Arthur Conan Doyle’s autograph manuscript of one of the 13 short stories that in 1905 were gathered together in book form as The Return of Sherlock Holmes sold for $250,000 (£176,055) at Heritage Auctions.

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Part of an April 18, Heritage (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) sale of letters and manuscripts, the vellum bound, 53pp manuscript of ‘The Adventure of the Dancing Men’ was listed as requiring a starting bid of $250,000 (£176,055). That it got, but no more.

Signed three times and written on one side of the page only, the manuscript includes several that show no emendations of any kind. Others have some text crossed out, but with corrections and additions very clearly and legibly marked.

On one page, part of which is shown above, can be seen a line of the chalked stickmen figures that form the code that Holmes has to break to unravel a murder story first published in The Strand in 1903.