Сетевая библиотекаСетевая библиотека

Все приключения Шерлока Холмса. Сборник. Уровень 2

Все приключения Шерлока Холмса. Сборник. Уровень 2
Все приключения Шерлока Холмса. Сборник. Уровень 2 Arthur Conan Doyle Легко читаем по-английски В данный сборник вошли произведения Артура Конан Дойла о приключениях знаменитого сыщика Шерлока Холмса. В книгу вошли такие рассказы как: «Этюд в багровых тонах», «Союз рыжих», «Человек с рассеченной губой» и многие другие. Текст адаптирован для продолжающих изучение английского языка (Уровень 2) и сопровождается комментариями, упражнениями и словарем. В формате PDF A4 сохранен издательский макет книги. Артур Конан Дойл Все приключения Шерлока Холмса. Сборник. Уровень 2 © Тамбовцева С.Г. © Глушенкова Е.В. © Матвеев С. А., адаптация текста, комментарии, словарь, 2021 © ООО «Издательство АСТ», 2021 A Study in Scarlet Part I Chapter I Mr. Sherlock Holmes In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to take the course for surgeons in the army. I completed my studies there, and became Assistant Surgeon[1 - Assistant Surgeon – ассистент хирурга]. I came to the Berkshires[2 - the Berkshires – Беркширский полк], with whom I served at the fatal battle. There I was struck on the shoulder[3 - I was struck on the shoulder – я был ранен в плечо] by a bullet, which shattered the bone. I was so weak that they sent me back to England. I had neither friends nor relatives in England. I came to London. There I stayed for some time at a private hotel. One day I was at a bar, when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned round and recognized Stamford. The sight of a friendly face in London is a pleasant thing to a lonely man. I asked him to lunch with me, and we went together in a hansom. “Whatever are you doing, Watson?” he asked, as we rattled through the London streets. “You are as thin as a lath.” “Looking for lodgings.” I answered. “I want to get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.” “That’s strange,” remarked my companion; “you are the second man today who says so.” “And who is the first?” I asked. “A fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory. He cannot get someone for the nice rooms which he found, and which were too much for his purse.” “Oh!” I cried, “if he really wants someone to share the rooms and the expense, I can be his partner.” Stamford looked at me. “You don’t know Sherlock Holmes yet,” he said. “What is there against him?” “Oh, I didn’t say there was anything against him. But he is an enthusiast in some branches of science. Anyway, he is a decent fellow enough.” “I want to meet him,” I said. “How can I meet this friend of yours?” “He is at the laboratory, I think” said my companion. “If you like, we can meet him after luncheon.” “Certainly,” I answered. We turned down a narrow lane and passed through a small side-door. Then we ascended the bleak stone staircase. Near the further end a passage led to the chemical laboratory. This was a lofty chamber with countless bottles. Broad, low tables were scattered about. There was only one man in the room, who was bending over a table. He was absorbed in his work. Suddenly he sprang to his feet with a cry of pleasure. “Great!” he shouted to my companion. “Look! It is a re-agent which is precipitated by hemoglobin[4 - which is precipitated by hemoglobin – который осаждается гемоглобином], and by nothing else.” “Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford. “How are you?” he said cordially. “You visited Afghanistan, I see.” “How did you know that?” I asked in astonishment. “Never mind,” said he, chuckling to himself. “The question now is about hemoglobin. Do you see the significance of this discovery?” “It is interesting, no doubt,” I answered, “but practically…” “It is the most practical discovery for years. It gives us an infallible test for blood stains. Come over here now!” He drew me over to the table. “Let us have some fresh blood,” he said. He dug a long bodkin into his finger, and drew off the drop of blood in a chemical pipette. “Now, I add this small quantity of blood to water. You perceive that the mixture has the appearance of pure water. The proportion of blood is one in a million. However, we shall be able to obtain the characteristic reaction.” He threw into the vessel a few white crystals, and then added some drops of a transparent fluid. In an instant the contents changed its colour. “Ha! ha!” he cried. He was as delighted as a child with a new toy. “What do you think of that? It acts as well whether the blood is old or new. Hundreds of criminals will pay the penalty of their crimes.” “Indeed!” I murmured. “For example, we see brownish stains upon the criminal’s clothes. Are they blood stains, or mud stains, or rust stains, or fruit stains, or what are they? That is a question which puzzles many experts, and why? Because there was no reliable test. Now we have the Sherlock Holmes’ test!” His eyes glittered as he spoke, and he put his hand over his heart and bowed. “Congratulations,” I remarked. I was surprised at his enthusiasm. “I can name many cases in which this test will be decisive.” “We came here on business[5 - on business – по делу],” said Stamford. He sat down on a high three-legged stool, and pushed another one in my direction with his foot. “My friend is looking for a room, and you were complaining that you could get no one to share expenses with you. So, I bring you together.” Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted. “I know a good suite in Baker Street,” he said. “You don’t mind the smell of strong tobacco, I hope?” “I smoke myself,” I answered. “That’s good. I have chemicals, and occasionally do experiments. Will that annoy you?” “By no means.” “Moreover, at times I don’t open my mouth for days. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. And what about you? It’s better for two fellows to know one another before they begin to live together.” I laughed. “I have a bull pup[6 - bull pup – щенок бульдога],” I said, “I hate noise, and I am extremely lazy. I have other vices, but those are the principal ones.” “Is the violin-playing some noise for you?” he asked, anxiously. “It depends on the player,” I answered. “Oh, that’s all right,” he cried, with a merry laugh. “I think we may begin to live together, if the rooms are agreeable to you.” “When shall we see them?” “Come to me at noon tomorrow, and we’ll go there together,” he answered. “All right-noon exactly,” said I. We left him working among his chemicals, and we walked together towards my hotel. “By the way,” I asked suddenly, “how did he know that I had come from Afghanistan?” My companion smiled. “That’s his little peculiarity,” he said. “Oh! a mystery?” I cried. “This is very piquant.” Stamford bade me good-bye. “I think he knows more about you than you about him. Good-bye.” “Good-bye,” I answered, and strolled on to my hotel. Chapter II The Science of Deduction We met next day and inspected the rooms at No. 221B, Baker Street. They consisted of a couple of comfortable bed-rooms and a single large sitting-room, with two broad windows. The apartments were desirable in every way. That evening I moved my things from the hotel, and on the following morning Sherlock Holmes followed me with several boxes and portmanteaus. Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with. He was quiet, and his habits were regular. He breakfasted and went out early in the morning. Sometimes he spent his day at the chemical laboratory, sometimes in the dissecting-rooms[7 - dissecting-rooms – анатомический театр], and occasionally in long walks. Sometimes he was lying upon the sofa in the sitting-room, and he was not uttering a word or moving a muscle from morning to night. As the weeks went by, my interest in him gradually deepened and increased. In height he was rather over six feet, and excessively lean. His eyes were sharp and piercing; and his hawk-like nose was very thin. His chin marked the man of determination. His ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge. Of contemporary literature, philosophy and politics he knew nothing. And my surprise reached a climax, when I found incidentally that he was ignorant of the Copernican Theory and of the composition of the Solar System. “You will be astonished,” he said, smiling. “Now that I do know it I shall do my best to forget it.” “To forget it!” “You see,” he explained, “a man’s brain is like a little empty attic. A fool brings there all the lumber of every sort that he sees. But a wise man is very careful as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him to do his work.” “But the Solar System!” I protested. “What is it to me?” he interrupted impatiently; “you say that we go round the sun. If we go round the moon it will not make difference to me or to my work.” During the first week or so we had no visitors, and I thought that my companion was a friendless man. Presently, however, I found that he had many acquaintances in different classes of society. There was one little sallow rat-faced[8 - rat-faced – с крысиной физиономией], dark-eyed fellow, Mr. Lestrade, who came three or four times in a single week. One morning a young girl arrived, and stayed for half an hour or more. On another occasion an old white-haired gentleman had an interview with my companion; and on another a railway porter[9 - railway porter – вокзальный носильщик] in his velveteen uniform. When these individuals came, Sherlock Holmes asked me to go to my bed-room. He always apologized to me for this inconvenience. “I use this room as a place of business,” he said, “and these people are my clients.” It was on the 4th of March. I rose earlier than usual. I rang the bell and gave our landlady a signal that I was ready. Then I picked up a magazine from the table. One of the articles had a pencil mark, and I began to read it. Its ambitious title was “The Book of Life,” and it attempted to show how much an observant man might learn by an accurate and systematic examination of everything. For me, it was a remarkable mixture of shrewdness and of absurdity. The writer claimed by a momentary expression, a twitch of a muscle or a glance of an eye, to fathom a man’s inmost thoughts. Observation and analysis! That’s all. “From a drop of water,” said the writer, “a logician[10 - logician – человек, способный логически мыслить] can infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara. All life is a great chain. Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis requires long and patient study to attain the highest possible perfection in it. By a man’s finger nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boot, by his trouser knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt cuffs-by each of these things a man’s life is plainly revealed.” “What ineffable twaddle!” I cried and slapped the magazine down on the table, “I never read such rubbish in my life.” “What is it?” asked Sherlock Holmes. “This article,” I said. “It irritates me. It is not practical. Let’s bring that author to a carriage on the underground, and ask to give the trades of all the travellers. I will lay a thousand to one against him.” “And you will lose your money,” Sherlock Holmes remarked calmly. “As for the article[11 - as for the article – что касается статьи] I wrote it myself.” “You!” “Yes. The theories which are chimerical to you, are really extremely practical-so practical that I depend upon them for my bread and cheese[12 - bread and cheese – кусок хлеба с маслом].” “And how?” I asked involuntarily. “Well, I’m a consulting detective, if you can understand what that is. Here in London we have lots of Government detectives and lots of private ones. When these fellows don’t know what to do, they come to me, and I help them. You saw Mr. Lestrade, he is a well-known detective. But sometimes even he doesn’t know what to do.” “And these other people?” “They are people who are in trouble about something. I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I earn some money.” “But do you mean to say,” I said, “that you here can unravel some knot which other men can’t?” “Quite so. I have intuition. You see I have a lot of special knowledge which I apply to the problem, and which facilitates matters wonderfully. The rules of deduction in that article which aroused your scorn, are invaluable to me in practical work. You were surprised when I told you about Afghanistan.” “Someone told you about it, no doubt.” “Nothing of the sort. I knew you came from Afghanistan. What did I think? Here is a gentleman of a medical type, but with the air of a military man. Clearly an army doctor, then. He came from the tropics, for his face is dark, and that is not the natural tint of his skin, for his wrists are fair. He underwent hardship and sickness, as his haggard face says clearly. His left arm is injured. Where did an English army doctor meet all this? Clearly in Afghanistan. I then remarked that you came from Afghanistan, and you were astonished.” “It is simple enough as you explain it,” I said. “You remind me of Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin[13 - Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin – Дюпен из романов Эдгара Алана По].” Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe. “You think that you are complimenting me,” he observed. “Now, in my opinion, Dupin was a very inferior fellow. He had some analytical genius, no doubt; but he was not a phenomenon as Poe imagined.” “And what about Gaboriau’s works[14 - Gaboriau’s works – романы Габорио (о детективе Лекоке )]?” I asked. “What do you think of Lecoq? Is he a real detective?” Sherlock Holmes sniffed sardonically. “Lecoq was a miserable bungler,” he said, in an angry voice; “The question was how to identify an unknown prisoner. I can do it in twenty-four hours. Lecoq took six months or so. These books can teach the detectives what to avoid.” I walked over to the window, and looked out into the busy street. “This fellow may be very clever,” I said to myself, “but he is certainly very conceited.” “There are no crimes and no criminals in these days,” he said, querulously. “No use to have brains in our profession. I can make my name famous.” I was annoyed at his bumptious style of conversation. I decided to change the topic. “I wonder what that fellow is looking for?” I asked. A man was walking slowly down the other side of the street. He had a large blue envelope in his hand. “You mean the retired sergeant of Marines[15 - retired sergeant of Marines – отставной флотский сержант],” said Sherlock Holmes. “Oh!” thought I to myself. “He knows that I cannot verify his guess.” Suddenly the man saw the number on our door, and ran rapidly across the roadway. We heard a loud knock, a deep voice below, and heavy steps. “For Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” he said. He stepped into the room and handed my friend the letter. Here was an opportunity to check my companion’s words. “May I ask you,” I said, “what your trade may be?” “Commissionaire, sir,” he said, gruffly. “And you were?” I asked, with a malicious glance at my companion. “A sergeant, sir, Royal Marine Light Infantry[16 - Royal Marine Light Infantry – королевская морская пехота], sir.” Chapter III The Lauriston Garden Mystery This was the fresh proof of the practical nature of my companion’s theories. My respect for his powers of analysis increased wondrously. When I looked at him he was reading the note. “How did you deduce that?” I asked. “Deduce what?” said he, petulantly. “That he was a retired sergeant of Marines.” “I have no time for trifles,” he answered, brusquely; then with a smile, “Excuse my rudeness. So you actually were not able to see that that man was a sergeant of Marines?” “No, indeed.” “Even across the street I saw a great blue anchor tattooed on the back of his hand. He had a military carriage[17 - military carriage – военная выправка], and side whiskers. He was a man of self-importance and a certain air of command. You observed the way in which he held his head and swung his cane. A steady, respectable, middle-aged man – a sergeant.” “Wonderful!” I ejaculated. “That’s nothing,” said Holmes. “I said just now that there were no criminals. I am wrong-look at this!” He gave me the note. “Oh,” I cried, “this is terrible!” This is the letter: “My Dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes, “During the night at 3, Lauriston Gardens, off the Brixton Road, a policeman saw a light about two in the morning. The house was empty. He found the door open, and in the front room, which is bare of furniture, discovered the body of a gentleman. The gentleman was well dressed, and had cards in his pocket with the name of ‘Enoch J. Drebber, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.’ The policeman saw no robbery. There are marks of blood in the room, but there is no wound upon his person. How did he come into the empty house; indeed, the whole affair is a puzzler. If you come round to the house any time before twelve, you will find me there. If you are unable to come I shall give you all the details. Please favour me with your opinion. Yours faithfully, Tobias Gregson.” “Gregson is the smartest of the policemen of the Scotland Yard,” my friend remarked; “he and Lestrade are both quick and energetic, but conventional.” “Surely there is not a moment to lose,” I cried, “shall I go and order you a cab?” “I’m not sure about whether I shall go. I am incurably lazy.” “Isn’t this your chance?” “My dear friend, if I unravel the whole matter, you may be sure that Gregson and Lestrade will pocket all the credit[18 - pocket all the credit – прикарманить себе всю славу]. However, we may go and have a look. Why not? Come on! Get your hat,” he said. “You wish me to come?” “Yes, if you have nothing better to do.” A minute later we were both in a hansom. We were driving furiously for the Brixton Road. It was a foggy, cloudy morning. My companion was talking about fiddles. As for myself, I was silent, for the dull weather depressed my spirits. Number 3, Lauriston Gardens, was one of four houses which stood back some little way from the street. Two of them were occupied and two were empty. There was a “To Let” card near the house. A small garden separated each of these houses from the street, and was traversed by a narrow pathway. It was yellowish in colour, and consisted of a mixture of clay and of gravel. The whole place was very sloppy from the night rain. Sherlock Holmes lounged up and down the pavement, and gazed vacantly at the ground, the sky, the opposite houses and the line of railings. Then he proceeded slowly down the path, or rather down the fringe of grass, and looked at the ground. Twice he stopped. He smiled, and uttered an exclamation of satisfaction. At the door of the house, a tall, white-faced, flaxen-haired[19 - flaxen-haired – с льняными волосами] man met us. He had a notebook in his hand. He rushed forward and wrung my companion’s hand with effusion. “It is indeed kind of you to come,” he said, “My colleague, Mr. Lestrade, is here.” Holmes glanced at me and raised his eyebrows sardonically. “With two such men as yourself and Lestrade here, I am useless,” he said. Gregson rubbed his hands. “I think,” he answered; “it’s a queer case, and I knew your taste for such things.” “You did not come here in a cab?” asked Sherlock Holmes. “No, sir.” “Nor Lestrade?” “No, sir.” “Then let us go and look at the room.” And Sherlock Holmes entered the house. A short passage led to the kitchen and offices. I saw two doors to the left and to the right. One of these was closed. The other belonged to the dining-room, where the mysterious affair occurred. Holmes walked in, and I followed him. It was a large square room without furniture. A vulgar paper adorned the walls. Opposite the door was a showy fireplace, surmounted by a mantelpiece. On one corner of this was the stump of a red wax candle. The window was so dirty that the light was hazy and uncertain. All these details I observed afterwards. A single grim motionless figure lay upon the floor. It was a man about forty-three or forty-four years of age, middle-sized, broad shouldered, with curling black hair, and a short stubbly beard. He was dressed in a frock coat[20 - frock coat – сюртук] and waistcoat, with light-coloured trousers. A top hat[21 - top hat – цилиндр] was placed upon the floor beside him. His hands were clenched and his arms thrown abroad[22 - thrown abroad – раскинуты], while his legs were interlocked[23 - legs were interlocked – ноги были скрючены]. On his rigid face there stood an expression of horror and of hatred. This malignant and terrible contortion, the low forehead, blunt nose, and prognathous jaw[24 - prognathous jaw – выступающая вперёд челюсть] gave the dead man an ape-like[25 - ape-like – обезьяноподобный] appearance. Lestrade was standing by the doorway, and greeted my companion and myself. Sherlock Holmes approached the body. He knelt down and examined it intently. “You are sure that there is no wound?” he asked. He pointed to numerous gouts and splashes of blood which lay all round. “Yes!” cried both detectives. “Then, of course, this blood belongs to somebody else, maybe to the murderer, if it is a murder?” As he spoke, his nimble fingers were flying here, there, and everywhere. They were feeling, pressing, unbuttoning, examining. Finally, he sniffed the dead man’s lips, and then glanced at the soles of his patent leather boots. “You can take him to the mortuary now,” he said. Four men entered the room, and they lifted and carried the stranger out. As they raised him, a ring tinkled down and rolled across the floor. Lestrade took it. “There was a woman here,” he cried. “It’s a woman’s wedding-ring.” He held it upon the palm of his hand. We all gazed at it. “This complicates matters,” said Gregson. “You’re sure it doesn’t simplify them?” observed Holmes. “What did you find in his pockets?” “Here,” said Gregson. “A gold watch, No. 97163, by Barraud[26 - by Barraud – фирмы Барро], of London. Gold chain, very heavy and solid. Gold ring, with masonic device. Gold pin-bull-dog’s head, with rubies as eyes. Russian leather card-case, with cards of Enoch J. Drebber of Cleveland. No purse, but seven pounds thirteen. Pocket edition of Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron,’[27 - Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron’ – «Декамерон» Бокаччо]with name of Joseph Stangerson upon the fly-leaf[28 - with name of Joseph Stangerson upon the fly-leaf – с именем Джозеф Стэнджерсон на форзаце]. Two letters-one addressed to E. J. Drebber and one to Joseph Stangerson.” “At what address?” “American Exchange, Strand-to be left till called for[29 - American Exchange, Strand-to be left till called for – Стрэнд, Американская биржа, до востребования]. They are both from the Guion Steamship Company[30 - Guion Steamship Company – пароходная компания «Гийон»], and refer to the boats from Liverpool. It is clear that this unfortunate man wanted to return to New York.” “What about this man, Stangerson?” “I sent advertisements to all the newspapers, sir,” said Gregson. “And one of my men went to the American Exchange.” “What about Cleveland?” “We telegraphed this morning.” “What were your inquiries?” “We simply detailed the circumstances, and said that we were glad to receive any information which could help us.” Sherlock Holmes chuckled to himself. Suddenly Lestrade reappeared. “Mr. Gregson,” he said, “I made a discovery of the highest importance! I carefully examined the walls. Come here. Now, stand there!” He struck a match on his boot. “Look at that!” he said, triumphantly. In the corner of the room, across the wall there was in blood-red letters a single word – RACHE. “What do you think of that?” cried the detective. “The murderer wrote it with his or her own blood. Why that corner? I will tell you. See that candle on the mantelpiece. It was the brightest corner of the room.” “And what does it mean?” asked Gregson. “Mean? It means that the writer was going to write the female name Rachel. But he or she had no time to finish. You can laugh, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. You may be very smart and clever, but the old hound is the best here!” “I really beg your pardon!” said my companion. “You are certainly the best. I had no time to examine this room, but with your permission I shall do so now.” And he whipped a tape measure[31 - tape measure – рулетка] and a large round magnifying glass[32 - magnifying glass – увеличительное стекло] from his pocket. With these two implements he trotted noiselessly about the room. Sometimes he stopped, occasionally knelt. For twenty minutes or more he continued his researches. In one place he gathered up very carefully a little pile of grey dust from the floor, and packed it in an envelope. Finally, he examined with his magnifying glass the word upon the wall. After that he was satisfied, for he replaced his tape and his glass in his pocket. Gregson and Lestrade watched the manoeuvres of Sherlock Holmes with considerable curiosity and some contempt. “What do you think of it, sir?” they both asked. “You are doing so well now,” remarked my friend. “that I can’t interfere.” There was sarcasm in his voice as he spoke. “If you let me know how your investigations go,” he continued, “I shall be happy to give you any help I can. But I want to speak to the constable who found the body. Can you give me his name and address?” “John Rance,” said Lestrade. “You will find him at 46, Audley Court, Kennington Park Gate.” “Come along, Doctor,” said Holmes; “we shall go to him. I’ll tell you one thing which may help you in the case,” he turned to the two detectives. “It was a murder, and the murderer was a man. He was more than six feet high, was in the prime of life[33 - in the prime of life – в расцвете лет], had small feet for his height, wore coarse, square-toed boots[34 - square-toed boots – ботинки с квадратными носками] and smoked a cigar. He came here with his victim in a four-wheeled cab, which was drawn by a horse with three old shoes and one new one on his off fore leg[35 - with three old shoes and one new one on his off fore leg – с тремя старыми и одной новой подковой на правом переднем копыте]. The murderer had a florid face, and the finger-nails of his right hand were remarkably long. These indications may assist you.” Lestrade and Gregson glanced at each other with an incredulous smile. “How was this man murdered?” asked they. “Poison,” said Sherlock Holmes curtly. “One other thing, Lestrade,” he added: “‘Rache,’ is the German for ‘revenge;’ so don’t look for Miss Rachel.” Chapter IV What John Rance Had to Tell It was one o’clock when we left No. 3, Lauriston Gardens. Sherlock Holmes led me to the nearest telegraph office, whence he dispatched a long telegram. He then hailed a cab, and ordered the driver to take us to the address which Lestrade gave us. “You amaze me, Holmes,” said I. “How do you know all those particulars of the case?” “Look,” he answered. “the first thing: a cab made two ruts with its wheels close to the curb. Now, up to last night, we had no rain. So those wheels – which left such a deep impression – were there during the night. There were the marks of the horse’s hoofs, too, the outline of one hoof was very clear. This was a new shoe. Since the cab was there after the rain began, and was not there at any time during the morning, it was there during the night, and, therefore, it brought those two men to the house.” “But how did you know the man’s height?” said I. “The height of a man is connected to the length of his stride. It is a simple calculation. I had this fellow’s stride both on the clay outside and on the dust within. Moreover: when a man writes on a wall, he usually writes about the level of his own eyes. That writing was just over six feet from the ground.” “And his age?” I asked. “Well, if a man can stride four and a half feet without the effort, he is strong enough. That was the breadth of a puddle on the garden walk which he jumped over. There is no mystery about it at all. I am simply applying to ordinary life some deduction. Is there anything else that puzzles you?” “The finger nails and the cigar,” I suggested. “The writing on the wall was done with a man’s forefinger dipped in blood. The plaster was scratched. This is impossible if the man’s nail is trimmed. I gathered up some ash from the floor. It was dark in colour and flakey-a cigar, for sure. I made a special study of cigar ashes-in fact, I wrote a monograph upon the subject.” “And the florid face?” I asked. “Ah, please don’t ask about it now, though I have no doubt that I was right.” “But, Holmes,” I remarked; “why did these two men-if there were two men-come into an empty house? How did the victim take poison? Where did the blood come from? What was the object of the murderer? What about the woman’s ring there? Why did the second man write the German word RACHE?” My companion smiled approvingly. “My dear Watson,” Holmes said, “many things are still obscure. About Lestrade’s discovery. Not a German man wrote it. The letter A, if you noticed, was printed after the German fashion[36 - was printed after the German fashion – была написана готическим шрифтом]. But a real German invariably prints in the Latin character[37 - in the Latin character – на латинский манер]. So we may say that a clumsy imitator wrote that. I’ll tell you more. Both men came in the same cab, and they walked down the pathway together. When they got inside they walked up and down the room. I could read all that in the dust. Then the tragedy occurred.” Our cab was going through a long succession of dingy streets and dreary by-ways. In the dingiest and dreariest of them our driver suddenly stopped. “That’s Audley Court in there,” he said. “You’ll find me here when you come back.” We came to Number 46, and saw a small slip of brass on which the name Rance was engraved. The constable appeared. “I made my report at the office,” he said. Holmes took a half-sovereign from his pocket. “We want to hear it all from your own lips,” he said. “I shall be most happy to tell you anything I can,” the constable answered. “How did it occur?” Rance sat down on the sofa, and knitted his brows. “I’ll tell it from the beginning,” he said. “My time is from ten at night to six in the morning. At one o’clock it began to rain, and I met Harry Murcher and we stood together and talked a little. After that-maybe about two or a little after-I decided to take a look round. The road was dirty and lonely. I met nobody all the way down, though a cab or two went past me. Suddenly I saw a light in the window of that house. When I came to the door…” “You stopped, and then walked back to the garden gate,” my companion interrupted. “Why did you do that?” Rance stared at Sherlock Holmes with the utmost amazement. “Yes, that’s true, sir,” he said; “but how do you know it? When I got up to the door it was so still and so lonesome, that I decided to take somebody with me, maybe Murcher. And I walked back. But I saw no one.” “There was no one in the street?” “Not a soul, sir. Then I went back and opened the door. All was quiet inside, so I went into the room where the light was burning. There was a candle on the mantelpiece-a red wax one-and I saw…” “Yes, I know all that you saw. You walked round the room several times, and you knelt down by the body, and then you walked through and opened the kitchen door, and then…” John Rance sprang to his feet with a frightened face. “Where were you, sir, that time? You saw all that!” he cried. “It seems to me that you know too much.” Holmes laughed and threw his card across the table to the constable. “Don’t arrest me for the murder,” he said. “I am one of the hounds; Mr. Gregson or Mr. Lestrade can say that as well. Go on, though. What did you do next?” “I went back to the gate and sounded my whistle. Murcher and two more arrived.” “Was the street empty then?” “Only a drunker. I saw many drunkers in my life,” he said, “but not like that one. He was at the gate when I came out, he was leaning up against the railings, and singing a song. He couldn’t stand at all.” “What sort of a man was he?” asked Sherlock Holmes. “His face-his dress-didn’t you notice them?” “He was a long chap, with a red face, the lower part muffled round[38 - the lower part muffled round – с замотанным подбородком]…” “What became of him?” cried Holmes. “I think he found his way home,” the policeman said. “How was he dressed?” “A brown overcoat.” “Had he a whip in his hand?” “A whip-no.” “Did you see or hear a cab?” asked Holmes. “No.” “There’s a half-sovereign for you,” my companion said. “I am afraid, Rance, that you will never became a sergeant. That man is the man who holds the clue of this mystery, and whom we are seeking. Come along, Doctor.” “The fool,” Holmes said, bitterly, as we drove back to our lodgings. “Holmes, it is true that the description of this man tallies with your idea of the second person in this mystery. But why did the criminal come back to the house again?” “The ring, the ring. We will use that ring, Doctor, to catch him. I must thank you for this case. I was lazy enough to go, but you forced me! A study in scarlet, eh? Let’s use a little art jargon. There’s the scarlet thread of murder through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it.” Chapter V Our Advertisement Brings a Visitor I lay down upon the sofa and tried to sleep. But every time that I closed my eyes I saw before me the distorted baboon-like countenance of the murdered man. Was that man poisoned? Holmes sniffed his lips, and probably detected something. And if not poison, what caused the man’s death? There was neither wound nor marks of strangulation. But, on the other hand, whose blood was there upon the floor? We saw no signs of a struggle, the victim did not have any weapon. My friend’s quiet self-confident manner convinced me that he had a theory which explained all the facts. Holmes came very late. Dinner was on the table before he appeared. “What’s the matter?” he answered. “Does this Brixton Road affair trouble you?” “To tell the truth, it does,” I said. “I can understand. There is a mystery about this which stimulates the imagination. Did you see the evening paper?” “No.” “It tells about the affair. And it does not mention the woman’s wedding ring. That’s good.” “Why?” “Look at this advertisement,” he answered. “I sent it to every paper in the morning immediately after the affair.” He gave me the newspaper. “In Brixton Road, this morning,” it ran, “a plain gold wedding ring, found in the roadway between the ‘White Hart’ Tavern and Holland Grove. Apply Dr. Watson, 221B, Baker Street, between eight and nine this evening.” “Excuse me. I used your name,” he said. “That is all right,” I answered. “But I have no ring.” “Oh yes, you have,” said he. And he gave me one. “This will do very well[39 - This will do very well. – Это подойдёт.].” “And who will answer this advertisement?” “The man in the brown coat-our florid friend with the square toes. If he does not come himself he will send an accomplice.” “Isn’t that dangerous for him?” “Not at all. I think that this man will rather risk anything than lose the ring. He dropped it when he stooped over Drebber’s body. Then he left the house. He discovered his loss and hurried back, but found the police because the candle was burning. He pretended to be drunk in order to allay the suspicions. Now put yourself in that man’s place. He thinks that he lost the ring in the road. What will he do, then? He will eagerly read the evening papers. And he will read this advertisement. He will be overjoyed. Why fear? He will come. You will see him within an hour.” “And then?” I asked. “Oh, I’ll talk to him. Have you any arms?” “I have my old revolver and a few cartridges.” “Clean it and load it. We must be ready for anything.” I went to my bedroom and followed his advice. When I returned with the pistol, Holmes was playing violin. “I have an answer to my American telegram,” he said, as I entered. “And?” I asked eagerly. “Put your pistol in your pocket,” he remarked. “When the fellow comes speak to him in an ordinary way. Leave the rest to me. Don’t frighten him.” “It is eight o’clock now,” I said. “Yes. He will probably be here in a few minutes. Open the door slightly. Now put the key on the inside[40 - put the key on the inside – вставьте ключ изнутри]. Thank you. Here comes our man, I think.” As he spoke there was a sharp ring at the bell. Sherlock Holmes rose softly and moved his chair in the direction of the door. “Does Dr. Watson live here?” asked a clear but rather harsh voice. We could not hear the servant’s reply, but the door closed, and some one began to ascend the stairs. There was a feeble tap at the door. “Come in,” I cried. Instead of the man whom we expected, a very old and wrinkled woman hobbled into the apartment. She was blinking at us with her bleared eyes and fumbling in her pocket with nervous, shaky fingers. The old crone drew out an evening paper, and pointed at our advertisement. “A gold wedding ring in the Brixton Road, gentlemen,” she said; “It belongs to my daughter Sally. She went to the circus yesterday and lost it.” “Is that her ring?” I asked. “Yes!” cried the old woman; “Sally will be very glad. That’s the ring.” “And what is your address?” I inquired. “13, Duncan Street, Houndsditch. A long way from here.” “The Brixton Road does not lie between any circus and Houndsditch,” said Sherlock Holmes sharply. The old woman looked keenly at him. “The gentleman asked me for my address,” she said. “Sally lives in lodgings at 3, Mayfield Place, Peckham.” “And your name is…?” “My name is Sawyer-hers is Dennis. Tom Dennis married her, a smart lad…” “Here is your ring, Mrs. Sawyer,” I interrupted; “it clearly belongs to your daughter, and I am glad to restore it to the rightful owner.” With many words of gratitude the old crone took the ring and went down the stairs. Sherlock Holmes sprang to his feet and rushed into his room. He returned in a few seconds. “I’ll follow her,” he said, hurriedly; “she must be an accomplice, and will lead me to him. Wait here.” And Holmes descended the stair. It was nine when he left. Ten o’clock passed, eleven, he did not come back. It was about twelve when I heard the sharp sound of his key. When he entered, he laughed. “So what?” I asked. “That woman went a little when she began to limp. Then she hailed a cab. I was close to her so I heard the address, she cried loud enough, ‘Drive to 13, Duncan Street, Houndsditch.’ When she was inside, I perched myself behind. Well, we reached the street. I hopped off before we came to the door. The driver jumped down. He opened the door and stood expectantly. Nobody came out. There was no sign or trace of his passenger. At Number 13 a respectable paperhanger lives, he never heard about Sawyer or Dennis.” “You want to say,” I cried, in amazement, “that that feeble old woman was able to get out of the cab while it was in motion?” “Old woman!” said Sherlock Holmes, sharply. “We were the old women ourselves. It was a young man, an incomparable actor. It shows that the criminal has friends who are ready to risk something for him.” Chapter VI Tobias Gregson Shows What He Can Do The papers next day were full of the “Brixton Mystery,” as they termed it. There was some information in them which was new to me. The Daily Telegraph mentioned the German name of the victim, the absence of all other motive, and the sinister inscription on the wall; all that pointed to political refugees and revolutionists. The Standard said that the victim was an American gentleman who was staying in Camberwell. He has his private secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson. They left their landlady upon Tuesday, the 4th., and departed to Euston Station to catch the Liverpool express. Then Mr. Drebber’s body was discovered in an empty house in the Brixton Road, many miles from Euston. How he came there, or how he met his fate, are questions. Where is Stangerson? Nobody knows. We are glad to know that Mr. Lestrade and Mr. Gregson, of Scotland Yard, are both engaged upon the case, and they will soon throw light upon the matter. The Daily News said that it was a political murder. Sherlock Holmes and I read these articles at breakfast. “What is this?” I cried, for at this moment there came the pattering of many steps in the hall and on the stairs. “It’s the Baker Street detective police,” said my companion, gravely. As he spoke there rushed into the room half a dozen of dirty street boys. “Hush!” cried Holmes, in a sharp tone. “In future you will send Wiggins alone to report. Any news, Wiggins?” “No, sir,” said one of the youths. “I knew that. Here are your wages.” He handed each of them a shilling. “Now go away and come back with a better report next time.” They scampered away downstairs like rats. “One of those little beggars is better than a dozen of the policemen,” Holmes remarked. “These youngsters go everywhere and hear everything.” “Are you employing them for this Brixton case?” I asked. “Yes. It is merely a matter of time. Oh! Here is Gregson coming down the road. He wants to visit us, I know. Yes, he is stopping. There he is!” There was a violent peal at the bell, and in a few seconds the fair-haired detective came up the stairs. “My dear fellow,” he cried, “congratulate me! I solved the problem.” “Do you mean that you know the criminal?” asked Holmes. “Sir, we have the man under lock and key!” “And his name is?” “Arthur Charpentier, sub-lieutenant in Her Majesty’s navy[41 - Arthur Charpentier, sub-lieutenant in Her Majesty’s navy – Артур Шарпентье, младший лейтенант флота Её Величества],” cried Gregson, pompously. Sherlock Holmes smiled. “Take a seat,” he said. “And please tell us everything.” The detective seated himself in the arm-chair. Then suddenly he slapped his thigh. “The fun of it is,” he cried, “that that fool Lestrade, who thinks himself so smart, went the wrong way. He suspects the secretary Stangerson, who has nothing with the crime.” Gregson laughed. “And how did you get your clue?” I asked. “Ah, I’ll tell you all about it. Of course, Doctor Watson, this is strictly between ourselves. The first difficulty was to finding the information about the victim’s American life. Do you remember the hat beside the dead man?” “Yes,” said Holmes; “by John Underwood and Sons, 129, Camberwell Road.” “I had no idea that you noticed that,” said Gregson. “Well, I went to Underwood, and asked him about the customer of that hat. He looked over his books, and found him. He sent the hat to a Mr. Drebber, residing at Charpentier’s Boarding Establishment, Torquay Terrace[42 - Charpentier’s Boarding Establishment, Torquay Terrace – пансион Шарпантье на Торки-Террас]. Thus I got at his address.” “Smart-very smart!” murmured Sherlock Holmes. “Then I met Madame Charpentier,” continued the detective. “I found her very pale and distressed. Her daughter was in the room, too. Her lips trembled as I spoke to her. That didn’t escape my notice. I began to smell a rat. You know the feeling, Mr. Sherlock Holmes-a kind of thrill in your nerves. ‘Do you know about the mysterious death of your boarder Mr. Enoch J. Drebber, of Cleveland?’ I asked. The mother nodded. The daughter burst into tears[43 - burst into tears – расплакалась]. ‘At what o’clock did Mr. Drebber leave your house for the train?’ I asked. ‘At eight o’clock,’ she said. ‘His secretary, Mr. Stangerson, said that there were two trains-one at 9.15 and one at 11. He wanted to catch the first. ‘And did you see him after that?’ A terrible change came over the woman’s face as I asked the question. ‘No,’ she said in a husky unnatural tone. There was silence for a moment, and then the daughter spoke in a calm voice. ‘Please, don’t lie, mother,’ she said. ‘Let us be frank with this gentleman. We saw Mr. Drebber again.’ ‘Oh!’ cried Madame Charpentier. ‘You murdered your brother!’ ‘Please tell me all about it now,’ I said. ‘I will tell you all, sir!’ cried her mother, ‘Alice, leave us together. Now, sir,’ she continued, ‘I have no alternative. Mr. Drebber stayed with us nearly three weeks. He and his secretary, Mr. Stangerson, were travelling on the Continent. I noticed a “Copenhagen” label upon each of their trunks. Stangerson was a quiet reserved man, but his employer, I am sorry to say, was coarse and brutish. He drank a lot, and, indeed, after twelve o’clock he was never sober. His manners towards the maid-servants were disgustingly free and familiar. Worst of all, he assumed the same attitude towards my daughter, Alice. Once he seized her in his arms and embraced her, his own secretary reproached him for his unmanly conduct.’ ‘But why did you stand all this?’ I asked. Mrs. Charpentier blushed. ‘Money, sir,’ she said. ‘They were paying a pound a day each-fourteen pounds a week. I am a widow, and my boy in the Navy cost me much. But finally I gave Mr. Drebber’s notice to leave.’ ‘Well?’ ‘So he drove away. I did not tell my son anything of all this, for his temper is violent. When I closed the door behind them I felt happy. Alas, in less than an hour there was a ring at the bell. Mr. Drebber returned. He was much excited and drunk. He came way into the room, where I was sitting with my daughter. He missed his train. He then turned to Alice, and offered her to go with him. “You are big enough,” he said, “and there is no law to stop you. I have money enough and to spare. Come with me! You will live like a princess.” Poor Alice was so frightened that she shrunk away from him, but he caught her by the wrist. I screamed, and at that moment my son Arthur came into the room. What happened then I do not know. I was too terrified to raise my head. When I looked up I saw Arthur in the doorway. He was laughing, with a stick in his hand. “I don’t think that fellow will trouble us again,” he said. “I will go and see what he is doing at the moment.” With those words he took his hat and went out. The next morning we heard of Mr. Drebber’s mysterious death.’ This statement came from Mrs. Charpentier’s lips with many gasps and pauses.” “It’s very interesting,” said Sherlock Holmes, with a yawn. “What happened next?” “When Mrs. Charpentier paused,” the detective continued, “I asked her at what hour her son returned. ‘I do not know,’ she answered. He has a key.’ ‘When did you go to bed?’ ‘About eleven.’ ‘So your son was away at least two hours?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Possibly four or five?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘What was he doing during that time?’ ‘I do not know,’ she answered. Of course after that I found out where Lieutenant Charpentier was, took two officers with me, and arrested him. When I touched him on the shoulder and offered him to come quietly with us, he said, ‘I suppose you are arresting me for the death of that scoundrel Drebber,’ he said. We said nothing to him about it, so this is very suspicious.” “Very,” said Holmes. “He still carried the heavy stick. It was a stout oak cudgel.” “What is your theory, then?” “Well, my theory is that he followed Drebber as far as the Brixton Road. There they had a fight, in the course of which Drebber received a blow from the stick, in the pit of the stomach, perhaps, which killed him without any mark. Then Charpentier dragged the body of his victim into the empty house. As to the candle, and the blood, and the writing on the wall, and the ring, they are just tricks to deceive the police.” “Well done, Gregson!” said Holmes. “Yes,” the detective answered proudly. “The young man says that Drebber perceived him, and took a cab in order to get away from him. On his way home he met an old shipmate[44 - old shipmate – старый товарищ по флоту], and took a long walk with him. I asked him where this old shipmate lived, but he was unable to give any satisfactory reply. But Lestrade! Just think of him! He knows nothing at all. Oh, here’s Lestrade himself!” It was indeed Lestrade, who had ascended the stairs while we were talking, and who now entered the room. His face was disturbed and troubled, while his clothes were disarranged and untidy. He stood in the centre of the room. He was fumbling nervously with his hat. “This is a most extraordinary case,” he said at last, “a most incomprehensible affair.” “You think so, Mr. Lestrade!” cried Gregson, triumphantly. “Did you find the Secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson?” “The Secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson,” said Lestrade gravely, “was murdered at Halliday’s Private Hotel about six o’clock this morning.” Chapter VII Light in the Darkness This news was unexpected. Gregson sprang out of his chair. I stared in silence at Sherlock Holmes, whose lips were compressed. “Stangerson too!” he muttered. Lestrade took a chair. “Are you sure of this?” stammered Gregson. “I was in his room,” said Lestrade. “I was the first to discover that.” “Please, Mr. Lestrade, let us know what you saw,” Holmes observed. “You see,” Lestrade answered, “I thought that Stangerson was concerned in the death of Drebber. I was wrong, it’s true. Anyway, I wanted to find the Secretary. They were together at Euston Station about half-past eight on the evening. At two in the morning Drebber was found in the Brixton Road. The question is: what did Stangerson do between 8.30 and the time of the crime, and what did he do afterwards. I telegraphed to Liverpool. I gave a description of the man, and asked them to watch upon the American boats. I then called upon all the hotels in the vicinity of Euston. You see, if Drebber and his companion become separated, Stangerson stayed somewhere in the vicinity for the night, and then went to the station again next morning.” “They agreed on some meeting-place beforehand,” remarked Holmes. “Yes, they did. I spent the whole of yesterday, I was looking for Stangerson. No luck. This morning I began very early, and at eight o’clock I reached Halliday’s Private Hotel, in Little George Street. I asked if Mr. Stangerson was living there, and they answered me ‘yes’. ‘No doubt you are the gentleman whom he was expecting,’ they said. ‘Where is he now?’ I asked. ‘He is upstairs in bed.’ ‘I will go up and see him at once,’ I said. His room was on the second floor. From under the door there curled a little red ribbon of blood, which formed a little pool. The door was locked on the inside[45 - the door was locked on the inside – дверь была заперта изнутри], but we put our shoulders to it, and entered. The window of the room was open, and beside the window lay the body of a man in his nightdress. He was dead, his limbs were rigid and cold. When we turned him over, the men from the hotel recognized him at once. It was the gentleman who engaged the room under the name of Joseph Stangerson. The cause of death was a deep stab in the left side. And now comes the strangest part of the affair. What was above the murdered man?” “The word RACHE, written in letters of blood,” said Holmes. “That was it!” said Lestrade. “A milk boy saw the murder,” continued Lestrade. “He was going to the dairy. He walked down the lane which leads from the mews at the back of the hotel. He noticed that a ladder was raised against one of the windows of the second floor, which was wide open. And he saw a man who was descending the ladder. The boy thought it was a carpenter. The man was tall, had a reddish face, and was dressed in a long, brownish coat. He stayed in the room some little time after the murder, for we found blood-stained water in the basin. We also found marks on the sheets where he wiped his knife.” I glanced at Holmes. “Did you find anything in the room which gave a clue to the murderer?” he asked. “Nothing. Stangerson had Drebber’s purse in his pocket, but it was usual, as he paid. There was eighty pounds in it. So robbery is not the motives of these extraordinary crimes. There were no papers in the murdered man’s pocket, except a single telegram, dated from Cleveland about a month ago: ‘J. H. is in Europe’.” “And there was nothing else?” Holmes asked. “Nothing of any importance. The novel, which the man read, was lying upon the bed, and his pipe was on a chair beside him. There was a glass of water on the table, and on the window-sill a small chip ointment box containing a couple of pills.” Sherlock Holmes sprang from his chair with an exclamation of delight. “The last link!” he cried, exultantly. The two detectives stared at him in amazement. “Now I know everything,” my companion said, confidently, “What about those pills?” “I have them,” said Lestrade. He showed us a small white box; “I took them and the purse and the telegram.” “Give them here,” said Holmes. “Now, Doctor,” he turned to me, “are those ordinary pills?” They certainly were not. They were of a pearly grey colour, small, round, and almost transparent. “I think that they are soluble in water,” I remarked. “Precisely so,” answered Holmes. “Now please go down and fetch that poor little terrier which the landlady wanted you to put out of its pain[46 - wanted you to put out of its pain – просила вас усыпить его, чтобы он больше не мучился]yesterday.” I went downstairs and carried the dog upstairs in my arms. It was not far from its end. I placed the terrier upon a cushion on the rug. “I will now cut one of these pills in two,” said Holmes. “One half we return into the box. The other half I will place in this glass, in which is a teaspoonful of water. You perceive that our friend, the Doctor, is right, and that it readily dissolves.” “This may be very interesting,” said Lestrade, “I cannot see, however, how it is connected with the death of Mr. Joseph Stangerson.” “Patience, my friend, patience! I shall now add a little milk and give this mixture to the dog.” As he spoke he turned the contents of the glass into a saucer and placed it in front of the terrier, who speedily drank it. Nothing happened, however. The dog continued to lie and breathe. An expression of the utmost chagrin and disappointment appeared upon Holmes’ face. He gnawed his lip, and showed symptoms of acute impatience. Two detectives smiled derisively. “It can’t be a coincidence,” Holmes cried; “it is impossible. These pills which I suspected in the case of Drebber! They are here. And yet they are inert. What can it mean? It is impossible! Ah, I have it! I have it!” With a perfect shriek of delight he rushed to the box, cut the other pill in two, dissolved it, added milk, and gave it to the terrier. The unfortunate dog drank the mixture again, gave a convulsive shiver, and lay lifeless. Sherlock Holmes wiped the perspiration from his forehead. “Of the two pills in that box one was of the most deadly poison,” he said; “and the other was entirely harmless.” “Look here, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Mr. Gregson, “we are all ready to acknowledge that you are a smart man, and that you have your own methods of working. It seems I was wrong. It appears that Lestrade was wrong too. But we have a right to ask you straight how much you do know of the business. Can you name the man who did it?” “Yes, sir,” remarked Lestrade. “We both tried, and we both failed. But what is your opinion?” “If you know the assassin, let’s arrest him,” I observed. “He may kill again.” Holmes showed signs of irresolution. “There will be no more murders,” he said at last. “You ask me if I know the name of the assassin. I do. But the question is to catch him. We deal with a shrewd and desperate man. And he has another one who is as clever as himself. If he has the slightest suspicion, he will change his name and vanish in an instant among the four million inhabitants of this great city. Gentlemen, I promise that I will communicate with you when I’m ready to catch him.” Gregson and Lestrade were not satisfied. There was a tap at the door, and young Wiggins came in. “Please, sir,” he said, “I have the cab downstairs.” “Good boy,” said Holmes, blandly. He took a pair of steel handcuffs from a drawer. “See how they fasten in an instant.” “The old handcuffs are good enough,” remarked Lestrade. “Very good, very good,” said Holmes. “The cabman will help me with my boxes. Ask him to come, Wiggins.” I was surprised. Holmes was going to travel somewhere, and he did not say anything to me about it. There was a small portmanteau in the room. The cabman entered the room. “Please help me with this buckle, cabman,” Holmes said. The fellow came forward and put down his hands to assist. At that instant there was a sharp click, the jangling of metal, and Sherlock Holmes sprang to his feet again. “Gentlemen,” he cried, “let me introduce you to Mr. Jefferson Hope, the murderer of Enoch Drebber and of Joseph Stangerson.” For a second or two we were a group of statues. Then, with a roar of fury, the cabman hurled himself through the window. Gregson, Lestrade, and Holmes sprang upon him like staghounds. They dragged him back into the room. The man was very powerful and fierce. Finally Lestrade got his hand inside his neckcloth and half-strangled him. We pinioned his feet as well as his hands. “We have his cab,” said Sherlock Holmes. “It will take him to Scotland Yard. And now, gentlemen,” he continued, with a pleasant smile, “we see the end of our little mystery. Welcome to put any questions, and I will answer them.” Part II Chapter I On the Great Alkali Plain In the central portion of the great North American Continent there lies an arid and repulsive desert. There are no inhabitants of this land of despair. Coyotes and grizzly bears are the sole dwellers in the wilderness. One can see a pathway across the desert, which winds away and is lost in the extreme distance. There stood upon the fourth of May, eighteen hundred and forty-seven, a solitary traveller. It was difficult to say whether he was nearer to forty or to sixty. His face was lean and haggard; his long, brown hair and beard were white. His hand grasped his rifle. The man was dying-dying from hunger and from thirst. He deposited upon the ground a large bundle, which he was carrying over his right shoulder. It was too heavy for his strength. Instantly a moaning cry broke from the grey parcel, and from it there protruded a small, scared face, with bright brown eyes. “You hurt me!” said a childish voice reproachfully. “I’m sorry,” the man answered penitently. As he spoke he unwrapped the grey shawl and extricated a pretty little girl of about five years of age. “How is it now?” he answered anxiously. “Kiss it,” she said. “My mother did so. Where’s mother?” “She went away. I think you’ll see her soon.” “She didn’t say good-bye,” said the little girl. “I’m thirsty and hungry. Is there any water, or anything to eat?” “No, nothing, dear. Be patient, and then you’ll be all right. What’s that?” “Pretty things! Fine things!” cried the little girl enthusiastically. She held up two glittering fragments of mica. “When we come back home I’ll give them to brother Bob.” “You’ll see prettier things soon,” said the man confidently. “Just wait a bit. Do you remember when we left the river?” “Oh, yes.” “Well, there was something wrong; compasses, or map, or something, you see. And we have no water.” “And you can’t wash yourself,” interrupted his companion gravely. “No, nor drink. And Mr. Bender was the first who dies, and then Indian Pete, and then Mrs. McGregor, and then Johnny Hones, and then, my dear, your mother.” “Oh, mother is dead too!” cried the little girl. “Yes, they all went except you and me. And there’s a small chance for us now!” “Do you mean that we are going to die too?” asked the child. “I think so.” “Why didn’t you say so before?” she said. “So we’ll be with mother again.” “Yes, you will, dear.” “And you too. She will meet us at the door of Heaven with a big pitcher of water, and a lot of buckwheat cakes. How long will we wait?” “I don’t know-not very long.” The man saw three large brown birds. They were buzzards, the vultures of the west, the forerunners of death. “Cocks and hens,” cried the little girl gleefully. “Say, did God make this country?” “In course He did,” said her companion. “He made Illinois, and He made Missouri,” the little girl continued. “I guess somebody else made the country here. They forgot the water and the trees.” “We can pray, can’t we?” the man said. “Then kneel down,” the little girl said. It was a strange sight. Side by side on the narrow shawl knelt the two wanderers, the little child and the reckless adventurer. The prayer finished. They went to sleep. Far away the tilts of waggons and the figures of armed horsemen began to show up. It was a great caravan upon its journey for the West. At the head of the column there rode grave men. They held a short council among themselves. “The wells are to the right, my brothers,” said a man with grizzly hair. “To the right of the Sierra Blanco-so we shall reach the Rio Grande,” said another. Suddenly they saw pink clothes. “I shall go forward and see, Brother Stangerson,” said a horseman. “And I,” “and I,” cried a dozen voices. “Leave your horses below and we will await you here,” the Elder answered. In a moment the horsemen dismounted, fastened their horses, and were ascending the slope. They advanced rapidly and noiselessly. On the little plateau there stood a single giant boulder, and against this boulder there lay a tall man, he was asleep. Beside him lay a little child. On the ledge of rock above this strange couple there stood three buzzards, who, at the sight of the new comers flew sullenly away. The cries of the birds awoke the two sleepers. The man staggered to his feet and looked around. “This is what they call delirium, I guess,” he muttered. The child stood beside him. The newcomers convinced them that their appearance was no delusion. One of them seized the little girl, and hoisted her upon his shoulder, while two others assisted her gaunt companion towards the waggons. “My name is John Ferrier,” the wanderer explained; “we were twenty-one people. The rest are all dead in the south.” “Is she your child?” asked someone. “Yes, she is,” the man answered, defiantly; “she’s mine because I saved her. No man will take her from me. She’s Lucy Ferrier. Who are you? I see many people here.” “About ten thousand,” said one of the young men; “we are the children of God.” “Oh, He has many children,” said the wanderer, “a crowd.” “Do not jest at that which is sacred,” said the other sternly. “We believe in those sacred writings, drawn in Egyptian letters on plates of beaten gold, which were handed unto the holy Joseph Smith at Palmyra. We come from Nauvoo, in the State of Illinois, where we founded our temple. We seek a refuge from the violent man and from the godless people.” “I see,” the man said, “you are the Mormons.” “We are the Mormons,” answered his companions. “And where are you going?” “We do not know. The hand of God is leading us. You must come before our Prophet. He will say what to do with you.” They reached a great beautiful waggon. Six horses were yoked to it. Beside the driver there sat a man, thirty years of age. His massive head and resolute expression marked him as a leader. He was reading a volume, but as the crowd approached he laid it aside, and listened attentively to the story of the castaways. Then he turned to them. “If we take you with us,” he said, “you must become believers in our creed. We shall have no wolves in our fold. Will you come with us on these terms[47 - on these terms – на этих условиях]?” “I’ll come with you on any terms,” said Ferrier. “Take him, Brother Stangerson,” he said, “give him food and drink, and the child likewise. Teach him our holy creed. Forward! On, on to Zion!” “On, on to Zion!” cried the crowd of Mormons. The Elder led the two waifs to his waggon, where a meal was already awaiting them. “You will remain here,” he said. “Remember that now and for ever you are of our religion. Brigham Young said it, and he spoke with the voice of Joseph Smith, which is the voice of God.” Chapter II The Flower of Utah The Mormons were going forward before they came to their final haven. The savage men, and the savage beast, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and disease-they overcame all this with Anglo-Saxon tenacity. When they saw the broad valley of Utah beneath them, they learned from the lips of their leader that this was the promised land[48 - promised land – земля обетованная]. Young was a skilful administrator as well as a resolute chief. He planned the future city, Salt Lake City, and they began to build it. Stangerson, Kemball, Johnston, and Drebber were the four principal Elders. Everything prospered in the settlement. Above all, the great temple in the centre of the city grew ever taller and larger. The two castaways, John Ferrier and the little girl accompanied the Mormons to the end of their great pilgrimage. Little Lucy Ferrier lived in Elder Stangerson’s waggon, with the Mormon’s three wives and with his son, a boy of twelve. In the meantime Ferrier became a useful guide and an indefatigable hunter. On the farm John Ferrier built himself a substantial house. He was a practical man, keen and skilful. He was working all day long. In three years he became richer than his neighbours, in six years he became really rich, and in twelve years a few men in the whole of Salt Lake City could compare with him. There was only one thing in which he offended his co-religionists. He did not want to marry. Ferrier remained strictly celibate. Lucy Ferrier grew up and assisted her adopted father in all his undertakings. She grew taller and stronger. So her father became the richest of the farmers, and she became the most beautiful girl. It was a warm June morning, and the Mormons were as busy as the bees. Lucy Ferrier galloped with a commission from her father. She reached the outskirts of the city, but the road was blocked by cattle. Soon she found herself[49 - she found herself – она оказалась] completely imbedded in the stream of bullocks. Unfortunately the horns of one of the creatures pierced the flank of her mustang, and excited it to madness. The situation was full of peril. The girl did not know what to do. Suddenly she heard a kindly voice at her elbow. At the same moment a sinewy brown hand caught the frightened horse by the curb, and soon brought her to the outskirts. “You’re not hurt, I hope, miss,” said her preserver, respectfully. She looked up at his dark, fierce face, and laughed saucily. “I’m awful frightened,” she said, naively. “I guess you are the daughter of John Ferrier,” the man remarked. “When you see him, ask him if he remembers the Jefferson Hopes of St. Louis. If he’s the same Ferrier, my father and he were friends.” “Why don’t you come and ask yourself?” she asked, demurely. “Of course, you are a friend now. You saved me. You must come and see us. Good-bye!” “Good-bye,” he answered. When she vanished from his sight, Young Jefferson Hope realized that love came in his life. He came to John Ferrier that night, and many times again. He told John and his daughter the news of the outside world. He was a pioneer in California, and narrated many interesting tales. Jefferson Hope soon became a favourite with the old farmer, who spoke eloquently of his virtues. Lucy was silent, but her blushing cheek and her bright, happy eyes, showed that her young heart was no longer her own. This man won her affections. It was a summer evening when he came. She was at the doorway, and came down to meet him. “I am off[50 - I am off – я уезжаю], Lucy,” he said. He took her two hands in his, and gazed tenderly down into her face; “I won’t ask you to come with me now, but will you be ready to come when I am here again?” “And when will that be?” she asked. “A couple of months. I will come back, my darling.” “And how about father?” she asked. “He will give his consent, if the mines work all right. And they will, for sure.” “Oh, well; of course,” she whispered. “Thank God!” he said hoarsely and kissed her. “So good-bye, my darling-good-bye. In two months you will see me.” Lucy stood at the gate. She was gazing after him until he vanished from her sight. Then she walked back into the house, the happiest girl in all Utah. Chapter III John Ferrier Talks with the Prophet Three weeks passed. John Ferrier was sad when he thought of the young man’s return, and of the loss of his child. He did not want to allow his daughter to wed a Mormon. Such a marriage he regarded as no marriage at all, but as a shame and a disgrace. But he was silent: to express an unorthodox opinion was dangerous in those days in the Land of the Saints. Its invisibility, and the mystery made this religious organization terrible. It was omniscient and omnipotent. The man who said something against the Church vanished away. A rash word or a hasty act led to annihilation. The Mormons needed women. Polygamy without a female population was a barren doctrine. Strange rumours came-rumours of murdered immigrants. Fresh women appeared in the harems of the Elders-women with the traces of an unextinguishable horror upon their faces. None knew who belonged to this ruthless society. The names of the participators in the deeds of blood and violence were secret. Hence every man feared his neighbour. One fine morning, John Ferrier heard the click of the latch. He looked through the window and saw a stout, sandy-haired, middle-aged man. It was Brigham Young himself. Ferrier ran to the door to greet the Mormon chief. Young, however, received his salutations coldly, and followed him with a stern face into the sitting-room. “Brother Ferrier,” he said, “the true believers are good friends to you. We picked you up when you were starving in the desert, we shared our food with you, led you to the Chosen Valley, gave you a goodly share of land, and allowed you to become rich under our protection. Is not this so?” “It is so,” answered John Ferrier. “In return for this, you promised to embrace the true faith. This you promised to do, and this you neglected.” “And how did I neglect it?” asked Ferrier. “I give to the common fund, I visit the Temple. I…” “Where are your wives?” asked Young. “It is true that I am not married,” Ferrier answered. “But women are few, and there are many men who are better husbands than myself. I am not a lonely man: I have my daughter.” “Yes, I want to talk to you about your daughter,” said the leader of the Mormons. “She is the flower of Utah.” John Ferrier groaned internally. “They say that she is engaged to some Gentile. This must be the gossip of idle tongues. What is the thirteenth rule in the code of the sainted Joseph Smith? ‘Let every maiden of the true faith marry one of the elect; for if she weds a Gentile, she commits a grievous sin’.” John Ferrier did not answer, but he played nervously with his riding-whip. “The girl is young, and we don’t want to deprive her of all choice. We Elders have many heifers, but our children must also have decent wives. Stangerson has a son, and Drebber has a son, and they will gladly welcome your daughter to their house. Let her choose between them. They are young and rich, and of the true faith. What will say you to that?” Ferrier remained silent for some time. “Give us time,” he said at last. “My daughter is very young-she is too young to marry.” “She will have a month to choose,” said Young. “At the end of that time she will give her answer.” He was passing through the door, when he turned, with flushed face and flashing eyes. “John Ferrier,” he thundered, “do not put your weak wills[51 - do not put your weak wills – не противься своими слабыми силёнками] against the orders of the Holy Four!” And he went away. Ferrier heard his heavy step along the path. Ferrier was still sitting with his elbows upon his knees, when he saw his daughter. She was standing beside him. She heard everything. “Oh, father, father, what shall we do?” she said. “Don’t be afraid,” he answered. “We’ll fix it up somehow or another[52 - We’ll fix it up somehow or another. – Мы это как-нибудь уладим.]. You still like that chap, do you?” A sob and a squeeze of his hand was her only answer. “He’s a good lad, and he’s a Christian. Some people will go to Nevada tomorrow, and I’ll send him a message. If I know anything of that young man, he’ll be back here soon.” Lucy laughed through her tears. “When he comes, he will give us some advise. But it is for you that I am frightened, dear. One hears such dreadful stories about those who oppose the Prophet: something terrible always happens to them.” “But we don’t oppose him,” her father answered. “We have time. We have a clear month before us; at the end of that, I guess we will leave Utah.” “Leave Utah!” “Yes.” “But the farm?” “We will sell as much as we can. I don’t want to knuckle under to any man, under to this darned prophet. I’m a free-born American.” “But they won’t let us leave,” his daughter objected. “Wait till Jefferson comes, and we’ll soon manage that. There’s no danger at all.” John Ferrier uttered these consoling remarks in a very confident tone, but she observed that he fastened the doors that night, and carefully cleaned and loaded the old shotgun. Chapter IV A Flight For Life Next morning John Ferrier went in to Salt Lake City and found his acquaintance, who was going to the Nevada Mountains. He entrusted him with his message to Jefferson Hope. In it he told the young man of the imminent danger which threatened them. After that he returned home. As he approached his farm, he saw two horses. When he entered his house, he found two young men in his sitting-room. One, with a long pale face, was leaning back in the rocking-chair[53 - rocking-chair – кресло-качалка], with his feet upon the stove. The other was standing in front of the window with his hands in his pocket. He was whistling a popular hymn. Both of them nodded to Ferrier as he entered, and the one in the rocking-chair commenced the conversation. “Maybe you don’t know us,” he said. “This here is the son of Elder Drebber, and I’m Joseph Stangerson, who travelled with you in the desert.” John Ferrier bowed coldly. He guessed who his visitors were. “We are here,” continued Stangerson, “to solicit the hand of your daughter. Let her choose. I have only four wives and Brother Drebber here has seven, so my claim is the stronger one.” “No, no, Brother Stangerson,” cried the other; “the question is not how many wives we have, but how many we can keep. My father gave me his mills, and I am the richer man.” “But my prospects are better,” said the other, warmly. “I shall have my father’s tanning yard[54 - tanning yard – кожевенный завод] and his leather factory. Then I am older, and am higher in the Church.” “The maiden will decide,” rejoined young Drebber. “Look here,” said John Ferrier, “when my daughter summons you, you can come, but until then I don’t want to see your faces again.” The two young Mormons stared at him in amazement. “There are two ways out of the room,” cried Ferrier; “there is the door, and there is the window. Which one will you use?” His brown face looked so savage, that his visitors sprang to their feet and ran away. The old farmer followed them to the door. “You will pay for this!” Stangerson cried, white with rage. “You go against the Prophet and the Council of Four. You will rue it to the end of your days.” “The hand of the Lord will be heavy upon you,” cried young Drebber; “He will arise and smite you!” “Then I’ll start the smiting,” exclaimed Ferrier furiously, and rushed upstairs for his gun. Lucy seized him by the arm and restrained him. The clatter of horses’ hoofs told him that they were beyond his reach. “The young rascals!” he exclaimed. “Father,” she said; “Jefferson will soon be here.” “Yes. The sooner the better[55 - the sooner the better – чем раньше, тем лучше], for we do not know what their next move may be.” Ferrier knew that his wealth and position were useless. He was a brave man, but he trembled. What to do next? He concealed his fears from his daughter, though she saw plainly that he was nervous. He expected some message or remonstrance from Young, and it came. Next morning he found, to his surprise, a small square of paper just over his chest. On it was printed, in bold letters: “You have twenty-nine days for amendment, and then…” How did this warning come into his room? He said nothing to his daughter, and destroyed the paper. Still more terrible was he next morning. They were having their breakfast when Lucy with a cry of surprise pointed upwards. In the centre of the ceiling was scrawled, with a burned stick, the number 28. To his daughter it was unintelligible, and he did not enlighten her. That night he sat up with his gun and ward. He saw and he heard nothing, and yet in the morning a great 27 was upon the outside of his door. Thus day followed day; and as sure as morning came he found that his unseen enemies were telling him how many days he had. Sometimes the fatal numbers appeared upon the walls, sometimes upon the floors, occasionally they were on small placards upon the garden gate or the railings. A horror came upon him at the sight of them. He became haggard and restless. He had but one hope in life now, and that was for the arrival of the young hunter from Nevada. Twenty changed to fifteen and fifteen to ten, but there was no news of Jefferson Hope. There came no sign of him. At last, when the old farmer saw three, he lost heart[56 - he lost heart – он пал духом], and abandoned all hope of escape. With his limited knowledge of the mountains which surrounded the settlement, he knew that he was powerless. The roads were strictly watched and guarded, and none could pass along them without an order from the Council. He was sitting alone one evening. That morning showed the figure 2 upon the wall of his house. The next day will be the last. What will happen then? Was there no escape from the invisible network round them? What was that? In the silence he heard a gentle scratching sound. It came from the door of the house. Ferrier crept into the hall and listened intently. There was a pause for a few moments, and then the insidious sound was repeated. Someone was evidently tapping very gently upon one of the panels of the door. Was it some midnight assassin? The suspense shook his nerves and chilled his heart. John Ferrier sprang forward and drew the bolt and opened the door. Outside all was calm and quiet. The night was fine, and the stars were twinkling brightly overhead. The little front garden lay before the farmer’s eyes. Ferrier looked to right and to left, and at his own feet he saw astonishment a man upon the ground. It was Jefferson Hope. “Good God!” gasped John Ferrier. “How you scared me!” “Give me food,” the other said, hoarsely. He saw the cold meat and bread which were lying upon the table, and devoured it voraciously. “How is Lucy?” he asked. “All right. She does not know the danger,” her father answered. “That is well. They watch the house on every side[57 - on every side – со всех сторон]. That is why I crawled.” John Ferrier realized that he had a devoted ally. He seized the young man’s hand and wrung it cordially. “I am proud of you,” he said. “You see,” the young hunter answered. “I have a respect for you. And it’s Lucy that brings me here.” “What shall we do?” “Tomorrow is your last day, we must act tonight. I have a mule and two horses, they are waiting in the Eagle Ravine[58 - Eagle Ravine – Орлиное ущелье]. How much money have you?” “Two thousand dollars in gold, and five in notes.” “That will do. I have some money, too. We must go to Carson City through the mountains. Wake Lucy. It is well that the servants do not sleep in the house.” While Ferrier was absent, Jefferson Hope packed all the food that he could find into a small parcel, and filled a jar with water. Soon the farmer returned with his daughter. She was dressed and ready for a start. The greeting between the lovers was warm, but brief, for minutes were precious. “We must start at once,” said Jefferson Hope. He was speaking in a low but resolute voice. “They watch front and back entrances, but with caution we may get away through the side window and across the fields. We are only two miles from the Ravine where the horses are waiting.” “And if they stop us?” asked Ferrier. Hope showed his revolver. “If they are too many for us, we shall take two or three of them with us,” he said with a sinister smile. The old farmer turned off the lights inside the house. Ferrier peered over his fields, which he was going to abandon for ever. But the honour and happiness of his daughter outweighed any regret at his ruined fortunes. All looked peaceful and happy, but the white face and the expression of the young hunter showed that the danger was near. Ferrier carried the bag of gold and notes, Jefferson Hope had the scanty provisions and water, while Lucy had a small bundle. They opened the window very slowly and carefully. They waited a little, and then one by one passed through into the little garden. They stumbled across it, and gained the shelter of the hedge. Then they came to the gap which opened into the cornfields. They reached this point when the young man seized his two companions and dragged them down into the shadow, where they lay silent. Jefferson Hope’s prairie training gave him the ears of a lynx. He and his friends crouched down and heard the melancholy hooting of a mountain owl within a few yards of them. Another hoot immediately answered it. At the same moment a vague shadowy figure emerged from the gap. The first man uttered the plaintive signal cry again, and the second man appeared out of the obscurity. “Tomorrow at midnight,” said the first man. “When the Whip-poor-Will[59 - Whip-poor-Will – козодой] calls three times.” “It is well,” returned the other. “Shall I tell Brother Drebber?” “Pass it on to him, and from him to the others. Nine to seven!” “Seven to five!” repeated the other, and the two figures flitted away in different directions. Their footsteps died away in the distance. Jefferson Hope sprang to his feet, and helped his companions through the gap. He led the way across the fields, he was supporting and carrying the girl. “Hurry on! hurry on!” he gasped from time to time. “Everything depends on speed. Hurry on!” They made rapid progress. Only once they met someone, and then they managed to slip into a field. Then the hunter chose a rugged and narrow footpath which led to the mountains. Two dark peaks loomed above them through the darkness. It was the Eagle Ravine in which the horses were awaiting them. Jefferson Hope picked his way among the great boulders and along the watercourse. The girl sat upon the mule, and old Ferrier upon one of the horses, with his money-bag, while Jefferson Hope led the other along the precipitous and dangerous path. In spite of all dangers and difficulties, the fugitives were happy, for every step increased the distance between them and the terrible people. They soon had a proof, however, that they were still within the jurisdiction of the Saints. Suddenly the girl gave a cry and pointed upwards. On a rock, there stood a solitary sentinel. He saw them and asked: “Who goes there?” “Travellers for Nevada,” said Jefferson Hope, with his hand upon the rifle. The lonely watcher was peering down at them. “By whose permission?” he asked. “The Holy Four,” answered Ferrier. “Nine to seven,” cried the sentinel. “Seven to five,” returned Jefferson Hope promptly. He remembered the countersign in the garden. “Pass, and the Lord go with you,” said the voice from above. They went forward. They knew that freedom lay before them. Chapter V The Avenging Angels All night their course lay through intricate defiles and over and rock-strewn paths. More than once they lost their way, but Hope’s knowledge of the mountains enabled them to regain the track once more. In the morning, a scene of marvellous though savage beauty lay before them. The rocky banks were on either side of them. The sun rose slowly above the eastern horizon. The magnificent spectacle cheered the hearts of the three fugitives and gave them fresh energy. But Jefferson Hope was inexorable. “They are following us,” he said. “Everything depends upon our speed. We must come to Carson.” During the whole of that day they went on through the defiles, and by evening they were more than thirty miles from their enemies. At night-time they chose the cave, where the rocks offered some protection from the chill wind, and they enjoyed a few hours’ sleep. Before daybreak, however, they were up and on their way once more. They saw no signs of any pursuers, and Jefferson Hope began to think that they were out of the reach[60 - out of the reach – вне досягаемости] of the terrible organization. He little knew about its iron grasp. About the middle of the second day their scanty store of provisions began to run out. The young hunter made a fire, at which his companions might warm themselves, for they were now nearly five thousand feet above the sea level. He took his gun and walked for a couple of miles without success, though from the marks upon the bark of the trees, and other indications, he knew that there were numerous bears in the vicinity. At last, on the edge of a pinnacle, three or four hundred feet above him, he saw a big-horn[61 - big-horn – снежный баран]. He rested his rifle upon a rock. The animal sprang into the air, and then came down into the valley beneath. The creature was too heavy to carry, so the hunter cut one haunch and part of the flank. With this trophy over his shoulder, he hastened to go back. But he lost his way. He came to a mountain torrent. Night was coming on rapidly, and it was almost dark before he at last found the familiar defile. Even in the darkness he could recognize the outline of the cliffs which bounded it. He made a loud halloo as a signal that he was coming. He paused and listened for an answer. No answer came. Again he shouted, even louder than before, and again no whisper came back from his friends. A vague, nameless dread came over him. When he turned the corner, he saw the spot. The same dead silence still reigned all round. There was no living creature near the remains of the fire: animals, man, maiden, all were gone. Jefferson Hope was bewildered and stunned. However, he was a man of action, and speedily recovered from his temporary impotence. He seized a piece of wood from the fire, and examined the little camp. He saw the feet of horses. Near the camp was a heap of reddish soil. As the young hunter approached it, he perceived a stick with a sheet of paper. The inscription upon the paper was brief: John Ferrier, From Salt Lake City, Died August 4th, 1860. The sturdy old man was killed, then, and this was his epitaph. Jefferson Hope looked wildly round to see if there was a second grave, but there was no sign of one. Their terrible pursuers took Lucy with them back. She will be one of the harem of the Elder’s son. And he decided at least to devote his life to revenge. He will devote his strong will and energy to that. With a grim, white face, he cooked some food. Then he took it and walked back through the mountains upon the track of the avenging angels. On the sixth day, he reached the Eagle Ravine. He looked down upon the home of the Mormones. He was very exhausted. He observed that there were flags in some of the principal streets, and other signs of festivity. Then he heard the clatter of horse’s hoofs, and saw a horseman. He recognized a Mormon named Cowper, whom he knew before. “I am Jefferson Hope,” he said. “You remember me.” The Mormon looked at him with astonishment. Then the man’s surprise changed to consternation. “You are mad to come here!” he cried. “I must not talk to you. There is a warrant against you from the Holy Four. You assisted the Ferriers.” “I don’t fear them, or their warrant,” Hope said, earnestly. “You must know something, Cowper. We were friends. Please, don’t refuse to answer me.” “What is it?” the Mormon asked uneasily. “Be quick. The rocks have ears and the trees have eyes.” “How is Lucy Ferrier?” “She was married yesterday to young Drebber.” “Married, you say?” said Hope faintly. He was white. “Married yesterday. There was a quarrel between young Drebber and young Stangerson. Stangerson shot her father; but when they argued, the Prophet gave her over to him. You know, I saw death in her face yesterday. She is more like a ghost than a woman. Are you going away, then?” “Yes, I am going away,” said Jefferson Hope. “Where are you going?” “Never mind,” he answered; and went away into the heart of the mountains. The prediction of the Mormon was right. Poor Lucy was sick and died within a month. Her sottish husband did not affect any grief at his bereavement; but his other wives mourned over her. They were grouped round the bier in the morning, when, to their inexpressible fear and astonishment, the door opened, and a savage-looking man in tattered garments came into the room. Without a word, he walked up to the white silent figure of Lucy Ferrier. He stooped over her, and pressed his lips reverently to her cold forehead. Then he took the wedding-ring from her finger. “She will not be buried in that,” he cried with a fierce snarl, and sprang down the stairs and was gone. For some months Jefferson Hope lingered among the mountains. He was leading a strange wild life, and nursing in his heart the fierce desire for vengeance which possessed him. Once a bullet whistled through Stangerson’s window and flattened itself upon the wall. On another occasion, as Drebber passed under a cliff a great boulder crashed down on him, and he only escaped a terrible death because he threw himself upon his face. The two young Mormons repeated expeditions into the mountains, they hoped to capture or kill their enemy, but always without success. The hunter soon realized that even his iron constitution could not stand the incessant strain. And he returned to the old Nevada mines, to recruit his health and to amass money enough to allow him to pursue his object. He was absent for five years. At the end of that time, however, disguised, and under an assumed name, he returned to Salt Lake City. There he learned some news. There was a schism among the Chosen People a few months before. Some of the younger members of the Church rebelled against the authority of the Elders, and some malcontents left Utah and became Gentiles. Among these were Drebber and Stangerson. They said that Drebber was a wealthy man, while his companion, Stangerson, was comparatively poor. But where did they go? Jefferson Hope never abandoned his thought of revenge. He travelled from town to town through the United States in quest of his enemies. Years passed, and at last his perseverance was rewarded. He found Drebber in Cleveland, Ohio. And Drebber recognized him as well. He came to the court, with Stangerson, who was his private secretary, and said that they were in danger of their lives from the jealousy and hatred of an old rival. That evening they took Jefferson Hope into custody[62 - into custody – под стражу] for some weeks. And Drebber and his secretary departed for Europe. Again the avenger’s hatred urged him to continue the pursuit. He was working and saving every dollar for his journey. At last, he departed for Europe, and tracked his enemies from city to city. Finally, they came to London. What occurred there? We will quote the old hunter’s own account. They were duly recorded in Dr. Watson’s Journal. Chapter VI A Continuation of the Reminiscences of John Watson, M.D Our prisoner smiled. “I guess you’re going to take me to the police-station,” he remarked to Sherlock Holmes. “My cab’s at the door. If you’ll loose my legs I’ll walk down to it.” Gregson and Lestrade exchanged glances; but Holmes loosened the towel. “If there’s a vacant place for a chief of the police, I can recommend this man,” said Jefferson Hope, while he was gazing at Sherlock Holmes. “Please come with me,” said Holmes to the two detectives. “I can drive you,” said Lestrade. “Good! And Gregson can come inside. You too, Doctor.” I assented gladly, and we all descended together. Our prisoner stepped calmly into the cab. Lestrade whipped up the horse, and brought us in a very short time to our destination. A police Inspector wrote down our prisoner’s name and the names of the murdered men. “The prisoner will be put before the magistrates in the course of the week,” said the Inspector; “in the mean time, Mr. Jefferson Hope, have you anything to say? I must warn you that your words may be used against you.” “Yes, I want to say something,” our prisoner said slowly. “I want to tell you gentlemen all about it.” “Why not in the court?” asked the Inspector. “I will die soon,” he answered. “Are you a doctor?” He turned his fierce dark eyes upon me. “Yes; I am,” I answered. “Then put your hand here,” he said, with a smile, and showed his chest. I did so. I felt an extraordinary throbbing and commotion. The walls of his chest thrilled and quivered. In the silence of the room I heard a dull humming and buzzing noise. “Oh,” I cried, “you have an aortic aneurism[63 - aortic aneurism – аневризма аорты]!” “That’s what they call it,” he said, placidly. “I went to a doctor last week. I got it in the Salt Lake Mountains. My work is finished. But I don’t want to be a common murderer.” “Do you consider, doctor, that there is immediate danger?” asked the Inspector. “Most certainly there is,” I answered. “In that case, sir,” said the Inspector, “please, give your account.” “I’ll sit down, with your permission,” said Jefferson Hope. “This aneurism of mine makes me easily tired. I’m dying and I do not want to lie to you. Every word I say is the absolute truth.” With these words, Jefferson Hope leaned back in his chair and began. He spoke in a calm and methodical manner. “It doesn’t much matter to you why I hated these men,” he said; “they were guilty of the death of two human beings-a father and a daughter. Therefore, they forfeited their own lives. A lot of time passed since their crime. It was impossible for me to secure a conviction against them in any court. I knew of their guilt though, and I was the judge, jury, and executioner. It happened twenty years ago. I wanted to marry that girl. She was forced into marrying[64 - she was forced into marrying – её силой выдали замуж] that same Drebber, and she died. I took the marriage ring from her dead finger, and I wanted to show it to my enemies. Their crime must be punished. I was following Drebber and his accomplice over two continents. If I die tomorrow, I will die happily. My work in this world is done, and well done. There is nothing for me to hope for, or to desire. They were rich and I was poor, so that it was not easy for me to follow them. When I got to London my pocket was empty, and I found some work. I can drive and ride, so I applied at a cabowner’s office, and soon got employment. The hardest job was to remember the streets, this city is very confusing. I found out where my two gentlemen were living. They were at a boarding-house at Camberwell, on the other side of the river. I had my beard, nobody could recognize me. I was following them until I saw my opportunity. They could not escape me again. Sometimes I followed them on my cab, and sometimes on foot, they could not get away from me. They were very cunning, though. They never went out alone, and never after nightfall. During two weeks I drove behind them every day, and never once saw them separate. Drebber himself was always drunk, but Stangerson was sober. I watched them late and early, but never saw the chance. At last, one evening I was driving up and down Torquay Terrace, when I saw a cab next to their door. The cabman brought some luggage, and after a time Drebber and Stangerson followed it, and drove off. I feared that they were going away. At Euston Station they got out, and I left a boy to hold my horse, and followed them on to the platform. They asked for the Liverpool train. There was no a train for some hours. Stangerson was angry, but Drebber was pleased. I came closer to them in the bustle. I could hear every word that passed between them. Drebber says that he has a little business to do. His companion remonstrates with him. Drebber answers that the matter is a delicate one, and that he must go alone. Drebber reminds Stangerson that he is nothing more than his servant, and that he must not dictate to him. So the Secretary simply tells him that if he misses the last train he can rejoin him at Halliday’s Private Hotel. Drebber says that he will be back on the platform before eleven, and goes away. This was my moment! I had my enemies within my power. Together they protected each other, but singly they were at my mercy. My plans were already formed. The offender must realize why retribution comes upon him. Some days before a gentleman was looking over some houses in the Brixton Road. He dropped the key of one of them in my carriage. I returned the key; but in the interval I made a duplicate. But how to get Drebber to that house? It was a difficult problem. Drebber walked down the road and went into one or two liquor shops. He stayed for nearly half-an-hour in the last of them. When he came out he was evidently drunk. There was a hansom just in front of me, and he hailed it. I followed it. The nose of my horse was within a yard of his driver the whole way. We rattled across the city until, to my astonishment, we found ourselves back in the Terrace in which he boarded. He entered it, and his hansom drove away. Give me a glass of water, please.” I handed him the glass. “That’s better,” he said. “Well, I waited for a quarter of an hour, or more, when suddenly there came a noise. Some people were struggling inside the house. Next moment the door opened and two men appeared, one of whom was Drebber, and the other was a young chap. This fellow had Drebber by the collar[65 - had Drebber by the collar – тащил Дреббера за шиворот], and when they came to the head of the steps he gave him a shove and a kick. ‘You hound,’ he cried; ‘I’ll teach you to insult an honest girl!’ He wanted to thrash Drebber with his cudgel, but the coward staggered away down the road very fast. He saw my cab, hailed me and jumped in. ‘Drive me to Halliday’s Private Hotel,’ said he. When I had him inside my cab, my heart jumped with joy. I drove along slowly. What to do? He solved the problem for me. He ordered me to stop near a gin palace[66 - gin palace – питейное заведение]. He went in. When he came out he was completely drunk. During my wandering life in America, I worked once at York College. One day the professor was lecturing on poisons, and he showed his students some alkaloid. He extracted it from some South American arrow poison. It was so powerful that the least grain meant instant death. After the lecture I took some poison. I worked this alkaloid into small, soluble pills, and each pill I put in a box with a similar pill made without the poison. I was thinking like that. When I have my chance, my gentlemen each have a pill of these boxes, while I will eat the pill that remains. That will be our deadly game. So from that day I had always my pill boxes about with me. It was near twelve, and a wild, bleak night. I lit a cigar, my hands were trembling. As I drove, I saw old John Ferrier and sweet Lucy in the darkness. I pulled up at the house in the Brixton Road. There was nobody. When I looked in at the window, Drebber was sleeping. I shook him by the arm, ‘It’s time to get out,’ I said. ‘All right,’ said he. I suppose he thought we were near the hotel. He got out without a word, and followed me down the garden. When we came to the door, I opened it, and led him into the front room. The father and the daughter were walking in front of us. ‘It’s infernally dark,’ said he. ‘We’ll soon have a light,’ I said. I took a wax candle. ‘Now, Enoch Drebber,’ I continued, ‘who am I?’ He gazed at me with drunken eyes for a moment, and then I saw a horror in them. He knew me. He staggered back with a livid face, and I saw the perspiration upon his brow. His teeth chattered. I laughed loud and long. ‘You dog!’ I said; ‘I hunted you everywhere, and you always escaped me. Now I got you.’ I saw on his face that he thought I was mad. So I was for the time. ‘Do you remember Lucy Ferrier?’ I cried. I locked the door and shook the key in his face. ‘Punishment is coming.’ His coward lips trembled as I spoke. ‘Will you murder me?’ he stammered. ‘There is no murder,’ I answered. ‘Is it a murder to kill a mad dog? Do you remember my poor darling? You dragged her from her father, and bore her away to your accursed and shameless harem.’ ‘It was not I who killed her father,’ he cried. ‘But it was you who broke her innocent heart,’ I shrieked. I gave him the box. ‘Let the God judge between us. Choose and eat. There is death in one and life in the other. I shall take what you leave. Let us see if there is justice upon the earth.’ He prayed for mercy, but I drew my knife and held it to his throat. And he obeyed me. He ate the pill. Then I swallowed the other. Who will live and who will die? The first warning pangs told him that the poison was in him. I laughed as I saw it, and held Lucy’s marriage ring in front of his eyes. The action of the alkaloid is rapid. A spasm of pain; he threw his hands out in front of him, staggered, and then, with a hoarse cry, fell heavily upon the floor. I placed my hand upon his heart. There was no movement. He was dead! The blood was streaming from my nose. And I wrote upon the wall with it. Perhaps it was some mischievous idea. One day a German was found in New York with RACHE written up above him. The newspapers were writing about the secret societies. What puzzled the New Yorkers will puzzle the Londoners. So I dipped my finger in my own blood and writhe the German word on the wall. Then I walked down to my cab. I drove some distance. Then I put my hand into the pocket in which I usually kept Lucy’s ring, and found that it was not there. It was the only memento that I had of her! I dropped it when I stooped over Drebber’s body. So I drove back, and left my cab in a side street. I went boldly up to the house. When I arrived there, I walked right into the arms of a police-officer. I pretended to be hopelessly drunk. That was how Enoch Drebber came to his end. But Stangerson was still alive. I knew that he was staying at Halliday’s Private Hotel, and I waited there all day, but he never came out. I’m sure that that he suspected something. He was cunning, that Stangerson. I soon found out which was the window of his bedroom, and early next morning I took a ladder which was lying in the lane behind the hotel. I woke him up. I described Drebber’s death to him, and I gave him the same choice of the poisoned pills. But he sprang from his bed and flew at my throat. I stabbed him to the heart. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/pages/biblio_book/?art=65319052&lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом. notes Примечания 1 Assistant Surgeon – ассистент хирурга 2 the Berkshires – Беркширский полк 3 I was struck on the shoulder – я был ранен в плечо 4 which is precipitated by hemoglobin – который осаждается гемоглобином 5 on business – по делу 6 bull pup – щенок бульдога 7 dissecting-rooms – анатомический театр 8 rat-faced – с крысиной физиономией 9 railway porter – вокзальный носильщик 10 logician – человек, способный логически мыслить 11 as for the article – что касается статьи 12 bread and cheese – кусок хлеба с маслом 13 Edgar Allen Poe’s Dupin – Дюпен из романов Эдгара Алана По 14 Gaboriau’s works – романы Габорио (о детективе Лекоке ) 15 retired sergeant of Marines – отставной флотский сержант 16 Royal Marine Light Infantry – королевская морская пехота 17 military carriage – военная выправка 18 pocket all the credit – прикарманить себе всю славу 19 flaxen-haired – с льняными волосами 20 frock coat – сюртук 21 top hat – цилиндр 22 thrown abroad – раскинуты 23 legs were interlocked – ноги были скрючены 24 prognathous jaw – выступающая вперёд челюсть 25 ape-like – обезьяноподобный 26 by Barraud – фирмы Барро 27 Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron’ – «Декамерон» Бокаччо 28 with name of Joseph Stangerson upon the fly-leaf – с именем Джозеф Стэнджерсон на форзаце 29 American Exchange, Strand-to be left till called for – Стрэнд, Американская биржа, до востребования 30 Guion Steamship Company – пароходная компания «Гийон» 31 tape measure – рулетка 32 magnifying glass – увеличительное стекло 33 in the prime of life – в расцвете лет 34 square-toed boots – ботинки с квадратными носками 35 with three old shoes and one new one on his off fore leg – с тремя старыми и одной новой подковой на правом переднем копыте 36 was printed after the German fashion – была написана готическим шрифтом 37 in the Latin character – на латинский манер 38 the lower part muffled round – с замотанным подбородком 39 This will do very well. – Это подойдёт. 40 put the key on the inside – вставьте ключ изнутри 41 Arthur Charpentier, sub-lieutenant in Her Majesty’s navy – Артур Шарпентье, младший лейтенант флота Её Величества 42 Charpentier’s Boarding Establishment, Torquay Terrace – пансион Шарпантье на Торки-Террас 43 burst into tears – расплакалась 44 old shipmate – старый товарищ по флоту 45 the door was locked on the inside – дверь была заперта изнутри 46 wanted you to put out of its pain – просила вас усыпить его, чтобы он больше не мучился 47 on these terms – на этих условиях 48 promised land – земля обетованная 49 she found herself – она оказалась 50 I am off – я уезжаю 51 do not put your weak wills – не противься своими слабыми силёнками 52 We’ll fix it up somehow or another. – Мы это как-нибудь уладим. 53 rocking-chair – кресло-качалка 54 tanning yard – кожевенный завод 55 the sooner the better – чем раньше, тем лучше 56 he lost heart – он пал духом 57 on every side – со всех сторон 58 Eagle Ravine – Орлиное ущелье 59 Whip-poor-Will – козодой 60 out of the reach – вне досягаемости 61 big-horn – снежный баран 62 into custody – под стражу 63 aortic aneurism – аневризма аорты 64 she was forced into marrying – её силой выдали замуж 65 had Drebber by the collar – тащил Дреббера за шиворот 66 gin palace – питейное заведение
КУПИТЬ И СКАЧАТЬ ЗА: 219.00 руб.