Holmes pleases the public with his deductive feats. Doyle must find new situations and unprecedented paths of thought. In this phase, preparing new stories with a cadence acceptable to his readers was certainly not an easy task.
In early 1903 Doyle opens by chance a book that contains some drawings by two children, brother and sister, who communicate with each other by coded alphabets. The little girl had cleverly drawn musical staves to calibrate her stick figures in which the position of arms and legs transcribed the alphabet. Incredible, dear Watson : Sherlock Holmes, champion of intelligence, had never broken a cypher.
The idea is good and Doyle does not wait for preparing The Adventure of the Dancing Men. A young American woman married in England said nothing about her past to her husband but receives messages composed of alignment of innocent figures that terrorize her.
Solicited by the husband, Holmes is catching up by proclaiming himself an expert in cryptography and finds the key by the classical method of analyzing the frequency of the figures. The threats came from a lieutenant of a Chicago bandit. The young woman was the boss's daughter and had fled the bad America to change her life.
The final draft of the Dancing Men is a signed 53-page document in Doyle's clean and regular writing, including the coded drawings within the text. It will be sold by Heritage in Dallas on April 18, lot 47156.
This adventure was published in magazines a few months later and then integrated into the cycle The Return of Sherlock Holmes. Filling Doyle's void over the use of encryption, it was one of his preferred Holmes stories.
SOLD for $ 310K including premium
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