Taking the advice of Holmes himself, I inquired at the local public-houses about the farm [THE SOLITARY CYCLIST]. A regular at the third pub I entered, who fancied himself as a local historian, directed me to it. Fortunately, it neither continued its career as a farm or evolved, as had 221b Baker Street, into a sort of shrine to the memory of Holmes-and-Watson but was being rented to tourists. Since it was off-season, I was able to rent it for the month of March 1991 and pursue my investigations at my leisure.

      The attic revealed nothing. An apocryphal manuscript [The Seven-per-cent Solution] of Watson, describing a case with Sigmund Freud, was ostensibly found in an attic. However, that was too obvious for a mind like Holmes. Following his advice once again, I measured the height of the two-storey farm, and the height of the rooms [THE SIGN OF FOUR]. Simple subtraction revealed missing space and pointed to a false ceiling. Taking my cue from Holmes, I will not describe my emotion but simply state the fact that, in the space above the false ceiling, there lay my quarry - the manuscript of The Whole Art of Detection. Since both Holmes and Watson are now well beyond the reach of embarrassment, I have taken the liberty of publishing this wonderful document, which describes how, by observation and reason, we can solve the larger mysteries posed to us by nature. Here it is.

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