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Sherlock Holmes

and

The Shadows of St Petersburg

[Being another manuscript found in the dispatch box of

Dr. John H. Watson

In the vault of Cox & Co., Charing Cross, London]

As Edited

By

Daniel D. Victor, Ph.D.

First Edition published in 2018

Copyright © 2018

Daniel D Victor

The right of Daniel D Victor to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998.

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without express written permission. No paragraph of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted except with express prior written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended). Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damage. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this book. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not of MX Publishing.

MX Publishing

335 Princess Park Manor, Royal Drive

London, N11 3GX

www.mxpublishing.co.uk

Cover design by Brian Belanger

Also by Daniel D. Victor

The Seventh Bullet:

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A Study in Synchronicity

The Final Page of Baker Street

(Book One in the series,

Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati)

Sherlock Holmes and the Baron of Brede Place

(Book Two in the series,

Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati)

Seventeen Minutes to Baker Street

(Book Three in the series,

Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati)

The Outrage at the Diogenes Club

(Book Four in the series,

Sherlock Holmes and the American Literati)

Here’s another for Norma, Seth and Ethan.

Acknowledgments

For their consistent help and encouragement, I’d like to thank Norma Silverman, Judy Grabiner, Barry Smolin, Sandy Cohen, David Marcum, and Mark Holzband. A special thanks to Seth Victor for his tech-help and to Ethan Victor for sharing his writing time with me.

A hundred suspicions don’t make a proof.

Nothing in the world is harder than speaking the truth, and nothing easier than flattery.

Man grows used to everything, the scoundrel!

-Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment

Constance Garnett Translation

A Note on the Text

Footnotes followed by (JHW) were included by Dr Watson in the original manuscript. Footnotes followed by (DDV) were added by the editor.

Prologue

“The bullet wound suffered by Mr Arthur Black was not sufficient to kill him.” Thus spoke the Deputy Coroner for East Sussex on a January day in 1893. What exactly had ended the man’s life was yet to be acknowledged.

At the time of the inquest, close to two years following the supposedly fatal encounter between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the general public (myself included) still believed Holmes to be dead. And yet - as I have noted elsewhere - in spite of his disappearance, I never lost interest in the challenges of forensic medicine that my friend had kindled within me.

As a result, I continued to follow public reports of crimes and their ensuing investigations during Holmes’ absence. Indeed, owing to my familiarity with the official police force, I would not infrequently be asked for my medical opinion on various criminal matters. When the Scotland Yarders said, “Dr Watson, your services are required,” I did my best to oblige. Even without the guidance of my trusted friend, I should like to think that I made more than a few worthwhile contributions to their cases.[1]

As a consequence of my willingness to represent the Yard beyond the boundaries of London, it came as no surprise when in early 1893 I was invited to testify at a public inquest in Brighton. Though I am certain a local doctor could have done the work just as effectively, I assumed that police officials, desirous of keeping controversy to a minimum, hoped the appearance at the inquest of a colleague of the late Sherlock Holmes might add credibility to a singular murder investigation.

One can always count on the public’s ghoulish fascination with murder, a fascination that grows with the number of victims and multiplies exponentially if the dead happen to be personages of distinction. In the Brighton business, there were three dead. But in this case, it was not the usual gawkers that concerned themselves with the morbid details; it was a group of influential intellectuals that displayed keen interest in an explanation for the multiple murders.

As it happened, one of the deceased, the aforementioned Arthur Black, was a recognised mathematician. He also happened to be the brother-in-law of noted author and critic Edward Garnett, whose father Richard served as Keeper of the Printed Books at the British Museum. Though Edward’s wife Constance, the sister of the dead man, had not yet begun her celebrated translations of Russian literature, she had already completed studies in Greek and Latin at Cambridge. With so much of the intelligentsia displaying interest, the Yard concluded that the criminal investigation needed to be treated with particular care.

* * *

The facts in the case were these: On Tuesday, 17 January, 1893, Mr Black, a teacher of mathematics at the School of Science and Art in Brighton, failed to appear for his first class of the new term. After two days of receiving no response to written queries, the school secretary took it upon himself to visit the teacher’s home at 27 Goldstone Villas. When he received no answer to his persistent knocks, he notified the local constabulary.

It was Detective Walter Parsons who responded to the secretary’s concern. Parsons, accompanied by Ernest Black, Arthur’s brother, gained entrance to the lower level of the teacher’s house by breaking a garden window. Later, in a detail deemed irrelevant by the authorities at the inquest, it was noted that at the time of their entry a door to the garden had been unbolted.

Whatever the two men had overlooked in their haste to enter, they would not soon forget the horrors they encountered once they got inside. As described by the detective, first they came upon the lifeless body of Arthur’s infant son. Dressed in nightclothes, the baby lay in a pool of blood. There was a knife

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