4. CHAPTER IV. WHAT JOHN RANCE HAD TO TELL.
IT was one o'clock when we left No. 3, Lauriston Gardens.
Sherlock Holmes led me to the nearest telegraph office,
whence he dispatched a long telegram. He then hailed a cab,
and ordered the driver to take us to the address given us by
"There is nothing like first hand evidence," he remarked;
"as a matter of fact, my mind is entirely made up upon the case,
but still we may as well learn all that is to be learned."
"You amaze me, Holmes," said I. "Surely you are not as sure
as you pretend to be of all those particulars which you gave."
"There's no room for a mistake," he answered. "The very
first thing which I observed on arriving there was that a cab
had made two ruts with its wheels close to the curb. Now, up
to last night, we have had no rain for a week, so that those
wheels which left such a deep impression must have been there
during the night. There were the marks of the horse's hoofs,
too, the outline of one of which was far more clearly cut
than that of the other three, showing that that was a new
shoe. Since the cab was there after the rain began, and was
not there at any time during the morning -- I have Gregson's
word for that -- it follows that it must have been there
during the night, and, therefore, that it brought those two
individuals to the house."
"That seems simple enough," said I; "but how about the other
"Why, the height of a man, in nine cases out of ten,
can be told from the length of his stride. It is a simple
calculation enough, though there is no use my boring you with
figures. I had this fellow's stride both on the clay outside
and on the dust within. Then I had a way of checking my
calculation. When a man writes on a wall, his instinct leads
him to write about the level of his own eyes. Now that writing
was just over six feet from the ground. It was child's play."
"And his age?" I asked.