Real Life Detective
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of the world-famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, was not above telling tales about himself in which he was the laughing-stock. Here is one of those stories.
As he tells it, he was waiting at a taxi- stand outside the railway station in Paris. When a taxi pulled up, he put his suitcase in it and got in himself. As he was about to tell the taxi-driver where he wanted to go, the driver asked him: “Where can I take you, Mr. Doyle?” Doyle was flabbergasted. He asked the driver whether he knew him by sight.
The driver said: “No Sir, I have never seen you before.”
The puzzled Doyle asked him what made him think that he was Conan Doyle.
The driver replied: “This morning’s paper had a story about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi-stand where people who return from Marseilles always come to. Your skin colour tells me you have been on vacation. The ink-spot on your right index finger suggests to me that you are a writer. Your clothing is very English, and not French. Adding up all those pieces of information, I deduce that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
Doyle said: “This is truly amazing. You are a real-life counter-part to my fictional creation, Sherlock Holmes.”
“There is one other thing,” the driver said.
“What is that?”
“Your name is on the front of your suitcase.”