So alarming did the state of my finances become, that I soon realized that I must either leave the metropolis and rusticate somewhere in the country, or that I must make a complete alteration in my style of living. Choosing the latter alternative, I began by making up my mind to leave the hotel, and to take up my quarters in some less pretentious and less expensive domicile. On the very day that I had come to this conclusion, I was standing at the Criterion Bar, when some one tapped me on the shoulder, and turning round I recognized young Stamford, who had been a dresser under me at Barts.
The sight of a friendly face in the great wilderness of London is a pleasant thing indeed to a lonely man. In old days Stamford had never been a particular crony of mine, but now I hailed him with enthusiasm, and he, in his turn, appeared to be delighted to see me. In the exuberance of my joy, I asked him to lunch with me at the Holborn, and we started off together in a hansom.
I gave him a short sketch of my adventures, and had hardly concluded it by the time that we reached our destination. He was bemoaning himself this morning because he could not get someone to go halves with him in some nice rooms which he had found, and which were too much for his purse. I should prefer having a partner to being alone.
Young Stamford looked rather strangely at me over his wine-glass. He is a little queer in his ideas—an enthusiast in some branches of science.
Chief Vintage models are equipped with the Paioli front suspension components. More actions Give feedback. What have you to confess now? Und so erhielt ich neun Monate Krankenurlaub von meinem Regiment, um ganz wieder auf die Beine zu kommen. Der Tag, an dem Sir Henry starb: I am not strong enough yet to stand much noise or excitement.
As far as I know he is a decent fellow enough. I believe he is well up in anatomy, and he is a first-class chemist; but, as far as I know, he has never taken out any systematic medical classes. His studies are very desultory and eccentric, but he has amassed a lot of out-of-the way knowledge which would astonish his professors. I am not strong enough yet to stand much noise or excitement. I had enough of both in Afghanistan to last me for the remainder of my natural existence.
How could I meet this friend of yours? If you like, we shall drive round together after luncheon. As we made our way to the hospital after leaving the Holborn, Stamford gave me a few more particulars about the gentleman whom I proposed to take as a fellow-lodger. You proposed this arrangement, so you must not hold me responsible. Is this fellow's temper so formidable, or what is it?
Don't be mealy-mouthed about it. I could imagine his giving a friend a little pinch of the latest vegetable alkaloid, not out of malevolence, you understand, but simply out of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate idea of the effects.
To do him justice, I think that he would take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have a passion for definite and exact knowledge. When it comes to beating the subjects in the dissecting-rooms with a stick, it is certainly taking rather a bizarre shape. I saw him at it with my own eyes.
Heaven knows what the objects of his studies are. But here we are, and you must form your own impressions about him. It was familiar ground to me, and I needed no guiding as we ascended the bleak stone staircase and made our way down the long corridor with its vista of whitewashed wall and dun-coloured doors. Near the further end a low arched passage branched away from it and led to the chemical laboratory. This was a lofty chamber, lined and littered with countless bottles.
Broad, low tables were scattered about, which bristled with retorts, test-tubes, and little Bunsen lamps, with their blue flickering flames. There was only one student in the room, who was bending over a distant table absorbed in his work.
At the sound of our steps he glanced round and sprang to his feet with a cry of pleasure. I've found it," he shouted to my companion, running towards us with a test-tube in his hand. No doubt you see the significance of this discovery of mine? Don't you see that it gives us an infallible test for blood stains. Come over here now! You perceive that the resulting mixture has the appearance of pure water. The proportion of blood cannot be more than one in a million. I have no doubt, however, that we shall be able to obtain the characteristic reaction.
In an instant the contents assumed a dull mahogany colour, and a brownish dust was precipitated to the bottom of the glass jar. The old Guiacum test was very clumsy and uncertain. So is the microscopic examination for blood corpuscles. The latter is valueless if the stains are a few hours old. Now, this appears to act as well whether the blood is old or new. Had this test been invented, there are hundreds of men now walking the earth who would long ago have paid the penalty of their crimes. A man is suspected of a crime months perhaps after it has been committed.
His linen or clothes are examined, and brownish stains discovered upon them. Are they blood stains, or mud stains, or rust stains, or fruit stains, or what are they? That is a question which has puzzled many an expert, and why? Because there was no reliable test. Now we have the Sherlock Holmes' test, and there will no longer be any difficulty. His eyes fairly glittered as he spoke, and he put his hand over his heart and bowed as if to some applauding crowd conjured up by his imagination. He would certainly have been hung had this test been in existence. I could name a score of cases in which it would have been decisive.
Call it the 'Police News of the Past. Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me.
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