The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle; Christopher Roden | Go to book overview

The Musgrave Ritual

AN anomaly which often struck me in the character of my friend Sherlock Holmes was that, although in his methods of thought he was the neatest and most methodical of mankind, and although also he affected a certain quiet primness of dress, he was none the less in his personal habits one of the most untidy men that ever drove a fellow-lodger to distraction. Not that I am in the least conventional in that respect myself. The rough-and-tumble work in Afghanistan,* coming on the top of a natural Bohemianism of disposition, has made me rather more lax than befits a medical man. But with me there is a limit, and when I find a man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper, and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very centre of his wooden mantelpiece, then I begin to give myself virtuous airs. I have always held, too, that pistol practice should distinctly be an open-air pastime; and when Holmes in one of his queer humours would sit in an arm-chair, with his hair-trigger* and a hundred Boxer cartridges,* and proceed to adorn the opposite wall with a patriotic V.R.* done in bullet-pocks, I felt strongly that neither the atmosphere nor the appearance of our room was improved by it.

Our chambers were always full of chemicals and of criminal relics, which had a way of wandering into unlikely positions, and of turning up in the butter-dish, or in even less desirable places. But his papers were my great crux. He had a horror of destroying documents, especially those which were connected with his past cases, and yet it was only once in every year or two that he would muster energy to docket and arrange them, for, as I have mentioned somewhere in these incoherent memoirs,* the outbursts of passionate energy when he performed the remarkable feats with which his

-113-

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The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vi
  • General Editor's Preface to the Series vii
  • Introduction xi
  • NOTE ON THE TEXT xliii
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY xlv
  • A CHRONOLOGY OF ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE li
  • Silver Blaze 3
  • The Yellow Face 53
  • The Stockbroker's Clerk 73
  • The 'Gloria Scott' 92
  • The Musgrave Ritual 113
  • The Reigate Squire 134
  • The Crooked Man 155
  • The Resident Patient 174
  • The Greek Interpreter 193
  • The Naval Treaty 213
  • The Final Problem 249
  • APPENDIX I The Adventure of the Two Collaborators 269
  • APPENDIX II HOW I WRITE MY BOOKS 272
  • EXPLANATORY NOTES 274
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