Watson is instrumental in enlisting the aid of Lestrade in a little plot to mystify Holmes with a made-up tale about Sir Edward Etcetera Boggs' lost pram.

It is November 1889. Watson, now married and no longer living at Baker Street, receives an urgent message from Holmes, summoning him that night to an assignment at 55 Hudson Street. (Bring your service revolver!) The story unfolds into a tussle between Holmes and Moriarty in the dark, each seeking to outflank the other. There are air-guns and Indian knife-throwers, catapults, truncheons, revolvers attached to cords, and much more, as they say. The outcome remains in doubt; for, the author admits, his manuscript was abstracted by an unscrupulous employee of Cox & Co before it could be copied, and the thief disappeared with his umbrella, never to be seen again in this world. Perhaps, says the author, the last page might re-appear one day under a silver serving-dish (as did the famous Naval Treaty). That is, unless some minion of the Agent took it? [For a generation perhaps no longer well acquainted with the Higher Criticism, Conan Doyle was considered to be the literary agent of Watson.]

Watson complains bitterly about Holmes and says, 'Holmes was never a friend of mine. Why, I hardly knew the fellow.'