She had wintered at Davos Platz and was journeying now to join her friends at Lucerne, when a sudden hemorrhage had overtaken her.
Tuberculosis and its deadly effects were much on Conan Doyle's mind because of his wife's precarious condition. The scenario described here must have been his worst nightmare.

There was Holmes's Alpine-stock still leaning against the rock by which I had left him.
Holmes's sturdy walking—stick still leans against the rock—a poignant reminder of his absence. The Alpine-stock, the silver cigarette case, the little scrap of paper—these have become icons of Holmes's disappearance (the deerstalker cap has slipped into films of "The Final Problem," although it does not appear in the original text).

"As I turned away I saw Holmes, with his back against a rock and his arms folded, gazing down at the rush of the waters. It was the last that I was ever destined to see of him in this world."
"'My dear Watson,' he said, 'I write these few lines through the courtesy of Mr. Moriarty, who awaits my convenience for the final discussion of those questions which lie between us.'"

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