Reichenbach Falls.

Reichenbach Falls in Germany is the waterfall that Conan Doyle used in his story 'The Final Problem' - about the battle in which resulted with Holmes arch enemy - Proffessor Moriarty's - death

Holmes and Moriarty fighting on a ledge above the heavy torrent of water of Reichenbach Falls.


'It is, indeed a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges down into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening coal black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring forever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing forever upward, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamour.'

- Conan Doyle describing Reichenbach Falls in what he intended to be his last Sherlock Holmes book: The Final Problem -


"My note to you was absolutely genuine. I had little doubt that I had come to the end of my career when I perceived the somewhat sinister figure of the late Proffessor Moriarty standing upon the narrow pathway which led to safety. I read an inexorable purpose in his grey eyes. I exchanged someremarks with him, therefore, and obtained his courteous permission to write the short note which you afterwards received. I left it with my cigarette box and stick and I walked along the pathway, Moriarty still at my heels. When I reached the end I stood at bay. He drew no weapon, but he rushed at me and threw his long arms around me. He knew that his own game was up, and was only anxious to revenge himself upon me. We tottered together upon the brink of the fall. I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which hjas more than once been useful to me. I slipped through his grip, and he with a horriblescream kicked madly for a few seconds and clawed the air with both his hands. But for all his efforts he could not get his balance, and over he went. With my face over the brink I saw him fall for a long wayThen he struck a rock, bounded off, and splashed into the water." ...

... "It came about in this way . The instant that the Proffessor had disappeared it struck me what a really extroadinarily lucky chance Fate had placed in my way. I knew that Moriarty was not the only man who had sworn my death. There were at least three others whose desire for vengeance upon me would only be increased by the death of their leader. They were all most dangerous men. One or other would certainly get me. On the other hand, if all the world was convinced I was dead they would take liberties, these men, they would lay themselves open, and sooner or later I could destro them. Then it would be time for me to announce that I was still in the land of the living. So rapidly does the brain act that I beleive I had thought this out before Moriarty reached the bottom of the Reichenbach Fall. I stood up and examined the rocky wall behind me. In your picturesque account of the matter, which I read with great interest some months later, you assert that the wall was sheer. This was not literally true. A few small footholds presented themselves, and there was some indication of a ledge. The cliff is so high that to climb it all was an obvious impossibility, and it was equally impossible to make my way along the wet path without leaving some tracks. I might, it is true, have reversed my boots as I have done on similar occasions, but the sight of three sets of tracks in one direction would certainly have suggested a deception. On the whole, then, it was best that I should risk the climb. It was not a pleasant business, Watson. The fall roared beneath me. I am not a fanciful person, but I give you my word that I seemed to hear Moriarty's voice screaming at me out of the abyss. A mistake would have been fatal. More than once, as tufts of grass came out in my hand or my foot slipped in the wet notches of the rocks, I thought that I was gone. But I struggled upwards, andat last I reached a ledge several foot deep and covered with soft green moss, where I could lie unseen in the most perfect comfort. There I was stretched when you, my dear Watson, and all your following were investigating in the most sympathetic and inefficient manner the circumstances of my death. At last, when you had all formed your inevitable and totally eronious conclusions, you departed for the hotel and I was left alone. I imagined that I had come to the end of my adventures, but a very unexpected occurence showed me that there were surprises still in store for me. A huge rock, falling from above, boomed past me, struck the path and bounded over into the chasm. For an instant, I thought it was an accident; but a moment later, looking up, I saw a man's head against the darkening sky, and another stone struck the very ledge upon which I was stretched, within a foot of my head. Of course, the meaning of this was obvious. Moriarty had not been alone. A confederate - and even that one glance had told me how dangerous a man that confederate was - had kept guard while the Proffessor attacked me. From a distance, unseen by me, he had been a witness of his friiend's death and of my escape. He had waited, and then, making his way round to the top of the cliff, he had endeavoued to succeed where his comrade had failed."

- Sherlock Holmes describing his ordeal to Watson in Conan Doyle's story: The Empty House -

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Reichenbach Falls

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