When I look at my notes about Sherlock Holmes and his cases between the years 1882 and 1890, I can see that there are many strange stories indeed. Which stories to tell and which not? It is difficult to decide. Some have been in the newspapers, but some have not. Some have puzzled Sherlock Holmes and are too long to tell. And some were never solved! All of this leads me to this particular story. It was never solved, but it so surprising that I must tell it anyway…
The story begins in September, 1887. That day, the wind screamed and the rain beat against the windows. That night, the wind grew stronger. Sometimes it sounded like a wild animal in a cage, and sometimes it cried down the chimney like a sobbing child. As usual, Sherlock Holmes was in his chair beside the fire. He was reading, and I was sitting across from him, reading too. My wife was visiting her mother. Once again, I was back at my old place, that famous house on Baker Street.
‘Was that the bell?’ I asked, looking up. ‘Who would come on such a night? A friend of yours, perhaps?’
‘Except you,’ replied Holmes, ‘I have no friends. And I do not encourage visitors.’
‘A client then?’
‘If so, it must be a serious case,’ said Holmes. ‘Why else come here on a dismal night like tonight? But I think it might be a visitor for our landlady,’ said Holmes, and he began reading again.
But Holmes was wrong. Soon, we heard footsteps. They came up the stairs. Then there was a chap at our living room door.