One October evening when Sherlock Holmes and I returned to our rooms in Baker Street we found a gentleman waiting for us. “Good evening,” said Holmes. “What can I do to help you?”
“My name is Percy Trevelyan,” said our visitor. “Well, some very strange things have been happening recently at my house and I felt that I ought to come and ask for your advice and your help.”
Sherlock Holmes sat down and lit his pipe. “You are welcome to both!” he said. “Please tell me all the details.”
“I am a doctor,” said our visitor. “I graduated from London University and began to work at King’s College Hospital. I continued to devote myself to research. My special interest is catalepsy and I wrote a book on this subject which won a prize. There was a general impression that a distinguished career lay before me. But, gentlemen, I had no money and a man who wants to become a specialist must live in a good house, have a horse and carriage. Suddenly, however, an unexpected incident opened up quite a new prospect for me.
Category Archive: рассказы и сказки
Steve Mason had lived in New York for three years. His address book was filled with the phone numbers of girls he knew and had dated. Then why, he wondered, was he sitting in a phone booth about to dial PL 1-2450 — the phone number of a girl he had never seen or even heard about?
Because he was curious.
He had seen the name Pam Starr and the number PL 1-2450 twice in one week. The first time had been on the wall of a phone booth on 42nd Street. It was just one of the many names and numbers written on the phone booth wall. Then a minute ago he saw the name and number again — this time near a phone in a drugstore. The name Pam Starr was the same.
The handwriting was the same. And beneath it the same person had written, ‘Quite a chick.’
An English schoolteacher was looking for rooms in Switzerland. She called upon the local schoolmaster to help her find an apartment that would be suitable. Such rooms were found, and she returned to London for her belongings. She remembered that she had not noticed a bathroom, or as she called it, “a water closet.” She wrote to the schoolmaster and asked if there as a “W.C.” in or near the apartment.
The schoolmaster, not knowing the English expression was puzzled by the “W.C.”, never dreaming that she was talking about a bathroom. He finally sought advice from the parish priest. They concluded that she must mean a Wayside Chapel. The lady received the following letter a few days later:
Maisie Allen’s lips stretched in a tight little smile of satisfaction as she surveyed the poky suburban house with its prim lace curtains. So this was what Mark had come to after thirty years! The godlike Mark had come to this in the end!
It was the end, of course. The unspecified female relative who had written to Maisie in a crabbed and elderly hand had made that perfectly clear. Mark had at most a few more months to live, and he wanted to see his old friend Maisie Allen before he died; that was the gist of the letter which Maisie now fingered almost lovingly with her tight black glove.
The triumph of it! Mark, who had once thought that he owned the world, that he owned Maisie and could demand of her anything he liked: Mark, who now lay dying in this squalid street with only some aged cousin to look after him. Not even a wife or a family to show for all that proud young strength! A little secret smile hovered round Maisie’s mouth as she rang the bell.
Victor Canning (1911—1986) is a British crime and mystery writer who is famous for his spy and espionage thrillers. Canning wrote more than 50 novels and a number of short stories. Among his best works are “Panthers’ Moon”, “The Golden Salamander”, «The Whip Hand”, “Vanishing Point”, “The Boy on Platform One ”. His stories are full of excitement, suspence and humour.
Never Trust a Lady
Everyone thought that Horace Demby was a good, honest citizen. He was about fifty and unmarried, and he lived with a housekeeper who worried over his health. Actually, he was usually very well and happy except for attacks of hay fever in the summer time. He made locks and was successful enough at his business to have two helpers. Yes, Horace Demby was good and respectable — but not completely honest.
Fifteen years ago Horace had served his first and only time in prison for stealing jewels. Horace didn’t want to become honest; he only wanted to make sure that his dishonesty never got him into trouble again.
Once upon a sunny morning a man who sat in a breakfast nook looked up from his scrambled eggs to see a white unicorn with a gold horn quietly cropping the roses in the garden. The man went up to the bedroom where his wife was asleep and woke her.
«There’s a unicorn in the garden,» he said. «Eating roses.»
She opened one unfriendly eye and looked at him. «The unicorn is a mythical beast,” she said, and turned her back on him.
The man walked slowly downstairs and out into the garden. The unicorn was still there; he was now browsing among the tulips.
The Boy who growled at tigers
Once upon a time there was a little Indian boy whose name was Sudi. What Sudi liked most of all was tо growl at tigers.
“Be careful” his mother told him. “Tigers don’t like it when people growl at them.”
But Sudi didn’t care and one day when his mother went out shopping, he went for a walk to find a tiger to growl at.
He hadn’t gone very far when he saw one tiger hiding behind a tree. As soon as Sudi came up, the tiger sprang up and growled, “Gr-r-r, gr-r-r.” And Sudi growled right back, “Gr-r-r, gr-r-r!”
The tiger was annoyed.
“GEORGE ELEPHANT!” called the Clerk in Court Number One and a small man with glasses was brought.
«Are you George Elephant?» asked the Clerk.
“You are charged with murder; that you on the 19th day of January murdered Jane Elephant. How say you, George Elephant, are you guilty or not guilty?»
«Very well,» said the Judge. “You may sit down.»
Except for a few remarks on the curious name of the prisoner, few people were interested in the case. The facts as stated were very simple. On the 20th of January the prisoner had walked into a police station. «I have cut my wife’s throat,» he said. «She’s quite dead.»
Ray Bradbury (born in 1920) is an American writer of science fiction whose stories and novels are popular all over the world. Bradbury’s best writing effectively combines a lively imagination with a poetic style. His most famous works include “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Martian Chronicles”, “Dandelion Wine”. Bradbury has also written poetry, screenplays, and stage plays.
A Sound of Thunder
The sign on the wall read:
TIME SAFARI, INC.
SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST.
YOU NAME THE ANIMAL.
WE TAKE YOU THERE.
YOU SHOOT IT.
Wine on the desert
(After Max Brand)
There was no hurry, except for the thirst. But very soon he would reach the cold water in Tony’s house. There was really no hurry at all. Durante had almost twenty-four hours’ head start, for they would not find his dead man until this morning. After that there would be perhaps several hours of delay before the sheriff gathered enough people and started on his trail. Or perhaps the sheriff would be fool enough to come alone.
At last Durante saw Tony’s windmill and his ten acres of the vineyard, with the vines planted in a hollow. During the wet season water gathered in the well. In the middle of the dry season the well ran dry, but long before that Tony had every drop of the water pumped up into twenty tanks.