THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLAW KOMBS
The Great Pegram Mystery
(With apologies to Dr. Conan Doyle, and our mutual and lamented friend the late Sherlock Holmes.)
I dropped in on my friend, Sherlaw Kombs, to hear what he had to say about the Pegram mystery, as it had come to be called in the newspapers. I found him playing the violin with a look of sweet peace and serenity on his face, which I never noticed on the countenances of those within hearing distance. I knew this expression of seraphic calm indicated that Kombs had been deeply annoyed about something.
Such, indeed, proved to be the case, for one of the morning papers had contained an article, eulogizing the alertness and general competence of Scotland Yard. So great was Sherlaw Kombs's contempt for Scotland Yard that he never would visit Scotland during his vacations, nor would he ever admit that a Scotchman was fit for anything but export.
He generously put away his violin, for he had a sincere liking for me, and greeted me with his usual kindness.
"I have come," I began, plunging at once into the matter on my mind, "to hear what you think of the great Pegram mystery."
"I haven't heard of it," he said quietly, just as if all London were not talking of that very thing. Kombs was curiously ignorant on some subjects, and abnormally learned on others. I found, for instance, that political discussion with him was impossible, because he did not know who Salisbury and Gladstone were. This made his friendship a great boon.
"The Pegram mystery has baffled even Gregory, of Scotland Yard."
"I can well believe it," said my friend, calmly. "Perpetual motion, or squaring the circle, would baffle Gregory. He's an infant, is Gregory."
This was one of the things I always liked about Kombs. There was no professional jealousy in him, such as characterizes so many other men.