A SCANDAL IN
BOHEMIA 0 I. To
Sherlock Holmes 1
she 2 is always
THE woman 49 .
I 3 have seldom heard
him 1 mention
her 2 under any other name .
his 1 eyes
she 2 eclipses and predominates the whole of
her 2 sex .
It was not that
he 1 felt any emotion akin to love for
Irene Adler 2 .
All emotions , and that one particularly , were abhorrent to
his 1 cold , precise but admirably balanced mind .
He 1 was ,
I 3 take it ,
, but as
the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that
the world 4
has seen 50
a lover 1
he 1 would have placed
himself 1 in a false position .
He 1 never spoke of the softer passions , save with a gibe and a sneer .
They were admirable things for
the observer 5 -- excellent for drawing the veil from
men 6 's motives and actions .
the trained reasoner 1 to admit such intrusions into
his 1 own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all
his 1 mental results .
Grit in a sensitive instrument , or a crack in one of
his 1 own high-power lenses , would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as
his 1 .
And yet there was but
one woman 2 to
him 1 , and that
woman 2 was
the late Irene Adler 2 , of dubious and questionable memory .
I 3 had seen little of
Holmes 1 lately .
My 3 marriage had drifted
us 7 away from each other .
My 3 own complete happiness , and the home-centred interests which rise up around
, were sufficient to absorb all
the man who first finds
own establishment 9
my 3 attention , while
Holmes 1 , who loathed every form of society with
his 1 whole Bohemian soul , remained in
, buried among
Baker Street 11 10
his 1 old books , and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition , the drowsiness of the drug , and the fierce energy of
his 1 own keen nature .
He 1 was still , as ever , deeply attracted by the study of crime , and occupied
his 1 immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clues , and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by
the official police 12 .
From time to time
I 3 heard some vague account of
his 1 doings : of
his 1 summons to
Odessa 13 in the case of the
Trepoff 14 murder , of
his 1 clearing up of the singular tragedy of
the Atkinson brothers 15 at
Trincomalee 16 , and finally of the mission which
he 1 had accomplished so delicately and successfully for
the reigning family of
Holland 18 17
Beyond these signs of
his 1 activity , however , which
I 3 merely shared with
all the readers of the daily press 19 ,
I 3 knew little of and
companion 1 .
One night -- it was on the twentieth of March , 1888 --
I 3 was returning from a journey to
a patient 20 ( for
I 3 had now returned to civil practice ) , when
my 3 way led
me 3 through
Baker Street 11 .
I 3 passed the well-remembered door , which must always be associated in
my 3 mind with
my 3 wooing , and with the dark incidents of the Study in Scarlet ,
I 3 was seized with a keen desire to see
Holmes 1 again , and to know how
he 1 was employing
his 1 extraordinary powers .
were brilliantly lit , and , even as
I 3 looked up ,
I 3 saw
pass twice in a dark silhouette against the blind .
tall , spare figure 1
He 1 was pacing
the room 21 swiftly , eagerly , with
his 1 head sunk upon
his 1 chest and
his 1 hands clasped behind
him 1 .
me 3 , who knew
his 1 every mood and habit ,
his 1 attitude and manner told their own story .
He 1 was at work again .
He 1 had risen out of
his 1 drug-created dreams and was hot upon the scent of some new problem .
I 3 rang the bell and was shown up to
the chamber which had formerly been in part
His 1 manner was not effusive .
It seldom was ; but
he 1 was glad ,
I 3 think , to see
me 3 .
With hardly a word spoken , but with a kindly eye ,
he 1 waved
me 3 to an armchair , threw across
his 1 case of cigars , and indicated a spirit case and a gasogene in the corner .
he 1 stood before the fire and looked
me 3 over in
his 1 singular introspective fashion .
" Wedlock suits
you 3 , "
he 1 remarked .
I 1 think ,
Watson 3 , that
you 3 have put on seven and a half pounds since
I 1 saw
you 3 . "
" Seven ! "
I 3 answered .
" Indeed ,
I 1 should have thought a little more .
Just a trifle more ,
I 1 fancy ,
Watson 3 .
And in practice again ,
I 1 observe .
You 3 did not tell
me 1 that
you 3 intended to go into harness . "
" Then , how do
you 1 know ? "
I 1 see it ,
I 1 deduce it .
I 1 know that
you 3 have been getting
yourself 3 very wet lately , and that
you 3 have
a most clumsy and careless servant girl 23 ? "
Holmes 1 , " said
I 3 , " this is too much .
You 1 would certainly have been burned , had
you 1 lived a few centuries ago .
It is true that
I 3 had a country walk on Thursday and came
home 24 in a dreadful mess , but as
I 3 have changed
my 3 clothes
I 3 ca n't imagine how
you 1 deduce it .
Mary Jane 23 ,
she 23 is incorrigible , and has given
her 23 notice , but there , again ,
I 3 fail to see how
you 1 work it out . "
He 1 chuckled to
himself 1 and rubbed
his 1 long , nervous hands together .
" It is simplicity itself , " said
he 1 ; "
my 1 eyes tell
me 1 that on the inside of
your 3 left shoe , just where the firelight strikes it , the leather is scored by six almost parallel cuts .
Obviously they have been caused by someone who has very carelessly scraped round the edges of the sole in order to remove crusted mud from it .
you 3 see ,
my 1 double deduction that
you 3 had been out in vile weather , and that
you 3 had
a particularly malignant boot-slitting specimen of 23
your 3 practice , if
a gentleman 28 walks into smelling of iodoform , with a black mark of nitrate of silver upon
his 28 right forefinger , and a bulge on the right side of
his 28 top-hat to show where
he 28 has secreted
his 28 stethoscope ,
I 1 must be dull , indeed , if
I 1 do not pronounce
him 28 to be
an active member of the medical profession 52 . "
I 3 could not help laughing at the ease with which
he 1 explained
his 1 process of deduction .
I 3 hear
you 1 give
your 1 reasons , "
I 3 remarked , " the thing always appears to
me 3 to be so ridiculously simple that
I 3 could easily do it
myself 3 , though at each successive instance of
your 1 reasoning
I 3 am baffled until
you 1 explain
your 1 process .
I 3 believe that
my 3 eyes are as good as yours . "
" Quite so , "
he 1 answered , lighting a cigarette , and throwing
himself 1 down into an armchair .
You 3 see , but
you 3 do not observe .
The distinction is clear .
For example ,
you 3 have frequently seen
the steps which lead up from
the hall 30
this room 21 29
" Frequently . "
" How often ? "
" Well , some hundreds of times . "
" Then how many are there ? "
" How many ?
I 3 do n't know . "
" Quite so !
You 3 have not observed .
you 3 have seen .
That is just
my 1 point .
I 1 know that there are
seventeen steps 29 , because
I 1 have both seen and observed .
By-the-way , since
you 3 are interested in these little problems , and since
you 3 are good enough to chronicle one or two of
my 1 trifling experiences ,
you 3 may be interested in this . "
He 1 threw over a sheet of thick , pink-tinted note-paper which had been lying open upon the table .
" It came by the last post , " said
he 1 .
" Read it aloud . "
The note was undated , and without either signature or address .
" There will call upon
you 1 to-night , at a quarter to eight o'clock , " it said , "
a gentleman who desires to consult
upon a matter of the very deepest moment 31
Your 1 recent services to
have shown that
the royal houses of
Europe 33 32
you 1 are one who may safely be trusted with matters which are of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated .
This account of
we 34 have from all quarters received .
Be in then at that hour , and do not take it amiss if wear a mask . "
" This is indeed a mystery , "
I 3 remarked .
" What do
you 1 imagine that it means ? "
I 1 have no data yet .
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data .
Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories , instead of theories to suit facts .
But the note itself .
you 3 deduce from it ? "
I 3 carefully examined the writing , and the paper upon which it was written .
The man who wrote it 31 was presumably well to do , "
I 3 remarked , endeavouring to imitate 's processes .
" Such paper could not be bought under half a crown a packet .
It is peculiarly strong and stiff . "
" Peculiar -- that is the very word , " said
Holmes 1 .
" It is not an English paper at all .
Hold it up to the light . "
I 3 did so , and saw a large " E " with a small " g , " a " P , " and a large " G " with a small " t " woven into the texture of the paper .
" What do
you 3 make of that ? " asked
Holmes 1 .
" The name of
the maker 35 , no doubt ; or
his 35 monogram , rather . "
" Not at all .
The ' G ' with the small ' t ' stands for ' Gesellschaft , ' which is the German for ' Company . '
It is a customary contraction like
our 36 ' Co. ' ' P , ' of course , stands for ' Papier . '
Now for the ' Eg . '
us 7 glance at
our 7 Continental Gazetteer . "
He 1 took down a heavy brown volume from
his 1 shelves .
Eglow 37 ,
Eglonitz 38 -- here
we 7 are ,
Egria 39 .
It is in
a German-speaking country 40 -- in
Bohemia 41 , not far from
Carlsbad 42 .
' Remarkable as being the scene of the death of
Wallenstein 43 , and for
numerous glass-factories 44 and
paper-mills 45 . '
Ha , ha , , what do
you 3 make of that ? "
His 1 eyes sparkled , and
he 1 sent up a great blue triumphant cloud from
his 1 cigarette .
" The paper was made in
Bohemia 0 , "
I 3 said .
" Precisely .
the man who wrote the note 31 is
a German 51 .
you 3 note the peculiar construction of the sentence -- ' This account of
we 34 have from all quarters received . '
A Frenchman 46 or
Russian 47 could not have written that .
the German who is so uncourteous to
It only remains , therefore , to discover what is wanted by
this German who writes upon Bohemian paper and prefers wearing a mask to showing
he 31 comes , if
I 1 am not mistaken , to resolve all
our 7 doubts . "