ADVENTURE 10. THE ADVENTURE OF THE NOBLE BACHELOR
The Lord St. Simon marriage, and its curious termination, have
long ceased to be a subject of interest in those exalted circles
in which the unfortunate bridegroom moves. Fresh scandals have
eclipsed it, and their more piquant details have drawn the
gossips away from this four-year-old drama. As I have reason to
believe, however, that the full facts have never been revealed
the general public, and as my friend Sherlock Holmes had a
considerable share in clearing the matter up, I feel that no
memoir of him would be complete without some little sketch of
this remarkable episode.
It was a few weeks before my own marriage, during the days when
was still sharing rooms with Holmes in Baker Street, that he came
home from an afternoon stroll to find a letter on the table
waiting for him. I had remained indoors all day, for the weather
had taken a sudden turn to rain, with high autumnal winds, and
the Jezail bullet which I had brought back in one of my limbs
a relic of my Afghan campaign throbbed with dull persistence.
With my body in one easy-chair and my legs upon another, I had
surrounded myself with a cloud of newspapers until at last,
saturated with the news of the day, I tossed them all aside and
lay listless, watching the huge crest and monogram upon the
envelope upon the table and wondering lazily who my friend's
noble correspondent could be.
"Here is a very fashionable epistle," I remarked as
"Your morning letters, if I remember right, were from a
fish-monger and a tide-waiter."
"Yes, my correspondence has certainly the charm of variety,"
answered, smiling, "and the humbler are usually the more
interesting. This looks like one of those unwelcome social
summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie."
He broke the seal and glanced over the contents.
"Oh, come, it may prove to be something of interest, after
"Not social, then?"
"No, distinctly professional."
"And from a noble client?"
"One of the highest in England."
"My dear fellow. I congratulate you."
"I assure you, Watson, without affectation, that the status
client is a matter of less moment to me than the interest of his
case. It is just possible, however, that that also may not be
wanting in this new investigation. You have been reading the
papers diligently of late, have you not?"
"It looks like it," said I ruefully, pointing to a
huge bundle in
the corner. "I have had nothing else to do."
"It is fortunate, for you will perhaps be able to post me
read nothing except the criminal news and the agony column. The
latter is always instructive. But if you have followed recent
events so closely you must have read about Lord St. Simon and
"Oh, yes, with the deepest interest."
"That is well. The letter which I hold in my hand is from
St. Simon. I will read it to you, and in return you must turn
over these papers and let me have whatever bears upon the matter.
This is what he says: