Holmes sends Dr. Watson to Lausanne to investigate Lady Frances Carfax's disappearance. Holmes is too busy in London. Lady Frances is a lone, unwed woman denied a rich inheritance because of her sex. She does, however, carry valuable jewels with her. It is also her habit to write to her old governess, Miss Dobney, every other week, but for the past five weeks, there has not been a word from her. She has left the Hotel National for parts unknown. Her last two bank transactions were cheques, one to pay her hotel bill, and another for 50 Pounds to her maid, Miss Marie Devine.