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The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons Being one of the exciting episodes in the career of the famous detective Hemlock Holmes, as recorded by his friend Dr. Watson   By:

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The Adventure of the Eleven Cuff Buttons

BEING ONE OF THE EXCITING EPISODES IN THE CAREER OF THE FAMOUS DETECTIVE HEMLOCK HOLMES, AS RECORDED BY HIS FRIEND DR. WATSON

BY

JAMES FRANCIS THIERRY

THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY 440 FOURTH AVENUE, NEW YORK MCMXVIII

Copyright, 1918, by THE NEALE PUBLISHING COMPANY

THE ADVENTURES OF THE ELEVEN CUFF BUTTONS

CHAPTER I

Well, you see, it was like this:

After my illustrious friend, Hemlock Holmes, champion unofficial detective of the world, had doped out "The Adventure of the Second Stain," the last one to be pulled off after his return to life, thereby narrowly averting a great war, he got sick of London life and hiked over to the United States. He prevailed upon me to accompany him to that remarkable country; and we stayed there for three years, living in New York City all the time. There, on many occasions, Holmes displayed to great advantage his marvelous powers, and helped the New York police to clear up many a mystery that they had been unable to solve; for we found the police of that city to be just as stupid and chuckle headed as those of London.

While in New York Holmes and I both learned to use American slang, and in case this little book should happen to be read by any of London society's "upper crust," I humbly beg their pardon for any examples of slang that may have crept into its pages.

Upon the death of King Edward in May, 1910, Hemlock Holmes was called back to London by the Scotland Yard officials to solve the mysterious disappearance of the British royal crown, which somebody had swiped the same day that Ed kicked the bucket; and of course I had to trail along with him! Well, to cover up a "narsty" scandal, my unerring friend, Hemlock Holmes, detected the guilty wretch within two days, but the culprit was so highly placed in society that the cops couldn't do a thing to him. In fact, he was one of the dukes, and after King George, Ed's successor, had recovered the crown, which was found in an old battered valise in a corner of the duke's garage, and had got a written confession out of him in Holmes's old rooms in Baker Street, in the presence of myself and Inspector Barnabas Letstrayed, we all swore a solemn oath, on a bound volume of Alfred Austin's poems, that we would never, never tell who it was that had stolen the English crown in the year 1910! Wild horses shall not drag from me the name of that ducal scoundrel, and, besides, there might be a German spy looking over your shoulder as you read this.

Holmes and I decided to stay back in the tight little isle for a while after that episode, and there in the same old den, at 221 B Baker Street, in the city of London, we were domiciled on that eventful April morning in 1912 that saw us introduced to what turned out to be positively the dog gonedest, most mixed up, perplexing, and mysterious case we ever bumped up against in all our long and varied career in Arthur Conan Doyle's dream pipe. It completely laid over "The Sign of the Four" and "The Study in Scarlet," and had "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" all beaten to a frazzle.

To be painfully precise about it, it was just twenty minutes after nine, Monday morning, April the eighth, 1912, the day after Easter, and it was raining something fierce outside. The whirling raindrops pattered against our second story windows, and occasional thunder and lightning varied the scene.

Holmes was sitting, or, rather, sprawling in a Morris chair, wrapped in his old lavender dressing gown, and was wearing the red Turkish slippers King George had given him for Christmas a few months before. He had his little old bottle of cocaine on the table beside him, and his dope needle, which he had just filled, in his hand. I was sitting on the opposite side of the littered up table, engaged in rolling a pill, that is to say, a coffin nail. I had just poured out the tobacco into the rice paper, and Hemlock Holmes had pulled back his left cuff, baring his tattooed but muscular wrist, just ready to take his fifth shot in the arm since breakfast, when all of a sudden there was a terrible clatter and racket down at our front door; we heard the door jerked open and then slammed shut; somebody rushed up the stairway three steps at a time; our own door was kicked open, and a tall, bald headed man, about forty years old, wearing a monocle in his right eye, and with a derby hat in one hand, and a wet, streaming umbrella in the other, stood before us... Continue reading book >>




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