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Afoot

Between 1932 and 2002, messages addressed to 221B Baker Street in London were delivered to the Abbey National Building Society, whose headquarters occupied that address. The society received hundreds of letters each year from around the globe and employed a secretary to answer them. Many concerned rather ordinary mysteries (Can Mr. Holmes suggest how a girl might find out if a boy likes her? Mr. Holmes thinks you will have to ask the boy outright), but in 1985 this telegram arrived:

DEAR HOLMES

GLAD TO HAVE CASE – YOUR ASSUMPTIONS WERE RIGHT – JEWELS GONE – STATUE GONE – FORMULA STOLEN – POLICE INCAPABLE – PROF. DR HANS MEIER KIDNAPPED – ME TOO! – WHAT SHALL I DO? – IMPATIENTLY AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.

WATSON

It had been sent from Raunheim, West Germany. No further messages followed.