We arose early the next morning and went down to breakfast together before beginning our investigations.
“I say, Holmes, I slept marvelously,” I stated as we met in the hall. "It must have been the fresh country air.”
However, I could see that Holmes had not had as good a night as I, his eyes were sunken and his face looked drawn.
“Holmes.” I queried, “were you up all night with this puzzle?”
“Very nearly” he replied. “It is, at least, a two-pipe problem.”
“And what conclusions have you drawn?” I questioned.
“Nothing definite” he responded. “But I have my suspicions.”
“Any you are willing to share?” I asked.
“Not yet. Our visits today may shed more light on what we know so far. But come,” he said, “a good breakfast will do wonders. If the innkeeper’s wife does as good a breakfast as she does a dinner than we are, indeed, in for a treat.”
So, down we went to the inn’s dining room where a magnificent spread awaited us: poached eggs, rashers of bacon and ham, kippers, fried tomatoes, buttered scones and muffins and pots of hot Lapsang Souchong to wash it all down.
Fortified by the hearty meal we were ready to embark on our rounds of questioning. We secured a dogcart and were off to Beasley Manor to speak again with Lady Beasley. Upon our arrival our knock on the door summoned the butler.
“I am Sherlock Holmes and this is Dr Watson, my associate. Please announce us to Lady Beasley” Holmes stated.
“Of course, sir. If you will follow me you can wait in the library. My name is Sellers and I am the butler.” As he opened the library door he pointed to the corner of the room and said, “Should you require anything simply use the bell-pull.”
“Excellent!” Holmes hissed to me as Sellers left the room. “The very room where the Lord leapt about. We can make a quick survey before Lady Beasley arrives.”
As Sellers left he, closed the door behind him. This was Holmes’s cue and he sprang into action scurrying around the room like a terrier sniffing out a rabbit. He knew his time was short and he put it to wonderful advantage. Searching the desk and bookshelves his sharp eyes hunted for anything that would give us a clue to the Earl’s strange behavior and sudden disappearance.
“Aha,” he cried. “Watson, look at this-an article clipped from the local newspaper.” He had discovered the shred of newsprint under the writing pad on top of the desk. The article was dated April 15th and related that Lord Forecastle had embarked on a significant new business venture in India. This would require extensive travel on the part of Lord Forecastle but he felt it was a sacrifice well - worth making as the rewards would be great.
Holmes placed the paper back under the writing pad just as the door swung open and Lady Beasley entered the room.