He was, I take it, the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen, but as a lover he would have placed himself in a false position.
He said that if they were sent to the office he would be chaffed by all the other clerks about having letters from a lady, so I offered to typewrite them, like he did his, but he wouldn’t have that, for he said that when I wrote them they seemed to come from me, but when they were typewritten he always felt that the machine had come between us.
“We do all our correspondence with this machine at the office, and no doubt it is a little worn,” our visitor answered, glancing keenly at Holmes with his bright little eyes.
I simply want your opinion about a hydraulic stamping machine which has got out of gear.
All we wish you to do is to examine the machine and to let us know what is wrong with it.’
The machine goes readily enough, but there is some stiffness in the working of it, and it has lost a little of its force.
“I took the lamp from him, and I examined the machine very thoroughly.
When I had made it clear to them, I returned to the main chamber of the machine and took a good look at it to satisfy my own curiosity.
‘I was admiring your fuller’s-earth,’ said I; ‘I think that I should be better able to advise you as to your machine if I knew what the exact purpose was for which it was used.’
That represents the last time that the colonel needed to have his machine overhauled, I fancy.”