Abbreviation: LAST (J. F. Christ, 1947)
Word length: 6,126 (C. E. Lauterbach, 1960)
First published: Strand Magazine, September 1917; Collier's Weekly, September 22, 1917
Earlier in Holmes's career he faced his "Final Problem." "The Second Stain" indicates that a previous story was supposed to be the last memoir of Sherlock Holmes. Later "The Lion's Mane" seems a sort of epilogue; "Shoscombe Old Place" was in fact the last published, but it was replaced with "The Retired Colourman" in book editions. Are these successive curtain calls for Sherlock Holmes merely artifacts of the serial way in which the stories were originally published, or do they have an effect on today's reader also?