SHERLOCK HOLMES -- PLOTS AND IDEAS
A collection of letters and other documents relating to real-life mysteries investigated by Conan Doyle, or potential plots for Sherlock Holmes stories, comprising:
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Autograph letter signed to an unidentified correspondent, Undershaw, 17 January 1905, asking for further information on an article entitled 'A besieged Debtor' -- 'It exactly corresponds to the tactics of a fellow whom I am following up', one page, 8vo;
and seven other letters, a typescript, a manuscript map, a printed pamphlet in Chinese and one other item.
Five of the letters relate to a mystery dubbed 'The Case of the Missing Fiancé', 1909, the result of an appeal by a nurse, whose Danish fiancé had vanished without trace; there are three letters from the nurse, and two from an employee of the Danish East Asian Company, enabling the identification of the missing man as a fraudster. The two other letters, 1901 and 1907, also relate to real-life missing persons. The typescript is a suggested plot for a Sherlock Holmes story, a murder case involving a pistol, a ladder, and the framing of an innocent man. The manuscript map is apparently a spoof: 'Rough plan of field where battle with Germans took place', with positions marked for 'Barn where Watson stood', 'Holmes' aeroplane', 'Moran's aeroplane', 'Gravel pit whence Holmes flung Egg into River', 'Bridge blown up by Holmes', and 'Knoll where Stanley Hopkins stood'. The printed book in Chinese is equally irreverent, being Xiao Qing's An Account Between Two Cunning Rivals, n.p., n.d. (possibly extracted from a literary journal), a version of the rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and Arsène Lupin. (11)