Long-lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered in woodcutter's attic

Arthur Conan Doyle penned it to help raise money to build a new bridge in 1902. It was lying in a woodcutter’s attic for over 50 years

London: A long-lost Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle for a fundraiser has been unearthed after lying in an attic for almost 50 years.


Pic for representation only

The 1,300-word tale starring the famous detective is part of a book of short stories created to help raise money to build a new bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk after it was destroyed in 1902.

The famous author, who visited the area often, decided to help locals by contributing to the ‘Book o’ the Brig’ — ‘Brig’ meaning bridge — which was sold at the three-day bazaar two years later.

Selkirk-based retired woodcutter Walter Elliot, 80, was given the 48-page pamphlet by a friend more than 50 years ago and had forgotten about it until recently.

The two-and-a-half page story, titled Sherlock Homes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar, is about the detective and his partner Watson’s trip to the town.

It is believed the story — about Holmes deducing Watson is going on a trip to Selkirk — is the first unseen Holmes story by Doyle since the last was published over 80 years ago. The book — around ten inches long and three inches wide with a soft brown paper cover — contained stories from local people, as well as the famous author.

The booklet went on display at the Cross Keys Selkirk Pop-up Community Museum yesterday, along with Elliot’s painting of the replaced bridge.

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