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“I shall be brief, and yet exact” [FINA]  

Writing an essay can be difficult, particularly when left with little to the imagination.

Such is the case here at I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Thankfully, the Baker Street Elementary team gives us something to ponder every two weeks.

This time, our thoughts turned to Sherlock Holmes and the number of words that Conan Doyle used in each story.

While we didn't unearth a source of word counts of each story in the Canon [Our mind hazily recalls  such a reference; any feedback from our readership on where we might find such a reference would be most welcome. – Ed.], the shortest story would have been in the realm of the Baker Street Elementary assignment.

When we include the Apocrypha (those stories that Conan Doyle wrote outside of the traditional 60 stories), his custom story for Queen Mary's dollhouse is the clear winner. "How Watson Learned the Trick" comes in at just 503 words. 

Of course, it may take you longer to read, as you might need to locate a strong magnifying glass first. Squint a little bit and see if you can make out the short essay at Baker Street Elementary...

Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.