9th of August
Rose late, and finding myself alone in the house I spent a quiet hour setting the sitting room to rights. Despite numerous scrawled threats, I have evicted our malodorous lodger (take it to be a decaying seagull – not eager to investigate beyond professional capacity) from the sitting room. I carried the remains so far as the cellar where I placed the whole enclosure under a bell jar. No doubt I am destroying a delicate and fascinating experiment of untold value to science, but a man has his limits.
As to the owner of the unfortunate bird, I have not seen Holmes since yesterday morning when he set off upon some investigation. I have only the vaguest idea of the matter, and given his behaviour on the night of the match was not eager to offer my assistance. It is one thing to take part in a bout in the name of sport, particularly when assured our participation is vital to this or that piece of observation; it is quite another to find that ‘vital’ extends only so far as clearing me out of our rooms for evening so that they may be turned over by some ruffian. I think that I might have been trusted in the matter … but that is a very old cry indeed!
It occured to me afterwards that I do know something of the case in hand. I upset a litter of papers on the mantel, and noted a number of newspaper clippings among them. One was a report of two drunkards who had overturned a laundry cart in high spirits, and the others equally mundane, but all marked as of interest. For myself, I intend to confine my interests to Marryat and my luncheon.