Tag Archives: sherlock holmes

BOOK REVIEW: THE RED HEADED LEAGUE: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    The Red-Headed League is one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes, short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It first appeared in The Strand Magazine in August 1891, with illustrations by Sidney Paget, a British illustrator of the Victorian era, best known for his illustrations that accompanied Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories. Conan Doyle ranked, “The Red-Headed League” second in the list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories. It is also the second of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which was published in 1892.

    Plot:

    Wilson, a London pawnbroker, comes to consult Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. While studying the prospective client Wilson, both Holmes and Watson notice his prominent red hair, which has a distinct flame-like hue. Wilson tells them that some weeks ago, his young assistant, one Vincent Spaulding, urged him to respond to a newspaper recruitment-ad, offering highly-paid work to only, red-headed male applicants.

    The very next morning, Wilson waited in a long line of fellow red-headed men. He was interviewed, and was the only applicant hired. None of the other applicants qualified, because their red hair, was either too dark or too bright, and did not match Wilson’s unique flame colour.

    Wilson tells Holmes, that his business has been struggling.

    Since his own pawn shop did most of its business in the evenings, he was able to leave his shop for short periods in the afternoon, receiving £4 a week for several weeks, when his assistant Vincent Spaulding used to manage the shop. The work in his new office was of a useless clerical nature in a bare office, that only performed, a nominal work, whereupon, he was made to copy the Britannica Encyclopaedia.

    Wilson learned much about the subject starting with the “A” section and looked forward to getting into the “B” section of the Encyclopaedia. But, surprisingly, one morning, a sign on the locked office door, inexplicably announced, that “THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE IS DISSOLVED”—Oct. 9, 1890.” Wilson went to the landlord, who said that he had never heard of Duncan Ross, the person who managed the league office.

    The landlord, however, did remember the tenant with scarlet (red) hair and gives him a card which directs Wilson to an artificial knee company. Wilson concludes the conversation, by expressing his frustration at losing the precious £4 a week job. Watson and Holmes, laugh at Wilson, because of the ridiculous situation, but Holmes assures Wilson that by Monday they will solve the case for him.

    Wilson leaves after having given the detective a description of his young assistant Spaulding.

    Holmes decides to go and see Spaulding, whom, Holmes notices, has dirty trouser knees. Holmes, then taps on the pavement in front of Wilson’s shop. With that     Holmes is sure the case is solved. He therefore, calls Police Inspector Jones, along with Mr. Merryweather, a director in the bank located next door.

    The four then hide themselves in the bank vault, waiting in the dark for over an hour until the two men emerge from a tunnel cut into the vault’s floor and are arrested. They are John Clay, who has a long history in criminal activity already, and his helper Archie. Under the aliases of Spaulding and Ross.

    They had contrived the ‘Red-Headed League’ rigmarole to keep Wilson out of his shop while they dug a tunnel in the basement to reach the vault.

    Although, paying Wilson £4 a week was expensive, it was a pittance compared to the shipment of gold coins they were planning to steal.

    Back at the Baker Street, Holmes, explains to Watson, how he solved the case, applauding Clay’s creativity and regretting that such a mind has been wasted on crime.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai and Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, India)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K.)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

MIRAGE

(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories. It is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)

Short stories and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020,

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

SHORT STORY: MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    “The Man with the Twisted Lip”, is one of the 56, short, Sherlock Holmes stories, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the sixth, of the twelve stories in, ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.’ The story was first published in the Strand Magazine in December 1891. Doyle ranked “The Man with the Twisted Lip” sixteenth in a list of his nineteen favourite Sherlock Holmes stories.

    The story goes as follows. Late at night, Kate Whitney, a friend of Dr. Watson’s wife, calls on them. Her husband, Isa, has been absent for several days. Frantic and worried, she begs Dr. Watson to fetch him home from the opium den where he goes. Watson does this, but in the process he also finds his friend Sherlock Holmes in the den, disguised as an old man, seeking for clues of among the frequent habitués of the place.

    The case involves Mr. Neville St. Clair, a prosperous, respectable, punctual man, who has gone missing. His family’s home is in the country side, but he visits London every day on business. One day when Mr. St. Clair was in London, Mrs. St. Clair also goes to London separately. She happens to pass down Upper Swandam Lane, an unpleasant narrow “vile alley” near the London docks, where the opium den is. Glancing up, she sees her husband at a second-floor window of the opium den. But he vanishes from the window immediately. This insinuates Mrs. St. Clair that something is wrong somewhere.

    She tries to enter the building. But her way is blocked by the opium den’s owner, a lascar. She calls the police, but they do not find Mr. St. Clair. The room behind the window has a dingy animal den where a dirty, disfigured beggar, known to the police as Hugh Boone is found. The police puts her story down as a mistake of some kind when Mrs. St. Clair notices a box of wooden toy bricks that her husband said, he would buy for their son. A further search discovers some of St. Clair’s clothes. Later, his coat, with the pockets, stuffed with, hundreds of pennies, and halfpennies, is found on the bank of the River Thames, just below the building’s back window.

    Hugh Boone is arrested immediately, but he denies any knowledge of St. Clair. He also resists any attempt to make him wash and cleanse. Holmes initially is convinced that St. Clair has been murdered, and that Boone is involved. So he investigates in disguise. He and Watson return to St. Clair’s home, to a surprise. It is several days after the disappearance. But on that day Mrs. St. Clair has received a letter from her husband in his own handwriting, with his wedding ring enclosed, telling her not to worry. This forces Holmes to reconsider his conclusions, leading him eventually to an extraordinary solution.

    Holmes and Watson go the police station where Hugh Boone is held. Holmes brings a bath sponge in a Gladstone bag. Finding Boone asleep, Holmes washes the sleeping Boone’s dirty face and that reveals the real face of Neville St. Clair.

    Mr. St. Clair has been leading a double life, as a respectable businessman, and also as a professional beggar. In his youth, he had been an actor before becoming a newspaper reporter. In order to research an article, he had disguised himself as a beggar for a short time, and collected a surprising amount of money. Later, he was saddled with a large debt, and returned to the street to beg for several days to pay it off. His newspaper salary was meagre, and so he was tempted to beg, and that got him larger returns. He eventually became a professional beggar. His earnings were large enough with which he was able to establish himself as a country gentleman, marry well, and begin a respectable family. His wife and children never knew what he did for a living, and when arrested, he feared exposure more than prison or the gallows. And there is no murder in the story. Finally, he is released. Holmes and the police agree to keep Mr. St. Clair’s secret as long as they don’t hear of Hugh Boone again.

    A silent version of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” was filmed in 1921.

    In 1951, Rudolph Cartier produced an adaptation entitled ‘The Man Who Disappeared.’ This adaptation was a pilot for a proposed television series starring John Longden as Holmes and Campbell Singer as Watson.

    In 1964, the story was adapted into an episode of the BBC series Sherlock Holmes starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock, with Peter Madden as Inspector Lestrade and Anton Rodgers as Neville St Clair. The adaptation developed St Clair’s attributed ability at a repartee, by showing him quoting from the classics, including Shakespeare.

    Granada Television also produced a version in 1986, adapted by Alan Plater as part of their ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ television series.

    “The Man with the Twisted Lip” was dramatised for BBC Radio 4 in 1990 as part of Bert Coules’ complete radio adaptation of the canon, starring Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson.

    The 2014 Sherlock episode “His Last Vow” begins with Sherlock being found in a drug den by John, reminiscent of the scene in the opium den from this story.

    An interesting story out of Conan Doyle’s ilk. I would give it seven out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE BROWN HAND by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle as we all know was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published ‘A Study in Scarlet’ the first of his four novels and thereafter more than fifty short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. Brown Hand was first published in The Strand Magazine in May 1899.

    The story is based on an Indian urban legend that tells about a Muslim who was forced to have his arm amputated after an accident, but died a few months later, and after death became a ghost and began wandering about in search of his limb.

    The central character of the story is a doctor, Sir Dominic Holden, who has had a long spell of service in British India first as a military doctor and then as a private surgeon in Bombay. Once when he was posted at Peshawar, then a main city of undivided Punjab (hence a part of India), he had to attend to a poor Afghan whose one hand was in such a bad state due to the spread of gangrene, that the only way to save his life was to amputate it. The operation was performed and Dr. Holden asked for the amputated hand as his fee. Dr. Holden had a hobby of collecting discarded limbs, organs, cysts from living and dead humans and thus wanted to add the “brown hand” to his collection. Whereas, the Afghan being Islamic, refused to part with his amputated hand, as it breached the rule of his religion which stated amputated body parts should be kept with the owner himself. But Dr. Holden promised to return the Afghan his hand before his death and took the hand with him to his house in Bombay. Thereafter Dr. Holden soon retired and settled in Wiltshire, England. One night he was awakened when someone started pulling his clothes. It was the ghost of his old Afghan patient. Dr. Holden understood that the Afghan had died and his ghost wanted back the amputated hand. From then onwards, the ghost started haunting the doctor’s lab every night for four years looking for his hand. But the ghost failed to find the hand since it had been damaged in a fire that had broken out at the doctor’s house in Bombay. The recurring visits of the ghost, had made the life of Dr. Holden and his wife, Lady Holden, miserable and the ill effects of which on their health was prominent. A doctor known for his steel nerves had now become a scared individual.
When, Dr. Holden’s nephew, by the name of Dr Hardacre decided to solve this problem. He spent his first night in the lab and saw the Afghan searching for his hand. The next day, Dr. Holden explained him everything in detail and Hardacre left for London. Hardacre, a doctor himself, went through a book on spirits and found that certain spirits could not leave the living world because of them being strongly attached to something or someone existing in this world. Hardacre decided to try his luck and left for Chadwell where a friend of his was the home surgeon at a hospital for sailors. The home surgeon provided Hardacre with an amputated hand of an Indian sailor as the requirement was a “brown hand”.
    Hardacre returned to Wiltshire and placed the hand in a jar in his uncle’s lab. Hardacre stayed awake as the Afghan ghost came visiting as usual. But Hardacre’s experiment failed as the Afghan on seeing the hand, wailed in agony and smashed the jar on the floor before disappearing. Next morning, Hardacre realised his mistake as he had brought the left hand of the sailor while the Afghan had had his right hand separated. Hardacre rushed back to Chadwell and luckily got the right hand of the sailor. He returned and placed the hand in a jar in the lab just like the previous day. Dr. Holden forbade Hardacre from sleeping in the lab as he feared risking his nephew’s life.
That night, Hardacre again saw somebody approaching him while he tried to sleep. But it wasn’t any ghost but his uncle who seemed overwhelmed with joy and had suddenly regained some of the energy he possessed earlier. Dr. Holden stated that the ghost had finally found his amputated hand and before leaving, he offered the Eastern Salaam bowed thrice in front of him, in a way similar to how Afghans pay respect. Thereafter Holdens lived on peacefully and consulted Hardacre for every major decisions they took thereafter. Before he died, Dr. Holden named Hardacre as the heir to his property.

    The story has mild horror and conveys a message that if one is intensely attached to something in this world it becomes difficult for the soul to leave the world without that object.

    It makes an interesting read. I would give it seven out of ten.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Our posts are meant for our readers that includes both children and adults and it has a huge variety in terms of content. We also accept donations for our mission. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

RHYTHM … in poems

(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

 

 

BOOK TALK: A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA–by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Copyright@shravancharitymission

Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about

A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    This is the first short story. And the third overall work, featuring Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ It happens to be the first of the 56 Holmes short stories written by Doyle and the first of 38 Sherlock Holmes works illustrated by Sidney Paget (illustrator an artist who specialised on Conan Doyle’s work). The story is notable for introducing the character of Irene Adler, often referred as a romantic interest for Holmes in later derivative works. Conan Doyle ranked “A Scandal in Bohemia” fifth in the list of his twelve favourite Holmes stories.

    “A Scandal in Bohemia” was first published on 25 June 1891 in the July issue of The Strand Magazine, and was the first of the stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 1892.

PLOT

    Dr Watson recounts an adventure that started on 20th March 1888. When, the newly married Watson is paying Holmes a visit. This is when a masked visitor arrives. He introduces himself as Count Kramm, an agent for a wealthy client. Holmes quickly deduces that the visitor is in fact Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein and the hereditary King of Bohemia. Realising Holmes has seen through his guise. The King admits this and tears off his mask.

    It transpires that the King is to get engaged to one Clotilde Lothman von Saxe-Meiningen, a young Scandinavian princess. However, five years before the current scenario, he had enjoyed a liaison with a “well-known adventuress,” an American opera singer Irene Adler, whilst, she was prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw. She had since retired, and now lived in London. Fearful … that should the strictly principled family of his fiancée learn of this impropriety, the marriage would be called off. So, he had sought to regain the letters and the photograph of Adler and himself together. Which, he had sent to her during their relationship as a token. The King’s agents had tried to recover the photograph through, forceful means, burglary, stealing her luggage, and even waylaying her. Also, an offer was made to pay her for the photograph and the letters. But she had refused. With Adler threatening to send them to his future in-laws, which the King presumed is intended to prevent him from marrying any other woman. So, he made the incognito visit to Holmes to request for his help in locating and obtaining the photograph.

    The photograph is described to Holmes as a cabinet (5½ by 4 inches) and therefore too bulky for a lady to carry upon her person. As regards expenses, the King said Holmes had a carte blanche and gave him £1,000 (£102,200 today), exclaiming. “I would give one of the provinces of my kingdom to have that photograph!” Holmes asks Dr. Watson to join him at 221B Baker Street at 3 o’clock the following afternoon.

    Next morning, Holmes goes to Adler’s house, disguised as a drunken out-of-work groom. He discovers from the local stable workers that Adler has a gentleman friend, the barrister Godfrey Norton of the Inner Temple, who calls on her at least once a day. On this particular day too, Norton comes to visit Adler, and soon afterwards, takes a cab to the Church of St. Monica in Edgware Road. Minutes later, the lady herself gets into her landau, bound for the same place. Holmes follows them in a cab and enters the church, where he is unexpectedly asked to be a witness to Norton and Adler’s wedding. Curiously, they go their separate ways after the ceremony.

    Meanwhile, Watson is waiting for Sherlock to arrive, and when Sherlock Holmes, finally does deliver himself back at Baker Street, he starts laughing. Watson is confused and asks what is so funny? Sherlock then recounts his tale and comments. He thought the situation and position he was in at the wedding was amusing. He also asks whether or not Watson is willing to participate in a scheme to figure out where the picture is hidden in Adler’s house. Watson agrees, and Holmes changes into another disguise as a clergyman. The duo, depart Baker Street for Adler’s house.

    When Holmes and Watson arrive, a group of jobless men meander throughout the street. When Adler’s coach pulls up, Sherlock Holmes enacts his plan. A fight breaks out between the men on the street over who gets to help Adler. Holmes rushes into the fight to protect Adler, and is seemingly struck and injured. Adler takes him into her sitting room, where Holmes motions for her to have the window opened. As Holmes lifts his hand, Watson recognizes a pre-arranged signal and tosses in a plumber’s smoke rocket. While smoke billows out of the building, Watson shouts “FIRE!” and the cry is echoed up and down the street.

    Holmes slips out of Adler’s house and tells Watson what he saw. As Holmes expected, Adler rushes to get her most precious possession at the cry of “fire”—the photograph of herself and the King. Holmes was able to see that the picture was kept in a recess behind a sliding panel just above the right bell pull. He was unable to steal it at that moment, however because the coachman was watching him. He explains all of this to Watson before being bid ‘good-night’ by a familiar-sounding youth. Who, promptly manages to get lost in the crowd.

    The following morning, Holmes, explains his findings to the King. When, Holmes, Watson, and the King arrive at Adler’s house at 8 am. When, her elderly maidservant sardonically informs them that she has left the country by the 5.15 train from Charing Cross railway station. Holmes quickly goes to the photograph’s hiding spot, finding a photo of Irene Adler in an evening dress and a letter dated midnight addressed to him. In the letter, Adler tells Holmes. He did very well in finding the photograph and taking her in with his disguises. She also reveals that she posed as the youth who bid Holmes ‘good-night.’ Adler has left England with Norton, “a better man” than the King, adding she will not compromise the King, despite being “cruelly wronged” by him. She had kept the photo only to protect herself from any further action he might take.

    The King exclaims how amazing Adler is (“Would she not have made an admirable queen? Is it not a pity she was not on my level?”) Holmes replies Miss Adler is indeed on a much different level from the King (by which he means higher – an implication lost on the King). Thanking Holmes effusively, the King offers a valuable emerald ring from his finger as further reward. Holmes says there is something he values even more highly – the photograph of Adler. Ignoring the handshake proffered by the King, Holmes leaves. He keeps the photograph as a reminder of her cleverness, and of being beaten by a woman’s wit.

    Watson has already called her “the late Irene Adler,” confirming her death sometime in the intervening three years (between the story’s setting and the publication of “A Scandal in Bohemia”). Watson also tells that, since their meeting, Holmes always refers to her by the honorable title of “the woman”.

    The story is high on humour and even wit, but low on plot intensity. So, before I close, let me take you through this interesting and humorous conversation that happens between Holmes and Dr Watson on page 9 and 10 of the story:  

    “Quite so,” he answered, lighting a cigarette, and throwing himself down into the armchair. “You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. For example, you have frequently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.” *(States Holmes)

    “Frequently” *(Replies Watson)

    “How often?” *(asks Holmes)

    “Well some hundreds of times.” *(Replies Watson)

    “Then how many are there?” *(Questions Holmes)

    “How many! I don’t know.” *(says Dr Watson)

    “Quite so! You have not observed. And yet you have seen. That is just my point. Now I know that there are seventeen steps, because I have both seen and observed …….” *(says Holmes)

    *Not part of the text in the book.

*****

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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BOOK QUOTES … INTERESTING LINES

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Name of book and author is not mentioned. Should you want to know please write to us.

ULYSSESHARRY PORTERBENHUR

  • For as his brain developed—you cannot stop your brain developing, and it is one of the tragedies of the half-educated that they develop late, when they are already committed to some wrong way of life.
  •   “It’s all very well,” grumbled Ellis, with his forearms on the table, fidgeting with his glass. The dispute with Mr. Macgregor had made him restless again. “It’s all very well, but I stick to what I said. No natives in this Club! It’s by constantly giving way over small things like that that we’ve ruined the Empire. This country’s only rotten with sedition because we’ve been too soft with them. The only possible policy is to treat ‘em like the dirt they are. This is a critical moment, and we want every bit of prestige we can get. We’ve got to hang together and say, ‘We are the masters, and you beggars—‘ “ Ellis pressed his small thumb down as though flattening a grub—“ ‘you beggars keep your place!’”
  • He followed her into the bedroom. In a week–it was only a week–her appearance had degenerated extraordinarily. Her hair looked greasy. All her lockets were gone, and she was wearing a Manchester longyi of flowered cotton, costing two rupees eight annas. She had coated her face so thick with powder that it was like a clown’s mask, and at the roots of her hair, where the powder ended, there was a ribbon of natural-coloured brown skin. She looked a drab. Flory would not face her, but stood looking sullenly through the open doorway to the veranda.
  • “Thank you, Monsieur.” She spoke in English but her voice was foreign, a rich low voice very seductive in quality. As she was about to pass on, she hesitated and murmured: “Pardon, Monsieur, but I think you were recently at Grasse?”
  • At the same time, the Emperor had a great desire that I should see the magnificence of his palace; but this I was not able to do till three days after, which I spent in cutting down, with my knife, some of the largest trees in the royal park, about a hundred yards distance from the city. Of these trees I made two stools, each about three feet high, and strong enough to bear my weight.
  • Alas,” said Candide, “my dear Pangloss often proved to me that the goods of this world are common to all men, that everyone has an equal right to them. Acting on that principle, the Franciscan should have left us enough to finish our journey. So you have nothing left, fair Cunegonde?”
  • P.V. Narasimha Rao came from humble home. His intellectual centre was India; his roots were deep in its spiritual and religious soil. His knowledge of Sanskrit profound. He was a man of learning, a scholar, a linguist and a thinker of the first order.
  • Gogol has never heard the term ABCD. He eventually gathers that it stands for “American-born confused deshi.” In other words him. he learns that C could also stand for “conflicted.”
  • The Don said meekly, “Wait, I’ll get you your money.” Then he went out into the garden and said to Sonny, “Listen, there’s some men working on the furnace, I don’t understand what they want. Go in and take care of the matter.”
  • “The rudeness spread to one of the assistant directors,” said Moriarty. “Instead of calling Marilyn for a scene, he would stand there and glare at her, tapping his foot for as long as he could. There would eventually be a big blow up, when all the man had to do was say, ‘Excuse me, Miss Monroe, we’re ready for you.’ She was denied all the prerogatives of a star.”
  • Taken aback by this passionate eloquence, Ruru lowered his staff. He feared that the snake might be a sage in disguise. Seeking to appease the great soul, Ruru said, “You do not seem like an ordinary snake. I believe you must be some other being only temporarily occupying this form. Tell me then, how did you come to be a snake?’
  • The sun was now setting. It was about three in the afternoon when Alisande had begun to tell me who the cow-boys were; so she had made pretty good progress with it- for her. She would arrive some time or other, no doubt, but she was not a person who could be hurried- Sandy’s Tale- Mark Twain page 107
  • I honour your circumspection. A fortnight’s acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her daughters must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself.
  • FAY. Your son is a thorn in my flesh. The contents of his dressing-table are in indictment of his way of life. Not only firearms, but family-planning equipment. A Papal dispensation is needed to dust his room.
  • In a country as diverse as ours, there will always be passionate arguments about how we draw the line when it comes to government action. That is how our democracy works. But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect; if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship.
  • The pigeon that stays at home is always in terror for the fate of the pigeon on the wing.
  • All this modern brag about women’s lib, male bashing appeared as poster signs for the erudite to read and jostle through this not-so-good world, as you still had the Ria’s of the world to be saved from the callous studs and the bitchy hens of the ‘scheming jungle’ called society.’
  • ‘Mar. Death is a penalty which a person can pay only once, and she has made that payment. What you wish to do has been done already for you. the last words she spoke were, “Anthony, most noble Anthony!” and in the midst of her speech, a rending groan came in the middle of “Anthony”; the word was split in two between, her heart and her lips. She gave up her life, and the half of your name was buried within her.’
  • “All is well so far. The lambardar reports regularly. No refugees have come through the village yet.I am sure no one in Mano Majra even knows that the British have left and the country is divided into Pakistan and Hindustan. Some of them know about Gandhi but I doubt if anyone has even heard about Jinnah.”
  • In the Mahabharata, Pandu has two wives but cannot have sex with them because of a curse. Pandu means pale and weak and could be related to the Sanskrit word panda meant for men unable to have sex with women for a variety of reasons.
  • ‘Mr Gilmer’s back stiffened a little, and I felt sorry for him. Perhaps I’d better explain something now. I’ve heard that lawyers’ children, on seeing their parents in court in the heat of argument, get the wrong idea: they think opposing counsel to be the personal enemies of their parents, they suffer agonies, and are surprised to see them often go out arm-in-arm with their tormentors during the first recess.’
  • ‘Well, there was once a tortoise, who was, of course, provided with a shell, and within this shell he used to hide for protection against the attacks of his enemies. One day, someone said to him, “You must find it very hot inside there in the summertime. Besides, when you are hidden, no one can admire your bodily perfections. Now, here is a serpent who will give you a million and a half for your shell.”’ ‘Good!’ said Monsieur Fouquet, laughing.       ‘So the tortoise sold his shell, and had to go about unprotected. He was discovered by a vulture, who, feeling hungry, broke his back with a blow of his beak, and had him for dinner.’
  • A little later, full into view swung a duplication of his dromedary, tall and white, and bearing a houdah, the travelling litter of Hindostan.’
  • Viswamitra, the greatest of the ascetic heroes of the Iliad of the East, had in him a perfect representative. He might have been called a Life drenched with the wisdom of Brahma- Devotion Incarnate.’
  • ‘He spoke bluffly, and only somebody like Sherlock Holmes or Monsieur Poirot could have divined that at the sound of her voice his soul had turned a double somersault, leaving him quivering with an almost Bill Rowcester-like intensity.’
  • Initially the losses ran to crores of rupees, Sir, but since we stopped production it has proved very economical !