The literary world – well, and just about everyone really – is very excited, and why? A long-lost Sherlock Holmes story, written of course by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, has been found in an attic in Scotland.
Reported by the Daily Record, the story was found by historian Walter Elliott. The story, Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar, had been contributed by Conan Doyle as part of a collection used to raise money for the repair of a bridge in Selkirk, destroyed in 1902.
The stories, mostly written by local people, were made into a little booklet called The Book o’ the Brig, and sold at a bazaar in the town in 1904. Elliott had been given a copy of the booklet more than fifty years ago, and had just shoved it in his attic, as you do, apparently. However, a local pop-up museum was opening so he thought the stories would be an interesting display. Considering what he found, that’s definitely putting it mildly.
“I have no idea how many [booklets] they made and sold,” said Elliott. “Usually people would throw out these books or sell them off. It has been in my family for quite a while now… I have no idea if it has ever been published – I’ve never seen it.”
As well as writing the story, Conan Doyle (a frequent visitor to the area) also opened the final day of the event. “He really must have thought enough of the town to come down and take part and contribute a story to the book,” said Elliott. “It’s a great little story.”
The tale is of a journalist sent on a mission by his editor to gain an interview from the legendary Holmes. Upon reaching London, he observes Holmes and Doctor Watson discussing the “mysteries of the Secret Cabinet”. The story contains mentions of Selkirk and local vernacular, which I am sure must have delighted the locals.
The booklet is on display at the Cross Keys Selkirk Pop-up Community Museum. If you can’t get along to read it there, the Daily Record has it published in full.