It was not a long journey from Winchester to Thor Place, but it was
long to me in my impatience, while for Holmes it was evident that it
seemed endless; for, in his nervous restlessness he could not sit still,
but paced the carriage or drummed with his long, sensitive fingers upon
the cushions beside him. Suddenly, however, as we neared our
destination he seated himself opposite to me – we had a first-class
carriage to ourselves – and laying a hand upon each of my knees he
looked into my eyes with the peculiarly mischievous gaze which was
characteristic of his more imp-like moods.
“Watson,” said he, “I have some recollection that you go armed upon these excursions of ours.”
It was as well for him that I did so, for he took little care for
his own safety when his mind was once absorbed by a problem so that
more than once my revolver had been a good friend in need. I reminded
him of the fact.
“Yes, yes, I am a little absent-minded in such matters. But have you your revolver on you?”
I produced it from my hip-pocket, a short, handy, but very
serviceable little weapon. He undid the catch, shook out the cartridges,
and examined it with care.
“It’s heavy – remarkably heavy,” said he.
“Yes, it is a solid bit of work.”
He mused over it for a minute.
“Do you know, Watson,” said he, “I believe your revolver is going
to have a very intimate connection with the mystery which we are
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