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Lost Sherlock Holmes story discovered

Conan DoyleSir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the 1,300-word Sherlock Holmes story to raise money for a bridge in Selkirk

A long-lost Sherlock Holmes story has been rediscovered more than a hundred years after it was first published.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the story, titled Sherlock Homes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar, in 1904 to raise money for a bridge in Selkirk, Scotland.

It was unearthed by town resident Walter Elliot, 80, who discovered it under a pile of books in his attic.

He believes it may have lain there for almost 50 years.

The 1,300-word tale was printed in a 48-page book of short stories, Book o’ the Brig.

It was put together by locals to raise money to replace a bridge over the Ettrick river that had been destroyed by floods in 1902.

Conan Doyle, who was a regular visitor to the area, agreed to contribute a story.

In it Holmes deduces that Watson is going on a trip to Selkirk

.‘Great little story’

Mr Elliot, a retired woodcutter, found the pamphlet tied up with string while he was clearing out his attic

.He says he cannot remember buying the book and thinks he must have got it from a friend.

“It was a varied book with lots of bits and pieces and stories,” he told the Daily Mail.

“I have no idea how many they made and sold. I’ve had this book for about 40 or 50 years.

“Usually people would throw out these books or sell them off. It has been in my family for quite a while now.

“I have no idea if it has ever been published – I’ve never seen it. I’ve always been interested in history and my family has always passed on stories and I suppose this was one of the stories that was passed down.

“He really must have thought enough of the town to come down and take part and contribute a story to the book. It’s a great little story,” he added.

Conan Doyle wrote the story shortly after resurrecting Holmes following his apparent fatal fall at the Reichenbach Falls.

At the time the author was seeking to become a Liberal Unionist MP in the Borders.

The booklet will be going on show at the Cross Keys Pop-up Community Museum in Selkirk.

BBC

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