Tag Archives: sir arthur conan doyle

BOOK REVIEW: THE VALLEY OF FEAR … Sherlock Holmes: 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 Valley of Fear is the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is loosely based on the Molly Maguires and Pinkerton agent James McParland. Molly Maguires were an Irish 19th-century secret society, active in Ireland, Liverpool and parts of the Eastern United States. Pinkerton, founded the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, a private security guard and detective agency, established in the United States by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton in 1850. The story was first published in the Strand Magazine between September 1914 and May 1915. The first book edition was copyrighted in 1914, and it was first published by George H. Doran Company in New York on 27 February 1915, and illustrated by Arthur I. Keller.

    The novel starts with Sherlock Holmes receiving a cipher message from one Fred Porlock, a pseudonymous agent of Professor Moriarty. After Porlock sends the message, he changes his mind, for the fear of Moriarty’s discovering that he is a traitor. He decides not to send the key to the cipher, instead he sends Holmes a note telling of this decision. From the cipher message and the note, Holmes is able to deduce that it is a cipher book, and that the book used for the encryption, is a common book, large with at least 534 pages, printed in two columns per page, and standardised. An almanac (annual calendar) fits these conditions exactly. Holmes tries the latest edition of Whitaker’s Almanac, which he had only received a few days earlier, but fails. He then tries the previous edition. And with this almanac, Holmes is able to decipher the message as a warning, that “some devilry is intended against one “Douglas”, a country gentleman residing at Birlstone House.

    Some minutes later, Inspector MacDonald arrives at Baker Street with news that one Mr. John Douglas of Birlstone Manor House, Birlstone, Sussex, has been murdered. Holmes, tells inspector MacDonald of Porlock’s warning, suggesting Professor Moriarty’s involvement. But inspector MacDonald doesn’t fully believe that the educated and well-respected Moriarty is a criminal. Holmes, Watson, and MacDonald travel to Birlstone House, an ancient moated manor house, to investigate the crime.

    Douglas had been murdered the evening before. Cecil Barker, a frequent guest at Birlstone House, had been in his room at half-past eleven when he heard the fire of a gun, according to his testimony. He had rushed down only to find Douglas lying in the centre of the room near the front door of the house, with a sawed-off shotgun lying across his chest. He had been shot at close range; receiving the full charge of the shotgun on the face, his head was blown ‘almost to smithereens’. Cecil Barker had rushed to the village police station to notify Sergeant Wilson, who was in charge of the station. Wilson followed Barker to the house after notifying the county authorities.

    Sergeant Wilson began investigating immediately. Barker drew his attention to the open window, and to a smudge of blood like the mark of a boot-sole upon the window sill. The drawbridge over the moat had been raised at 6:00 pm. Barker speculated that the murderer had entered by the drawbridge before that time, hid in the room, and left by the window directly after killing Douglas. The moat was only a few feet deep, and could be easily crossed.

    Sergeant Wilson found a card beside the corpse with the initials “V.V.” and the number 341 beneath them. Muddy boot-prints were found behind the curtains, bearing out Barker’s theory. On the murdered man’s forearm was a curious design, a triangle within a circle; it was not a tattoo, but a brand. The mark had been noticed many times before on John Douglas’s forearm. Douglas’ wedding ring appeared to have been taken out from his finger. The chief Sussex detective, White Mason too, had arrived at Birlstone House by 3:00 in the morning. By 5:45, he had sent for Scotland Yard. Inspector Alec MacDonald took the case, and notified Holmes because he thought Holmes would be interested. By noon, MacDonald, Holmes and Watson meet White Mason in Birlstone.

    Holmes, MacDonald, and White Mason go to the scene of the murder. They discuss the case, agreeing that suicide is out of the question, and that someone from outside the house committed the murder. Barker says that he believes a secret society of men pursued Douglas, and that Douglas retreated to rural England out of fear for his life. Mr. Douglas married after arriving in England five years earlier. His first wife had died of typhoid. Douglas met and worked with Cecil Barker in America, before departing for Europe. Some episode of Douglas’s life in America caused the fear for his life, and Mrs. Douglas said her husband mentioned something called “The Valley of Fear”.

    By studying Cecil Barker’s slippers, Sherlock Holmes, determines, that Barker’s shoe made the mark on the window, to give an appearance that someone exited that way. In their lodgings, Holmes tells Watson that Cecil Barker and Mrs. Douglas are certainly lying. The events as they tell them are impossible. Moreover, Holmes learns that the housekeeper heard a sound, as if of a door slamming, half an hour before the alarm. Holmes, believes, that this sound was the fatal shot. White Mason, the Sussex detective, and MacDonald track a bicycle found on the grounds of the house to an American staying at a guest house. The American appears to be the murderer, but there is no sign of the man.

    Holmes, asks MacDonald, to write to Cecil Barker, telling him that the police intend to search the moat the next day. That night Holmes, Watson, MacDonald and White Mason lie in wait outside Birlstone Manor and see Cecil Barker fish something out of the moat. The four men rush to Cecil and discover the bundle from the moat that contains the clothes of the missing American connected to the bicycle. Cecil Barker refuses to explain the situation. At that moment, Mr. Douglas appears, alive and well. He hands Watson a written account called “The Valley of Fear”, which explains why he feared for his life.

    Douglas explains that some days ago, he had spotted an enemy of his, Ted Baldwin, in the area and expected an attack. When Baldwin attempted to shoot Douglas in his study, Douglas grabbed the gun and, in the struggle, Baldwin was shot in the face. With Cecil’s help, Douglas dressed the man in his own clothes, except for Douglas’s wedding ring, to deceive the secret society which he and Baldwin had belonged to, since both arms bore the society’s mark. Cecil and Mrs. Douglas had covered for Douglas who had been hiding in a secret compartment in the room where the shooting occurred. In an interview with Watson,     Douglas explains that his real name was Birdy Edwards and he had been a Pinkerton detective in Chicago. Where, Edwards had infiltrated a murderous gang, known by locals as the Scowrers, in Vermissa Valley (a.k.a. the Valley of Fear) and brought them to justice. Afterwards, the criminals attempted to kill him, after they were released from jail.

    Hounded, Douglas had run away to England, where he met and married his second wife. Sherlock Holmes urges Douglas to leave England and warns that a new threat now hangs over him. Douglas takes this advice, but shortly after, Holmes, learns that Douglas was lost overboard on the vessel to Africa. Holmes, believes, Moriarty was responsible for ending Douglas’ life. Holmes wants to bring Moriarty down, but warns Watson and Barker that it will take some time to achieve.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

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 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; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 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)

*****

BOOK REVIEW: A CASE OF IDENTITY–Sherlock Holmes: 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 ‘Case of identity’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first appeared in the Strand Magazine in 1891. It is considered to be, despite its, evasive and dry title, a corner stone in the detective novel history. It is appreciated not only by the admirers of this unappreciated genre and Sherlock Holmes’ devotees, but also by the specialists of crime detection and forensic science. The latter pay tribute to the inductive way of thinking, and to the use of traces and imprints, left by a criminal action initiated in this story. One can find references of it in Criminology and Police Science papers even nowadays. The reader is amazed by the multiplicity of meaning and interpretations of ‘identities’ revealed (or concealed) in a masterly manner in this story.

    Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes appeared in fifty-six short stories and four full length novels. “A Case of Identity” is one of the lesser known stories in the series, possibly because the case does not focus on a major crime in the same way as the majority of the other tales do. “A Case of Identity” was first published in 1891 in Strand Magazine, a month after the publication of Conan Doyle’s better known story, “The Red Headed League”. The following year ‘A Case of Identity’ was included in the collection, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In ‘A Case of Identity,’ Holmes does not deal with a robbery or a murder, as in earlier cases, but with the disappearance of his client, Mary Sutherland’s fiancé. Holmes’ ever-present colleague, Dr. Watson, does not know what to make of the case, but Holmes on the other hand, doesn’t even need to leave the confines of his flat at 221B Baker Street to solve the case.

When Mary explains her situation to Holmes and Watson, they learn that she lives with her mother and her mother’s new husband, Windibank. Mary has an income of one hundred pound per year, as a result of an inheritance from her Uncle Ned. This money she gives to her mother and stepfather so as not to be a burden on them. In spite of having poor eyesight, Mary is able to do typing work to earn a bit of extra money. Mary is unhappy that her mother has remarried, a much younger Windibank. Windibank has amassed a considerable amount of money for Mary’s mother, by selling her late husband’s business for her. He doesn’t like to socialize and is upset when his wife goes to the gasfitters’ ball with Mary. At the time of the ball, Windibank goes on a business trip to France. At the ball, Mary one day meets one Mr. Hosmer Angel and within a short time they get engaged. Mary and her mother do not tell Mr. Windibank about the engagement.

When Windibank returns from France, Mary and Hosmer decide that they will communicate with each other via letter alone, rather than in person. While Hosmer, types his letters, he requests, that Mary make hers, more romantic, by writing them by hand. Mary knows little about Hosmer. She does not know where he works or lives. The letters she sends him are addressed to the Leadenball Street Post Office, where he picks them up. Being a shy man, Hosmer likes to walk with Mary only by night, rather than, by day. His voice is also weak as a result of some childhood illness. He wears tinted glasses because his eyes are sensitive to light. When Windibank returns to France on business, Hosmer convinces Mary to marry him before her stepfather returns. He makes her promise that she will always be true to him, regardless of anything that might happen. Mary’s mother makes Mary agree to this and accordingly makes a promise to Hosmer.

Mary does not believe she needs her stepfather’s permission to get married, yet she feels uncomfortable doing so without his knowledge. Hosmer, tells Mary and her mother not to worry about Windibank, but he does write to him. But the letter is returned by the post office. Mary sees this as an indication that Windibank must have left before the letter reached him, and so, he is on his way back to England. Meanwhile a small wedding is planned. Hosmer arrives in a Hansom cab to bring Mary and her mother to the church. Once again, he insists that Mary vow to remain true to him no matter what. Hosmer takes a separate cab to the church because there is not enough room in the Hansom cab. But later, when Hosmer’s cab, arrives at the church, it is found empty, and the driver can offer an explanation, though he had seen Hosmer get on board.

Mary defends Hosmer while talking to Holmes, even when, Holmes points out, how shabbily he has treated Mary. She fears that he has been in some sort of accident and is sure he will be in touch as soon as he is able to. She thinks he must have felt that something is to happen, which is why he made her promise to remain true to him. In response to Holmes’ questions about other people’s reactions to Hosmer’s disappearance, Mary says that her mother is too angry to discuss the situation, while her stepfather agrees that something unfortunate must have happened to Hosmer and that Mary will hear from him in time. Holmes, advices Mary that she should forget Hosmer, as she will never see him again. But when she presses him for more information, Holmes asks Mary for the typed letters, Hosmer had sent her and also for a description of him. He also takes note of Mary’s address, which is the same as Windibank’s, and the name of the company Windibank works for. As Mary takes her leave, Holmes reminds her once again to forget about Hosmer, but she continues to pledge her allegiance to him.

Holmes, writes a letter to Windibank and receives a response, typed on the same machine, as Hosmer’s letters. This confirms, what Holmes, already knows, that Windibank and Hosmer are the same person, and which also explains why they are never in the same room at the same time. At the end, it comes out that the missing fiancé is the ‘double’ of her stepfather, Mr. Windibank. Windibank, in disguise had been taking advantage of Mary’s poor eyesight. He pretended to be Hosmer, to engage Mary in a love affair which would have never fructified in marriage. All of this was designed to help Windibank and Mary’s mother retain the one hundred pounds per year they received from Mary’s inheritance. Holmes chooses not to tell Mary the outcome of the situation—that Windibank and Hosmer are the same person, believing Windibank someday will follow a path that will ultimately lead him to the gallows.

    After solving the mystery, Holmes chooses not to tell his client the solution. He feels, “If I tell her she will not believe me. Remember, the old Persian saying, ‘There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.’ There is as much sense in Hafiz as in Horace, and as much knowledge of the world.” Holmes had earlier advised his client to forget “Mr. Angel Hosmer,” but Miss Sutherland refused to take Holmes’ advice and vowed to remain faithful to “Angel” until he reappears, for at least ten years.

Holmes predicts Windibank will continue a career in crime and end up on the gallows.

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 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)

*****

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

*

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 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)

*****