I. Maddened by Mystery: or The Defective Detective
II. "Q." A Psychic Pstory of the Psupernatural
III. Guido the Gimlet of Ghent: A Romance of Chivalry
IV. Gertrude the Governess: or Simple Seventeen
V. A Hero in Homespun: or The Life Struggle of Hezekiah Hayloft
VI. Sorrows of a Super Soul: or The Memoirs of Marie Mushenough
VII. Hannah of the Highlands: or The Laird of Loch Aucherlocherty
VIII. Soaked in Seaweed: or Upset in the Ocean
IX. Caroline's Christmas: or The Inexplicable Infant
X. The Man in Asbestos: an Allegory of the Future
_I. -- Maddened by Mystery: or The Defective Detective_
THE great detective sat in his office. He wore a long green
gown and half a dozen secret badges pinned to the outside of it.
Three or four pairs of false whiskers hung on a whisker-stand
Goggles blue spectacles and motor glasses lay within easy reach.
He could completely disguise himself at a second's notice.
Half a bucket of cocaine and a dipper stood on a chair at his elbow.
His face was absolutely impenetrable.
A pile of cryptograms lay on the desk. The Great Detective hastily
tore them open one after the other solved them and threw them down
the cryptogram-shute at his side.
There was a rap at the door.
The Great Detective hurriedly wrapped himself in a pink domino
adjusted a pair of false black whiskers and cried
His secretary entered. "Ha" said the detective "it is you!"
He laid aside his disguise.
"Sir" said the young man in intense excitement "a mystery has been
"Ha!" said the Great Detective his eye kindling "is it such as to
completely baffle the police of the entire continent?"
"They are so completely baffled with it" said the secretary "that they
are lying collapsed in heaps; many of them have committed suicide."
"So" said the detective "and is the mystery one that is absolutely
unparalleled in the whole recorded annals of the London police?"
"And I suppose" said the detective "that it involves names which you
would scarcely dare to breathe at least without first using some kind
of atomiser or throat-gargle."
"And it is connected I presume with the highest diplomatic
consequences so that if we fail to solve it England will be at war with
the whole world in sixteen minutes?"
His secretary still quivering with excitement again answered yes.
"And finally" said the Great Detective "I presume that it was
committed in broad daylight in some such place as the entrance of the
Bank of England or in the cloak-room of the House of Commons and under
the very eyes of the police?"
"Those" said the secretary "are the very conditions of the mystery."
"Good" said the Great Detective "now wrap yourself in this disguise
put on these brown whiskers and tell me what it is."
The secretary wrapped himself in a blue domino with lace insertions
then bending over he whispered in the ear of the Great Detective:
"The Prince of Wurttemberg has been kidnapped."
The Great Detective bounded from his chair as if he had been kicked
A prince stolen! Evidently a Bourbon! The scion of one of the oldest
families in Europe kidnapped. Here was a mystery indeed worthy of his
His mind began to move like lightning.
"Stop!" he said "how do you know this?"
The secretary handed him a telegram. It was from the Prefect of Police
of Paris. It read: "The Prince of Wurttemberg stolen. Probably
forwarded to London. Must have him here for the opening day of
Exhibition. 1000 pounds reward."
So! The Prince had been kidnapped out of Paris at the very time when
his appearance at the International Exposition would have been a
political event of the first magnitude.
With the Great Detective to think was to act and to act was to think.
Frequently he could do both together.
"Wire to Paris for a description of the Prince."
The secretary bowed and left.
At the same moment there was slight scratching at the door.
A visitor entered. He crawled stealthily on his hands and knees. A
hearthrug thrown over his head and shoulders disguised his identity.
He crawled to the middle of the room.
Then he rose.
It was the Prime Minister of England.
"You!" said the detective.
"Me" said the Prime Minister.
"You have come in regard the kidnapping of the Prince of Wurttemberg?"
The Prime Minister started.
"How do you know?" he said.
The Great Detective smiled his inscrutable smile.
"Yes" said the Prime Minister. "I will use no concealment. I am
interested deeply interested. Find the Prince of Wurttemberg get
him safe back to Paris and I will add 500 pounds to the reward already
offered. But listen" he said impressively as he left the room "see
to it that no attempt is made to alter the marking of the prince or
to clip his tail."
So! To clip the Prince's tail! The brain of the Great Detective
reeled. So! a gang of miscreants had conspired to--but no! the thing
was not possible.
There was another rap at the door.
A second visitor was seen. He wormed his way in lying almost prone
upon his stomach and wriggling across the floor. He was enveloped
in a long purple cloak. He stood up and peeped over the top of it.
It was the Archbishop of Canterbury!
"Your Grace!" exclaimed the detective in amazement--"pray do not
stand I beg you. Sit down lie down anything rather than stand."
The Archbishop took off his mitre and laid it wearily on the
"You are here in regard to the Prince of Wurttemberg."
The Archbishop started and crossed himself. Was the man a magician?
"Yes" he said "much depends on getting him back. But I have only
come to say this: my sister is desirous of seeing you. She is
coming here. She has been extremely indiscreet and her fortune
hangs upon the Prince. Get him back to Paris or I fear she will be
The Archbishop regained his mitre uncrossed himself wrapped his
cloak about him and crawled stealthily out on his hands and knees
purring like a cat.
The face of the Great Detective showed the most profound sympathy.
It ran up and down in furrows. "So" he muttered "the sister of
the Archbishop the Countess of Dashleigh!" Accustomed as he was to
the life of the aristocracy even the Great Detective felt that
there was here intrigue of more than customary complexity.
There was a loud rapping at the door.
There entered the Countess of Dashleigh. She was all in furs.
She was the most beautiful woman in England. She strode imperiously
into the room. She seized a chair imperiously and seated herself on
it imperial side up.
She took off her tiara of diamonds and put it on the tiara-holder
beside her and uncoiled her boa of pearls and put it on the
"You have come" said the Great Detective "about the Prince of
"Wretched little pup!" said the Countess of Dashleigh in disgust.
So! A further complication! Far from being in love with the
Prince the Countess denounced the young Bourbon as a pup!
"You are interested in him I believe."
"Interested!" said the Countess. "I should rather say so. Why
I bred him!"
"You which?" gasped the Great Detective his usually impassive
features suffused with a carmine blush.
"I bred him" said the Countess "and I've got 10000 pounds
upon his chances so no wonder I want him back in Paris. Only
listen" she said "if they've got hold of the Prince and cut
his tail or spoiled the markings of his stomach it would be far
better to have him quietly put out of the way here."
The Great Detective reeled and leaned up against the side of the
room. So! The cold-blooded admission of the beautiful woman for
the moment took away his breath! Herself the mother of the young
Bourbon misallied with one of the greatest families of Europe
staking her fortune on a Royalist plot and yet with so instinctive
a knowledge of European politics as to know that any removal of the
hereditary birth-marks of the Prince would forfeit for him the
sympathy of the French populace.
The Countess resumed her tiara.
The secretary re-entered.
"I have three telegrams from Paris" he said "they are completely
He handed over the first telegram.
"The Prince of Wurttemberg has a long wet snout broad ears very
long body and short hind legs."
The Great Detective looked puzzled.
He read the second telegram.
"The Prince of Wurttemberg is easily recognised by his deep bark."
And then the third.
"The Prince of Wurttemberg can be recognised by a patch of white
hair across the centre of his back."
The two men looked at one another. The mystery was maddening
The Great Detective spoke.
"Give me my domino" he said. "These clues must be followed up"
then pausing while his quick brain analysed and summed up the
evidence before him--"a young man" he muttered "evidently young
since described as a 'pup' with a long wet snout (ha! addicted
obviously to drinking) a streak of white hair across his back (a
first sign of the results of his abandoned life)--yes yes" he
continued "with this clue I shall find him easily."
The Great Detective rose.
He wrapped himself in a long black cloak with white whiskers and
blue spectacles attached.
Completely disguised he issued forth.
He began the search.
For four days he visited every corner of London.
He entered every saloon in the city. In each of them he drank a
glass of rum. In some of them he assumed the disguise of a sailor.
In others he entered as a solider. Into others he penetrated as a
clergyman. His disguise was perfect. Nobody paid any attention to
him as long as he had the price of a drink.
The search proved fruitless.
Two young men were arrested under suspicion of being the Prince
only to be released.
The identification was incomplete in each case.
One had a long wet snout but no hair on his back.
The other had hair on his back but couldn't bark.
Neither of them was the young Bourbon.
The Great Detective continued his search.
He stopped at nothing.
Secretly after nightfall he visited the home of the Prime
Minister. He examined it from top to bottom. He measured all
the doors and windows. He took up the flooring. He inspected
the plumbing. He examined the furniture. He found nothing.
With equal secrecy he penetrated into the palace of the Archbishop.
He examined it from top to bottom. Disguised as a choir-boy he took
part in the offices of the church. He found nothing.
Still undismayed the Great Detective made his way into the home of
the Countess of Dashleigh. Disguised as a housemaid he entered the
service of the Countess.
Then at last a clue came which gave him a solution of the mystery.
On the wall of the Countess's boudoir was a large framed engraving.
It was a portrait.
Under it was a printed legend:
THE PRINCE OF WURTTEMBERG
The portrait was that of a Dachshund.
The long body the broad ears the unclipped tail the short hind
legs--all was there.
In a fraction of a second the lightning mind of the Great Detective
had penetrated the whole mystery.
THE PRINCE WAS A DOG!!!!
Hastily throwing a domino over his housemaid's dress he rushed to
the street. He summoned a passing hansom and in a few moments was
at his house.
"I have it" he gasped to his secretary. "The mystery is solved.
I have pieced it together. By sheer analysis I have reasoned it out.
Listen--hind legs hair on back wet snout pup--eh what? does that
suggest nothing to you?"
"Nothing" said the secretary; "it seems perfectly hopeless."
The Great Detective now recovered from his excitement smiled faintly.
"It means simply this my dear fellow. The Prince of Wurttemberg is a
dog a prize Dachshund. The Countess of Dashleigh bred him and he is
worth some 25000 pounds in addition to the prize of 10000 pounds
offered at the Paris dog show. Can you wonder that----"
At that moment the Great Detective was interrupted by the scream of a
The Countess of Dashleigh dashed into the room.
Her face was wild.
Her tiara was in disorder.