peculiar about the room? asked
Found a screw-driver and some screws on the wash-hand
stand. Seems to have smoked heavily during the night, too. Here are four cigar-ends that I
picked out of the fireplace.
Hum! said Holmes, have you got his
No, I have seen none.
His cigar-case, then?
Yes, it was in his coat-pocket.
Holmes opened it and smelled the single cigar which it
Oh, this is a Havana, and these others are cigars of
the peculiar sort which are imported by the Dutch from their East Indian colonies. They
are usually wrapped in straw, you know, and are thinner for their length than any other
brand. He picked up the four ends and examined them with his pocket-lens.
Two of these have been smoked from a holder and two
without, said he. Two have been cut by a not very sharp knife, and two have
had the ends bitten off by a set of excellent teeth. This is no suicide, Mr. Lanner. It is
a very deeply planned and cold-blooded murder.
Impossible! cried the inspector.
Why should anyone murder a man in so clumsy a fashion as
by hanging him?
That is what we have to find out.
How could they get in?
Through the front door.
It was barred in the morning.
Then it was barred after them.
How do you know?
I saw their traces. Excuse me a moment, and I may be
able to give you some further information about it.
He went over to the door, and turning the lock he examined it
in his methodical way. Then he took out the key, which was on the inside, and inspected
that also. The bed, the carpet, the chairs, the mantelpiece, the dead body, and the rope
were each in turn examined, until at last he professed himself satisfied, and with my aid
and that of the inspector cut down the wretched object and laid it reverently under a
How about this rope? he asked.
It is cut off this, said Dr. Trevelyan, drawing a
large coil from under the bed. He was morbidly nervous of fire, and always kept this
beside him, so that he might escape by the window in case the stairs were burning.
That must have saved them trouble, said Holmes
thoughtfully. Yes, the actual facts are very plain, and I shall be surprised if by
the afternoon I cannot  give
you the reasons for them as well. I will take this photograph of Blessington, which I see
upon the mantelpiece, as it may help me in my inquiries.
But you have told us nothing! cried the doctor.
Oh, there can be no doubt as to the sequence of
events, said Holmes. There were three of them in it: the young man, the old
man, and a third, to whose identity I have no clue. The first two, I need hardly remark,
are the same who masqueraded as the Russian count and his son, so we can give a very full
description of them. They were admitted by a confederate inside the house. If I might
offer you a word of advice, Inspector, it would be to arrest the page, who, as I
understand, has only recently come into your service, Doctor.
The young imp cannot be found, said Dr. Trevelyan;
the maid and the cook have just been searching for him.
Holmes shrugged his shoulders.
He has played a not unimportant part in this
drama, said he. The three men having ascended the stairs, which they did on
tiptoe, the elder man first, the younger man second, and the unknown man in the rear
My dear Holmes! I ejaculated.
Oh, there could be no question as to the superimposing
of the footmarks. I had the advantage of learning which was which last night. They
ascended, then, to Mr. Blessingtons room, the door of which they found to be locked.
With the help of a wire, however, they forced round the key. Even without the lens you
will perceive, by the scratches on this ward, where the pressure was applied.
On entering the room their first proceeding must have
been to gag Mr. Blessington. He may have been asleep, or he may have been so paralyzed
with terror as to have been unable to cry out. These walls are thick, and it is
conceivable that his shriek, if he had time to utter one, was unheard.
Having secured him, it is evident to me that a
consultation of some sort was held. Probably it was something in the nature of a judicial
proceeding. It must have lasted for some time, for it was then that these cigars were
smoked. The older man sat in that wicker chair; it was he who used the cigar-holder. The
younger man sat over yonder; he knocked his ash off against the chest of drawers. The
third fellow paced up and down. Blessington, I think, sat upright in the bed, but of that
I cannot be absolutely certain.
Well, it ended by their taking Blessington and
hanging him. The matter was so prearranged that it is my belief that they brought with
them some sort of block or pulley which might serve as a gallows. That screw-driver and
those screws were, as I conceive, for fixing it up. Seeing the hook, however, they
naturally saved themselves the trouble. Having finished their work they made off, and the
door was barred behind them by their confederate.
We had all listened with the deepest interest to this sketch
of the nights doings, which Holmes had deduced from signs so subtle and minute that,
even when he had pointed them out to us, we could scarcely follow him in his reasonings.
The inspector hurried away on the instant to make inquiries about the page, while Holmes
and I returned to Baker Street for breakfast.
Ill be back by three, said he when we had
finished our meal. Both the inspector and the doctor will meet me here at that hour,
and I hope by that time to have cleared up any little obscurity which the case may still
visitors arrived at the appointed time, but it was a quarter to four before my friend put
in an appearance. From his expression as he entered, however, I could see that all had
gone well with him.
Any news, Inspector?
We have got the boy, sir.
Excellent, and I have got the men.
You have got them! we cried, all three.
Well, at least I have got their identity. This so-called
Blessington is, as I expected, well known at headquarters, and so are his assailants.
Their names are Biddle, Hayward, and Moffat.
The Worthingdon bank gang, cried the inspector.
Precisely, said Holmes.
Then Blessington must have been Sutton.
Exactly, said Holmes.
Why, that makes it as clear as crystal, said the
But Trevelyan and I looked at each other in bewilderment.
You must surely remember the great Worthingdon bank
business, said Holmes. Five men were in itthese four and a fifth called
Cartwright. Tobin, the care-taker, was murdered, and the thieves got away with seven
thousand pounds. This was in 1875. They were all five arrested, but the evidence against
them was by no means conclusive. This Blessington or Sutton, who was the worst of the
gang, turned informer. On his evidence Cartwright was hanged and the other three got
fifteen years apiece. When they got out the other day, which was some years before their
full term, they set themselves, as you perceive, to hunt down the traitor and to avenge
the death of their comrade upon him. Twice they tried to get at him and failed; a third
time, you see, it came off. Is there anything further which I can explain, Dr.
I think you have made it all remarkably clear,
said the doctor. No doubt the day on which he was so perturbed was the day when he
had seen of their release in the newspapers.
Quite so. His talk about a burglary was the merest
But why could he not tell you this?
Well, my dear sir, knowing the vindictive character of
his old associates, he was trying to hide his own identity from everybody as long as he
could. His secret was a shameful one, and he could not bring himself to divulge it.
However, wretch as he was, he was still living under the shield of British law, and I have
no doubt, Inspector, that you will see that, though that shield may fail to guard, the
sword of justice is still there to avenge.
Such were the singular circumstances in connection with the
Resident Patient and the Brook Street Doctor. From that night nothing has been seen of the
three murderers by the police, and it is surmised at Scotland Yard that they were among
the passengers of the ill-fated steamer Norah Creina, which was lost some years
ago with all hands upon the Portuguese coast, some leagues to the north of Oporto. The
proceedings against the page broke down for want of evidence, and the Brook Street
Mystery, as it was called, has never until now been fully dealt with in any public print.