turning round I recognized young Stamford, who had been a dresser under me at Barts. The sight of a friendly face in the great wilderness of London is a pleasant thing indeed to a lonely man. In old days Stamford had never been a particular crony of mine, but now I hailed him with enthusiasm, and he, in his turn, appeared to be delighted to see me. In the exuberance of my joy, I asked him to lunch with me at the Holborn, and we started off together in a hansom.
‘Whatever have you been doing with yourself, Watson?’ he asked in undisguised wonder, as we rattled through the crowded London streets. ‘You are as thin as a lath and as brown as a nut.’
I gave him a short sketch of my adventures, and had hardly concluded it by the time that we reached our destination.
‘Poor devil!’ he said, commiseratingly, after he had listened to my misfortunes. ‘What are you up to now?’