A SECOND book containing what is purportedly a lost Sherlock Holmes story has been discovered.

The 1,300 word tale, which bears the signature Arthur Conan Doyle, has been unearthed after the same book was found elsewhere in the Selkirk.

It is the first story about the sleuth to be unearthed in 80 years.

The anonymous short tale, the Book o' the Brig, was sold as part of a fundraising effort to help save a town bridge.

The original copy was found by historian Walter Elliot, 80. It had been original sold in the early part of the last century.

Now a second copy has been discovered, which belonged to late local man Alex Cuthill.

The Book o' the Brig's final page reveals the Edinburgh-born Sherlock author visited Selkirk on the day in question, Saturday 12 December, 1903, to open a bazaar in aid of the new bridge, or Iron Brig, which had been washed away be a flood.

Now this second copy, signed 'Arthur Conan Doyle' on the cover, also places the crime author at the scene.

Conan Doyle knew the area well, having failed to become a Unionist MP in the Hawick Burghs constituency in 1906.

The replacement Iron Brig is itself due to be swept away by Selkirk's £31.4million Flood Protection Scheme, and a new wooden bridge built at the same crossing.

Mr Cuthill's daughter Jean, who still lives in the Borders, told us: "My father said the signature was faint, so he was going to go over it in pencil. My husband said: 'No you will not!'"

However, neither Mrs Cuthill or her father knew whether Sir Arthur penned the story. Many Sherlock fans and experts around the world have expressed their doubts, arguing it is more likely to be a pastiche, penned in honour of his visit.

Mr Elliot had donated his Book o' the Brig to the community museum, she was delighted to tell him. However, Mrs Cuthill added: "I've got one too - but mine's signed!"