A Scandal In Bohemia
"Let me see!" said Holmes. "Hum! Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. Contralto–hum! La Scala, hum! Prima donna Imperial Opera of Warsaw–yes! Retired from operatic stage–ha! Living in London–quite so! Your Majesty, as I understand, became entangled with this young person, wrote her some compromising letters, and is now desirous of getting those letters back."
"Precisely so. But how–"
"Was there a secret marriage?"
"No legal papers or certificates?"
"Then I fail to follow your Majesty. If this young person should produce her letters for blackmailing or other purposes, how is she to prove their authenticity?"
"There is the writing."
"Pooh, pooh! Forgery."
"My private note-paper."
"My own seal."
"My photograph."
"We were both in the photograph."
"Oh, dear! That is very bad! Your Majesty has indeed committed an indiscretion."
"I was mad–insane."
"You have compromised yourself seriously."
"I was only Crown Prince then. I was young. I am but thirty now."