Aug 2008

Jack Woodley

“Mr. Woodley seemed to me to be a most odious person. He was for ever making eyes at me — a coarse, puffy-faced, red-moustached young man, with his hair plastered down on each side of his forehead. “ (Violet Smith) Read More...

Bob Carruthers

A much older man, who was more agreeable. He was a dark, sallow, clean-shaven, silent person, but he had polite manners and a pleasant smile.

Violet Smith

A young and beautiful woman, tall, graceful, and queenly.

Queen Victoria's Jubilee

“Last year I came up to London for the Jubilee.” (Hilton Cubitt)
  • The Chronology of William S Baring-Gould puts the date of this story at 1898 which would mean that Hilton Cubitt was referring to the Diamond Jubilee.

Monograph - Sherlock Holmes

“I am fairly familiar with all forms of secret writings, and am myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyze one hundred and sixty separate ciphers.”

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“So, Watson,” said he, suddenly, “you do not propose to invest in South African securities?” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

Holmes had been seated for some hours in silence with his long, thin back curved over a chemical vessel in which he was brewing a particularly malodorous product. His head was sunk upon his breast, and he looked from my point of view like a strange, lank bird, with dull gray plumage and a black top-knot. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“It is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. If, after doing so, one simply knocks out all the central inferences and presents one’s audience with the starting-point and the conclusion, one may produce a startling, though possibly a meretricious, effect.” Read More...

The Dancing Men

It consists of a number of absurd little figures dancing across the paper upon which they are drawn.
First Message
“Am here Abe Slaney’
Pasted Graphic
Second Message
‘At Elridges’
Third Message
“ Come Elsie”
Message from Elsie
Last message
‘Elsie prepare to meet thy God’
Message from Sherlock Holmes to Abe Slaney
“Come here at once’
See also:

Messages of Dancing Men




See also:
  • Artifacts and Curiosities

Telegram from Wilson Hargreave

Reply to Sherlock Holmes’ telegram from Wilson Hargreave of the New York Police Department.
‘The most dangerous crook in Chicago.’

Telegram from Sherlock Holmes to Wilson Hargreave

I therefore cabled to my friend, Wilson Hargreave, of the New York Police Bureau, who has more than once made use of my knowledge of London crime. I asked him whether the name of Abe Slaney was known to him. (Sherlock Holmes)

Elrige's Farm

The farm, in the direction of East Ruston, where Abe Slaney stayed.
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North Walsham station

North Walsham - nearest station to Riding Thorpe Manor and seven miles away.
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Liverpool Street Station, London

Our Norfolk squire came straight from the station as fast as a hansom could bring him.
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Boarding House in Russell Square, London

Last year I came up to London for the Jubilee, and I stopped at a boardinghouse in Russell Square, because Parker, the vicar of our parish, was staying in it. (Hilton Cubitt)
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Riding Thorpe Manor, Norfolk

Ancestral home of Hilton Cubitt.

Stable boy

Worked for Mr and Mrs Cubitt at Riding Thorpe Manor, Norfolk.

Wilson Hargreave

Of the New York Police Bureau, who has more than once made use of my knowledge of London crime.

Village Policeman

A stolid country policeman.

Mrs King

Cook at Riding Thorpe Manor.


Housemaid at Riding Thorpe Manor.

Local Surgeon

An old white-haired man.

Abe Slaney

The most dangerous crook in Chicago.

Inspector Martin of the Norfolk Constabulary

A dapper little man, with a quick, alert manner and a waxed moustache.

Elsie Cubitt nee Patrick

“You’ll think it very mad, Mr. Holmes, that a man of a good old family should marry a wife in this fashion, knowing nothing of her past or of her people, but if you saw her and knew her, it would help you to understand.” (Hilton Cubitt)

Hilton Cubitt

He was a fine creature, this man of the old English soil — simple, straight, and gentle, with his great, earnest blue eyes and broad, comely face.

Monograph - Tattoo marks

I have made a small study of tattoo marks and have even contributed to the literature of the subject. (Sherlock Holmes)

Title deeds, mortgages, scrip

Building leases, title-deeds, mortgages, scrip, and so forth
Title deeds
  • A legal deed or document constituting evidence of a right, especially to ownership of property.
  • A certificate entitling the holder to acquire possession of certain portions of public land.
Building leases
  • A contract by which one party conveys land, property, services, etc., to another for a specified time, usually in return for a periodic payment.
  • Money raised on a property.

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“Beyond the obvious facts that you are a bachelor, a solicitor, a Freemason, and an asthmatic, I know nothing whatever about you.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

He shrugged his shoulders in humorous deprecation of the state of things which he had himself done so much to produce. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“He had not that supreme gift of the artist, the knowledge of when to stop. He wished to improve that which was already perfect.... and so he ruined all.” Read More...

Mr Cornelius - Jonas Oldacre

“He determines to swindle his creditors, and for this purpose he pays large cheques to a certain Mr. Cornelius, who is, I imagine, himself under another name.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Legal documents and bank book

“They were not, so far as I could judge, of any great value, nor did the bank-book show that Mr. Oldacre was in such very affluent circumstances. But it seemed to me that all the papers were not there. There were allusions to some deeds — possibly the more valuable — which I could not find.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Hiding place of Jonas Oldacre

A lath-and-plaster partition had been run across the passage six feet from the end, with a door cunningly concealed in it. It was lit within by slits under the eaves. A few articles of furniture and a supply of food and water were within, together with a number of books and papers.

Two bundles of straw and two buckets of water

Used by Sherlock Holmes to create smoke and so raise the alarm of fire.

Three Constables

Three constables
“May I ask if they are all large, able-bodied men with powerful voices?”

Thumb print

Thumb print in blood supposedly left by John Hector McFarlane in the hall of Jonas Oldacre’s house when he collected his hat.

Discoloured metal disks

“They had secured several discoloured metal discs. I examined them with care, and there was no doubt that they were trouser buttons. I even distinguished that one of them was marked with the name of ‘Hyams,’ who was Oldacre’s tailor. “ (Sherlock Holmes)

Walking stick belonging to John Hector McFarlane

An oaken walking-stick, which also showed stains of blood upon the handle.

Sheets from Jonas Oldacre's notebook

Sheets from a notebook covered with scribbled writing being a draft of Jonas Oldacre's Will written on a train.

“I can read the first few lines, and these in the middle of the second page, and one or two at the end. Those are as clear as print,” said he, “but the writing in between is very bad, and there are three places where I cannot read it at all.” (Inspector Lestrade)

Telegram sent by John Hector McFarlane to his parents

“I sent a telegram home, therefore, to say that I had important business on hand, and that it was impossible for me to say how late I might be.”

Telegram from Inspector Lestrade to Sherlock Holmes

Important fresh evidence to hand. McFarlane’s guilt definitely established. Advise you to abandon case.

Daily Telegraph newspaper report

‘Mysterious Affair at Lower Norwood. Disappearance of a Well Known Builder. Suspicion of Murder and Arson. A Clue to the Criminal.’ Read More...

Bert Stevens

“You remember that terrible murderer, Bert Stevens, who wanted us to get him off in ‘87? Was there ever a more mild-mannered, Sunday-school young man?” (Sherlock Holmes)

Dutch steamship, Friesland

“The shocking affair of the Dutch steamship Friesland, which so nearly cost us both our lives.” (Dr John Watson)

Wisteria Lodge

Story from ‘His Last Bow’ concerning ex-President Murillo.

Torrington Lodge, Blackheath, London

Home of Mr and Mrs McFarlane and their son John Hector McFarlane.
See also:

426 Gresham Buildings, London E.C.

Address of the offices of Graham & McFarlane where John Hector McFarlane was a junior partner.

London Bridge Station, London

John Hector McFarlane arrived at London Bridge Station on his return from Lower Norwood.
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Deep Dene House, Lower Norwood

Deep Dene House, at the Sydenham end of the road of that name. Read More...

Anerley Arms Hotel

Finding it too late to return to his home in Blackheath after his visit to Jonas Oldacre, John Hector McFarlane stayed at this hotel overnight.
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Mrs Lexington

Jonas Oldacre’s housekeeper.

Mr McFarlane

He was away in seach of his son, the unfortunate John Hector McFarlane.

Mrs McFarlane

Mother of the unfortunate John Hector McFarlane.

Inspector Lestrade

“The conduct of the criminal investigation has been left in the experienced hands of Inspector Lestrade, of Scotland Yard, who is following up the clues with his accustomed energy and sagacity.”

Jonas Oldacre

Mr. Jonas Oldacre is a bachelor, fifty-two years of age, and lives in Deep Dene House, at the Sydenham end of the road of that name. He has had the reputation of being a man of eccentric habits, secretive and retiring. Read More...

John Hector McFarlane

Junior partner of Graham & McFarlane, of 426 Gresham Buildings, London. Read More...

Colonels, Professors and James

Colonel James Moriarty, brother of Professor Moriarty is referred to in FINA but in EMPT the Professor himself is referred to as Professor ‘James’ Moriarty. In FINA the Professors first name is not mentioned.


Baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling.
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Books of the bibliophile

Among the books carried by the old bibliophile were:
  • The Origin of Tree Worship
  • British Birds
  • The Holy War
  • Catullus
See also:

Sherlock Holmes - Bibliophile

As I did so I struck against an elderly, deformed man, who had been behind me, and I knocked down several books which he was carrying. Read More...


“I wonder that my very simple stratagem could deceive so old a shikari.”
  • Shikari - hunter or guide on hunting expeditions.

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“I confess that you had one small surprise for me,” said Holmes. “I did not anticipate that you would yourself make use of this empty house and this convenient front window. I had imagined you as operating from the street, where my friend Lestrade and his merry men were awaiting you. With that exception, all has gone as I expected.”

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

Let me say to that public, which has shown some interest in those glimpses which I have occasionally given them of the thoughts and actions of a very remarkable man, that they are not to blame me if I have not shared my knowledge with them, for I should have considered it my first duty to do so, had I not been barred by a positive prohibition from his own lips, which was only withdrawn upon the third of last month. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“Work is the best antidote to sorrow, my dear Watson.”

Sherlock Holmes - Sigerson

“You may have read of the remarkable explorations of a Norwegian named Sigerson, but I am sure that it never occurred to you that you were receiving news of your friend.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Wax bust of Sherlock Holmes

“The credit of the execution is due to Monsieur Oscar Meunier of Grenoble, who spent some days in doing the moulding.”


The famous air-gun of Von Herder will embellish the Scotland Yard Museum.

Mrs Stewart of Lauder

You may have some recollection of the death of Mrs. Stewart, of Lauder, in 1887.

Morgan, Merridew and Matthews

Morgan the poisoner, and Merridew of abominable memory, and Mathews, who knocked out my left canine in the waiting-room at Charing Cross.

Molesley Mystery

The Molesley Mystery which you handled fairly well.

Final Problem

The previous story and the last in the ‘Adventures’.


“Because I recognized their sentinel when I glanced out of my window. He is a harmless enough fellow, Parker by name, a garroter by trade, and a remarkable performer upon the jew’s harp.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Mycroft Holmes

Holmes’ brother and his only confidant during his exile.

Mrs Hudson

Mrs. Hudson has made some change in that figure eight times, or once in every quarter of an hour. She works it from the front, so that her shadow may never be seen.

Card players

  • Mr Murray
  • Sir John Hardy
  • Godfrey Milner
  • Colonel Moran
  • Lord Balmoral (was this the same gentleman mentioned in SILV and NOBL)

Edith Woodley

Edith Woodley of Carstairs former fiancée of Ronald Adair.

Hilda Adair

Sister of Ronald Adair.

Lady Maynooth

Ronald Adair’s mother who had returned from Australia to undergo the operation for catarac.

Colonel Sebastian Moran

The second most dangerous man in London.

Honourable Ronald Adair

Second son of the Earl of Maynooth.

Camden House, Baker Street, London

“We are in Camden House, which stands opposite to our own old quarters.” Read More...

Holmes' travels in exile

I took to my heels, did ten miles over the mountains in the darkness, and a week later I found myself in Florence, with the certainty that no one in the world knew what had become of me.

Card clubs

The names of the Clubs where Ronald Adair was a member and regularly played cards.
  • Baldwin
  • Cavendish
  • Bagatelle

427 Park Lane, London

Temporary home of Lady Maynooth, her son Ronald Adair and his sister Hilda. Scene of the crime.
See also:

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“Yes, I have been using myself up rather too freely,” he remarked, in answer to my look rather than to my words; “I have been a little pressed of late.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

“I think that you know me well enough, Watson, to understand that I am by no means a nervous man.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“It is stupidity rather than courage to refuse to recognize danger when it is close upon you.”

Mycroft Holmes - Coachman

You will find a small brougham waiting close to the curb, driven by a fellow with a heavy black cloak tipped at the collar with red. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Italian ecclesiastic

I found that the porter, in spite of the ticket, had given me my decrepit Italian friend as a travelling companion. It was useless for me to explain to him that his presence was an intrusion, for my Italian was even more limited than his English, so I shrugged my shoulders resignedly, and continued to look out anxiously for my friend. Read More...

Alpine stock and cigarette case

I have said that his Alpine-stock had been left leaning against a rock which jutted on to the path. From the top of this boulder the gleam of something bright caught my eye, and raising my hand I found that it came from the silver cigarette-case which he used to carry.

Final note from Holmes to Watson

MY DEAR WATSON [it said]:
I write these few lines through the courtesy of Mr. Moriarty, who awaits my convenience for the final discussion of those questions which lie between us. He has been giving me a sketch of the methods by which he avoided the English police and kept himself informed of our movements. They certainly confirm the very high opinion which I had formed of his abilities. I am pleased to think that I shall be able to free society from any further effects of his presence, though I fear that it is at a cost which will give pain to my friends, and especially, my dear Watson, to you. I have already explained to you, however, that my career had in any case reached its crisis, and that no possible conclusion to it could be more congenial to me than this. Indeed, if I may make a full confession to you, I was quite convinced that the letter from Meiringen was a hoax, and I allowed you to depart on that errand under the persuasion that some development of this sort would follow. Tell Inspector Patterson that the papers which he needs to convict the gang are in pigeonhole M., done up in a blue envelope
and inscribed “Moriarty.” I made every disposition of my property before leaving England and handed it to my brother Mycroft. Pray give my greetings to Mrs. Watson, and believe me to be, my dear fellow
Very sincerely yours,

Note sent to Watson

Note sent to Watson presumably by Peter Steiler, the hotel owner, but almost certainly by Moriarty. Read More...

Report from London

On the Monday morning Holmes had telegraphed to the London police, and in the evening we found a reply waiting for us at our hotel. Holmes tore it open, and then with a bitter curse hurled it into the grate. Moriarty had escaped.

Notes in Professor Moriarty's notebook

‘You crossed my path on the fourth of January,’ said he. ‘On the twenty-third you incommoded me; by the middle of February I was seriously inconvenienced by you; at the end of March I was absolutely hampered in my plans; and now, at the close of April, I find myself placed in such a position through your continual persecution that I am in positive danger of losing my liberty. The situation is becoming an impossible one.” (Professor Moriarty)

Letters from Colonel James Moriarty

My hand has been forced, however, by the recent letters in which Colonel James Moriarty defends the memory of his brother, and I have no choice but to lay the facts before the public exactly as they occurred. I alone know the absolute truth of the matter, and I am satisfied that the time has come when no good purpose is to be served by its suppression. As far as I know, there have been only three accounts in the public press: that in the Journal de Geneve on May 6th, 1891, the Reuter’s dispatch in the English papers on May 7th, and finally the recent letters to which I have alluded. Of these the first and second were extremely condensed, while the last is, as I shall now show, an absolute perversion of the facts. It lies with me to tell for the first time what really took place between Professor Moriarty and Mr. Sherlock Holmes. (Dr John Watson)

Two notes from Holmes

I received two notes from Holmes, dated from Narbonne and from Nimes, from which I gathered that his stay in France was likely to be a long one.

Royal Family of Scandinavia

“Between ourselves, the recent cases in which I have been of assistance to the royal family of Scandinavia, and to the French republic, have left me in such a position that I could continue to live in the quiet fashion which is most congenial to me,” (Sherlock Holmes)
  • (Anything to do with the King of Bohemia's Wife? (Scandal in Bohemia) )

Case for the French Government

During the winter of that year and the early spring of 1891, I saw in the papers that he had been engaged by the French government upon a matter of supreme importance.

Mortimer Street, London

Holmes left Watson’s house by clambering over the garden wall which leads into Mortimer Street.

Reichenbach Falls

It is, indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring forever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing forever upward, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamour.
See also:

From Dieppe to Mieringen

We made our way to Brussels that night and spent two days there, moving on upon the third day as far as Strasbourg.
We sat in the Strasbourg salle-a-manger arguing the question for half an hour, but the same night we had resumed our journey and were well on our way to Geneva.
For a charming week we wandered up the valley of the Rhone, and then, branching off at Leuk, we made our way over the Gemmi Pass, still deep in snow, and so, by way of Interlaken, to Meiringen.

Strand end of Lowther Arcade, London

“Drive to the Strand end of the Lowther Arcade, handing the address to the cabman upon a slip of paper, with a request that he will not throw it away. Have your fare ready, and the instant that your cab stops, dash through the Arcade, timing yourself to reach the other side at a quarter-past nine. You will find a small brougham waiting close to the curb.”

Victoria Station, London

Holmes and Watson took the Continental Express from this station.
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Pall Mall, London

I took a cab after that and reached my brother’s rooms in Pall Mall, where I spent the day.
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Bentinck Street, Welbeck Street, Vere Street.

“I went out about midday to transact some business in Oxford Street. As I passed the corner which leads from Bentinck Street on to the Welbeck Street a two-horse van furiously driven whizzed round and was on me like a flash. I sprang for the foot-path and saved myself by the fraction of a second. The van dashed round by Marylebone Lane and was gone in an instant. I kept to the pavement after that, Watson, but as I walked down Vere Street a brick came down from the roof of one of the houses and was shattered to fragments at my feet.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Colonel James Moriarty

Brother of Professor Moriarty. Not mentioned in the Canon before or after this story.

Peter Steiler

The Englischer Hof, then kept by Peter Steiler the elder. Our landlord was an intelligent man and spoke excellent English, having served for three years as waiter at the Grosvenor Hotel in London.
  • This was not the now famous Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London since it was not opened until the 1920’s.

Professor Moriarty

He is extremely tall and thin, his forehead domes out in a white curve, and his two eyes are deeply sunken in his head. He is clean-shaven, pale, and ascetic-looking, retaining something of the professor in his features. His shoulders are rounded from much study, and his face protrudes forward and is forever slowly oscillating from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion. Read More...

Stormy Petrel

Holmes refers to Watson as ‘the stormy petrel of crime.’
  • One who brings discord or appears at the onset of trouble.

Day's Music Hall

Obscure reference to ‘Days Music Hall.’
  • 1893 Alteration: benches replaced with redundant seating from Days Music Hall, Birmingham.
  • The reference refers to the Empire Theatre, Smithford Street, Coventry.

Franco-Midland Hardware Company Limited

Franco-Midland Hardware Company, Limited, with a hundred and thirty-four branches in the towns and villages of France, not counting one in Brussels and one in San Remo.

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“I perceive that you have been unwell lately. Summer colds are always a little trying.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

Sherlock Holmes rubbed his hands with delight, and I stared with astonishment at our client. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“I am afraid that I rather give myself away when I explain.” said he. “Results without causes are much more impressive.”

Sherlock Holmes - Harris. Dr Watson - Price

“One is Mr. Harris,(Sherlock Holmes, an Accountant) of Bermondsey, and the other is Mr. Price, (Dr Watson, a clerk)of this town,” said our clerk glibly. “They are friends of mine and gentlemen of experience, but they have been out of a place for some little time, and they hoped that perhaps you might find an opening for them in the company’s employment.” (Hall Pycroft)

Arthur Pinner - Harry Pinner

“When I was speaking to the other chap in London, at the time that he laughed at my not going to Mawson’s, I happened to notice that his tooth was stuffed in this very identical fashion. The glint of the gold in each case caught my eye, you see. When I put that with the voice and figure being the same, and only those things altered which might be changed by a razor or a wig, I could not doubt that it was the same man. Of course you expect two brothers to be alike, but not that they should have the same tooth stuffed in the same way.” (Hall Pycroft)

Directory of Paris

This is a directory of Paris,’ said he, ‘with the trades after the names of the people. I want you to take it home with you and to mark off all the hardware-sellers, with their addresses. (Harry Pinner)

Note written by Hall Pycroft

Note which Arthur Pinner asked Hall Pycroft to write:

“I am perfectly willing to act as business manager to the Franco-Midland Hardware Company, Limited, at a minimum salary of 500 pounds."

Newspaper Article

“It is a London paper, an early edition of the Evening Standard. Here is what we want. Look at the headlines: ‘Crime in the City. Murder at Mawson & Williams’s. Gigantic Attempted Robbery. Capture of the Criminal.’ Here, Watson, we are all equally anxious to hear it, so kindly read it aloud to us.” Read More...

Mawson & Williams

At last I saw a vacancy at Mawson & Williams’s, the great stock-broking firm in Lombard Street. (Hall Pycroft)
See also:

Coxon & Woodhouse

  • Mr Hall Pycroft’s former place of employment.
Coxon & Woodhouse’s, of Draper Gardens, but they were let in early in the spring through the Venezuelan loan.

New Street, Birmingham

Mr Hall Pycroft stayed at a hotel in New Street, Birmingham.
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126B Corporation Street, Birmingham

126B was a passage between two large shops, which led to a winding stone stair, from which there were many flats, let as offices to companies or professional men.
Offices of the Franco-Midland Hardware Company Limited.
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17 Potter's Terrace, Hampstead, London

Address of the lodgings of Mr Hall Pycroft.
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Dr Watson's practice in the Paddington District

Holmes called on Watson at his home in the Paddington District to request his company on another ‘adventure’. This time in Birmingham.


Advertisement which Holmes had put in all the evening papers.
  • ‘Found at the corner of Goodge Street, a goose and a black felt hat. Mr Henry Baker can have the same by applying at 6.30 this evening at 221b Baker Street.’

Harry Pinner

He was very like the chap I had seen the night before, the same figure and voice, but he was clean-shaven and his hair was lighter.

Arthur Pinner

A middle-sized dark-haired, dark-eyed, black-bearded man, with a touch of the sheeny about his nose. He had a brisk kind of way with him and spoke sharply, like a man who knew the value of time.

Hall Pycroft

The man whom I found myself facing was a well-built, fresh-complexioned young fellow, with a frank, honest face and a slight, crisp, yellow moustache. Read More...

List Slippers

A list was the border or edging of a piece of cloth, its selvage, woven in a slightly different way from the body of the material so that it would not fray or unravel. List slippers were made of material woven in this way.
List slippers were often worn when quiet was needed, say when somebody in the house was ill and people walking about in ordinary shoes on bare floors would disturb them.

  • List slippers were soft-soled shoes worn in the navy by the gunner and his mates. When a ship went into action, anyone who went in and out of the room where gunpowder was kept had to wear list slippers, to avoid striking a spark from spilled powder on the floor.

Board Schools

“Look at those big, isolated clumps of buildings rising up above the slates, like brick islands in a lead-coloured sea.”
“The board-schools.”
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His conversation, I remember, was about the Bertillon system of measurements, and he expressed his enthusiastic admiration of the French savant.
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Iron master

“She and her brother are the only children of an iron-master somewhere up Northumberland way.”
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Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“But the writing is not his own.”
“Precisely. It is a woman’s, and a woman of rare character.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

So moved was I that even had it been a difficult matter I should have tried it, but of course I knew well that Holmes loved his art, so that he was ever as ready to bring his aid as his client could be to receive it. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“You see, at the commencement of an investigation it is something to know that your client is in close contact with someone who, for good or evil, has an exceptional nature.” Read More...

Instructions to Miss Harrison

“Miss Harrison,” said Holmes, speaking with the utmost intensity of manner, you must stay where you are all day. Let nothing prevent you from staying where you are all day. It is of the utmost importance.”
“Certainly, if you wish it, Mr. Holmes,” said the girl in astonishment .
“When you go to bed lock the door of this room on the outside and keep the key. Promise to do this.”


“Well, he has rather more viciousness than I gave him credit for, has Master Joseph. He flew at me with his knife, and I had to grasp him twice, and got a cut over the knuckles, before I had the upper hand of him.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Naval Treaty

“Without going into details, I may say that it defined the position of Great Britain towards the Triple Alliance, and foreshadowed the policy which this country would pursue in the event of the French fleet gaining a complete ascendency over that of Italy in the Mediterranean. The questions treated in it were purely naval.” (Percy Phelps)


Advertisement which Holmes placed in all the evening papers.

‘10 pounds reward. The number of the cab which dropped a fare at or about the door of the Foreign Office in Charles Street at quarter to ten in the evening of May 23d. Apply 221B, Baker Street.’

Letter from Percy Phelps

Briarbrae, Woking.

I have no doubt that you can remember “Tadpole” Phelps, who was in the fifth form when you were in the third. It is possible even that you may have heard that through my uncle’s influence I obtained a good appointment at the Foreign Office, and that I was in a situation of trust and honour until a horrible misfortune came suddenly to blast my career.
There is no use writing the details of that dreadful event. In the event of your acceding to my request it is probable that I shall have to narrate them to you. I have only just recovered from nine weeks of brain-fever and am still exceedingly weak. Do you think that you could bring your friend Mr. Holmes down to see me? I should like to have his opinion of the case, though the authorities assure me that nothing more can be done. Do try to bring him down, and as soon as possible. Every minute seems an hour while I live in this state of horrible suspense. Assure him that if I have not asked his advice sooner it was not because I did not appreciate his talents, but because I have been off my head ever since the blow fell. Now I am clear again, though I dare not think of it too much for fear of a relapse. I am still so weak that I have to write, as you see, by dictating.
Do try to bring him.
Your old school-fellow,

Three reigning houses of Europe

To my certain knowledge he has acted on behalf of three of the reigning houses of Europe in very vital matters. (Dr John Watson)

The Adventure of the Tired Captain

Sherlock Holmes Journal, Winter 1958, Spring 1959. ©Alan Wilson, 1958, 1959

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

  • One of the earlier stories in the Canon. See The Adventures.

The Adventure of the Second Stain

  • One of the later stories in the Canon.

Ripley, Surrey

“I went for a charming walk through some admirable Surrey scenery to a pretty little village called Ripley, where I had my tea at an inn and took the precaution of filling my flask and of putting a paper of sandwiches in my pocket.” (Sherlock Holmes)
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Downing Street, London

Lord Holdhurst’s chambers were here.
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16 Ivy Lane, Brixton, London

Home of Mr and Mrs Tangey.

Whitehall, London

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Pall Mall, London

Pall Mall - site of the Diogenes Club and Mycroft Holmes’ lodgings.
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Charles Street, London

This second one leads by means of a second small stair to a side door, used by servants, and also as a short cut by clerks when coming from Charles Street.

Mrs Hudson

“Mrs. Hudson has risen to the occasion,” said Holmes, uncovering a dish of curried chicken. “Her cuisine is a little limited, but she has as good an idea of breakfast as a Scotchwoman.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Dr Ferrier

“....who lives near me, was going down by that very train. The doctor most kindly took charge of me, and it was well he did so, for I had a fit in the station, and before we reached home I was practically a raving maniac.” (Percy Phelps)

Inspector Forbes

“A small, foxy man with a sharp but by no means amiable expression. He was decidedly frigid in his manner to us, especially when he heard the errand upon which we had come.” (Dr John Watson) Read More...

Commissionaire - Mr Tangey

An old soldier from the Goldstream Guards.

Mrs Tangey

Wife of the Commissionaire, Mr Tangey.

Charles Gorot

Charles Gorot who worked in the same room as Percy Phelps.

“His people are of Huguenot extraction, but as English in sympathy and tradition as you and I are.” (Percy Phelps)

Lord Holdhurst

Uncle of Percy Phelps.
Lord Holdhurst, the cabinet minister and future premier of England. Read More...

Joseph Harrison

Brother of Annie Harrison.

Annie Harrison

Fiancée of Percy Phelps and sister of Joseph Harrison. Read More...

Percy (Tadpole) Phelps

“He was a very brilliant boy and carried away every prize which the school had to offer, finishing his exploits by winning a scholarship which sent him on to continue his triumphant career at Cambridge.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

The two men had stopped opposite the window. Some chalk marks over the waistcoat pocket were the only signs of billiards which I could see in one of them. The other was a very small, dark fellow, with his hat pushed back and several packages under his arm. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

“My ancestors were country squires, who appear to have led much the same life as is natural to their class. But, none the less, my turn that way is in my veins, and may have come with my grandmother, who was the sister of Vernet, the French artist. Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“My dear Watson,” said he, “I cannot agree with those who rank modesty among the virtues. To the logician all things should be seen exactly as they are, and to underestimate one’s self is as much a departure from truth as to exaggerate one’s own powers.”


Peering in, we could see that the only light in the room came from a dull blue flame which flickered from a small brass tripod in the centre. It threw a livid unnatural circle upon the floor, while in the shadows beyond we saw the vague loom of two figures which crouched against the wall. From the open door there reeked a horrible poisonous exhalation which set us gasping and coughing.


“He began by drawing a most formidable-looking bludgeon loaded with lead from his pocket, and switching it backward and forward several times, as if to test its weight and strength.” (Mr Melas)

Reply to Advertisement

“Sir [he says]:
“In answer to your advertisement of to-day’s date, I beg to inform you that I know the young lady in question very well. If you should care to call upon me I could give you some particulars as to her painful history. She is living at present at The Myrtles, Beckenham.
“Yours faithfully,

Advertisement in the Daily News

Mycroft picked up the Daily News, which was lying on the side-table.
“Anybody supplying any information as to the whereabouts of a Greek gentleman named Paul Kratides, from Athens, who is unable to speak English, will be rewarded.
A similar reward paid to anyone giving information about a
Greek lady whose first name is Sophy. X 2473.”

Manor House Case

Case mentioned to Sherlock Holmes by his brother, Mycroft.


Months afterwards a curious newspaper cutting reached us from Buda-Pesth. It told how two Englishmen who had been travelling with a woman had met with a tragic end. They had each been stabbed, it seems, and the Hungarian police were of opinion that they had quarrelled and had inflicted mortal injuries upon each other. Holmes, however, is, I fancy, of a different way of thinking, and he holds to this day that, if one could find the Grecian girl, one might learn how the wrongs of herself and her brother came to be avenged.
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The Myrtles, Beckenham

The Myrtles — a large, dark house standing back from the road in its own grounds.
In this house Mr Latimer and Mr Kemp held prisoner Sophy Kratides and tortured and starved her brother, Paul Kratides, eventually killing him. They also attempted to kill Mr Melas here.
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Wandsworth Common

Mr Latimer left Mr Milas on Wandsworth Common to find his own way home to Pall Mall.
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Whitehall, London

Whitehall - where Mycroft Holmes worked.
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Diogenes Club

Famous club in Pall Mall, London of which Mycroft Holmes was a founder member. Read More...

Inspector Gregson

“I think we should call at Scotland Yard for Inspector Gregson and go straight out to Beckenham.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Sophy Kratides

She was tall and graceful, with black hair, and clad in some sort of loose white gown.

Giggling man-William Kemp

A man of the foulest antecedents.


Paul Kratides

“A gentleman clad in some sort of loose dressing-gown who moved slowly towards us. As he came into the circle of dim light which enabled me to see him more clearly I was thrilled with horror at his appearance. He was deadly pale and terribly emaciated, with the protruding, brilliant eyes of a man whose spirit was greater than his strength. But what shocked me more than any signs of physical weakness was that his face was grotesquely criss-crossed with sticking-plaster, and that one large pad of it was fastened over his mouth.” (Mr Melas)

Harold Latimer

“A very fashionably dressed young man, came up to my rooms and asked me to accompany him in a cab which was waiting at the door.” (Mr Melas)

Mr Melas

A short, stout man whose olive face and coal black hair proclaimed his Southern origin, though his speech was that of an educated Englishman.

Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes was a much larger and stouter man than Sherlock. His body was absolutely corpulent, but his face, though massive, had preserved something of the sharpness of expression which was so remarkable in that of his brother. His eyes, which were of a peculiarly light, watery gray, seemed to always retain that far-away, introspective look which I had only observed in Sherlock’s when he was exerting his full powers.

Monograph by Percy Trevelyan

“Are you not the author of a monograph upon obscure nervous lesions?” I asked. (Dr John Watson)

Nitrite of Amyl

“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.” (Dr Percy Trevelyan)
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Worthingdon Bank Robbery

“You must surely remember the great Worthingdon bank business,” said Holmes. “Five men were in it — these four and a fifth called Cartwright. Tobin, the caretaker, 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.”

Lady Day

The day on which Dr Percy Trevelyan moved into the house at 403 Brook Street, London.
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Bruce Pinkerton

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. (Dr Percy Trevelyan)

  • ‘Introduction to Mr Pinkerton’ is also the title of a chapter in The Wrecker (1892) by Robert Louis Stevenson co-written with Lloyd Osbourne.
  • The was also the Pinkerton Agency in America of which ACD was well aware.
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“I was fortunate enough to excite considerable interest by my research into the pathology of catalepsy.” (Dr Percy Trevelyan)
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Scylla and Charybdis

....examples of this Scylla and Charybdis which are forever threatening the historian.
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Norah Creina

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.
  • Norah Creina is also the name of a ship mentioned in the The Wrecker (1892) by Robert Louis Stevenson co-written with Lloyd Osbourne.

Dr Percy Trevelyan

A pale, taper-faced man with sandy whiskers rose up from a chair by the fire as we entered. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“A doctor’s — general practitioner, I perceive,” said Holmes. “Not been long in practice, but has a good deal to do. Come to consult us, I fancy!”


Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

He was deep in some of those abstruse chemical investigations which absorbed him utterly as long as he was engaged upon them. Towards evening, however, the breaking of a test-tube brought his research to a premature ending, and he sprang up from his chair with an exclamation of impatience and a clouded brow. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“ ....though that shield may fail to guard, the sword of justice is still there to avenge.”

Sherlock Holmes-catalepsy

“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.”

Mr Blessington - Sutton

“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,
“Then Blessington must have been Sutton.”

Russian Nobleman and his son

“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.”


A rope which Mr Blessington kept under his bed and which was used to hang him.

Four cigar ends

“Here are four cigar-ends that I picked out of the fireplace.” (Inspector Lanner)

Screw driver and screws

“I found a screw-driver and some screws on the wash-hand stand.” (Inspector Lanner)

Note from Percy Trevelyan to Sherlock Holmes

‘For God’s sake come at once. P. T.’

Letter from Russian Nobleman

“Two days ago I received the letter which I now read to you. Neither address nor date is attached to it.” (Dr Percy Trevelyan)

Oporto, Portugal

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.
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King's College Hospital

“After I had graduated I continued to devote myself to research, occupying a minor position in King’s College Hospital.” (Dr Percy Tevelyan)
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London University

“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.” (Dr Percy Trevelyan)
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403 Brook Street, London

Home of Dr Percy Trevelyan and Mr Blessinington within the Doctors’ quarter around Cavendish Square, London.

Young Russian

Son of the elderly Nobleman.
“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 other’s arm as they entered, and helped him to a chair with a tenderness which one would hardly have expected from his appearance.” (Dr Percy Trevelyan)

Old Russian Nobleman

He was an elderly man, thin, demure, and commonplace — by no means the conception one forms of a Russian nobleman.

Inspector Lanner

A smart-looking police-inspector, who was taking notes in a pocketbook.

Mr Blessington/Sutton

A singular-looking man, whose appearance, as well as his voice, testified to his jangled nerves. Read More...

Watt Street Chapel

Could this have been what ACD was referring to?
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Guild of St. George

The Guild of St. George, which was formed in connection with the Watt Street Chapel for the purpose of supplying the poor with cast-off clothing.
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King David

“You remember the small affair of Uriah and Bathsheba? My Biblical knowledge is a trifle rusty, I fear, but you will find the story in the first or second of Samuel.”
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  • II Samuel, Chapter 11

General Neill

“There were ten thousand rebels round us, and they were as keen as a set of terriers round a rat-cage. About the second week of it our water gave out, and it was a question whether we could communicate with General Neill’s column, which was moving up-country.” (Henry Wood)
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A military camp.
  • historically a permanent military station in British India.
  • ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from French cantonnement, from cantonner ‘to quarter’.

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“Sorry to see that you’ve had the British workman in the house. He‘s a token of evil. Not the drains, I hope?” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

I handed him my pouch, and he seated himself opposite to me and smoked for some time in silence. I was well aware that nothing but business of importance would have brought him to me at such an hour, so I waited patiently until he should come round to it. Read More...


“Well, some call them that, and some call them ichneumon,” said the man. “Snake-catcher is what I call them.” (Henry Wood)
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Door key

The key was missing from the door so it could not be opened from either side.

Heavy club

Upon the floor, close to the body, was lying a singular club of hard carved wood with a bone handle.

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“She had flown to tea as an agitated woman will.”

“It’s every man‘s business to see justice done.”

Sherlock Holmes - Registration Agent

In the character of a registration-agent I had a most interesting gossip with his landlady.


Henry Wood eventually returned to the Punjab after ascaping from his captors and earned a living doing conjuring tricks.
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One of the places Henry Wood went to.
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Where Henry Wood's regiment was beseiged.
We were in India, then, in cantonments, at a place we’ll call Bhurtee.(Henry Wood)

Hudson Street, Aldershot, Hampshire

Here Nancy Barclay and Henry Wood accidentally met and recognised each other after thirty years. Henry Wood had lodgings in this street.


Name of Colonel and Mrs Barclay’s villa.
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Aldershot, Hampshire

Colonel Barclay was stationed in Aldershot and the tragedy took place there.
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A beautiful reddish-brown creature, thin and lithe, with the legs of a stoat, a long, thin nose, and a pair of the finest red eyes that ever I saw in an animal’s head.


One of Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars.

Miss Morrison

Friend and neighbour of Mrs Barclay.


Mrs Watson suggested that Jackson would stand as locum for Dr Watson while he was away in Aldershot with Sherlock Holmes.


Coachman to Colonel and Mrs Barclay and the first to enter the room where the tragedy occurred.


The Cook to Colonel and Mrs Barclay.

Jane Stewart

Housemaid to Colonel and Mrs Barclay.

Major Murphy

Second in Command of the Royal Munsters.

Corporal Henry Wood

He appeared to be deformed, for he carried his head low and walked with his knees bent. Read More...

Nancy Barclay/Devoy

The daughter of a former colour-sergeant in the same corps. (Royal Munsters) Read More...

Colonel James Barclay

He was a dashing, jovial old soldier in his usual mood, but there were occasions on which he seemed to show himself capable of considerable violence and vindictiveness.

Powder blackening

There was no powder blackening on the clothes.

When a bullet is fired at very close range there is blackening of the wound and clothes from gunpowder and metal fragments.

Stormy petrel

“I am afraid, my dear Colonel, that you must regret the hour that you took in such a stormy petrel as I am.”
  • One who brings discord or appears at the onset of trouble.

Police whistles

The inspector said nothing, but, stepping to the door, he blew his whistle. Two of his constables came at the call.
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Queen Anne and Malplaquet

It was a fine old Queen Anne (1665-1714) house, which bears the date of Malplaquet (1709) upon the lintel of the door.
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Strange items stolen

“The thieves ransacked the library and got very little for their pains. The whole place was turned upside down, drawers burst open, and presses ransacked, with the result that an odd volume of Pope’s Homer, two plated candlesticks, an ivory letter-weight, a small oak barometer, and a ball of twine are all that have vanished.”

County magnates

  • A wealthy and influential person living in a specific area of England.
  • ORIGIN late Middle English : from late Latin magnas, magnat- ‘great man,’ from Latin magnus ‘great.’

Sherlock Holmes - Deductions

“This writing is of extraordinary interest,” said Holmes, who had been examining it with intense concentration. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Character Illustrations

Even his iron constitution, however, had broken down under the strain of an investigation which had extended over two months, during which period he had never worked less than fifteen hours a day and had more than once, as he assured me, kept to his task for five days at a stretch. (Dr John Watson) Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sayings

“Oh, it is as well to test everything.”

Oranges and carafes

Holmes fell back until he and I were the last of the group. Near the foot of the bed stood a dish of oranges and a carafe of water. As we passed it Holmes, to my unutterable astonishment, leaned over in front of me and deliberately knocked the whole thing over. The glass smashed into a thousand pieces and the fruit rolled about into every corner of the room.

“You’ve done it now, Watson,” said he coolly. “A pretty mess you’ve made of the carpet.”

Sherlock Holmes - Nervous attack

My poor friend’s face had suddenly assumed the most dreadful expression. His eyes rolled upward, his features writhed in agony, and with a suppressed groan he dropped on his face upon the ground. Horrified at the suddenness and severity of the attack, we carried him into the kitchen, where he lay back in a large chair and breathed heavily for some minutes. Finally, with a shamefaced apology for his weakness, he rose once more.

Complete copy of note

Sherlock Holmes placed the subjoined paper before us. (Complete letter)







Small piece of paper

“This was found between the finger and thumb of the dead man. It appears to be a fragment torn from a larger sheet.”

Holmes took up the scrap of paper, a facsimile of which is here reproduced.




Netherland-Sumatra Company

Netherland-Sumatra Company and of the colossal schemes of Baron Maupertuis.
A Case which caused Mr. Sherlock Holmes such immense exertions in the spring of 1887.

Reigate, Surrey

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Hotel Dulong, Lyon, France

Holmes was lying ill in the Hotel Dulong, Lyon and Watson went there to bring him back to Baker Street.

Annie Morrison

It is never made clear what part Annie Morrison played in this story.

Mother of William Kirwan

William Kirwan's mother.

William Kirwan

Coachman to the Cunninghams. He was a very faithful fellow we imagine that he walked up to the house with the intention of seeing that all was right there.

Mr Acton

A little elderly gentleman, who was introduced to me as the Mr. Acton whose house had been the scene of the original burglary.

Alec Cunningham

Son of JP Cunningham.

Justice of the Peace Cunningham

He was an elderly man, with a strong, deep-lined, heavy-eyed face.
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Inspector Forrester

The official, a smart, keen-faced young fellow, stepped into the room.

Colonel Hayter

Colonel Hayter was a fine old soldier who had seen much of the world, and he soon found, as I had expected, that Holmes and he had much in common. (Dr John Watson)