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A SUMMARY OF
THE MEMOIRS OF
SHERLOCK HOLMES

 
Silver Blaze

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

JOHN STRAKER, an ex-jockey turned trainer.  He trained Silver Blaze
COL. ROSS, owner of Silver Blaze.
FITZROY SIMPSON, a neighbor of the Colonel who liked to bet on the horses.
SILAS BROWN, trainer for Lord Backwater.
LORD BACKWATER, owner of a training stable across the moor from the Colonel.
EDITH BAXTER, maid to Straker.  She delivered the curried mutton to Ned.
NED HUNTER, groom on guard duty when Silver Blaze was stolen.
INSPECTOR GREGORY, a competent local officer.
SILVER BLAZE, prize winning horse.

SUMMARY

John Straker has a mistress in London who has expensive tastes.  Consequently he is head over heels in debt.  Silver Blaze is the favorite in an up coming race.

Silver blaze disappears and Straker is found on the moor with his skull crushed and a cataract knife in his hand.

Holmes solves the case.  Straker planned to nick Silver Blaze's tendon with a cataract knife thereby slowing him enough that he would not win the race but not enough that he would be withdrawn.  Then he planned to bet against him.  To do the nicking, he put powdered opium in Ned's curried mutton (the curry masked the opium's taste) and when all was quiet led the horse onto the moor to nick him but the horse kicked him in the head killing him.  As he fell, he cut his thigh with the cataract knife.

The horse wandered across the moor and was found early next morning by Silas Brown who recognized him and dyed the identifying blaze and foreleg to conceal his identity.  Holmes saw through his scheme and forced Silas to care for the horse until race time and produce him.

Brown kept his part of the bargain.  Silver Blaze won the race and Holmes protected Silas from legal prosecution.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

None.

DISGUISES

None.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1.  Holmes calculates the speed of a train by the rate that the electric poles go by.

2.  Holmes inquires if any of the sheep had gone lame, thinking that Straker might have practiced on them.  He did.

3.   "Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?" 
      "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." 
      "The dog did nothing in the night-time." 
      "That was the curious incident

Official Abbreviation: SILV

The Adventure Of Silver Blazewas first published in the Strand Magazine, December 1892

The Yellow Face

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

GRANT "JACK" MUNRO, A dealer in hops.
EFFIE MUNRO, his wife.
JOHN HEBRON, former husband of Effie.  Now deceased.
LUCY HEBRON, daughter of John and Effie.
LUCY'S SCOTCH NURSE, who accompanied her from America.

SUMMARY

Holmes and Watson are sharing quarters at Baker St.  Holmes still uses cocaine occasionally.  A page is on duty.

Effie emigrated to Atlanta and married John Hebron, a black lawyer, there.  They had Lucy.  Soon after Lucy's birth, John died in a yellow fever epidemic.  Effie returned to England and left Lucy in the charge of a Scotch nurse who was a former servant.

Effie met and married Jack.  She sent for Lucy and the nurse but was ashamed to tell Jack that her daughter was black.  Therefore she kept her existence a secret from him and forced Lucy to completely cover herself, including wearing a mask, to hide her Negroid characteristics.

Jack forced a disclosure and accepted Lucy as his daughter.  Holmes did nothing.  No crime was committed.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

The Musgrave Ritual.

DISGUISES

Lucy wears a mask.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1. Holmes describes Grant from examining his pipe.

2. Holmes misses the case.  He felt that blackmail was behind scenes.

3.  In discussing The Musgrave Ritual, Watson lists it as one of Holmes' failures.  It clearly was not.  Other editions of the story substitute The Second Stain for The Musgrave Ritual.  Holmes did not fail in this adventure either.  Could Watson have been using a little cocaine himself when he was writing this adventure up for the publisher?

Official Abbreviation: YELL

The Adventure Of The Yellow Face was first published in the Strand Magazine, February 1893

The Stockbroker's Clerk

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

HALL PYCROFT, the stockbroker's clerk.
ARTHUR PINNER, gangster who hired Pycroft in order that Beddington could take  the job he had just obtained.
HARRY PINNER, an alias used by Arthur when he posed as his brother.
BEDDINGTON, the forger and cracksman.  Pinner's partner.
SGT. TUSON
CONSTABLE POLLOCK
MR. FARQHUAR, an elderly GP from whom Watson bought a practice.
MR. HARRIS, an alias used by Holmes.
MR. PRICE, an alias used by Watson.

SUMMARY

Watson is married to Mary Morstan and in practice.

Hall Pycroft has obtained a position with a large securities firm.  He was hired by mail so that his employers knew his handwriting but not his face.

In the interval between his acceptance and his going to work for the first time, Arthur Pinner contacts him, posing as an agent for a large European company and offering him another position which pays a fantastic salary.  Pycroft accepts this second position.

Pinner says his brother will meet him at their new offices.  Their offices are barely furnished.  Pycroft notices that both Pinners have the same badly filled gold tooth and knows they are the same man.  He consults Holmes.  Holmes recommends that he and Watson meet Pinner.  They do so and Pinner attempts suicide but Watson saves him.

Pinner was in partnership with Beddington who impersonated Pycroft at his job, made casts of the locks and had duplicate keys made.  He robbed the firm of a large amount of securities, killing a watchman in the process,  but as he was leaving was confronted and arrested by Tuson and Pollock.

On his way to meet Pycroft, Pinner buys a newspaper in which he reads of Beddington's capture and therefore tries to take his own life.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

None.

DISGUISES

Holmes and Watson pose as two clerks in search of a position.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

Holmes deduces that Watson bought a more successful practice than his neighbor because his steps are more deeply worn.

Watson gives Pinner artificial respiration - a new technique at the time.

Official Abbreviation: STOC

The Adventure Of The Stockbroker's Clerk was first published in the Strand Magazine, March 1893

The Gloria Scott

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Victor Trevor, classmate of Holmes at college
Senior Trevor, father of Victor.  A justice of the peace.
Beddoes, aka Evans, a fellow prisoner on the Gloria Scott
Jack Pendergast, a fellow prisoner on the Gloria Scott and leader of the mutiny.
Wilson, Pendergast's partner.  He posed as a chaplain on the Gloria Scott.
James Armitage, Senior Trevor's real name.
Dr. Fordham, treated senior Trevor after his first stroke.

SUMMARY

In his youth, Armitage, who was a bank employee, embezzled money to pay a debt of honor and was detected before he could replace it.  He was convicted and sentenced to penal servitude in Australia.  He was being transported there on the bark, Gloria Scott.  The prisoner on one side of him was Evans, a forger, and on the other side Jack Pendergast, who had defrauded a group of rich merchants out of £750,000 - and had not surrendered it.

Pendergast's partner, Wilson, had obtained the position of ship's parson and had bribed a number of the crewmen.

A mutiny was successful.  An argument arose as to what to do about the surviving crewmen and soldiers who were not part of the mutiny.  Pendergast wanted to kill them all to completely cover their tracks but some of the mutineers, including Armitage and Evans refused to go along with this.  The dissenters were set adrift in an open boat.

Shortly after they were adrift, the Gloria Scott exploded.  They rowed back to check for survivors and only found one, Hudson, whom they took onto their boat.  The were soon picked up by a boat going to Australia and the survivors posed as flotsam from a passenger ship.

Once in Australia, they changed their names, went to the gold fields, became wealthy and returned to England  where they lived quiet lives in the country for almost 30 years until Hudson showed up at Trevor's and began to blackmail him.  He then went to do the same thing to Beddoes who would have none of it, so Hudson told the police.

When he learned that Hudson had told all, Senior Trevor had a stroke and died.  Neither Beddoes nor Hudson were ever seen again and Holmes concluded that Beddoes had killed Hudson and fled the country with all the money he could get his hands on.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

None

DISGUISES

None.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

Holmes deciphers an apparently nonsensical message by reading every third word.

He tells senior Trevor that he had once been closely associated with someone whose initials were JA and whom he had later wished to completely forget.  Trevor swooned.

Victor Trevor was Holmes only friend at university.

Holmes says that he went to university for two years, but he does not say which one.

Official Abbreviation: GLOR

The Adventure Of The Gloria Scott was first published in the Strand Magazine, April 1893

The Musgrave Ritual

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

REGINALD MUSGRAVE, owner of Hurlingstone, an ancient estate with a large old  manor house and encrusted with history.
BRUNTON, Musgrave's head butler and major domo.
RACHAEL HOWELLS, jilted suitor of Brunton.  They were formerly engaged.
JANET TREGILLIS, current suitor of Brunton.

SUMMARY

The "Musgrave Ritual" is a cryptic series of questions which has been in the family for many generations -- so many that the original meaning has been lost -- all male Musgraves must learn it as a rite of passage into manhood.

Musgrave finds Brunton poring over the ritual and related family documents late at night.  He fires Brunton on the spot, but after much pleading, allows him to remain for one week.  Two days later, Brunton vanishes late at night.

Two days after Brunton's disappearance, Rachael (who has been distraught since her break-up with Brunton) also disappears.  Her tracks lead into the mere.  The mere is dragged and although no body is found, a linen parcel containing a number of blackened metal plates and pebbles is found.

Musgrave knew Holmes at school and asks him for his advice.

Holmes deduces that the ritual is a guide to a treasure buried on the estate long ago by noble ancestors and that this treasure is the contents of the linen parcel..  He finds Brunton's body in a small subterranean cell bent over an ancient chest.  The chest is empty.

He proves that Rachael was taken into Brunton's confidence so she could help him raise the large, heavy flagstone "lid" which served as an entrance to the secret vault.  Whether she closed the lid intentionally to get revenge on her former lover or whether it closed accidentally and she was unable to reopen it remains unresolved as she is never found.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

1.  Holmes mentions the following early cases of his career which occurred before he met Watson:
           A. Tarleton murders.
           B.  Vamberry the wine merchant.
           C.  The old Russian woman.
           D.  The singular affair of the aluminum crutch.
           E.  Ricoletti of the club foot and his abominable wife.
           F.  The Gloria Scott
           G.  Study in Scarlet

DISGUISES

None

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1. The story is narrated by Holmes.
2. Holmes says this was his third case.
3.  Watson lists a number of Holmes irregular habits:  the cigars in the coal scuttle, tobacco in the slipper, letters stuck to the mantle with a knife, "VR" in bullet pocks on the wall.

Official Abbreviation: MUSG

The Adventure Of The Musgrave Ritual was first published in the Strand Magazine, May 1893

The Reigate Squires
         also:  The Reigate Squire and The Reigate Puzzle (DIOGENES:  in US)
 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

MR. CUNNINGHAM, J.P. of the county.
ALEC CUNNINGHAM, his arrogant son.
WILLIAM KIRWIN, coachman of the Cunninghams and murdered by them.
COL. HAYTER, neighbor of Cunningham and friend of Watson.
MR. ACTON, neighbor of the Cunninghams who had a valid claim to a lot of the  Cuningham estate.
INSPECTOR FORRESTER, of the local police.
ANNIE MORRISON, mentioned in a murder note.  A friend of Kirwin.

SUMMARY

Holmes has just completed a case in Europe and is physically and emotionally exhausted.  He and Watson visit Col. Hayter at his country estate for a rest.  Just prior to their visit, the home of Acton has been burglarized of a hodge-podge of items.

Shortly after Holmes' arrival, the coachman of another of Hayter's neighbors, the Cunninghams, is murdered.  Forrester calls upon Hayter and asks for Holmes' help in solving same.

A fragment of a note was found clutched in Kirwin's hand.

With this small fragment of paper as a basis, Holmes solves the case.  The note is reproduced below.  The fragment upon which Holmes based his deductions is the outlined upper right corner.

Acton had a valid claim against a lot of Cunningham's estate.  The Cunninghams burglarized his house looking for the claim but did not find it.  They took a bunch of junk to hide the real motive for the robbery.  Kirwin saw them do it and was blackmailing them so they killed him.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

1. The question of the Netherland-Sumatra Company and the colossal schemes of Baron Maupertius.

DISGUISES

None, unless you consider simulating a nervous fit a disguise.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1. From seven words written on a small scrap of paper, Holmes deduces:
           A. It was written by two persons doing alternate words.
           B. One was the ringleader (i.e. dominant over the other).
           C. One was older than the other.
           D. The men were blood relatives.
           E. Twenty three other deductions which would be of more interest to an            expert than to you.
2. Holmes faints to get the inspector to change the subject.
3. Holmes tips over a bowl of oranges to distract the Cunninghams so he can  obtain the entire note from Alec's dressing gown.
4.  Annie Morrison is mentioned in the note but not in the story itself.

Official Abbreviation: REIG

The Adventure Of The Reigate Squires was first published in the Strand Magazine, June 1893

The Crooked Man

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

COL. JAMES BARCLAY, the murdered man.  Commander of the Royal Munsters
NANCY BARCLAY, nee DEVOY, his wife.
HENRY WOOD, the crooked man.
MISS MORRISON, neighbor of the Barclays who accompanied Nancy to the church  mission.
SGT. DEVOY, color sergeant of the Munsters and Nancy's father.
MAJOR MURPHY, called Holmes into the case.
DR. JACKSON, covered Watson's practice.
SIMPSON, a Baker Street irregular who followed Wood.
TEDDY, a mongoose.

SUMMARY

Watson has been married only a few months.  Holmes drops by at midnight and asks him to come along in the morning and serve as a witness when he questions a very important suspect. 

The Munsters were at the Indian rebellion.  They were trapped in a fort, along with their women and children.  Both James and Henry were in love with Nancy.  Nancy loved Henry, but her father wanted her to marry James because he was more ambitious.  James sent Henry to sneak through enemy lines and bring help, but he also tipped off the enemy and Henry was caught.  This eliminated James' rival.

The Munsters were relieved and James married Nancy.  He rose through the ranks to become commanding officer.

Henry was presumed dead, but actually he was enslaved and tortured so severely that he was permanently deformed.  He eventually escaped and made his way via Nepal, Afghanistan and the Punjab back to England.  He brought Teddy and a defanged cobra with him and earned a living as a conjurer in pubs, using Teddy and the cobra as a finish.  He met Nancy on her way home from a church mission meeting and told her of James' treachery.  He then decided that he should follow her home, in case James became violent.

Nancy confronted James.  Henry looked through the window and saw them arguing.  He entered the room through the French door.  James had a stroke and died at the sight of him.  As he fell, he hit his head on the hearth.  Teddy got loose during the excitement;  James caught him and left because he felt it would look bad for him should he be caught.  Nancy collapsed with "brain fever."

Nancy was accused of murdering her husband.  Murphy called Holmes in.  Holmes solved the case and located Henry, but said nothing of his connection with the case because an autopsy reveals apoplexy and not violence was the cause of death and Nancy was released. 

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

None

DISGUISES

Registration agent.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

Watson still smokes Arcadia tobacco.

When James and Nancy were arguing, one of the servants heard Nancy say the name "David" several times.  She was referring to the biblical David who eliminated his rival, Uriah, (Bathshebs'a husband) in a manner similar to James' elimination of Henry.

Official Abbreviation: CROO

The Adventure Of The Crooked Man was first published in the Strand Magazine, July 1893

The Resident Patient

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PERCY TREVELYAN, a physician who wrote a monograph on obscure nervous  diseases.
BLESSINGTON aka SUTTON, who set Trevelyan up in business.
THE PAGE, employed by Trevalyan and Blessington but who was bribed by the  gang into betraying Blessington.
BIDDLE, HAYWARD, MOFFAT, SUTTON and CARTWRIGHT, the Worthingdon  Bank gang.
TOBIN, caretaker at the Worthingdon Bank.
SUTTON, of Scotland Yard.

SUMMARY

The gang robbed the Worthingdon bank.  Tobin was killed during the robbery.  All five were captured.  Sutton sang and got a much lighter sentence.  Cartwright was executed.

After his release from prison, Sutton, wishing to hide from the gang, set Trevelyan up in a nice office for a share of the proceeds and the two lived in separate apartments over the office.

After the gang was released, they traced Sutton.  Twice they attempted to get to him.  On both occasions one posed as a patient - a Russian nobleman - and the other his caretaker/translator.  Naturally Sutton was living in absolute terror at this time, so Trevelyan consulted Holmes.  Holmes asked Sutton who was stalking him and he claimed ignorance of everything so Holmes left in disgust.

Early next morning Holmes was summoned by Trevelyan.  Sutton had hanged himself.

Holmes visited the crime scene and proved that Sutton had been executed by the gang and that the page had been bribed to assist them.

None of the gang were ever caught.  They were presumed lost at sea on the Norah Creina.  The page was released for lack of evidence.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

1. Poe's The Purloined Letter
2. Study in Scarlet
3. Sign of the Four.

DISGUISES

None.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1. Holmes follows Watson's chain of thought as they sit quietly in their Baker street rooms.

2. Holmes investigates the site of Sutton's murder and reconstructs the events which led up to it in amazing detail.

Official Abbreviation: RESI

The Adventure Of The Resident Patient was first published in the Strand Magazine, August 1893

The Greek Interpreter

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

MYCROFT
MR. MELES, the interpreter
HAROLD LATTIMER, beguiled Sophy
WILSON KEMP, Lattimers co-conspirator.
PAUL KRATIDES, captive of Lattimer and Kemp.
SOPHY KRATIDES, his sister.
J. DAVENPORT, knew Sophy before the conspiracy thickened.  He answered Mycroft's ad.

SUMMARY

Sophy is on an extended visit with friends in London.  She met Lattimer who "gained an ascendancy over her" and convinced her to elope with him.  She wrote to Paul of her plans and he came to London to stop the wedding.  Lattimer and Kemp captured Paul and tried to get him to sign over his and Sophy's considerable estate to them.  He refused to do so.

The conspirators kidnapped Meles to better communicate with Paul and further coerce him into signing away his fortune.  They turned Meles loose.  He communicated the matter to Mycroft (his neighbor) who relayed the matter to Sherlock and Watson. 

After Davenport answered the ad and the house was known, Holmes, Watson, Mycroft and Inspector Gregson went there to rescue the Kratides and punish their captors.  They arrived to find Paul and Meles (whom they had rekidnapped) in a room which was shut tightly and in which a charcoal brazier was lit, which generated noxious fumes, consumed the Oxygen and emitted Carbon Monoxide.  Paul died.  Meles recovered.

Lattimer and Kemp escaped, taking Sophy with them.  Several months later a report appeared in the Times from Budapest that two Englishmen traveling with a Greek lady had argued, fought and stabbed each other fatally.  Holmes was sure that Sophy had murdered them and staged the whole thing.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

The Manor house case.  Adams was guilty.

DISGUISES

None.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

Holmes reveals that his ancestors were country squires and that his mother's maiden name was Vernet.  Her brother was a famous French artist.

Mycroft makes his first appearance in the canon.  We learn that he is seven years older than Sherlock, fat, brilliant, incredibly lazy, works for the government and takes snuff.

Official Abbreviation: GREE

The Adventure Of The Greek Interpreter was first published in the Strand Magazine, August 1893

The Naval Treaty

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PERCY "TADPOLE" PHELPS, former schoolmate of Watson and nephew of  Holdhurst.
ANNIE HARRISON, engaged to Percy.
JOSEPH HARRISON, her brother
LORD HOLDHURST, prominent conservative politician.
CHARLES GOROT, clerk and fellow employee of Percy.
MR. & MRS. TEMGEY, commissionaire and his wife.  He is a retired Coldstream  guard.
MR. FORBES, Scotland Yard agent assigned to the case.
A CONSTABLE
DR. FERRIER, accompanied Percy to his home on the night of the theft.

SUMMARY

Watson is married and in practice.  He receives a letter from Phelps asking him to bring Holmes to his home to solve the theft of the Naval Treaty.

Phelps was instructed to copy the Treaty by Holdhurst.  This was an involved document written in French.  It took several hours to copy it.  During the copying, Phelps took a coffee break.  When he came back, the treaty was gone.  After a frantic and futile search, Percy had a sudden attack of brain fever and was put immediately put to bed in the room Joseph had been occupying,  as it was the most convenient.

Percy is insensate for five weeks, during which time the treaty is not found and no government has claimed possession of it.  Percy writes Watson as soon as he is in possession of his senses.

Holmes solves the case.  Joseph came to meet Percy the night of the theft.  He arrived while Percy was taking his break.  Seeing the treaty and realizing it was valuable, he took it (he had lost heavily in the market) and went home.  He hid the treaty beneath the carpet in an access box.  Phelps arrived shortly after and displaced Joseph from his room.

Joseph could not retrieve the treaty because a nurse was in constant attendance of Percy, as was his sister.

Holmes sends Percy to London in Watson's care and lies in wait for Joseph who is caught red handed when he tries to retrieve the treaty.

Since no harm was done and the treaty recovered, Holmes allows the thief to go free.

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

The Second Stain.
The Tired Captain.
The Speckled Band.

DISGUISES

None

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

1. Before seeing the treaty on Percy's desk, Joseph rings the comissionaire's bell.
2. When Watson enters Baker street, Holmes is performing a chemical analysis,  the results of which prove a man is guilty of murder.
3. Holmes deduces that Percy's dictated letter was written by "a woman of rare  character."
4. In the midst of interrogating Percy, Holmes lapses into a reverie about the  beauty of roses and flowers in general.
5. Holmes tells Watson that England's schools are the lighthouses of the future.
6.  Holmes discusses "The Bertillion System of Measurements"

Official Abbreviation: NAVA

The Adventure Of The Naval Treaty was first published in the Strand Magazine, in 2 parts, October and November 1893


Map from Watson, 1893

The Final Problem

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

PROFESSOR MORIARTY, "the Napoleon of Crime."
COL. JAMES MORIARTY, his brother.
MYCROFT
PETER STEILER, proprietor of the Englisher Hof at Meiringen.
INSPECTOR PATTERSON, in charge of rounding up the professor's gang.

SUMMARY

Watson is married and is in practice.  Holmes sneaks into his waiting room and closes the shutters because he is afraid of air guns.  He tells Watson all about Moriarty and of his "treatise on the binomial theorem which had a European vogue." 

Holmes says that Moriarty is trying to kill him and that in three days he will be able to put the whole gang in jail.  He invites Watson to go to Europe with him and 
Watson does so, leaving his practice to "an accommodating neighbor."

Moriarty tries to kill Holmes by: running him down with a wagon, dropping a brick on him, attacking him with a bludgeon, burning his rooms.

Following Holmes' instructions, Watson makes a circuitous route to Victoria station, riding in a brougham driven by Mycroft in disguise.  They also take a sneaky route to Europe and are devious in their travel plans to throw any pursuers off their path.

Eventually Moriarty overtakes them at the Reichenbach Falls and the two men fall to their death, ending the career - as Watson says -  "...of the best and wisest man whom I have ever known."

OTHER ADVENTURES MENTIONED

Study in Scarlet
The Naval Treaty
Engaged by the French government in a matter of extreme importance.
Assisted the royal family of Scandinavia.

DISGUISES

A venerable Italian priest.

UNUSUAL DEDUCTIONS & bits

Holmes puts himself in Moriarty's position and tries to think as he would.

Official Abbreviation: FINA

The Adventure Of The Final Problem was first published in the Strand Magazine, December 1893
 

Copyright (c) James Hoy, 2002, All Rights Reserved

 
 
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