The Adventure of the Red Circle

  The Adventure of the Red CircleThe Adventure of the RedCircleBy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle1The Adventure of the Red CircleOne"Well, Mrs. Warren, I cannot see that you have any particular cause forunea
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  The Adventure of the Red CircleThe Adventure of the RedCircleBy Sir Arthur Conan Doyle1The Adventure of the Red CircleOne"Well, Mrs. Warren, I cannot see that you have any particular cause foruneasiness, nor do I understand why I, whose time is of some value,should interfere in the matter.I really have other things to engage me."So spoke Sherlock Holmes and turned back to the great scrapbook inwhich he was arranging and indexing some of his recent material.FXb今日教育资源网
  But the landlady had the pertinacity and also the cunning of her sex.FXb今日教育资源网
  She held her ground firmly.FXb今日教育资源网
  "You arranged an affair for a lodger of mine last year," she said--"Mr.FXb今日教育资源网
  Fairdale Hobbs.""Ah, yes--a simple matter.""But he would never cease talking of it--your kindness, sir, and theway in which you brought light into the darkness.I remembered hiswords when I was in doubt and darkness myself.I know you could ifyou only would."Holmes was accessible upon the side of flattery, and also, to do himjustice, upon the side of kindliness.The two forces made him lay downhis gum-brush with a sigh of resignation and push back his chair.FXb今日教育资源网
  "Well, well, Mrs. Warren, let us hear about it, then.You don't objectto tobacco, I take it? Thank you, Watson--the matches! You are uneasy,as I understand, because your new lodger remains in his rooms and youcannot see him.Why, bless you, Mrs. Warren, if I were your lodger youoften would not see me for weeks on end.""No doubt, sir; but this is different. It frightens me, Mr. Holmes. Ican't sleep for fright. To hear his quick step moving here and movingthere from early morning to late at night, and yet never to catch so muchas aglimpse ofhim--it's more than Ican stand. My husband isasnervous over it as I am, but he is out at his work all day, while I get no restfrom it.What is he hiding for? What has he done? Except for the girl,I amall alone in the house with him,and it's more than mynerves canstand."Holmesleanedforwardandlaidhislong, thin fingers uponthe2The Adventure of the Red Circlewoman's shoulder. He had an almost hypnotic power of soothing whenhewished.The scared look fadedfrom her eyes,andheragitatedfeatures smoothed into their usual commonplace.She sat down in thechair which he had indicated.FXb今日教育资源网
  "If I take it up I must understand every detail," said he."Take time toconsider. The smallest point may be the most essential. You say that theman came ten days ago and paid you for a fortnight's board and lodging?""He asked my terms, sir.I said fiftyshillings a week. There is asmall sitting-room and bedroom, and all complete, at the top of the house.""Well?""He said, 'I'll pay you five pounds a week if I can have it on my ownterms.'I'm a poor woman, sir, and Mr. Warren earns little, and the moneymeant much to me.He took out a ten-pound note, and he held it out tome then and there. 'You can have the same every fortnight for a longtime to come if you keep the terms,' he said. 'If not, I'll have no more todo with you.'FXb今日教育资源网
  "What were the terms?""Well, sir, they were that he was to have a key of the house. That wasall right.Lodgers often have them.Also, that he was to be left entirelyto himself and never, upon any excuse, to be disturbed.""Nothing wonderful in that, surely?""Not in reason, sir.But this is out of all reason.He has been therefor ten days, and neither Mr. Warren, nor I, nor the girl has once set eyesupon him. We can hear that quick step of his pacing up and down, upand down, night, morning, and noon; but except on that first night he hadnever once gone out of the house.""Oh, he went out the first night, did he?""Yes, sir, and returned very late--after we were all in bed.He told meafter he had taken the rooms that he would do so and asked me not to barthe door. I heard him come up the stair after midnight.""But his meals?""It was his particular direction that we should always, when he rang,leave his meal upon a chair, outside his door. Then he rings again whenhe has finished, and we take it down from the same chair.If he wants3The Adventure of the Red Circleanything else he prints it on a slip of paper and leaves it.""Prints it?""Yes, sir; prints it in pencil. Just the word, nothing more. Here's theone I brought to show you--soap.Here's another-- match.This is oneheleftthefirstmorning--dailygazette.I leave thatpaperwith hisbreakfast every morning.""Dear me, Watson," said Homes, staring with great curiosity at theslips of foolscap which the landlady had handed to him, "this is certainly alittle unusual. Seclusion I can understand; but why print? Printing is aclumsy process.Why not write?What would it suggest, Watson?""That he desired to conceal his handwriting.""But why? What can it matter to him that his landlady should have aword of his writing? Still, it may be as you say.Then, again, why suchlaconic messages?""I cannot imagine."It opens a pleasing field for intelligent speculation. The words arewritten with a broad-pointed, violet-tinted pencil of a not unusual pattern.

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