PART II. The Country of the Saints.
6. CHAPTER VI. A CONTINUATION OF THE REMINISCENCES OF JOHN WATSON, M.D.
"I have little more to say, and it's as well, for I am about
done up. I went on cabbing it for a day or so, intending to
keep at it until I could save enough to take me back to
America. I was standing in the yard when a ragged youngster
asked if there was a cabby there called Jefferson Hope, and
said that his cab was wanted by a gentleman at 221B, Baker
Street. I went round, suspecting no harm, and the next thing
I knew, this young man here had the bracelets on my wrists,
and as neatly shackled as ever I saw in my life. That's
the whole of my story, gentlemen. You may consider me to be
a murderer; but I hold that I am just as much an officer of
justice as you are."
So thrilling had the man's narrative been, and his manner was
so impressive that we had sat silent and absorbed. Even the
professional detectives, blase as they were in every detail
of crime, appeared to be keenly interested in the man's story.
When he finished we sat for some minutes in a stillness which
was only broken by the scratching of Lestrade's pencil as he
gave the finishing touches to his shorthand account.
"There is only one point on which I should like a little more
information," Sherlock Holmes said at last. "Who was your
accomplice who came for the ring which I advertised?"
The prisoner winked at my friend jocosely. "I can tell my own
secrets," he said, "but I don't get other people into trouble.
I saw your advertisement, and I thought it might be a plant,
or it might be the ring which I wanted. My friend volunteered
to go and see. I think you'll own he did it smartly."
"Not a doubt of that," said Holmes heartily.
"Now, gentlemen," the Inspector remarked gravely, "the forms
of the law must be complied with. On Thursday the prisoner
will be brought before the magistrates, and your attendance
will be required. Until then I will be responsible for him."
He rang the bell as he spoke, and Jefferson Hope was led off
by a couple of warders, while my friend and I made our way
out of the Station and took a cab back to Baker Street.