Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Doctor Watson, are visited by two very important gentlemen: the Prime Minister and the Minister for Europe, Mr Trelawney Hope. They want Holmes’s help in an extremely delicate matter. Hope has lost a document, the existence of which, if made public, could threaten the peace and stability of Britain. In Chapter 1, the Prime Minister explains the delicacy of the situation and Hope recounts the events of the last few days, since he received the all-important document.

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