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THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

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THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES by SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

I. A Scandal in Bohemia

II. The Red-headed League

III. A Case of Identity

IV. The Boscombe Valley Mystery

V. The Five Orange Pips

VI. The Man with the Twisted Lip

VII. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

VIII. The Adventure of the Speckled Band

IX. The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb

X. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

XI. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

XII. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

ADVENTURE I. A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

I.

To Sherlock Holmes she is always THE woman. I have seldom heard

him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses

and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt

any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that

one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but

admirably balanced mind. He was, I take it, the most perfect

reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a

lover he would have placed himself in a false position. He never

spoke of the softer passions, save with a gibe and a sneer. They

were admirable things for the observer--excellent for drawing the

veil from men's motives and actions. But for the trained reasoner

to admit such intrusions into his own delicate and finely

adjusted temperament was to introduce a distracting factor which

might throw a doubt upon all his mental results. Grit in a

sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power

lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a

nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and

that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable

memory.

I had seen little of Holmes lately. My marriage had drifted us

away from each other. My own complete happiness, and the

home-centred interests which rise up around the man who first

finds himself master of his own establishment, were sufficient to

absorb all my attention, while Holmes, who loathed every form of

society with his whole Bohemian soul, remained in our lodgings in

Baker Street, buried among his old books, and alternating from

week to week between cocaine and ambition, the drowsiness of the

drug, and the fierce energy of his own keen nature. He was still,

as ever, deeply attracted by the study of crime, and occupied his

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