3. CHAPTER III. THE LAURISTON GARDENS MYSTERY
"Why," I cried, as I cast my eye over it, "this is terrible!"
"It does seem to be a little out of the common," he remarked,
calmly. "Would you mind reading it to me aloud?"
This is the letter which I read to him ----
"MY DEAR MR. SHERLOCK HOLMES, -- "There has been a bad
business during the night at 3, Lauriston Gardens, off the
Brixton Road. Our man on the beat saw a light there about
two in the morning, and as the house was an empty one,
suspected that something was amiss. He found the door open,
and in the front room, which is bare of furniture, discovered
the body of a gentleman, well dressed, and having cards in
his pocket bearing the name of `Enoch J. Drebber, Cleveland,
Ohio, U.S.A.' There had been no robbery, nor is there any
evidence as to how the man met his death. There are marks
of blood in the room, but there is no wound upon his person.
We are at a loss as to how he came into the empty house;
indeed, the whole affair is a puzzler. If you can come round
to the house any time before twelve, you will find me there.
I have left everything in statu quo until I hear from you.
If you are unable to come I shall give you fuller details,
and would esteem it a great kindness if you would favour me
with your opinion. Yours faithfully, "TOBIAS GREGSON."
"Gregson is the smartest of the Scotland Yarders,"
my friend remarked; "he and Lestrade are the pick of a bad lot.
They are both quick and energetic, but conventional -- shockingly
so. They have their knives into one another, too. They are
as jealous as a pair of professional beauties. There will be
some fun over this case if they are both put upon the scent."
I was amazed at the calm way in which he rippled on.
"Surely there is not a moment to be lost," I cried,
"shall I go and order you a cab?"
"I'm not sure about whether I shall go. I am the most
incurably lazy devil that ever stood in shoe leather -- that is,
when the fit is on me, for I can be spry enough at times."