Doctor of Philosophy. Principal of the Priory School. Is it not everyday, Doctor Huxtable, that so distinguished a castaway as yourself is beached upon on the hearthrug. In speculating what storm had blown you here, I took the liberty of searching your person, I hope you will forgive me. Oh yes, yes of course. Please sit down. Your watch. Unblemished for at least thirty years, suddenly this morning scratched. When you thrust those coins, unthinkingly into your waistcoat pocket. The stern habit of a lifetime trampled under foot. A small occurrence perhaps but own small think in a way that a vibrating needle may signal an earthquake.
The state of your beard demonstrates a considerable disruption to your routine. Three days ago? Yes sir. Holmes, I beg you to accompany me north to Mackleton immediately. A matter of the utmost importance. Awe, I regret. Doctor Watson and I are extremely pressed just at the moment. I'm retained in the case of the Ferrers Documents, and Doctor Watson tells me that he's run off his feet by this recent epidemic of this Scarlet Fever.
And then of course, there's Abergavenny murder coming up for trial. Now, only a very important issue could call us away at the present. Important, sir? I dare say you've heard of the Duke of Holdernesse? The former cabinet minister? More than that, Watson. The letters after his name, huh, almost half the alphabet. One of the greatest subjects of the crown, hey Doctor Huxtable? One of the greatest and probably one of the wealthiest. He is also, I'm proud to say, in my neighbor.
Holdernesse Hall, his countryseat, is across from the valley from the Priory School. Duke is an intensely solitary man. He appalls the prospect of public scrutiny but such is his anxiety in this matter that his grace is prepared to write a check for five thousand pounds to see the business off and another thousand pounds to see justice visited upon the villains.
That is how important it is. A princely offer, Doctor Huxtable. You have failed in describing villainy. Forgive me. Lord Saltire, the Duke's son, his only child, has been abducted. From the Priory School? When he was in your care? And this abduction happened three days ago? Last Saturday night. Why have you waited so long before consulting me? His Grace has a deep horror of his family unhappiness being dragged before the world. The police have been requested by the Duke to proceed with such caution that they I see.
This affair has been deplorably handled. I feel it and admit it. What form of the demand for ransom take? There has been none. No demand for ransom? It is one of the most perplexing aspects of the business for the boy was not alone in his flight. Herr Heidegger, the German master, is also missing, as indeed, by the way, is his bicycle.
If he has abducted the boy why has no demand for money been received? Heidegger came to me from Switzerland with the very best references. Was any other bicycle missing? Oh no. You're certain? Quite Mr. Aveling checked all the bicycles. Doctor Huxtable do you really mean to suggest that this German master rode off upon his bicycle in the dead of night bearing the boy in his arms? Then what is this theory in your mind? The bicycle may have been a blind. He may have hidden it somewhere, and the pair gone off on foot.
Surely he would have hidden a couple of bicycles if he desired to give that impression. Yes I suppose he would. Of course he would. Doctor Huxtable, this blind theory of yours will not do. It is an admirable starting point for an investigation. Watson, would you send for the cab immediately? Now Holmes? Set, and pack. We got just enough time to catch the overnight train.
Doctor Huxtable I shall do a little work at your doors. Perhaps the train is not so cold but the two old hounds like Watson and myself make get a sniff on it. I imagine the arrival of Lord Saltire at your school must have been quite a feather in your cap. My proudest moment, Mr.
Ever since Blackwell's published Huxtable's Sidelights on Horace, a notable little success in his day. You may have heard of it. How old is the boy? And he's been with you how long? Oh since the beginning of the winter term. An unusual boy, he seemed to be fitting in well. He um Yes? I was about to say he was not entirely happy at home. The Duke's marriage has not been a peaceful one. It ended in separation by mutual consent last year.
The Duchess has returned to her father's palatso in Venice. This picture, of the Duke's marriage, how did you come by it? Is it common knowledge? I've had some confidential talks with Mr. Wilder, the Duke's secretary. He's been most helpful. And I suppose it has been established that the boy has not returned to his mother in Italy? Oh yes. Yes it has. I cannot tell you, Mr. Holmes, what a relief it is to me Watson?
Your picnic, sir. Hudson, how did you guess? Experience, Mr. Well that means the two doctors can picnic away to their hearts content on the train. Even I may find my appetite is keener for a few days in the bracing atmosphere of the peat country. I think I will do myself no injustice when I say that the Priory School is the most select preparatory school in England. You can't see Holdernesse Hall from here but there's a very fine view from the chapel tower.
I will begin with the boy's room. From his father?
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It arrived on the morning of his disappearance. Had he received one from Italy?
A. C. Doyle - The Adventure of The Priory School : Sherlock Holmes
Not recently. Where is the letter now? It cannot be found. It must have been on the boy's person when he was abducted. Who sleeps in the adjoining room? I know this sort of chap I dare say. He could sleep through a thunderstorm. I don't think he would sir. Really and why is that do you suppose? There's a mouse sir. In the wainscot, sir. And it wakes us both up sir. Sometimes sir. So any noise from Lord Saltire's room Well the door creaks sir. You always hear the door. On the night of the disappearance, did you hear anything then?
No sir. You couldn't even hear the crying. He sometimes cries sir. Thank you boys. You have found nothing in the grounds? There's no knowing what I have found. The trail is cold. The Duke of Holdernesse is here headmaster. Thank you, Mr. With Mr. The Duke is waiting, Mr.
That will never do. Your Grace, Mr. I called yesterday, Doctor Huxtable, but I was too late to prevent your starting for London. His Grace is surprised, Doctor Huxtable, that you should of invited Mr. Holmes to undertake an investigation without consulting him first. Well I thought that the police had failed. It is by no means certain that the police have failed. Yes, but surely, Mr. Wilder You're well aware, Doctor Huxtable, how anxious his Grace is to avoid all public scandal. He prefers to take as few people as possible into his confidence. I'm sorry, Mr. The matter is easily remedied.
Sherlock Holmes can return to London by the morning train. Hardly that. I enjoy your invigorating northern air. I shall spend, at any rate, a few days upon your moors. Who knows I may at least find Herr Heidegger's bicycle, if nothing else. This is not a trivial matter, Mr. I am gratified that you think not, your Grace. If there was meaning in that remark, Mr. Holmes, I'm afraid it escaped me. Your only child has disappeared. Your hopes, your future, your noble family itself is threatened with disillusion. Your point, sir?
I ask your Grace, what is modesty to this, to your child's life?
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Or his reputation? Not then it might be replied what is continuance without honor? However, I believe you are largely in the right, Mr. If you refer to the constraints I have placed upon the activities of the police then perhaps I have imposed too much. I have a morbid fear of the public gaze.
The Adventure of the Priory School - The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
It would be foolish not to avail ourselves of Mr. Holmes' services, James, now that he is here. Your Grace? Perhaps you would like to come and stay with us at Holdernesse Hall. I thank your Grace, but I think for the purposes of my investigation it would be wiser for me to remain here at the scene of the mystery. As you wish. Wilder or myself will be available to provide you with any assistance that you might require. Might I ask whether you have formed any explanation as to the mysterious disappearance of your son? No sir, I have not. He is a fine boy, Mr.
And how long has he been in your class? Since his arrival here. Did he speak much of his family? Not much. It's my belief that he missed his mother this is something of his father's doing. The separation between the Duke and the Duchess, did he talk about that? Not really. It's a little mysterious. The boy insisted that they loved each other very much. You don't think that he'd be No he is a very realistic child. Awe, but not a very realistic family.
I was told that they were once members of the Hellfire Club. You wouldn't know, I suppose, what time Herr Heidegger retired to his room on the night of the disappearance? Not really but quite late. After eleven. He was duty round master that night. And a cyclists I believe? Yes, oh yes. Did Lord Saltire ever accompany him. No he is not yet able to retain his balance. You wouldn't, I suppose, happen to know the make of tires on Herr Heidegger's bicycle?
A lovely bicycle by the way made in Bramen. The tires were Palmer, you know the ones with longitudinal tread. I know the ones. Doubly helpful. Pleasure, Mr. Dinner will be at eight. I beg your pardon. This case grows upon me, Watson. There are decidedly points of interest in connection with it. Here look at this map. There are certain geographical features, which may have a good deal to do with our investigation.
This dark square is the Priory School. This, the main road with no side turning for a mile either way. To the north of the school the land rises slowly. To the south, a large district of arable land, with high walls and hedgerows, impossible territory for a bicycle. Oh what did you discover at Oakborn? Well the police had reports from all over the place on a man and a boy seen together. They completed their investigation on the site early this morning. What result? None bore the slightest resemblance of the boy or the German master.
This mass of mistaken sightings, Watson, it confirms my suspicion. I don't believe they used the road. That path of curiosity of quiet places will surely find the light. I don't think they used the road at all. But the bicycle? A good cyclist does not need a road, Watson. The moor is intersected with paths. I remember the moons that were full. Now it is to the north that our quest must lie. You have done well, Watson. Dinner's soon, you'll be happy to hear but I have do just have one point on which I need to be satisfied. Herr Heidegger's room. Ten minutes. Doctor Holmes is being delving into the origins of the Holdernesse family.
Like many ancient lines it sprang from a very muddy source. Muddy Doctor? Well not to be too delicate about it, they were cattle thieves. A worrier class, ingenious, daring but the basis of their wealth was running off with other people's cows. Holmes even tells me that Holdenesse has furnished one of the madder members of the Hell Fire Club.
What is the matter Doctor Huxtable? It is nothing. But it's clearly something. I expect too much I'm sure. It is a part-time job. Tell us your expectations? I do not expect miracles. I think I am not a man who demands the miraculous but you have discovered nothing. We haven't found, not a jot since the moment we left London.
Although indeed that is not true. You have discovered two things, both falsums. One, a squalid piece of gossip and the other an epocriful and insulting fancy about the origins of my great patron.
"The Adventure of the Priory School"
I did not employ you to come here to blacken the name of the Holdernesses', Mr. Calm yourself, Doctor Huxtable. We have in fact, found some way, I can describe to you in some detail what took place in this school on that fateful night. Also the behavior of your excellent and faithful German master.
Faithful, Heidegger? What sir? Herr Heidegger retired to his room soon after eleven o'clock. He was the duty master that night. Now my friend and colleague, Doctor Watson, will impersonate. Heidegger has still two hours work ahead of him and it's been a long day. He allows himself the comfort of removing his jacket.
He moves across to the chest by the door and pours himself a glass of sherry. Badly needed fortification of the task that lies ahead. He collects the candle and moves to his desk to correct twenty-two exercise books, which contain not only Grammatik exercises but also a lengthy composition. You see my point, Doctor Huxtable, it would have been well after midnight if he had done nothing else, when his candle fails him.
The candles are kept in the chest by the door. He arises from the desk to fetch another one but he cannot see to find them, so he turns to the windows to draw the curtains to see better by the moonlight. He tells the detective that he has come to ask for his assistance because one of his students has gone missing. The missing boy is Lord Saltire, the ten-year-old son of the Duke of Holdernesse.
The Duke has tried to keep news of the boy's disappearance out of the papers but he is offering a reward of six thousand pounds to anyone who can tell him where the boy is and who his captors are. Lord Saltire arrived at the school a little more than two weeks earlier. Huxtable has found out that the boy was not happy at home.
His parents have recently separated. The boy's mother has gone to live in the south of France and he misses her very much. It is chiefly for this reason that he has been sent to the Priory School. The boy soon adapted to life at the school and appeared to be happy. Three days earlier, at seven o'clock in the morning, Lord Saltire was found to be missing. His upper story bedroom can only be entered by passing through a larger room which is shared by two boys. Neither of those boys were woken by an intruder in the night.
There were no signs of a struggle in Lord Saltire's room, his bed had been slept in and he had dressed in his usual clothes before leaving. The window was open and he appeared to have climbed down an ivy vine to reach the ground. After Lord Saltire's disappearance was discovered, all of the school's students and staff were gathered together. A German teacher, Herr Heidegger, was also found to be missing. Heidegger's bedroom is on the same floor as Lord Saltire's and faces in the same direction.
Heidegger appears to have dressed in a hurry, leaving his socks and his shirt behind. He also appears to have climbed down an ivy vine and his bicycle is missing. Heidegger did not teach Lord Saltire and the two are not known to have had any contact with each other at all. Lord Saltire did not have a bicycle and no other bicycles have gone missing. Since the Duke's home, Holdernesse Hall, is only a few miles from the Priory School, checks were made to see if the boy had gone back to see his father. He had not. A man and a boy were seen at a nearby train station.
The local police concentrated all of their efforts on that sighting. They tracked the man and boy to Liverpool and found that they were unconnected to the case. Holmes asks if Lord Saltire's disappearance could have been prompted by a visit or a letter he had received. Huxtable says that the boy never had any visitors. He received a letter on the morning of the day that he disappeared. The coat of arms and the handwriting on the envelope indicated that it was from his father.
The boy never received any letters from his mother or anyone else. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson travel to Mackleton by train with Dr. They arrive at the Priory School in the evening and find that the Duke of Holdernesse and his private secretary James Wilder are waiting there. James Wilder says that Dr. Huxtable should not have asked Sherlock Holmes to investigate the boy's disappearance without asking the Duke's permission first. The Duke, however, says that since Holmes has arrived, he can continue his investigation.
The Duke tells Holmes that he has not received a ransom note. He does not believe that his wife is involved in his son's disappearance but he believes that the boy may have been encouraged by Heidegger to go to the south of France. He confirms that he wrote a letter to his son which the boy would have received on the day that he went missing. The Duke did not post the letter himself, James Wilder posted it along with several other letters which the Duke wrote that day. Holmes examines the bedrooms of the boy and the teacher and finds no clues to their disappearance there.
Leaving Watson alone, he goes off on his own for several hours. He later returns with a map. The map shows that there is only one main road which passes east and west of the Priory School with no side roads for a mile. Reliable witnesses were at both ends of the road on the night that Lord Saltire and Heidegger went missing and did not see them. To the south of the school, there is farmland divided by stone walls which could not be crossed by a bicycle. The area to the north of the school is dominated by a moor with a small grove of trees called Ragged Shaw.
Holmes is certain that Lord Saltire and Heidegger went across the moor when they left the school. Huxtable appears with Lord Saltire's cap. He says that the police found it in the caravan of some Gypsies who had been camping on the moor until the day that Lord Saltire disappeared. The Gypsies claimed that they simply found the cap on the moor but they have all been arrested. Holmes does not think that the Gypsies are of any great significance to the case but the discovery of the cap confirms his theory that Lord Saltire went on the moor. Some areas of the moor are marshy and Holmes plans to examine the wet ground for tracks of Lord Saltire and Heidegger the next day.
The following morning, Holmes and Watson examine the marshy parts of the moor. At first, they see nothing but the hoof prints of cows. Watson spots a track left by bicycle tires but Holmes says that they could not have been left by Heidegger's bicycle. From another teacher, Holmes found out that Heidegger had Palmer's tires on his bicycle.
The tracks that Watson spotted were made by Dunlop tires which had had a puncture repaired. Nevertheless, Holmes decides to follow the track of the Dunlop tires. The track, which is often covered over by the hoof prints of cows, leads to the Ragged Shaw. On another marshy part of the moor, Holmes finds the tracks made by the Palmer's tires of Heidegger's bicycle. Holmes and Watson follow the tracks. At some points, it is clear that the teacher was cycling very quickly. There are also signs that Heidegger fell off his bicycle and went a little way on foot before getting back on it.
Watson notices some bloodstains. He and Holmes follow them along with the bicycle tracks. They find Heidegger's damaged bicycle and his dead body nearby it. He died of a violent blow to the head. Heidegger is wearing shoes but no socks and has a nightshirt on under his jacket. Holmes realizes he needs to inform the police about the murder but he also wants to continue his own investigations with Watson's help. Holmes sees a man cutting peat. He asks the man to send a note about Heidegger's death to Dr. It is clear to Holmes that Lord Saltire left of his own free will, since he took the time to dress properly.
Heidegger, however, left in a hurry after he saw the boy leaving. He also chose to take his bicycle rather than just run after the boy. He died five miles from the school as a result of a wound which must have been inflicted by a strong man, not by a ten-year-old boy.
Holmes concludes that there must have been someone else with Lord Saltire on the night that he disappeared. However, there are no signs of tracks left by other people on the wet ground near Heidegger's body. There are only the tracks of cattle. Holmes and Watson follow the Dunlop tire tracks again.