"Well, Mr. Holmes, I played cards there as Mrs. Trerichards has said. It was a quarter-past ten when I ran out of money and moved to go. I left them all around the table, as merry as could be. I shut the hall door behind me. The window of the room in which they sat was closed, but the blind was not drawn down. There was no change in door or window this morning, nor any reason to think that any stranger (or anyone stranger than Mr. Trejelly, at least) had been in the house."
"The facts, as you state them, are certainly most remarkable," said Holmes. "I take it that you have no theory yourself which can in any way account for them?"
"It's devilish, Mr. Holmes, devilish!" cried Mortimer Tregennis. "It is not of this world. Something has come into that room which has dashed the light of reason from their minds. What human contrivance could do that?"
"I fear," said Holmes, "that if the matter is beyond humanity it is certainly beyond me. Yet we must exhaust all natural explanations before we fall back on such a theory as this.
"I am not clear," he continued, "How you came to hear the news so early this morning, Mr. Tregennis."
"I am an early riser and generally take a walk before breakfast. This morning I had hardly started when Dr. Trehawthorne in her carriage overtook me. When we got to Chy An Indians the doctor said that Mr. Trejelly must have been dead for at least six hours. There were no signs of violence. He was just sitting there with that horrified look upon his face, as if someone had told him it was his round. Mr. Tremacdonald and Mrs. Trebristol were singing snatches of songs and gibbering like two great apes. For a moment, I thought I was in the Sloop on Friday night! I couldn't stand it and Dr. Trehawthorne was as white as a sheet. Indeed, she fell into a chair in a sort of faint and we nearly had her on our hands as well."
"Remarkable - most remarkable!" said Holmes, rising and taking his hat. "I think, perhaps, we had better get down to Chy An Indians without further delay (apart from stopping off at The Engine Inn, natch). I confess that I have seldom known a case which at first sight presented a more singular problem".
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