The Assyrian Rejuvenator

The Further Adventures Of Romney Pringle
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He read the letter through again. The writer had been careful to omit his address, but it seemed plausible enough on the face of it. Anyhow, whatever the major's real motive might be, he couldn't afford to neglect the warning, and the one clear thing was that London was an unhealthy place for him just at present. He would pack up, so as to be ready for all emergencies, and drive round to Barbican and reconnoitre. Then, if things looked fishy, he could go to Cannon Street and catch the He'd show them that Harry Jacobs wasn't the man to be bluffed out of his claim!

Mr Jacobs stopped his cab some doors from the "Rejuvenator" office, and was in the act of alighting when he paused, spellbound at the apparition of Pringle. The latter was loitering outside No. Attired in a long overcoat, a bowler hat, and wearing thick boots of a constabulary pattern to the nervous imagination of Mr Jacobs, he afforded startling evidence of the police interest in the establishment; and this idea was confirmed when Pringle, as if satisfied with his scrutiny, drew a paper from the pocket-book and made a movement in his direction. Without waiting for further developments, Mr Jacobs retreated into the cab and hoarsely whispered through the trap-door, "Cannon Street as hard as you can go!

The cabman wrenched the horse's head round. He had been an interested spectator of the scene, and sympathised with the evident desire of his fare to escape what appeared to be the long arm of the law. At this moment a "crawling" hansom came up, and was promptly hailed by Pringle.

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While Mr Jacobs careered down Barbican, his cabman looked back in time to observe this expressive pantomime, and with the instinct of a true sportsman lashed the unfortunate brute into a hand-gallop. But the observant eye of a policeman checked this moderate exhibition of speed just as they were rounding the sharp corner into Aldersgate Street, and had not a lumbering railway van intervened Pringle would have caught him up and brought the farce to an awkward finish.

But the van saved the situation.

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The moment's respite was all that the chase needed, and in response to the promises of largesse, frantically roared by Mr Jacobs through the trap-door, he was soon bounding and bumping over the wood pavement with Pringle well in the rear. In and out, between the crowded files of vans and 'buses, the two cabs wound a zig-zag course; the horses slipping and skating over the greasy surface, or ploughing up the mud as their bits skidded them within inches of a collision.

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In vain did policemen roar to them to stop—the order fell on heedless ears. In vain did officious boys wave intimidating arms, or make futile grabs at the harness of the apparent runaways.

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Did a cart dart unexpectedly from out a side street, the inevitable disaster failed to come off. Did an obstacle loom dead ahead of them, it melted into thin air as they approached. Triumphantly they piloted the narrowest of straits, and dashed unscathed into St Martin's-le-Grand.

There was a block in Newgate Street, and the cross traffic was stopped. Mr Jacobs' hansom nipped through a temporary gap, grazing the pole of an omnibus, and being lustily anathematised in the process. But Pringle's cabman, attempting to follow, was imperiously waved back by a policeman.

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About two the same afternoon, Pringle, wearing the wig and moustache of Major Parkins, rang the housekeeper's bell at He found he needed a short holiday, that's all," Pringle reassured her, and taking the key from the confiding woman he climbed to the second floor. Sitting down at the secretarial desk, he sent a quick glance round the office.

The Rivals of Sherlock Homes S01 E11 The Assyrian Rejuvenator

A poor creature, that Jacobs, he reflected, for all his rascality, or he wouldn't have been scared so easily. And he drew a piece of wax from his pocket and took a careful impression of the key. He had not been in possession of the "Rejuvenator" offices for very long before he discovered that Mr Jacobs' desire to break out in a fresh place had proved abortive. It will be remembered that on the occasion of his interview with that gentleman, Mr Jacobs assumed that Pringle's visit had reference to "Pelosia," whose virtues he extolled in a leaflet composed in his own very pronounced style.

A large package in the office Pringle found to contain many thousands of these effusions, which had apparently been laid aside for some considerable time. From the absence in the daily correspondence of any inquiries thereafter, it was clear that the public had failed to realize the advantages of the internal administration of mud, so that Mr Jacobs had been forced to stick to the swindle that was already in existence.

After all, the latter was a paying concern—eminently so! Besides, the patent-medicine trade is rather overdone. The price of the "Assyrian Rejuvenator" was such as to render the early cashing of remittances an easy matter. Ten-and-sixpence being a sum for which the average banker demurs to honour a cheque, the payments were usually made in postal orders; and Pringle acquired a larger faith in Carlyle's opinion of the majority of his fellow-creatures as he cashed the previous day's takings at the General Post Office on his way up to Barbican each morning.

The business was indeed a flourishing one, and his satisfaction was only alloyed by the probability of some legal interference, at the instance of Colonel Sandstream, with the further operations of the Company. But for the present Fortune smiled, and Pringle continued energetically to despatch parcels of the "Rejuvenator" in response to the daily shower of postal orders.

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In this indeed he had little trouble, for he had found many gross of parcels duly packed and ready for posting. One day while engaged in the process, which had grown quite a mechanical one by that time, he listened absently to a slow but determined step which ascended the stairs and paused on the landing outside. Above, on the third floor, was an importer of cigars made in Germany, and the visitor evidently delayed the further climb until he had regained his wind. Presently, after a preliminary pant or two, he got under weigh again, but proceeded only as far as the "Rejuvenator" door, to which he gave a peremptory thump, and, opening it, walked in without further ceremony.

There was no need for him to announce himself. Pringle recognized him at first glance, although he had never seen him since the eventful evening at Cristiani's restaurant. I've no time to waste either. But I was just now going to say that as the managing director of the company I am also acting as secretary during Mr Jacobs' absence. Unless you can remember the contents I fear it will be quite impossible for me to do so. I'm not likely to forget them in a hurry. I asked you to return me the money your "Rejuvenator", as you call it, has cost me, because it's been quite useless, and in your reply you not only refused absolutely, but hinted that I dare not prosecute you. As Pringle made no reply, he continued more savagely: "Would you like to hear my candid opinion of you? I consider that letter the most impudent attempt at blackmail that I have ever heard of! At the same time, although you are pleased to put such an unfortunate construction upon it, I am sure there is some misunderstanding in the matter.

I must positively decline to admit that there has been any attempt on the part of the company of such a nature as you allege. Perhaps you won't admit taking pounds and pounds of my money for your absurd concoction, which hasn't done me the least little bit of good in the world—nor ever will!

And perhaps you won't admit refusing to return me my money? Perhaps you won't admit daring me to take proceedings because it would show up what an ass I've been! Don't talk to me, sir! I mislaid your letter or I'd have called upon you before this. As you're the managing director I'm better pleased to see you than your precious secretary.

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Anyhow, I've come to tell you that you're a set of swindlers! Of swindlers, sir! Yes, you, and your rascally secretary too! I'll go and swear an information against you this very day! Pringle followed in the rear, and reached the outer door in time to hear him exclaim, "Mansion House Police Court," to the driver of a motor-cab, in which he appropriately clanked and rumbled out of sight.

Returning upstairs, Pringle busied himself in making a bonfire of the last few days' correspondence. Then, collecting the last batch of postal orders, he proceeded to cash them at the General Post Office, and walked back to Furnival's Inn. After all, the farce couldn't have lasted much longer. Arrived at Furnival's Inn, Pringle rapidly divested himself of the wig and moustache, and, assuming his official port-wine mark, became once more the unemployed literary agent. It was now half-past one, and, after lunching lightly at a near restaurant, he lighted a cigar and strolled leisurely eastward.

By the time he reached Barbican three o'clock was reverberating from St Paul's. He entered the private bar of a tavern nearly opposite, and sat down by a window which commanded a view of No. As time passed and the quarters continued to strike in rapid succession, Pringle felt constrained to order further refreshment; and he was lighting a third cigar before his patience was rewarded.

Happening to glance up at the second floor window, he caught a glimpse of a strange man engaged in taking a momentary survey of the street below. The march of events had been rapid. He had evidently resigned the secretaryship not a moment too soon! Not long after the strange face had disappeared from the window, a four-wheeled cab stopped outside the tavern, and an individual wearing a pair of large blue spectacles, and carrying a Gladstone bag, got out and carefully scrutinized the offices of the "Rejuvenator.

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51min | Crime, Drama, Mystery | Episode aired 29 November Inflated claims about the powers of an expensive elixir put private investigator Romney Pringle in pursuit of a ruthless con man. Title: The Assyrian Rejuvenator (29 Nov ). The Assyrian Rejuvenator is the 11th episode in season 1 of the BBC TV series: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Aired on 29 november 50 min. Romney.

At length, being satisfied with the normal appearance of the premises, he crossed the road, and to Pringle's intense amusement, disappeared into the house opposite. The spectator had not long to wait for the next act of the drama.