The September sun was shining brightly into the windows of 221B Baker Street,and London was enjoying a beautiful late summer.I had finished my breakfast and was reading the newspaper.As usual,Holmes had got up late,and was still eating.We were expecting a visitor at half past ten,and I wondered whether Holmes would finish his breakfast be fore our visitor arrived.
Holmes was in no hurry.He was reading once again a letter he had received three days ago.It was from Dr James Mortimer,who asked for an appointment with Holmes.
'Well,Watson,'Holmes said to me,'I'm afraid that a doc tor from Devonshire won't bring us anything of real interest.His letter doesn't tell us anything about his business though he says it's very important.I hope we can help him.'
At exactly half past ten there was a knock on our front door.
'Good,'said Holmes.'Dr Mortimer is clearly a man who will not waste our time.'
We stood up as our visitor was brought into the room.
'Good morning,gentlemen,'he said.'I'm Dr James Mor timer,from Grimpen in Devonshire,and I think you must be Mr Sherlock Holmes.'He shook hands with Holmes,who said:
'How do you do,Dr Mortimer?May I introduce my good friend,Dr John Watson,who helps me with my cases.I hope you will allow him to listen to our conversation.'
'Of course,'said Mortimer,as he turned to me and shook hands.'I need your help very badly,Mr Holmes.If it will be useful for Dr Watson to hear what I have to say,please let him stay and listen.'
Mortimer did not look like a country doctor.He was very tall and thin.He had a long thin nose.His grey eyes were bright,and he wore gold glasses.His coat and trousers were old and worn.His face was young,but his shoulders were bent like an old man's and his head was pushed forward.He took some pa pers from his pocket,and said:
'Mr Holmes,I need your help and advice.Something very strange and frightening has been happening.'
'Sit down,Dr Mortimer,'said Holmes,'and tell us your problem.I'll help you if I can.'