On September 7th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (March, 1892)

September 7, 1889: Colonel Lysander Stark visited and hired Victor Hatherley. [ENGR]

Yesterday, however, just as I was thinking of leaving the office, my clerk entered to say there was a gentleman waiting who wished to see me upon business. He brought up a card, too, with the name of `Colonel Lysander Stark’ engraved upon it. Close at his heels came the Colonel himself, a man rather over the middle size but of an exceeding thinness. I do not think that I have ever seen so thin a man. His whole face sharpened away into nose and chin, and the skin of his cheeks was drawn quite tense over his outstanding bones. Yet this emaciation seemed to be his natural habit, and due to no disease, for his eye was bright, his step brisk, and his bearing assured. He was plainly but neatly dressed, and his age, I should judge, would be nearer forty than thirty.

‘Mr. Hatherly?’ said he, with something of a German accent. ‘You have been recommended to me, Mr. Hatherley, as being a man who is not only proficient in his profession, but is also discreet and capable of preserving a secret.’

September 7, 1889: Victor Hatherley took the train from London to Eyford arriving at about 11:15 pm. [ENGR]

[…] I could not think that his explanation of the fuller’s earth was sufficient to explain the necessity for my coming at midnight, and his extreme anxiety lest I should tell anyone of my errand. However, I threw all my fears to the winds, ate a hearty supper, drove to Paddington, and started off, having obeyed to the letter the injunction as to holding my tongue.

At Reading I had to change not only my carriage but my station. However, I was in time for the last train to Eyford, and I reached the little dim lit station after eleven o’clock. I was the only passenger who got out there, and there was no one upon the platform save a single sleepy porter with a lantern. As I passed out through the wicket-gate, however, I found my acquaintance of the morning waiting in the shadow upon the other side. Without a word he grasped my arm and hurried me into a carriage, the door of which was standing open. He drew up the windows on either side, tapped on the woodwork, and away we went as hard as the horse could go.

September 7, 1903: Holmes and Watson first met Professor Presbury. [CREE]

“I think, Watson, that we can catch the professor just before lunch. He lectures at eleven and should have an interval at home.”

“What possible excuse have we for calling?”

Holmes glanced at his notebook.

“There was a period of excitement upon August 26th. We will assume that he is a little hazy as to what he does at such times. If we insist that we are there by appointment I think he will hardly venture to contradict us. Have you the effrontery necessary to put it through?”

“We can but try.”

“Excellent, Watson! Compound of the Busy Bee and Excelsior. We can but try —the motto of the firm. A friendly native will surely guide us.”


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