The Valley of Fear
Arthur Conan Doyle
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Holmes decodes a cipher warning from Moriarty's organization for "Douglas" in "Birlstone", but a corpse is there already. When Mr. Douglas blows the head off his American assassin, he dresses the body as himself, and hides, to throw off the chase for good. Holmes guesses the missing dumb-bell weighted down the killer's clothes in the moat. The calling card left, VV341, is Vermissa Valley Lodge 341. Decades ago for Pinkerton, he went months undercover, first with Freemen in Chicago, then west to desolate mountain coal mine area, to take down corrupt murderers who ran the Valley Freemen Lodge, but criminals pursued. Holmes warns Douglas, when acquitted, to flee England. But Moriarty prevails. The second Mrs. Douglas telegrams that her husband was lost overboard on his way to South Africa on a ship.