February 2015 | Nate Pedersen

Lost Sherlock Holmes Story Found in Attic

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An unsigned, 1,300-word Sherlock Holmes story has just been discovered in a pamphlet printed in 1903. The 48-page booklet was published during a three-day funding bazaar to raise funds for bridge restoration in Selkirk, a Scottish Borders town. It includes stories and poetry from local residents of Selkirk. Entitled "The Book o' The Brig," the pamphlet also announces the arrival of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the final day of the bazaar as a celebrity guest of honor.  

Sales from the book netted $633, which helped install the iron bridge still standing today.

Walter Elliot, a Scottish historian and poet who resides near Selkirk, found the pamphlet in his attic while searching for bridge mementos to display in a pop-up museum commemorating the bridge as it once again faces restoration work.

The story, entitled "Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar" features Holmes and Watson in London discussing amongst other things Watson's upcoming trip to Selkirk to see the bridge.

"It's unsigned, and I'm not a specialist, but the vocabulary seems pretty close to the way Conan Doyle wrote. I'm fairly sure it was written by him," said Elliot in an interview with the Guardian.

The implication is that Conan Doyle dashed off a quick story for publication in the pamphlet to help raise funds for the bridge restoration work, winking at his audience by leaving it unsigned. If verified, the story would be the first unknown Holmes story written by Conan Doyle to surface since the last was published 80 years ago.

The entire text of the story is online at The Daily Record.