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The Adventure of the Abominable Inn

by Ralph E. Vaughan

About the Author: Ralph E. Vaughan is the author of several books combining the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and HP Lovecraft, such as "The Adventure of the Ancient Gods" (first story to combine Holmes & Lovecraft), "The Dreaming Detective", "Sherlock Holmes: The Coils Of Time & Other Stories", and "Sherlock Holmes and the Terror Out of Time."


Sherlock Homes glanced up from the finely penned vellum pages bound in calf-hide as the train slowed, then shuddered to a stop. They were just over four hours out from Rome, deep into the Italian countryside, and no halts were scheduled until they reached Milan; of course, that did not mean much, for although the Italians were possessed of many fine attributes, running a railway efficiently was not among them.

“Oh my, I hope nothing is seriously amiss,” murmured Canon Fairpenny, lowering the compartment window and thrusting his grey head into the chill air of late afternoon. “I can see the guard, or whatever they call him in Italian, on the side and talking with two other men.”

“Is there some object blocking the way on the rails?” asked Mlle Giscard, her accent as broad as she was thin.

“Not that I can see, my dear,” the Canon replied. “All I see are thick woods, mountains rising behind, and maybe … yes, I think I see perhaps the start of a hamlet at the curve, but it is certainly not a main station on the line.”

“Will we be long at this hamlet, as you say, do you think?” the French girl asked.

“Oh, I couldn’t say,” replied the elderly cleric, still looking out the window. “What say you, Mr Sigurson?”

“It is always foolish to theorize without facts,” Holmes said. The faintest of smiles momentarily pursed his thin pale lips. “One just as well might try to make bricks without straw.”

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