1. CHAPTER I. MR. SHERLOCK HOLMES.
"I should like to meet him," I said. "If I am to lodge with
anyone, I should prefer a man of studious and quiet habits.
I am not strong enough yet to stand much noise or excitement.
I had enough of both in Afghanistan to last me for the
remainder of my natural existence. How could I meet this
friend of yours?"
"He is sure to be at the laboratory," returned my companion.
"He either avoids the place for weeks, or else he works there
from morning to night. If you like, we shall drive round
together after luncheon."
"Certainly," I answered, and the conversation drifted away
into other channels.
As we made our way to the hospital after leaving the Holborn,
Stamford gave me a few more particulars about the gentleman
whom I proposed to take as a fellow-lodger.
"You mustn't blame me if you don't get on with him," he said;
"I know nothing more of him than I have learned from meeting
him occasionally in the laboratory. You proposed this
arrangement, so you must not hold me responsible."
"If we don't get on it will be easy to part company," I answered.
"It seems to me, Stamford," I added, looking hard at my companion,
"that you have some reason for washing your hands of the matter.
Is this fellow's temper so formidable, or what is it?
Don't be mealy-mouthed about it."
"It is not easy to express the inexpressible," he answered
with a laugh. "Holmes is a little too scientific for my
tastes -- it approaches to cold-bloodedness. I could imagine
his giving a friend a little pinch of the latest vegetable
alkaloid, not out of malevolence, you understand, but simply
out of a spirit of inquiry in order to have an accurate idea
of the effects. To do him justice, I think that he would
take it himself with the same readiness. He appears to have
a passion for definite and exact knowledge."
"Very right too."