Having lived in Japan since 1988, Hugh Ashton was surprised recently to receive an e-mail message from an old college friend working in a London bank informing him that a metal deed box which had lain undisturbed in the banks vaults for nearly 100 years was due to be thrown out, since the bank was moving to new premises. Given his knowledge of Hugh's interest in Sherlock Holmes, the friend felt that the deed box, marked clearly on the outside with the name of Dr John Watson, Holmes's friend and biographer, could prove of interest. After various legal battles, Hugh obtained ownership of the box, which was shipped to his home in Kamakura, a little south of Tokyo. On opening the box, Hugh discovered a collection of tales describing the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson which had never previously been published. Three of them are given here, and more are expected as he continues to decipher Dr Watson's almost illegible writing.
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