The Story of Spedegue’s Dropper

Anyone who has followed cricket for a while would have come across “Spedegue’s Dropper” which is referenced in Cricinfo and elsewhere:

You get a general idea of the story here. But try finding more about it through Google. If you had done this a couple of years ago, you would find that virtually all the literary output of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works (including dozens of short stories and novels which have nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes) can be easily read on, the Internet Archive as well as free Kindle books from Amazon. But not this story and a few other novellas such as “The Maracot Deep”. Apparently these were the handful of his works which were supposed to be still under copyright. This particular story could only be found in old hardcover books several decades old, or in some anthologies of boy’s fiction which would also date from the 1960s or 1970s. That is where I first read the story while in school.

When I tried to locate it on the net a few years ago I met a dead end and some mention of the story still being under copyright. Fortunately that appears to be no longer true. You can read it below. The original illustrations from the Strand magazine are included.

Note that it was first published in 1928 and was one of the last few stories written by Sir Arthur before he died in 1930.