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There's a story somewhat popular among preachers that goes like this: Doyle was a practical joker. Once he sent the same telegram to twelve of his friends: "All is discovered. Flee at once." All twelve left the country.

It's a fascinating detail to include, if it's true. Google turns up some citations [1], but I can't find a verifiable source for the story. Please help.

<>< tbc

This looks like a hoax, or urban legend to me. I recall having heard something about it before, but almost every single citation I discovered turns up in a sermon, used to illustrate the well-travelled theme of guilt. The twelve friends can also be the twelve most important men in England. sjc

The plot of one of the Holmes stories, ["The 'Gloria Scott'"], hinges on such a message. --RjLesch

Thanks! I made the story a link so page visitors can read it. I scanned through it and see exactly what you mean. However, the message in that context isn't a prank.

I wrote to [David Emery] to see if he can shed some light on this.

<>< tbc

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Last edited October 24, 2001 7:03 am by The Epopt (diff)