All The Engineer’s Thumb

The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb

Watson dates the story of The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb to Summer 1889. It is one of 12 Sherlock Holmes short stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in The Strand Magazine in 1892. Watson attends to Victory Hatherley who has had his thumb hacked off. On finding it was not an accident, Watson takes Hatherley to see Holmes. Hatherley tells Holmes he was approached by a German who called himself Colonel Lysander Stark and asked him to repair a large hydraulic press. Hatherley believes the building housing the press was about ten miles from Eyford. Having completed the work, he was nearly crushed to death but managed to escape although he lost his thumb in the process. Holmes establishes that the press was used to make counterfeit money. The criminals escape before Holmes and the police arrive. This is one of the few stories in the Canon where Holmes fails to bring the criminals to justice. There is a disagreement amongst experts as to the location of Eyford.