Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A Scandal in Bohemia. Part 1

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

1. ADVENTURE I. A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

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 teasoner 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 our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clews, and clearing up those mysteries which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police. From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers at Trincomalee, and finally of the mission which he had accomplished so delicately and successfully for the reigning family of Holland. Beyond these signs of his activity, however, which I merely shared with all the readers of the daily press, I knew little of my former friend and companion.

Английский язык с Шерлоком Холмсом. Первый сборник рассказов

SHERLOCK HOLMES STORIES-1
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA (СКАНДАЛ В БОГЕМИИ)
THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE (СОЮЗ РЫЖИХ)
THE MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP (ЧЕЛОВЕК С РАССЕЧЕННОЙ ГУБОЙ)
THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE CARBUNCLE (ПРИКЛЮЧЕНИЕ ГОЛУБОГО КАРБУНКУЛА)
THE SPECKLED BAND (ПЕСТРАЯ ЛЕНТА)

frank@franklang.ru

A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman (для Шерлока Холмса она всегда та самая: «эта» женщина). I have seldom heard (я редко слышал; to hear — слышать)him mention her (/чтобы/ он называл ее; to mention — называть, упоминать)under any other name (/под/ каким-либо другим именем). In his eyes she eclipses and predominates (в его глазах она затмевает и превосходит; to eclipse — затмевать, заслонять; to predominate — преобладать)the whole of her sex (всех /представительниц/ ее пола). It was not that he felt (не то чтобы он испытывал: «это не было тем, что/бы/ он чувствовал»; to feel — чувствовать, ощущать)any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler (какое-либо чувство, похожее на любовь к Ирэн Адлер). All emotions (все чувства), and that one particularly (и это /чувство/ особенно), were abhorrent to his cold (были ненавистны его холодному), precise but admirably balanced mind (точному, но превосходно сбалансированному уму). He was (он был; to be — быть, являться), I take it (по-моему: «я соглашаюсь с этим»; to take — принимать, соглашаться), the most perfect (самой совершенной)reasoning and observing machine (мыслящей и наблюдательной машиной)that the world has seen (какую /когда-либо/ видел мир; to see — видеть), but as a lover (но как влюбленный: «в качестве влюбленного»)he would have placed himself in a false position (он оказался бы не на своем месте: «он поместил бы себя в неправильное положение»). He never spoke of the softer passions (он никогда не говорил о нежных чувствах; to speak — говорить), save with a gibe and a sneer (кроме как с насмешкой и издевкой). They were admirable things for the observer (они были отличными вещами для наблюдения: «наблюдателя»)— excellent for drawing the veil (прекрасным /способом/ чтобы сорвать завесу = обнажить)from men’s motives and actions (с мужских побуждений и действий). But for the trained reasoner (но для великолепного мыслителя)to admit such intrusions (допустить подобные вторжения; to admit — допускать, принимать)into his own delicate (в свой /собственный/ утонченный)and finely adjusted temperament (и четко налаженный характер)was to introduce a distracting factor (означало бы: «было бы» внести /туда/ отвлекающий фактор = смятение; to introduce — вносить, вводить)which might throw a doubt upon all his mental results (что могло бы внести неуверенность: «бросить сомнение» во все завоевания его разума: «умственные результаты»; to throw — кидать, бросать). Grit in a sensitive instrument (песчинка в чувствительном инструменте), or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses (или трещина в одной из его мощных линз), would not be more disturbing (не были бы более беспокоящими)than a strong emotion in a nature such as his (чем сильное чувство для такого человека = типа, как он). And yet (и все-таки)there was but one woman to him (для него существовала одна женщина: «/там/ была, однако, одна женщина»), and that woman was the late (и этой женщиной была покойная)Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory (/особа/ неясной и сомнительной репутации: «памяти»).

heard [h?:d], predominate [pri?d?mineit], passion [?p??n], dubious [?dju:bi?s]

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 (я редко виделся с Холмсом в последнее время; to see little of somebody — редко бывать в чьем-либо обществе). My marriage (женитьба)had drifted us away (отдалила нас; to drift away — относить /ветром/)from each other (друг от друга). My own complete happiness (моего личного безоблачного = полного счастья; happy — счастливый), and the home-centred interests (и исключительно семейных = домашних интересов; to center — концентрироваться)which rise up around the man (которые возникают у: «вокруг» человека; to rise up — подниматься)who first finds himself master of his own establishment (который впервые находит себя господином своего собственного хозяйства = когда он впервые становится господином собственного домашнего очага; to find — находить), were sufficient (/их/ было достаточно)to absorb all my attention (чтобы поглотить все мое внимание; to absorb — впитывать, всасывать); while Holmes (в то время как Холмс), who loathed every form of society (который ненавидел все виды: «каждую форму» светской жизни; society — общество, свет)with his whole Bohemian soul (всей: «с всей» своей цыганской душой), remained in our lodgings in Baker Street (оставался /жить/ в нашей квартире на Бейкер-стрит; to remain — остаться, пребывать на прежнем месте; lodgings — /снимаемые/ комнаты), buried among his old books (окруженный: «зарытый среди» своими старыми книгами; to bury — хоронить, зарывать), and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition (и чередуя недели: «от недели к неделе» кокаина и честолюбия = увлечения кокаином с /приступами/ честолюбия; between — между), the drowsiness of the drug (дремотное состояние наркомана: «сонливость наркотика»; drowse — дремота), and the fierce energy of his own keen nature (с яростной энергией его /собственной/ проницательной натуры; fierce — дикий, неудержимый). He was still (тихий, спокойный), as ever (как всегда), deeply attracted by the study of crime (глубоко увлеченный расследованием преступлений; deep — глубокий; to study — изучать), and occupied his immense faculties (и отдавал свои грандиозные способности; to occupy — занимать; immense — огромный: «безмерный»)and extraordinary powers of observation (и необычайный дар: «удивительные силы» наблюдательности; to observe — наблюдать)in following out those clews (следуя /до конца/ тем нитям = поискам нитей; clew — нить, зацепка), and clearing up those mysteries (и выяснению тех загадок; to clear up — прояснять; mystery — тайна), which had been abandoned as hopeless (которые были признаны: «брошены» как безнадежные; to hope — надеяться)by the official police (официальной полицией). From time to time (время от времени)I heard some vague account of his doings (я слышал /кое-какие/ смутные сообщения о его делах; account — счет, доклад): of his summons to Odessa (о том, что его вызывают в Одессу; summons — судебная повестка)in the case of the Trepoff murder (в связи с убийством Трепова; in case of — в случае чего-либо), of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers (о его прояснении странной трагедии = о том, что ему удалось пролить свет на трагедию братьев Аткинсон)at Trincomalee, and finally (и наконец)of the mission which he had accomplished (о поручении, которое он выполнил; to accomplish — завершать, достигать)so delicately and successfully (так = исключительно тонко и удачно)for the reigning family of Holland (для королевского дома: «царствующей семьи» Нидерландов; to reign — править). Beyond these signs of his activity (кроме = вне этих сведений о его деятельности; sign — знак, след), however (как бы там ни было), which I merely shared with all the readers (которые я только /лишь/ разделил со всеми читателями; to share — делить, распределять)of the daily press (ежедневной прессы), I knew little of my former friend and companion (я знал мало о моем прежнем друге и товарище; to know; former — бывший, давний).

В школе этого не расскажут:  Тест №12 по чешскому языку

marriage [?m?r??], drowsiness [?drauzinis], vague [vei?], clew [klu:]

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 our lodgings in Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still, as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his immense faculties and extraordinary powers of observation in following out those clews, and clearing up those mysteries, which had been abandoned as hopeless by the official police. From time to time I heard some vague account of his doings: of his summons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder, of his clearing up of the singular tragedy of the Atkinson brothers at Trincomalee, and finally of the mission which he had accomplished so delicately and successfully for the reigning family of Holland. Beyond these signs of his activity, however, which I merely shared with all the readers of the daily press, I knew little of my former friend and companion.

One night (однажды ночью)— it was on the twentieth of March, 1888 (это было двадцатого: «на двадцатое» марта 1888 года)— I was returning from a journey to a patient (я возвращался: «был возвращающимся» из поездки к пациенту = от пациента; journey — прогулка, путешествие)(for I had now returned to civil practice (так как я теперь вновь занялся частной практикой; to return — возвращаться; civil — частный, гражданский), when my way led me through Baker Street (когда мой путь привел меня на: «через» Бейкер-стрит; to lead — управлять, вести). As I passed the well-remembered door (когда я проходил мимо хорошо знакомой двери; to remember — вспоминать), which must always be associated in my mind (которая должна всегда быть связанной = навсегда связана в моем уме; mind — разум, память)with my wooing (с моим сватовством; to woo — ухаживать), and with the dark inc >
journey [. n?], eagerly [?i. l?], silhouette [s?lu:?et]

One night — it was on the twentieth of March, 1888 — I was returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. As I passed the well-remembered door, which must always be associated in my mind with my wooing, and with the dark incidents of the Study in Scarlet, I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again, and to know how he was employing his extraordinary powers. His rooms were brilliantly lit, and, even as I looked up, I saw his tall, spare figure pass twice in a dark silhouette against the blind. He was pacing the room swiftly, eagerly, with his head sunk upon his chest and his hands clasped behind him. To me, who knew his every mood and habit, his attitude and manner told their own story. He was at work again. He had risen out of his drug-created dreams and was hot upon the scent of some new problem. I rang the bell and was shown up to the chamber which had formerly been in part my own.

His manner was not effusive (его манера /действий/ не была несдержанной = он встретил меня спокойно). It seldom was (это редко было); but he was glad (но он был рад; to be glad — радоваться), I think (думаю), to see me (видеть меня). With hardly a word spoken (с едва произнесенным словом = почти без слов; hard — твердый, трудный; to speak — говорить, высказать), but with a kindly eye (но с благожелательным взглядом = приветливо), he waved me to an armchair (он подал мне знак рукой к креслу — предложил сесть; to wave — махать), threw across his case of cigars (пододвинул коробку сигар; to throw — кидать, толкать; across — через; case — ящик, коробка), and indicated a spirit case (указал /на/ винный погребец; to indicate — показывать; spirit — алкоголь)and a gasogene (установку для получения газа)in the corner (в углу). Then he stood before the fire (затем он встал перед огнем = камином; to stand — стоять)and looked me over (оглядел меня; to look over — осматривать)in his singular introspective fashion (своим необычным проницательным взглядом; singular — странный; to introspect — анализировать; fashion — вид, манера).

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effusive [??fju:s?v], kindly [?ka?ndl?], singular [?s??jul?]

His manner was not effusive. It seldom was; but he was glad, I think, to see me. With hardly a word spoken, but with a kindly eye, he waved me to an armchair, threw across his case of cigars, and indicated a spirit case and a gasogene in the corner. Then he stood before the fire and looked me over in his singular introspective fashion.

«Wedlock suits you (брак подходит вам = /идет/ на пользу; to suit — подходить, устраивать),» he remarked (заметил он). «I think, Watson, that you have put on seven and a half pounds (что вы пополнели на семь с половиной фунтов; to put on — надевать, прибавлять)since I saw you (с тех пор как я вас видел /в последний раз/)
«Seven! (семь)» I answered (ответил).

remark [ri?m?:k], pound [?paund], answered [. ns?d]

«Indeed (в самом деле), I should have thought a little more (следует думать, немного больше). Just a trifle more (чуточку больше; just — только; trifle — мелочь, пустяк), I fancy (предполагаю; to fancy — представлять), Watson. And in practice again (практикуете снова = в практике), I observe (/как/ я вижу; to observe — наблюдать). You did not tell me (вы не говорили мне; to tell — говорить)that you intended to go into harness (что собираетесь впрячься в работу; to intend — намереваться; to go into — впадать; harness — упряжь)
«Then, how do you know?» (/так/ откуда /же/ вы знаете = как вы знаете)

trifle [tra?fl], harness [?h?:n?s]

«Wedlock suits you,» he remarked. «I think, Watson, that you have put on seven and a half pounds since I saw you.»
«Seven!» I answered.
«Indeed, I should have thought a little more. Just a trifle more, I fancy, Watson. And in practice again, I observe. You did not tell me that you intended to go into harness.»
«Then, how do you know?»

«I see it, I deduce it (вывел это = сделал вывод; to deduce — заключить). How do I know that you have been getting yourself very wet lately (откуда я узнал, что вы сильно промокли недавно; to get wet — промокать), and that you have a most clumsy and careless servant girl (и что у вас самая неловкая и небрежная горничная; clumsy — неуклюжий; to care — заботиться; servant — слуга)

deduce [d??dju:s], clumsy [?kl?mz?]

«My dear Holmes (дорогой Холмс),» sa > He chuckled (хихикнул)to himself and rubbed his long, nervous hands together (потер свои длинные нервные руки).

certainly [?s?:tnl?], centuries [?sen??r?], incorrigible [?n?k?r. bl]

«I see it, I deduce it. How do I know that you have been getting yourself very wet lately, and that you have a most clumsy and careless servant girl?»
«My dear Holmes,» said I, «this is too much. You would certainly have been burned, had you lived a few centuries ago. It is true that I had a country walk on Thursday and came home in a dreadful mess, but as I have changed my clothes I can’t imagine how you deduce it. As to Mary Jane, she is incorrigible, and my wife has given her notice, but there, again, I fail to see how you work it out.»
He chuckled to himself and rubbed his long, nervous hands together.

«It is simplicity itself (проще простого; simplicity — простота),» sa >
simplicity [s?m?pl?s?t?], leather [?le??], specimen [?spes?m?n]

«It is simplicity itself,» said he; «my eyes tell me that on the inside of your left shoe, just where the firelight strikes it, the leather is scored by six almost parallel cuts. Obviously they have been caused by someone who has very carelessly scraped round the edges of the sole in order to remove crusted mud from it. Hence, you see, my double deduction that you had been out in vile weather, and that you had a particularly malignant boot-slitting specimen of the London slavey. As to your practice, if a gentleman walks into my rooms smelling of iodoform, with a black mark of nitrate of silver upon his right forefinger, and a bulge on the right side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted his stethoscope, I must be dull, indeed, if I do not pronounce him to be an active member of the medical profession.»

I could not help laughing at the ease (я не мог удержаться от смеха над простотой; can not help /doing something/ — не мочь не /делать что-то/; ease — легкость)with which he explained (с которой он объяснил; to explain — объяснять)his process of deduction. «When I hear you give your reasons (когда я слышу /как/ вы приводите свои соображения; to give — давать),» I remarked (заметил я; to remark — замечать), «the thing always appears to me to be so r >
laughing [?l?:f??], ridiculously [r??d?kjul?sl?], instance [??nst?ns]

I could not help laughing at the ease with which he explained his process of deduction. «When I hear you give your reasons,» I remarked, «the thing always appears to me to be so ridiculously simple that I could easily do it myself, though at each successive instance of your reasoning I am baffled until you explain your process. And yet I believe that my eyes are as good as yours.»

«Quite so (совершенно так),» he answered (ответил он; to answer — отвечать), lighting a cigarette (закуривая папиросу; to light — зажигать), and throwing himself down into an armchair (садясь в кресло: «бросая себя в кресло»; to throw down — бросать). «You see, but you do not observe (вы видите, но не наблюдаете). The distinction is clear (разница ясно видна; clear — чистый, прозрачный). For example (например), you have frequently seen (часто видели)the steps which lead up from the hall to this room (ступени, которые ведут из прихожей в эту комнату; to lead up — вести куда-либо)

throwing [??r?u??], frequently [?fri:kw?ntl?], distinction [d?s?t??k?n]

«Frequently (часто)
«How often? (как часто)»
«Well, some hundreds of times (ну, несколько сотен раз)

«Quite so,» he answered, lighting a cigarette, and throwing himself down into an armchair. «You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.»
«Frequently.»
«How often?»
«Well, some hundreds of times.»

«Then how many are there (/ну и/ как много = сколько их /там/)
«How many? I don’t know (не знаю)
«Quite so (вот-вот = именно так)! You have not observed (вы не наблюдали; to observe — наблюдать). And yet (между тем)you have seen. That is just my point (в этом вся суть, именно это я и хочу сказать). Now, I know that there are seventeen steps (а я знаю, что там семнадцать ступеней), because I have both seen and observed (потому что я и видел, и наблюдал; both — и то, и другое). By the way (кстати), since (поскольку)you are interested in these little problems (интересуетесь этими небольшими проблемами; to be interested in — интересоваться /чем-либо/), and since you are good enough to chronicle one or two of my trifling experiences (достаточно хороши чтобы = были добры описать один-два моих маленьких опыта; to chronicle — заносить в дневник)you may be interested in this (вас может заинтересовать это).» He threw over a sheet of thick, pink-tinted note-paper

В школе этого не расскажут:  Спряжение глагола cracher во французском языке.

Скандал в Богемии

К Шерлоку Холмсу обращается за помощью король Богемии. Когда-то у короля был бурный роман с известной оперной дивой Ирэн Адлер, но теперь он собирается жениться на соответ­ствующей его происхождению женщине. Ирэн шантажирует своего бывшего поклонника, угрожая послать семье невесты компроме­тирующую фотографию и расстроит свадьбу. Несмотря на то, что были предприняты различные попытки добыть снимок — нанимали взломщиков и грабителей, обыскивали Ирэн — карточку найти не удалось. Остаётся последнее средство — помощь знаменитого сыщика.

Чтобы выполнить поручение, Холмс переодевается в безработного конюха и отправляется к дому Ирэн. Помогая слугам ухаживать за лошадьми, он узнаёт, что Ирэн — самое очарова­тельное существо из всех, носящих дамскую шляпку. Она ведёт скромный образ жизни, иногда даёт концерты и после обеда выезжает на прогулку. Её посещает юрист Годфри Нортон. Сыщик раздумывает, кем же может приходиться этот господин Ирэн. Тем временем появляется он сам и вместе с Ирэн уезжает в церковь. Холмс следует за ними. В церкви Ирэн со своим спутником подходят к священнику с просьбой обвенчать их, но тот отказывался совершить обряд без свидетелей. Появление в церкви Холмса в одежде конюха решает проблему: происходит венчание.

Вечером того же дня Холмс, переодевшись священником, снова идёт к дому Ирэн. Нанятые им люди набрасываются на выходящую из экипажа женщину. Холмс бросается ей на помощь и с вымазанным специально приготовленной для этого красной краской лицом падает на землю. Люди Ирэн приносят сыщика в дом и по его просьбе открывают окно. Стоящий на улице Уотсон бросает в комнату дымовую ракету. Поднимается паника, во время которой Ирэн первым делом бросается к тайнику, в котором хранится заветный снимок. Восполь­зо­вавшись всеобщим замешательством, Холмс покидает дом. Когда он заходит в свою квартиру на Бейкер-стрит, проходящий мимо юноша желает ему спокойной ночи. Холмс приходит в недоумение: где он слышал этот голос?

На следующий день, Холмс, Уотсон и король Богемии приходят в дом Ирэн, но дом пуст, а для великого сыщика оставлено письмо. Ирэн догадалась, кем был священник, которому она оказала приют в своём доме, и удостоверилась в этом, когда переоделась в мужской костюм, чтобы пожелать мистеру Шерлоку Холмсу спокойной ночи. Ирэн не будет чинить препятствий для брака короля, она вышла замуж за любимого человека и навсегда покидает Англию. Фотографию она забирает с собой, а взамен оставляет свою на память.

Такой поворот дел короля устраивает. В качестве платы за услуги он предлагает Холмсу перстень с изумрудом. Но великий сыщик отказывается: фотография Ирэн — лучшее вознаграждение.

Холмс, всегда с насмешкой отзывавшийся о женском уме, терпит поражение от женщины. Ирэн Адлер становится для него идеалом, единственной женщиной, сумевшей его перехитрить, той, которую он называет «Та Женщина».

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A Scandal in Bohemia. Part 1

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ADVENTURE I. A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

Page 16 of 17

MY DEAR MR. SHERLOCK HOLMES,—You really did it very well. You took me in completely. Until after the alarm of fire, I had not a suspicion. But then, when I found how I had betrayed myself, I began to think. I had been warned against you months ago. I had been told that if the King employed an agent it would certainly be you. And your address had been given me. Yet, with all this, you made me reveal what you wanted to know. Even after I became suspicious, I found it hard to think evil of such a dear, kind old clergyman. But, you know, I have been trained as an actress myself. Male costume is nothing new to me. I often take advantage of the freedom which it gives. I sent John, the coachman, to watch you, ran up stairs, got into my walking-clothes, as I call them, and came down just as you departed.

Well, I followed you to your door, and so made sure that I was really an object of interest to the celebrated Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Then I, rather imprudently, wished you good-night, and started for the Temple to see my husband. We both thought the best resource was flight, when pursued by so formidable an antagonist; so you will find the nest empty when you call to-morrow. As to the photograph, your client may rest in peace. I love and am loved by a better man than he. The King may do what he will without hindrance from one whom he has cruelly wronged. I keep it only to safeguard myself, and to preserve a weapon which will always secure me from any steps which he might take in the future. I leave a photograph which he might care to possess; and I remain, dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes,

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Very truly yours, IRENE NORTON, nee ADLER.

«What a woman—oh, what a woman!» cried the King of Bohemia, when we had all three read this epistle. «Did I not tell you how quick and resolute she was? Would she not have made an admirable queen? Is it not a pity that she was not on my level?»

«From what I have seen of the lady she seems indeed to be on a very different level to your Majesty,» said Holmes coldly. «I am sorry that I have not been able to bring your Majesty’s business to a more successful conclusion.»

«On the contrary, my dear sir,» cried the King; «nothing could be more successful. I know that her word is inviolate. The photograph is now as safe as if it were in the fire.»

«I am glad to hear your Majesty say so.»

«I am immensely indebted to you. Pray tell me in what way I can reward you. This ring—» He slipped an emerald snake ring from his finger and held it out upon the palm of his hand.

«Your Majesty has something which I should value even more highly,» said Holmes.

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