We have been home now for about seven months, and there are two aspects of the mystery which have been cleared up only this evening.
Colonel Marston is again on a visit to London, and has spent the evening with us in Baker Street reminiscing about the whole adventure.
"Who stole the first half of the treasure, I should like to know, and how did he ever locate it?" asked the Colonel.
"The identity of the thief is no mystery to me," replied Holmes, who then told him all about Moriarty. "And it is not at all out of the question that the old Captain made more than one copy of the map. Though how Moriarty ever came across another copy is as much a mystery to us as to you. I have never been able to trace any connection between Moriarty and your family."
We sat awhile in silent thought. Suddenly, out of the blue, Holmes asked, "You never by any chance knew the late Dr. Ethan Russell?"
"Why, of course!" cried the Colonel in utter astonishment. "His wife, Violet, was my first cousin—she was a Marston, and, in fact, at the time of her death, she, Edward, and I were the only surviving descendants of Captain Marston. She and her husband were en route to pay Edward a visit on the island; they had sent word to him earlier that they were coming, bringing a newly found document of great family importance. However, they both died aboard ship under quite mysterious circumstances."
"Well," said Holmes to me later in the evening, "this finally solves the mystery of the motive of the Russells' murder and the connection between Moriarty and the Marston family!"
One or two last things. The reader perhaps recalls that aboard ship, en route to Marston's Island, Holmes told me about some of Moriarty's retrograde problems which he had back home in his files. I append these problems and their solutions.
As to the Arabian Knights manuscript, much mystery surrounds its origin. The author's name appears to be a nom de plume, though we are not sure of this. The handwriting is in spots illegible, and we can only conjecture the meaning of some of the passages. Either the author never gave solutions to the problems, or the solutions were somehow separated from the rest of the manuscript and lost, so Holmes and I have to work out most of them. This and much other work remains to be done, but eventually we intend to publish this manuscript.
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