This story concerns the baffling disappearance of a privately hired train (a special) on its journey from Liverpool to London on 3 June 1890. The train is confirmed to have passed Kenyon Junction but never have reached Barton Moss. Authorities fail to discover any traces of the train. A letter to The Times by "an amateur reasoner of some celebrity at that date" is excerpted at one point, the style of which suggests that the author is probably Sherlock Holmes. This "recognized authority upon such matters" suggests that the train and its passengers are destroyed by a criminal organization comparable to Camorra, by first directing into one of the unused tracks of abandoned mines that lay nearby. The proposition meets with heated opposition, although the objectors fail to supply any conceivable alternative. Nevertheless, the responsible authorities do not act on the proposal and the public never shows any interest as a political scandal has already attracted their attention. Eight years later, a criminal mastermind called Herbert de Lernac, scheduled for execution in Marseilles, confesses to the crime, revealing details that are only slightly different than what the amateur sleuth proposed. Herbert suppresses the names of his employers in this confession, but threatens to reveal their names if he is not granted a pardon.
The story was adapted as an episode of the radio program Escape which aired February 12, 1949. While the episode includes several letters to the Times, the one sometimes attributed to Sherlock Holmes is not among them.
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