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The Reverend J. C. Elman, M.A., was the vicar of Little Purlington and Mossmoor in Essex. Sherlock Holmes convinced John Watson to accompany Josiah Amberley to Little Purlington to meet with the vicar after they received a telegram purporting that the vicar had information regarding Mr Amberley's missing wife. When they reached the village, however, Mr Elman denied ever sending the telegram, or having any knowledge in the matter. Unbeknownst to Watson and Amberley, Holmes had arranged the telegram as a trick to get Amberley out of London so he could break into and investigate his house.

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