Sherlock Holmes: Selected Stories

By Arthur Conan Doyle ; S. C. Roberts | Go to book overview

A Scandal in Bohemia

I

To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise, but admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen: but, as a lover, he would have placed himself in a false position. He never spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They were admirable things for the observer--excellent for drawing the veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.

I had seen little of Holmes lately. My marriage had drifted us away from each other. My own complete happiness, and the home-centred interests which rise up around the man who first finds himself master of his own establishment, were sufficient to absorb all my attention; while Holmes, who loathed every form of society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in

-206-

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Sherlock Holmes: Selected Stories
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • SHERLOCK HOLMES SELECTED STORIES i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT xxiv
  • Silver Blaze 1
  • The Speckled Band 34
  • The Sign of Four 67
  • A Scandal in Bohemia 206
  • The Naval Treaty 236
  • The Blue Carbuncle 279
  • The Greek Interpreter 305
  • The Red-Headed League 329
  • The Empty House 359
  • The Missing Three-Quarter 387
  • His Last Bow - An Epilogue of Sherlock Holmes 415
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