232 The Stolen White Elephant
" Parents living?"
" No — dead."
" Had they any other issue beside this one?"
" None. He was an only child."
" Very well. These matters are sufficient under that head. Now please describe the elephant, and leave out no particular, however insignificant — that is, insignificant from yoicr point of view. To men in my pro-fession there are no insignificant particulars; they dq not exist."
I described — he wrote. When I was done, hq said:
" Now listen. If I have made any mistakes, correct me."
He read as follows:
" Height, 19 feet; length from apex of forehead to insertion of tail, 26 feet; length of trunk, 16 feet; length of tail, 6 feet; total length, including trunk and tail, 48 feet; length of tusks, 93 feet; ears in keeping with these dimensions; footprint resembles the mark left when one up-ends a barrel in the snow; color of the elephant, a dull white; has a hole the size of a plate in each ear for the insertion of jewelry, and possesses the habit in a remarkable degree of squirting water upon spectators and of maltreating with his trunk not only such persons as he is acquainted with, but even entire strangers; limps slightly with his right hind leg, and has a small scar in his left armpit caused by a former boil; had on, when stolen, a castle containing seats for fifteen persons, and a gold-cloth saddle-blanket the size of an ordinary carpet."
There were no mistakes. The inspector touched the bell, handed the description to Alaric, and said:
" Have fifty thousand copies of this printed at once and mailed to every detective office and pawnbroker's shop on the continent." Alaric retired. "There —