The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on October 30, 1895 · Page 6
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 6

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 30, 1895
Page 6
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CHAPTER L "*Hl SCIENCE OP DEDUCTION. IK E R L O 0 k' HOLMES took his bottle from the corner o f tho mantel" piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat moroc* co case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate nee- ana rolled back his left shirt-cuff. War some little time his eyes rested tSKraghtfuliy upon the sinewy fore- and wrist all dotted and scarred innumerable puncture marks. SSinally he thrust the sharp point :S»ome, pressed down the tiny piston, -•wndrsank back into the velvet-lined .^armchair with a long sigh of satisfac- Three "times a day for many months Iliad witnessed this performance, but •"custom had not reconciled my mind to .;;!&. On; the contrary, from day to day 9E 3md become more irritable at the -«%ht, and my conscience swellednight- %:*vithin me at the thought that I had •lacked the courage to protest. Again waand again I had registered a vow that itshould deliver my soul upon the sub- .Ject, "tout there was that in the cool, FXBQtnclialant air of .my companion which xtcadeihiin the last man with whom one* "wcrald-icare to take anything approach- fa&mjf $o a liberty. His great powers, his iraaasterly manner, and the experience 'which I had had of his many extraor- "elinaTy qualities, all made me diffident •«Mnd. (backward in crossing him. ^SJet iipon that afternoon, whether it •cnras the Beaune which I had taken with ;n*y lunch, or the additional exaspera- •tfan; produced by the extreme delibera- cfioon-ofhlsimanner, I suddenly felt that . & coaldflbdld out no longer. is it to-day?" I asked— "mor- or cocaine?" raised his eyes languidly from the •>«M 'black-letter volume which he had •opened. "It is cocaine," he said, "a -.ssCTcn per cent, solution. Would you «*sare to try it?" \ -'J-N.o, indeed," I answered, brusquely. -""My constitution has not -got over the /S&fg-han campaign yet. I cannot afford Sfo throw any<.extra strain upon it." >He smiled -at my vehemence. "Per- XGZpS you are' 'a-^g-Zift^TI'drAot/ti, " 7ic aalil. • '"• th'at its influence is physic- mlly .ia ''bad one. I find it, however, aaao ^transcendently stimulating and ss&arifying to the mind that its sec• aaaadary action 'is a matter of small mo".But consider!" I said, earnestly. the cost! Your brain may, as say, be roused and excited, but it pathological and morbid process, involves increased tissue-change may at last leave a permanent '•weakness. You know, too, what a ;-l»laek reaction comes upon you. Surely ] ifcStft'g-ame is hardly worth the candle. ' "Why -should you, for a mei-e passing T.g»Ieasure, .risk the loss of those great iigjOTvers.with which you have been en- MsSmved'? Remember that I speak not Manly .as one comrade to another, but as ja^medical man to one for whoso con- ijgiatution he is to some extent answer- ;He did not seem offended. On the o-asontrary, he put his finger-tips to. ^tether and leaned his elbows on the of his chair, like one who has a for conversation. "My mind," he said, "rebels at stag- aKUfcion. Give me problems, give me •work, #ive me the most abstruse t $'•.: UV.. i "*«WY MINP REBELS AT STAGNATION. "wryptogram or the most intricate ,$8Sillysis, and I am in my own proper •^atmosphere. I c * n dispense then with leial stimulants. But I abhor the routine of, I crave for I exaltation- That is why i have my own particular profession— created it, for I am the only I p if' sg' [AvM detective?" raising m ,V eyebrows, 4>«The only unofficial consulting lie answered. cowtof way. «>j am tbe last appeal in detep- pf tbeir depths is tbeir normal 1«W before me ence of my methods of Work in the Jefferson Hope case." "Yes, indeed," said I, cordially. "1 was never so struck by anything in my life. I even embodied it in a small brochure with the somewhat fantastic title of 'A Study in Scarlet.' " He shook his head sadly. "I glanced over it," said he, "Honestly, I cannot congratulate you upon it. Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid." "But the romance was there," I remonstrated. "I could not tamper \vith the facts." "Some facts should be suppressed, or at least a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them. The only point in the case which deserved mention was the curious analytical reasoning from effects to causes by which I succeeded in unraveling it." I was annoyed at this criticism of a work which had been specially designed to please him. I confess, too, that I was irritated v by the egotism which seemed to demand that every line of my pamphlet should be devoted to his own special doings. More than once during the years that I had lived with him in Baker street I had observed that a small vanity underlay my companion's quiet and didactic manner. I made no remark, however, but sat nursing my wounded leg. I had had a Jezail bullet through it sometime before, and though it did not prevent me from walking, it ached wearily at every change of the weather. "My practice has extended recently to the continent," said Holmes, after awhile, filling up his old brier-root pipe. "I was consulted last week by Francois Le Villard, who, as you probably know, has come rather to the front lately in the French detective service. He has all the Celtic power of quick intuition, but he is deficient in the wide uange of exact knowledge which is essential to the higher developments of his art. The case was concerned with a will, and possessed some features of interest. I was able to refer him to two parallel cases, the one at Riga in 1857, and the other at St., Louis in 1871, which have suggested to 1 him the true solution, Here is the letrJ ter which I h'ad this morning, acknowl-1 edging my assistance." He tossed over, as he spoke, a crumpled sheet of for- : eign notepaper. I glanced my eyes down it, catching a profusion of notes of admiration, with stray "niagni- fiques," "coup de maitres" and "tours de force," all testifying to the ardent; admiration of the Frenchman. "He speaks as a pupil to his master," said I. "Oh, he rates my assistance too highly," said Sherlock Holmes, lightly. "He has considerable gifts himself. He possesses two out of the three qualities necessary for the ideal detective. He has the power of observation and that of deduction. He is only wanting in knowledge; and that may come in time. He is now translating my small i works into French." "Your works?" "Oh, didn't you know?" he cried, laughing. "Yes, I have been guilty of several monographs. They are all upon technical subjects. Here, for example, is one 'Upon the Distinction Between the Ashes of tbe Various Tobac- coes." In it I enumerate a hundred and forty forms of cigar, cigarette and pipe tobacco, with colored plates illustrating the difference in the ash. It is a point which is continually turning up in criminal trials, and which is sometimes of supreme importance as a clew. If you can say definitely,for example, that some murder has been done by a man who was smoking an Indian lunkah, it obviously narrows your field of search. To the trained eye there is as much difference between the black ash of a Trichinopoly and the white fluff of bird's-eye as there is between a cabbage and a potato," "Yovi have an extraordinary genius for minutiae," I remarked, "I appreciate their importance. Here is my monograph upon tbe tracing of footsteps, with some remarks upon the uses of plaster of Paris as a preserver of impresses, Here, too, is a curious little work upon tbe influence of a trade upon tbe form of tbe hand, with the litbotypes of tbe bands of slaters, sailors, cork-cutters, compositors, weav' ers and diamond polishers. That is a matter of great practical interest to the scientific detective,—especially in cases of unclaimed bodies, or in discovering the antecedents of criminals. But I weary you with my bobby," "Not at all," I answered, earnestly, «*!t is of tbe greatest interest to me, especially since I have bad the opportunity of observing your practical ap" plication of it. But you spoke just now of observation and deduction. Surely the one to some extent implies tbe other," "Wby« hardly," be answered, leaning ' luxuriously in' bis arm-chair, and sending up tbipk blue wreath? from bis pipe. "For example, observation shows me that you bave *been to tbe Wigmore street post office this morn' ing, but deduction lets me know that when tbere you despatched a teler gram.-" ""• " ';!" sa.j<J 1. "Rig-bt on botb Bwt T confess that 14oa't see i- It was Impulse up'on my part, Hftd 1 fiia^e ttten- tioned it to no one.** "It is simplicity itself," he remarked, chuckling at my surprise—"So absttfd- ly simple that an explanation is superfluous; n rid yet it may serve to define the limits of observation and of deduction. Observation telh me that you hate a little reddish mould adhering to your instcr Just opposite the Seyinouf strec' office they have taken ttp the and thrown up some eafth Which lies in such a Way that it is diffi* Cult ! o avoid treading in it in entering. Thf e.-ivHi is of this peculiar reddish tir. wlik-H is found, as far as 1 know, nowhere else in theoneighbofhood. So much is observation. The rest is deduction." "IIow, then, did you deduce the telegram?" "Why, of course I knew that you had not written a letter, since 1 sat opposite, to you all morning, t see also in yunr open desk there that you have a sheet of stamps and a thick bundle of post-cards. What could you go into the post office for, -then, but to send a wire? Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth." "In this case it certainly is so," I replied, after a little thought. "The thing, however, is, as you say, of the simplest. Would you think me impertinent if I wefe to put your theories to a more severe test?" "On the contrary," he answered, "it would prevent me from taking a second dose of cocaine. I should be delighted to look into any problem which' you might submit to me." "I have heard you say that it is difficult for a man to have any object in daily use without leaving the impress of his individuality upon it in such a way that a trained observer might read it. Now, I have here a watch which has recently come into my possession. Would you have tho kindness to let me have an opinion upon the character or habits of the late owner?" I handed him over tho watch, with some slight feeling of amusement in my heart, for the test was, as I thought, an impossible one, and I intended it as a lesson against the somewhat dog- ^ t~v 'V; «i ,.-'3 '¥! "' r; matic tone which he occasionally assumed. He balanced the watch in his hand, gazed hard at the dial, opened HE BALANCED THE WATCH IN HIS HAND. the back, and examined the works, first with his naked eyes and then with a powerful convex lens. I could hardly keep from smiling at his crestfallen face when he finally snapped the case to and handed it back. "There are, hardly any data," he remarked. "The watch has been recently cleaned, which robs-me of my most suggestive facts." ""You are right," I answered. "It was cleaned before being sent to me." In my heart I accused my companion of putting forward a most lame and impotent excuse to cover his failure. What data could he expect from an un- cleaned watch? "Though unsatisfactory my research has not been entirely barren," he observed, staring up at the ceiling with dreamy, lack-luster eyes. "Subject to your correction, I should judge that the watch belonged to your elder brother, who inherited it from your father." "That you gather, no doubt, from the H. W. upon the back?" "Quite so. The W. suggests your own name. The date of the watch is nearly fifty years back, and the initials are as old as the watch; so it was made for the last generation. Jewelry usually descends to the eldest son, and he is most likely to have the same name as the father. Your father has, if I remember right, been dead many years. It has, therefore, been in the hands of your eldest brother." "Right, so far," said I, "Anything else?" "He was a man of untidy habits- very untidy and careless. He was left with good prospects, but he threw away his chances, lived for some time in poverty, with occasional short intervals of prosperity, and finally, taking to drink, be died. That is all I can gather," I sprang frpm my chair and limped impatiently about the room with considerable bitterness in my heart, "T^iis is unworthy of yon, Holmes," I said. "I could not have belie-yed that you would bave descended to this, Ypu bave made inquiries into the history of my unhappy brother, and you now pr§^ tend to deduce this knowledge in some fanciful way. You cannot expect me to believe tbatyou bave read all this from bis old wateb! It is unkind, and, to speak plainly, bas & touch of charlatanism in it." "My dear doctor/' said be, kindly, "pray aceept my apologies. Viewing tbe matter as an abstract problem, J badfprgotten bow personal and painful a tbingr it might be to yon. I assure you, bo'wever, tbat I never even knew that yon bad a brother until you handed nie tbe watch." "Then bow in tbe name of ail that is wonderful did you get these facts? They are absolutely porrept in every particular'" "Ab t tfeat is good l\wU. J aoiiW only say wbat was, tb<? bstoee el proJ>»b,U ity, I fiLid pot "Bftt It wftS n«i fteft gue'SS "fro, fto; t never gtteSS. It Is 8 ing habit—'ctestfactive t6 thS logical faculty. What SeetnS Strange Id ydti" is only so because yon do not follow my Irain of thought of observe the small facts upon Which large inference* may depend. Fof- example, I began by stating that yottf brother Was careless. When you observe the lower part of that watch case you notice that it is not only dinted in two places, but it is cut and marked all over from the habit ol keeping othef hard objects, SUch aS 6olns or keys, in the same pocket. Surely it is ho great feat to assume' that fr man who treats a flf ty-guitiea watch 60 cavalierly must be a careless tnah* Neither 1 is it a very far-feiched iiifer^ ence that a man who inherits one article of Blich valtie is pretty well prd» tided for in other inspects." t nodded to show that 1 followed his reasoning. "it is very customary for pawn* brokers in England, When they take a watch, to scratch the number of the ticket with a pin point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than the label) as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the inside of this case, lit* ference—that your brother was often at low water. Secondary inference— that he had occasional bursts of prosperity, or he could not have redeemed the pledge. Finally, I ask you to look at the inner plate, which contains the key-hole. Look at the thousands of scratches all round the hole—marks where the key has slipped. What sober man's key could have scored those grooves? But you will never see a drunkard's watch without them. He winds it at night, and he leaves these traces of his unsteady hand. Where is the mystery in all this?" "It is clear as daylight," I answered. "I regret the injustice which I did you. I should have had more faith in your marvelous faculty. May I ask whether you have any professional inquiry on foot at present?" "None. Hence the cocaine. I cannot live without brain work. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across dun-colored houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them? Crime is commonplace and existence is commonplace and no qualities save those which are commonplace have any function upon earth." I had opened my mouth to reply to this tirade, when, with a crisp knock, our landlady entered, bearing a card upon the brass salver. "A young lady for you, sir," she said, addressing my companion. "Miss Mary Morstan," he read. "Hum! I, have no recollection of the name. Ask the young lady to step up, Mrs. Hudson. Don't go, doctor. I shall prefer that ypu remain," CHAPTER II, THE STATEMENT-op ^O^TE CASE/ Miss Morstan entered'the room with a firm step and an outward composure of manner. She was a blonde young lady, small, dainty, well gloved*, and dressed in the mosi perfect taste. There was, however, a plainess and simplicity about her costume which bore with it a suggestion of limited means. The dress was a somber grayish beige, untrimmed and unbraided, and she wore a small turban of the same dull hue, relieved only by a suspicion of white feather in the side. Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beauty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable, and her large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic. In an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents, I have never looked upon a face which gave a clearer promise of a refined and sensitive nature. I could not but observe that as she took the seat which Sherlock Holmes placed for her, her lip trembled, her hand • quivered, and she showed every sign of intense inward agitation. "I have come to you, Mr. Holmes,", she said, "because you once enabled my employer, Mrs. Cecil Forrester, to ftp frs* flexed n'ftM to* detain tfsg. "If ywrf friefrd,* ShS Mid, "wdtild" fef femi enotrgfe to Stop, hS inightfes bf ittestia- able service to me. 1 * f relapsed into my chair. "Briefly," she continued, "the facia are these: My father was an office* fa an Indian f egiment who sent toe home when 1 was quite ft child. My inothef Was dead, and 1 had no t elaiite in England. i'was placed, however, in a comfortable boarding? establishment at Edinburgh, and there 1 remained flhtil 1 was seventeen jr§a*8 of ate. In the year 1878 My father who was senidf captain of his fegifnefit, obtained twelve months' leave and came home. He telegraphed to iHe f rbffi London that he had arrived all safe, and directed me to come dowtt at once, giting the Langham hotel as his address. His message, as 1 remember, was full of kindness and love. On reaching London 1 drove to the Langhaffl, and was informed that Capt. Morstati was stay-*- ing there* but that he had gone out the night before and had not returned. 1 waited all day without news of him. That night, oti the advice of the manager of the hotel, 1 communicated with the police* and next morning we adver* tised in all the papers. Our inquiries led to no result) and from that day to this no word has ever been heard of my unfortunate father. He came home with his heart full of hope, to find some peace, some comfort, and In* stead——"• She put her hand to her unravel a .little domestic complication, She wa-s much impressed by youy Wnd« ness and skill." "Mrs. Cecil Forrester," he repeated, though tfsJJy, "I believe tb»t J was pf some slight service to her, The ease, however, »s I renifinber ife, w»§ ft simple one." (( §h0 did not ttUwk eo. lit &t youc&nnot say the B»me. of mine, I hardly imagine anything more ge, more \Merty inexplicable, the situation in whiojj I fln<J my» Holmes rubbed bis ba^ds, &n4 bis eyes glistened, H§ Jeangd forward in bi§ chafr with m expreesioa of esty»or* concentration upon bis cie§r» wk-Ufee features,. pa,se, ;i said be, in brisk, } felt tbftt »y position. bw'agsijjg Q»e. §¥0,1*88 $&$» I throat, and a choking sob cut short the sentence. "The date?" asked Holmes, opening his notebook. k "He disappeared upon the 3d of December, 1878 — nearly ten years ago." "His luggage?" "Remained at the hotel. There was nothing in it to suggest a clew — some books, and a considerable number of curiosities from the Andaman islands. • He had been one of the officers in charge of the convict guard there." "Had he any friends in town?" "Only one that we know of — Maj. Sholto, of his own regiment, the Thirty-fourth Bombay infantry. The major had retired some little time before, and lived at Upper Norwood. We communicated with- him, of course, but he did not even know that his brother officer was in England." 'A singular case," remarked Holmes. "I have not yet described to you tho most singular part. About six years ago — to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882 — an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. There was no name or address appended. I had at that time just entered the family of Mrs. Cecil Forrester in the capacity of governess. By her advice I published my address in the advertisement column. The same day there arrived through the post a small cardboard box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl. No word of writing was inclosed. Since then, every year, upon the same date, there has always appeared a similar box, containing a similar. pearl, without apy clew as jto the sender. They have been pronounced by an expert to be of a rare variety and of considerable value. You can see for yourselves that they are very handsome." She opened a flat box as she spoke, and showed me six of the finest pearls that I had ever seen. "Your statement is most interesting," said Sherlock Holmes. "Has anything else occurred to you?" "Yes, and no later than to-day. That is why I have come to vou. This morning I received this letter, which you will perhaps read for yourself." "Thank you," said Holmes. ."The envelope, too, please. Postmark, London, 8. W.; date, July 7. Hum! Man's thumbmark on corner — probably postman. Best quality paper. Envelopes at sixpence a packet. Particular man in his stationery. No address. 'Be at 1ihe third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum theater to-night at seven o'clock. If you are distrustful, bring two friends. You are a wronged woman, and shall have justice. Do not bring police. If you do, all will be in vain. Your unknown friend,' Well, really, this is a very pretty little mystery, What do you intend to do, Miss Morstan?" "That is exactly what I want to ask you," "Then we shall .most certainly go, You and I and*— yes, why, Dr, Watson is the very man, Your correspondent says two friends, He and I have worked together before," "But would he come?" she asked, with something appealing in her voice and expression. "I should be proud and happy," said I, fervently, "if I can be of any service." "You are both very kind," she an« swered, "I have led a retired life, and have no friends whom I could appeal tov If I am here at six it wJU do, I sup* pose?" "You must not be later," said Holmes-, "There is one other pc-int, Is this handwriting the same as that upon the pearl-box addresses.?" "Jhave them here," she ' answered, producing half a dozen pieces pf paper, '•You are certainly a. model client! You have the correct in^witipn. Let us see, now," He spread out the paper upon the table, and gave little darting glances from one to the other, "Tbey are disguised bands, except the letteri" be said, presently,, "but there can be no, question RS to, the authorship, See bpvr tbe irrepressible Greek e will break out, and see tbe twirl on the final *• Tbey are uncjpuktedly by thesamo, son. I should not like to suggest hopes, Miss Morstan, but is there §py resemblance between this ' hand that of your fatbey?" at the wfciched fffef wlilkin# of iskly down Street, until the gray turban and w feathef wefe trttt a speck in the sombtf cfowd. "What a very attractive woman!"- I exclaimed, turning to my compahioii. He had lit his pipe again, and wa& leaning back with dro'oping eyelids. "Is She?" he said, languidly. "1 did not observe." "You feally afe att automaton—a cal- eidating. Machine!" I cried. "There is iSttethinf positively inhUmatt ih JrOti at times." He Smiled fetftljr. '.'It is of the first importance," he said, "not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities. A client is to tne a mere unit—a factof in a problem. The emo i tittnal qualities are antagonistic to cleaf reasoning. I assure yoti that the most winning woman 1 ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little chil* diren for their insurance money, and the most repellent man of my acquaint* ance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor." "In this case, however^-" "I never make exceptions. An ex* Ception disproves the rule. Have you ever had occasion to study character in handwriting? What do you make of this fellow's scribble?" "It is legible and regular," 1 answered. "A man of business habits and some force of character." Holmes shook his head. "Look at his long letters," he said. "They hardly rise above the common herd. That d might be an a, and that 1 an e. Men of character always differentiate their long letters, however illegibly they may write. There is vacillation in his k's and self-esteem in his capitals. I am going out now. I have some few references to make. Let me recommend this book—one of the most remarkable ever penned. It is Winwood Reade's 'Martyrdom of Man.' I shall be back in an hour." I sat in the window with the volume -in my hand, but. my thoughts were far I SAT IN THE WINDOW, VOLUME IN HAND. from the daring speculations of tho writer. My mind ran upon our late visitor—her smiles, the dejto rich tones of her'voice, th'S strange mystery'SvliicJi''. •overhung her life. If she were seven-" teen at the time of her father's disappearance she must be seven-and-twenty now—a sweet, age, when youth has lost its self-consciousness and become a little sobered by experience. So I sat and mused, until ' such dangerous thoughts came into my head -that I hurried away to my desk and plunged furiously into the latest treatise upon pathology. What was I, an army surgeon with a weak leg and a weaker banking account, that I should dare to think of such things? She was a unit, a factor, nothing more,. If my future were black, it was better surely to face it like a man than to attempt to brighten it by mere will-o'-the-wisps of the imagination. CHAPTER in. IN QUEST OP A SOLUTION. It was half-past five before Holmes, returned. He was bright, eager and. in excellent spirits—a mood which in. bis case alternated with fits of the blackest depression. "There is no great mystery in this, matter," be said, taking the pup of teja- wbich I had poured out for. him. "The- facts appear to admit of only one explanation." "Wbatl you have solved it already?'" 'JWelT, that will be too muah to say, I have discovered a suggestive fact,, that is all, It is, however, very suggestive. The details are still to be added, I have just foxind, on consulting- the back files of the Times, that Maj. Sholto, of Upper Norwood, late of tbe Thirty-fourth Bombay infantry, died upon the 38th of April, 1883." "I may be very obtusei Holmes, but I fail to see what this suggests," "No? You surprise me. Lopfeatit, in this way, then, Capt. Jif orsta» dig-^ appears, The only person in London' whom be could bave visited is Maj, Sbolto, Maj, Sbolto denies b»v}n^' beard that be was in London, Four* 1 years later Shol^p dies. Witfrin a of bis death .Capt. Morstan's receives a valuable present, whiehls re* peated from year to ye$r, asd jninates in a lettef wkiob describe^ 1 as a wronged woman. Wbat can it refer to- except this 4eprjyati6« of ber father? Ana why ' " " ' presents begin ^mediately Sbplto's deatb", unless it is. tbat Sb«?Jte'§ heir knows sometbing of tbe and desires, to «wU*<? Have you any alternative theory j will j&eet tbe fftets?" what And bpwi§tr ( &nge}y« - u — 1J ' ' write » letter"j than sis years »g0?' 4gfttoi ;tJ^g lefts? * _ 3 _ • J.-'-iS .„..,. \\M_-, *. ' 11 "I C <Y

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