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The Sheerluck Bones / Great Detective stories appeared in the "Day by Day" column of the Dundee Evening Telegraph between 1915 and 1917. The content of the stories suggest that they originated in the United States.


Magic Amber

The great detective was in his laboratory when there came a knock on the door, and a slender, perplexed-looking young stranger in a three-piece suit entered.

"good morning," said the great detective. "Have a seat, Mr Stitts."

"But how -"

"Very simple," explained the great detective. "You just handed me your card, didn't you?"

"You are marvellous!" exclaimed the young man. "I feel that at last I have found the man who can solve mu difficulty for me. For seven years I have been searching ceaselessly for a perfect friend. I feel that somewhere in the wide world, surely, a perfect friend must be waiting for me, but so far all my efforts have been in vain. Sir, I appeal to you."

"nothing easier in the world," said the great detective after a half-second of deep thought. "I will tell you how to find a perfect friend - nay, any number of perfect friends. Go to an establishment where amber fluid, largely made of malt and hops, is passed in foaming schooners over mahogany bars. Order two such schooners, leaving the second untouched by your side. In half a minute, as by magic, a perfect friend will appear in front of that unclaimed vessel. Now go and prove it. The nearest place is just around the corner."

The young man with a glad cry of relief, dashed out of the room and downstairs. At a discreet distance the great detective followed hi, and licked his lips expectantly as he peered through the crack of the swing doors waiting for the psychological moment.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 12 Apr 1915


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The Master Stroke

After the third injection of iced tea the great detective turned to his fair visitor and said - "You say your husband used to be a baseball umpire and all you know of his whereabouts or other belongings is that he is employed as a waiter at one of the city restaurants?"

"Excisely," replied the vision with a slight foreign accent.

"I will find him for you, but it may take all day," said the great detective. And going to the telephone he called up the proprietor of every restaurant in the city and extracted from each a promise not to allow any flapcakes to be made that day.

"Now come with me," said the great detective, and they began a tour of the city's 213 restaurants. Not until the 115th did the great detective's genius find its reward.

"A plate of flapcakes with two straws, please," he ordered for the 115th time that day.

The waiter threw back his head and a strange mystic light shone in his eyes as he intoned loudly, "Batter out!"

"Your umpire!" cried the great detective, and, leaping to his feet, he stripped the waiter's false moustache from his face.

It was his fair client's husband.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 8 Nov 1915


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The Munitions Plot

The great detective was playing his violin and smoking a pipeload of jimson weed as Petrarch Jones, the munitions manufacturer, rushed in.

"I want to investigate this order from Mexico," he cried. "They want a sheet of triple ply armour plate twenty feet by fifteen. I love my munitions orders, but I love my country more. Villa must be at the bottom of this."

The great detective looked at him long and thoughtfully.

"You must be an armour manufacturer," he said at length. "Let me see the letter."

Petrarch Jones let him see it.

"Ah, just as I thought," said the great detective. "the letter reads, 'Chileson & Conchile, Flickeroso Jitneraya.' Flickeroso Jitneraya is Mexican for moving picture parlour. The cowboys and bad men there have riddled so many sheets with bullets shooting at the villains and Americans on the films that the proprietors have decided to order a bullet proof screen."

And the great detective hid a yawn with his fiddle and held out a hand for his fee.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 15 May 1916


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The Wasted Deductions

No matter how wide a fellow keeps his eyes peeled, he always misses something. - Professer Simp.

"One moment, please!" said the great detective as the bald-headed woman started to speak. "You were a seamstress before your marriage, your paternal grandfather had an artificial knee, your husband ran off with a blond manicurist yesterday, your little Pekinese spaniel was stolen this morning, and - "

"Wonderful! Extraordinary!" exclaimed the bald-headed woman. "Simle perfect!"

"Perfectly simple," replied the great detective.

"Then you must know about my wig, too," said the woman.

"Your wig? said the great detective, for the fact that the woman was bald had completely escaped him.

"Yes, a horse just ate it, and I want to sue for damages."

"But I'm a detective. I have nothing to do with law."

"What! Isn't this Lawyer Papff's office?"

"Good-day, madam," said the detective coldly, and he seized his violin and began rudely picking his teeth with it.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 23 May 1916

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It takes a certain amount of wisdom for a man to realise what a fool he is. - Prof. Simu.

The great detective was idly smoking a pipeful of snitzen leaves and looking out of his chamber windows, when down in the street a man shuffled past with a heavy basket on his head.

"Ah, hah," thought the great detective, "that basket is made of powdered bamboo. The only place powdered bamboo ware comes from is Tishaloak, Japan. that man is Kiyi, the famous Oriental burglar."

And without even taking time to polish his shoes the great detective rushed downstairs, and, overtaking the man with the basket, he clapped a pair of handcuffs on his wrists and a lobster trap on each foot.

"You are Kiyi, and the Duchess of Nittle's pearls are in that basket," he said calmly.

"You're pretty smart, but you ain's that smart," replied the man with the basket. "I am Salliday Spigit, the Hungarian thug, and if you will take the trouble to look you will find that this basket contains the rubies that were stolen from the Countess Pazaz last Thursday morning at Millins' grocery store."

Th great detective, though with a doubtful smile, looked and found that the man's words were true.

"Oh, pepsin!" he muttered, and took back his handcuffs and lobster traps and went back to finish his smoke.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 3 Jul 1916

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Bye, Baby Bunting,
Mamma's gone a-hunting,
Through the summer rains and gales,
Hunting for the bargain sales.

the Bulgarian forty-seven day clock struck thirteen after seven as Inspector Blibbs carried the stranger's bruised and senseless form into the great detective's apartments.

"Found him on Magooniss Street, sir, unconscious under a chestnut tree," explained the inspector as he saluted. "Never saw so many different kinds of bruises on one man before. I judge he must have been attacked by at least fourteen bands of hooligans. Can't make head or tail of it, sir."

The great detective rubbed his hands and examined the senseless man minutely. Then he went carefully through his pockets and removed a half frankfurter, a roll, a rattle ring, and the other half of the frankfurter.

"Very simple, inspector," he said. "as soon as I saw the bruises I recognised most of them, and decided the man had been having an afternoon of innocent pleasure on the amusements at Foney Island. These things in his pocket prove it. Please follow my finger as I point out the various species of bruises. Loop the loop, bing the barrel, flip the flop, hitch the coo, bump the bumps, and smash the smusher. The other eight are unfamiliar to me. To put it briefly, the man has been to pleasure bent, not to say mangled."

At that moment the man opened both black and blue eyes, confirmed the great detective's deductions, and was taken home by Inspector Blibbs.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 28 Aug 1916


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Beating the Game

"Before marriage a woman is pensive, afterwards expensive." - Prof. Simp.

"How can I serve you, my dear presbytarian with an unhappy wife?" said the great detective blandly. "Oh, don't start sir. It's very simple. Simply very. At one fell deduction I deduced you are a presbytarian, and that you have an unhappy wife, because I obseve that he left shoulder of your coat has been pressed b'tears. H'm!"

"Marvellous! She was crying there all morning because I have to pay an income tax," explained the worried-looking visitor. "But the object of my call is this :- I am a conscientious man, terribly. If there is anything amiss in the affairs of any man on my office force I hold myself personally bound to investigate. For a good many days now I have noticed that, after disappearing mysteriously during the lunch hour, my shipping clerk, Wangborn Flipps by name, returns with blood on his fingers. I simply cannot tolerate having a confirmed murderer in my office. So I came to you. I have no fault to find with Flipps otherwise. He is very economical and all that."

"A pretty case, very!" said the great detective, licking his chops. "Ha! H'm! Lunch hour. Where is your place of business, please?"

"Corner of Ditts and Maumheim."

"Solved!" smiled the great detective, with a wink. "Gobglass' saloon is directly across from you - never mind how I know - Gobglass serves pickled beet for free lunch every day - never mind how I know - with no forks to spear them with. Your economical shipping clerk - oh, you grasp my point? Not at all, not at all. Ten dollars, please!"

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 7 Sep 1916

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Two souls with but a single thought
May often cause us wonder.
When two hearts beat as one, they ought,
Of course, to beat like thunder.

The great detective , shaving before a mirror, did not look around when the thin man enteres, merely remarking as he shaved, "Have a seat. I observe that your sister Analine is dead."

"Why, how in the world - "

" I saw Analine die on your hands," said the great detective cheerfully. "But something else is worrying you."

"I am being followed," cried the thin man with an apprehensive look at the door.

"Wherever I go, whwrever I turn, I am followed. I have heard the fellow a thousand times, but he is always too quick for me, and I have never seen him."

"Have you such a thing as a gulty conscience?" asked the great detective brightly.

"Why - er - yes. When I was a boy I got on a penny weighing machine and it worked without me putting anything in, and I've worried over that incident more or less ever since."

"Would you mind walking slowly across the room," asked the great detective.

His visitor obeyed, and cried, "there, I hear him! I hear him!"

"I thought so," nodded the great detective. "It is your own shoes squeaking. Go out and put a penny in the first weighing machine you come to, and forget it."

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 18 Sep 1916


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(Synopsis of preceding chapters :- Amos Threads, champion heavy drinker of the Middle West, discovers one day that he is haunted by what appears to be a ball of fire, which appears continuously in front of him.

Threads, a superstitious man, dtermines to follow wherever the mystic ball shall lead, firmly believing that it is beckoning him on to fortune.

in his quest he folows the fiery globe through Andalusia, the Scropje Isles, Mangway Peninsula, across the Stingie range, and in many other crooks and crannies of the world, but fortune still eludes him.

As the ball leads him past the home of the great detective he gives way to a sudden impulse and steps into the great detective's receiving room and relates the tale of the red ball.


"H'm," mused the great detective. "Hum. Hem. Humph. Stand there in the light, please. Ah, just as I suspected. You are developing strabismus, and the red ball is the end of your nose."

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 25 Oct 1916


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By Proxy

"You came here to consult me," said the great detective.

the thin, spectacled man gave a slight start.

"Why - yes," replied the barber - the great detective knew he was a barber because his hair was cut so atrociously. "I will come right to the point. I am no drinker. It is against my principles. I have never tasted anything stronger than lemonade, with a dash of mint just for devilment, yet - to come right to the point - I repeatedly find myself in a drunken stupor when I wake up in the mornings. as far as I know, I don't walk in my sleep, and if there is any wretch vile enough to force himself into my room and poison my system with strong drink when I am sleepng, I want him apprehended and punished. positively, some mornings I'm so intoxicated I'm ashamed to even face that terrible Mr Gargles, who sleeps in the next room in my boarding house."

"What! Lemuel Gargles, whose father disinherited him for drunkenness?" asked the great detective.

"The same, I believe," replied his client with a shudder.

"Hah!" ejaculated the great detective, rubbing his palms. "I see all! I came into - ah - contact with that person's breath once. To-night, my dear sir, if you will plug up the keyhole between your room and Gargles' and also perhaps the crack beneath the door, I think you will wake up sober tomorrow morning. Good day, sir."

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 4 Dec 1916


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The Killers

It was the great detective's first visit to Ireland. Rushing into the Dublin City Hall he presented himself before Chief of Police O'Shay.

"Murder! Assassination! Holocausts!" he panted.

"I beg your pardon," replied Chief O'Shay.

"Holocausts! Assassination! Murder!" explained the great detective. "Here's my card."

"Oh, you!" said the chief in awed tones.

"Having no authority in Ireland, I thought I'd better come to those who had with my information," went on the great detective. "I was standing on the corner of O'Toole and M'Shane Streets and I heard two villainous-looking characters conversing. I took notes of their conversation. I'll read them:-

'Sure, Mike, I've been down to kill Mary, and I'm on my way now to kill Patrick.'

'Arra, Patsy, it's meself has just been to kill Kenny, and I'm restin' a bit before I go to kill more.'

'I say, Mike, let's take the day off and go down to kill 'em all.'

As far as I know, chief, the men are still there talking over their murderous schemes."

Hiding a smile with his moustache, Chief O'Shay handed the great detective a railroad timetable on which he had checked off certain stations - to wit, Kilmary, Kilpatrick, Kilkenny, Kilmore, Kilmaule.

"I've an important engagement with my plumber - er, my dentist," muttered the great detective, and retired, blushing furiously.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 8 Jan 1917

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The Hidden Treasure

"I've found it!"
Then our hero cried,
As he through wife's
Belongings pried.

Sheerluck Bones, the great detective, sat in a comfortable position on the edge of the bookcase, calmly smoking a Gesundheit's Julianna, when in rushed Ever Lookinmore, greatly excited.

"I want you to help me decipher this code. I found it in my wife's desk and I think it will show where her father buried his treasure. You know the old man didn't leave a cent, and we thought he ws rich!"

This was the code:- Chain 40 and 3 to turn. 1st Row, 3t, ch 15, turn. 2d Row, 1 t into 5th, ch 15, turn 17 t, 4 c, 3 t, 4 c, 6 t, 1 dt.

"Umph!" said the great detective. "Before I work on the case I'll go home with you to get a couple of dozen clues. I'll want to see the desk you found it in. The box in which it was concealed &c., &c. All those little things may throw some light on the subject."

The great detective and Lookinmore rummaged all through Mrs Lookinmore's closet and under the carpet, behind the wall paper, and they even were so thorough as to look between the quicksilver and the glass in her mirror, but nothing doing.

Just then Mrs Lookinmore rushed in the room saying, "Have you seen - where did you get that paper? Give it to me this instant! That's the filet crochet design for a divan cover that Mrs Quackly gave me yesterday."

While Ever Lookinmore went out to get a drink, the great detective strolled home thinking.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 31 Jan 1916


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Sheerluck Bones, the great detective, sat in his office pasting imported cigar bands on a bunch of three for five cigars to put in his giveaway pocket, when Silas Dinglemore entered.

"i want you to look into the finances of my daughter's fiancee. He claims to have plenty of money. He says he owns a one-fifth interest in a pickle-house, but he talks more like a piker than a pickler!"

"Oh-ah-a-ha!" said the great detective. "A baffling case indeed. Let me pnder for a second. Oh, ah yes! Just send him to me. I will unravel the mystery."


Charles Seraplin Gosh entered the g.d.'s office.

"Let me see your watch!" commanded the great detective.

And Charles handed over his double-barrelled, repeating, self-filling, non-jewelled Ostermoose watch.

And Sheerluck Bones opened the back of it to examine it with his 24-calibre magnifying glass.

"Ahem. That will be all," he said, and our hero vamoosed.


"Yes. Give me Spoopendyx 0033. That you, Mr Dinglemore? Yes, this is Detective Bones. I find that while Mr Dosh has had money right along, he hasn't it now, because he has his watch back, and the two don't go together. I examined the watch, and find that there are twent different pawnbrokers' numbers upon the watch lid near the solar jingle spring and thirteen more near the 50 h.p. 3-lb skidderwheel. Therefore, he can't have money and his watch at he same time."

After Silas Dinglemore came to, he found his wife and daughter weeping softly.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 13 Feb 1917


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Strolling down Izzy Lane, Sheerluck Bones, the great detective, shut his eyes in deep thought.

"If I could only land the man who stole Mrs Wilfie's iaond pie plate my fortune would be made. The only clue I have is the fact that the thief wore a fur-lined overcoat!" he soliloquised.

Entering Donley's French restaurant he was about to order "corned beef and cabbage a la king" when his eye struck the back of a man at another table and rebounded. There was nary a fur-lined overcoat in sight, yet the man's coat was full of hair.

"Ah, ah! Ha, ah!" triumphantly exclaimed the great detective. "He's my man. His overcoat is moulting, and I'll nail him."

Producing his handcuffs, he soon had the man standing in front of Judge Pennem.

"I accuse this man of stealing Mrs Wilfie's diamond pie plate!" exclaimed Sheerluck Bones. "see the fine hair all over his coat? He evidently has the fur-lined coat forming the only clue."

With a snickering laugh the prisoner hissed, "You're crazy! This hair is from the great international cat show now being held in Round Square Garden; I'm one of the judges. See my badge?"

The great detective, with his head bowed in conflicting thoughts accompanied with emotion, hurriedly left the Courtroom.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 30 Mar 1917


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One of the G.D.

"H'm," said Sheerluck Bones, the great detective. "And you say you miss only women's shoes, and only women's shoes of the extraordinarily small size of 1/2 AAA!"

"Precisely," replied Egbald Wiff, of the firm of Wiff & Waff. And he repeated "Precisely," for he was a precise speaker.

"Then," said the great detective quickly, "the thief must be a thiefess and the thiefess must have an unusually small foot."

"Marvellous - er - precisely." said Egbald Wiff.

"I have a plan," announced the great detective after he had leaned his forehead in thought against Section G, Size 9, children's shoes. And that afternoon each newspaper carried the following advertisement :- "Wanted. Female to play Cinderella - must wear a 1/2 AAA shoe. Apply north-west corner Baker Street."

The Great detective was still cooking his evening repast of mystery beans over the gas jet when there came a knock at his door. He flung it open and saw that his visitor was young and fair.

"Is Cinderella still empty?" she inquired.

The great detective bade her be seated, and deftly removed her right shoe. Ha! It was a No. 1/2 AAA! Ha! Ha! It was a Wiff & Waff shoe!

"You are under arrest," said the great detective. "this shoe was stolen from Wiff & Waff's."

"You housebug!" cried the applicant in the slang of the day. "I bought these shoes this morning, and here is the receipt."

"I never thought of that," said the great detective, and his crest fell crestfallenly as his visitor departed without even bothering to put her shoe on again.

Dundee Evening Telegraph, 9 Apr 1917


Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd.

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