THE ADVENTURE OF QUEER STREET:
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
It was with a sense of no small surprise that, upon retrieving the envelope from the letter box and opening it, I found a note within from Sherlock Holmes, written in his characteristic fine hand, each letter as precisely wrought as a musical note, and in his characteristic laconic style:
Come see me, Watson.
I shared this with my wife, who queried, "Are you starting that up again?" In the taxi-cab, I reflected upon this sudden bur valued summons. I had not seen Holmes for years, and I had, I confess, studiously avoided our former bachelors' quarters, for the nostalgia that overcame me felt like an old wound awakening. I still retained my latch key to #-b, having kept it more for the incitement of reminiscence than for any utilitarian purpose. As I ambled up the stairs, I heard the familiar strains of a violin concerto. As I raised my fist to knock on the familiar door, it opened. From a thickly woven wall of smoke emerged the classical features constituting the countenance of Sherlock Holmes-the aquiline nose, the high forehead, the defiant chin. "Dear boy," Holmes smiled.
"My dear Holmes," I responded, unable to say more because of a moderate coughing fit which rattled the words in my throat The familiar room had hardly changed, except that the stacks of case histories were even more monumental. On an end-table stood a porcelain hookah, its serpentine smoking tube emitting a light puff of what I instantly sensed as the unfamiliar odor of hashish.
For five or six minutes, we brought ourselves up-to-date on the events of the preceding five or six decades, and then Holmes, his eyes flashing in impatience, asked, "You have heard of Arthur Conan Doyle?"
At times, Holmes exaggerates my ignorance. Of course I had heard of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an honourable member of my own profession,