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The Adventure of the Red Circle is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Arthur Conan Doyle. It is included in the anthology His Last Bow.
Mrs. Warren, a landlady, comes to 221B Baker Street with some questions about her lodger. A youngish, heavily bearded man, who spoke good but accented English came to her and offered double her usual rent on the condition that he get the room on his own terms. He went out the first night that he was there, and came back after midnight when the rest of the household had gone to bed. Since then, neither Mrs. Warren, her husband, nor their servant girl have seen him. The lodger insisted on having the Daily Gazette every morning, and sometimes requested other things. All requests were printed on a slip of paper left on a chair outside the room where meals were also left.
Mrs. Warren has brought some spent matches and a cigarette end from her lodger, hoping that Holmes can read something from them. It is clear that the cigarette has been smoked without a holder, which is quite unusual for a man with whiskers. He also eats very little, and never receives visitors or messages.
After the landlady leaves, Holmes remarks to Dr. Watson that it seems likely that the person in Mrs. Warren’s house is not the bearded man who made the arrangements. The evidence lies not only in the cigarette, but in the fact that the lodger’s knowledge of English is not as good as the bearded man’s (he wrote MATCH as one of his requests, for instance, not MATCHES). His “return” on the first night was very late so that no-one would see him and he has taken great pains to ensure no-one has seen him since.