The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes

By Arthur Conan Doyle; W. W. Robson | Go to book overview

The Lion's Mane

IT is a most singular thing that a problem which was certainly as abstruse and unusual as any which I have faced in my long professional career should have come to me after my retirement; and be brought, as it were, to my very door. It occurred after my withdrawal to my little Sussex home, when I had given myself up entirely to that soothing life of Nature for which I had so often yearned during the long years spent amid the gloom of London. At this period of my life the good Watson had passed almost beyond my ken. An occasional week-end visit was the most I ever saw of him. Thus I must act as my own chronicler. Ah! had he but been with me, how much he might have made of so wonderful a happening and of my eventual triumph against every difficulty! As it is, however, I must needs tell my tale in my own plain way, showing by my words each step upon the difficult road which lay before me as I searched for the mystery of the Lion's Mane.*

My villa is situated upon the southern slope of the Downs,* commanding a great view of the Channel. At this point the coast line is entirely of chalk cliffs, which can only be descended by a single, long, tortuous path, which is steep and slippery. At the bottom of the path lie a hundred yards of pebbles and shingle, even when the tide is at full. Here and there, however, there are curves and hollows which make splendid swimming pools filled afresh with each flow. This admirable beach extends for some miles in each direction, save only at one point where the little cove and village of Fulworth break the line.

My house is lonely. I, my old housekeeper, and my bees have the estate all to ourselves. Half a mile off, however, is Harold Stackhurst's well-known coaching establishment,* The Gables--quite a large place, which contains some score of young fellows preparing for various professions, with a

-172-

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The Case-Book 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 xxxii
  • Select Bibliography xxxiii
  • A Chronology of Arthur Conan Doyle xxxix
  • Preface 3
  • The Mazarin Stone 5
  • Thor Bridge 23
  • The Creeping Man 50
  • The Sussex Vampire 72
  • The Three Garridebs 89
  • The Illustrious Client 106
  • The Three Gables 133
  • The Blanched Soldier 151
  • The Lion's Mane 172
  • The Retired Colourman 192
  • The Veiled Lodger 208
  • Shoscombe Old Place 220
  • Explanatory Notes 238
  • Appendix - A Source for 'the Veiled Lodger' the Love-Ly Tam-Er, the Cru-El Li-Ons, and the Clev-Er Clown A Tale for the Lit-Tle Ones 290
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