“The Adventure of the Dancing Men”

Note: the tab marked "Explanation" reveals the ending of the story. Do not view that if you are reading the story for the first time and do not want to spoil your enjoyment.
Title: The Adventure of the Dancing Men Collection: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Year published: 1903 (December) Year set in:
Mystery: What is the meaning of the stick figure drawings?
Apparent crime: Murder Actual crime: Shown below (possible spoiler)
Summary: A woman is terrified by drawings of dancing stick figures that are found drawn around her home.

A squire, Hilton Cubitt, had been happily married to an American women, Elsie Patrick, for a year when she began receiving notes and messages containing strange childlike stick figures. She refuses to explain them but is clearly frightened of them.

Actual crime
Explanation (spoiler alert)

The messages were in code from a gang member, Abe Slaney, who had known her in America and hoped to marry her. He had travelled to Britain to hope to persuade Elsie to return with him.

Quotations in this story (1)
"What one man can invent another can discover," said Holmes.

Characters in this story (3)
Surname First name Title
Cubitt Hilton
Holmes Sherlock
Watson John Doctor

Locations in this story (1)
Location Town/City County
221b Baker Street London

Other notes


Hilton Cubitt Elsie Patrick Riding Thorpe Manor Norfolk American Slaney Martin Saunders King Elriges Farm code Hargreave