SHERLOCK HOLMES had been bending for a long time over a low-power microscope. Now he straightened himself up and looked round at me in triumph.
'It is glue,* Watson,' said he. 'Unquestionably it is glue. Have a look at these scattered objects in the field!'*
I stooped to the eyepiece and focused for my vision.
'Those hairs are threads from a tweed coat. The irregular grey masses are dust. There are epithelial scales* on the left. Those brown blobs in the centre are undoubtedly glue.'
'Well,' I said, laughing, 'I am prepared to take your word for it. Does anything depend upon it?'
'It is a very fine demonstration,' he answered. 'In the St Pancras* case you may remember that a cap was found beside the dead policeman. The accused man denies that it is his. But he is a picture-frame maker who habitually handles glue.'
'Is it one of your cases?'
'No; my friend, Merivale of the Yard, asked me to look into the case. Since I ran down that coiner by the zinc and copper filings* in the seam of his cuff they have begun to realize the importance of the microscope.'* He looked impatiently at his watch. 'I had a new client calling, but he is overdue. By the way, Watson, you know something of racing?'
'I ought to. I pay for it with about half my wound pension.'*
'Then I'll make you my "Handy Guide to the Turf".* What about Sir Robert Norberton? Does the name recall anything?'
'Well, I should say so.* He lives at Shoscombe Old Place, and I know it well, for my summer quarters* were down there once. Norberton nearly came within your province once.'