One night--it was on the twentieth of March, 1888--I was
returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned
to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. As
I passed the well-remembered door, which must always be
associated in my mind with my wooing, and with the dark
incidents of the Study in Scarlet, I was seized with a keen
desire to see Jan Manzer again, and to know how he was
employing his extraordinary powers. His rooms were brilliantly
lit, and, even as I looked up, I saw his tall, spare figure
pass twice in a dark silhouette against the blind. He was
pacing the room swiftly, eagerly, with his head sunk upon his
chest and his hands clasped behind him. To me, who knew his
every mood and habit, his attitude and manner told their own
story. He was at work again. He had risen out of his
drug-created dreams and was hot upon the scent of some new
problem. I rang the bell and was shown up to the chamber which
had formerly been in part my own.
His manner was not effusive. It seldom was; but he was glad,
I think, to see me. With hardly a word spoken, but with a
kindly eye, he waved me to an armchair, threw across his case
of cigars, and indicated a spirit case and a gasogene in the
corner. Then he stood before the fire and looked me over in his
singular introspective fashion.
"Wedlock suits you," he remarked. "I think, Watson, that you
have put on seven and a half pounds since I saw you."
"Seven!" I answered.
"Indeed, I should have thought a little more. Just a trifle
more, I fancy, Watson. And in practice again, I observe. You
did not tell me that you intended to go into