THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE
BY ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
Watson visited Sherlock Holmes to wish him the compliments of the season. He was found lounging on a sofa. On a wooden chair were hard felt hat, a lens and a forceps. He was examining the hat. He welcomed Watson for discussion. The matter was trivial but interesting. Watson that he supposed the hat to be linked to a dead story. Holmes answered that no crime was associated with it. It was a very common incident. Watson remarked that of the six cases that he had last handled, three had been entirely free of any legal crime.
Holmes said that the matter he was handling was not a legal crime. The hat belonged to Peterson, the doorkeeper in uniform. The hat posed an intellectual problem. It came along with a good fat goose on Christmas morning. Peterson was returning form some merry affair homeward. At Tottenham Court road, he saw a tallish man walking unsteadily with a white goose flung on his shoulder. At the corner of Goodge street, there was a row between the man and a small crowd of roughs. His hat felt and the man raised his stick swung it on his head.
The shop window behind him was smashed. Peterson rushed to help the man. But the man was shocked at breaking of the window and finding a man in uniform before him fled leaving his goose and the battered hat. Peterson took them and brought them to Holmes because it was not possible for him to find out the owner though a small card with the his lens.
words “for Mrs. Henry Baker” was tied to the bird’s leg. Goose was carried off by Peterson for eating and the hat was retained by him. He was trying to deduce the identity of the man by examining the hat with
Watson took the battered hat and found it to be a very ordinary black hat of the usual round shape. The initials H. B. were written on it. It was cracked, dusty and spotted in several places. He could see nothing. But Holmes could read much in the hat. He said that the man was intellectual, well-to-do but he had fallen on evil days. He had foresight and moral decline. His wife had ceased to love him. Holmes further said about the man. He lived a sedentary life (WG161 162 20 ocal), middle-aged, white hair which he had cut within the last few days. It was improbable that he had gas laid on in his house.
Explaining how he could draw these inferences, Holmes put the hat upon his head and it come right over the forehead. The man had a large brain which must have something. Secondly, the hat was of the best quality. He had bought it three years ago and he had no hat since. He had the battered hat. So his fortunes had declined. Pointing out the little disc and loop of the hat-securer, Holmes said that the man ordered this one to protect the hat from wind.
It was a sign of foresight. He had broken the elastic and had not cared to replace it. So he had less foresight now than formerely. He had tried to conceal the stains on the hat by smearing with ink. This showed that he had some self-respect. Morever, the lens discovered a large number of hair-ends cut recently. There was smell of lime-cream. The hat was not brushed for many days. Thus his wife did not look after it and so her love had diminished.
He could not be a bachelor because he was bringing home the goose as a Christmas present to his wife—the card upon the bird’s leg proved it. There were five tallow stains on the hat. It proved that the man was brought into frequent contact with burning tallow. Probably he walked upstairs at night with his hat in one hand and burning candle in the other.
Peterson rushed into the room and informed Holmes tht his wife had found a brilliantly blue stone in the gullet of the goose. He showed it to Holmes. It was found to be the blue carbuncle (lagay ) of the Countess of Morcar. The loss of it was advertised and the reward for its recovery was £ 1,000. The diamond was lost at the Hotel Cosmopolitan of the Countess for soldering the second bar of the grate was accused of on 22, December just five days ago.
John Horner who entered the room the robbery. James Ryder, upper-attendant of the hotel was with him during his work for sometime. When he came back he noticed the bureau forced open and the small morocco casket was lying empty. Horner was arrested, but the stone could not be found. Catherine Cusack, maid to the Countess deposed to the Inspector Bradstreet that she heard Ryder’s cry. The magistrate referred the matter to the Assizes. Horner declared his innocence and fainted at the court.
Holmes said that he would have to trace the sequence of events. The stone came from the goose and the goose came from Mr Henry Baker, the gentleman with the bad hat. So the gentleman had to be found out. So he would advertise in all the evening papers the finding of the hat and the goose at the corner of Goodge Street in order to draw the attention of Mr Henry Baker.(THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
Holmes was sure that Henry Baker regretted the loss of the bird and must be interested in it which was meant for his wife. Holmes observed the stone. It was a beautiful stone glinting and sparkling. It was the blue carbuncle found in the banks of the Amoy river in Southern China. There were two murders, and other crimes for it. The little stone sent many to the gallows and prison. Henry Baker had nothing to do with the solid gold. Holmes would make a simple test to determine who was guilty. Watson left the house of Holmes with the words that he would come back in the evening for dinner with Holmes.
When he returned, he found a tall man waiting outside. They two were shown up to Holmes’s room. Holmes showed Mr Baker the hat. Mr Baker’s features were those as was told by Holmes. He said in the affirmative. Holmes said that he expected an advertisement from Mr Baker’s end and so he kept these things with him. Mr Baker replied that he could not spend shilligs for advertisement because he believed that the roughs who attacked him took away the hat and the goose.
Holmes told the visitor that the goose was eaten by them but a similar goose had been kept for him. Mr Baker was satisfied with the goose. Holmes then asked Baker where he bought the goose which was a better-grown one. Baker said in reply that the goose was given to him by the goose-club at Christmas of the Alpha Inn of which he was a member. (THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
Mr Holmes suggested that they should start the investigation right at that time. In a quarter of an hour, they arrived on foot at the Alpha Inn which was a small public house. Holmes ordered two glasses of beer and commented that his beer would be as good as your geese. He said that he was speaking to Mr Henry Baker, the member of the goose club. The landlord said the goose was really bought from Bręckinridge, a saleman in Covent Garden.
Holmes went to find out Breckinridge. He told Watson that they might find out the culprit. Chance had placed to him a line of investigation missed by the police. They should follow it to the bitter end. They came to the Covent Garden Market and met the salesman Breckinridge. He told Holmes that he had no geese at the moment. He could get geese on another stall. Holmes insisted that he was recommended by the landlord of the Alpha Inn to buy geese from him. He asked him where he got the birds. The salesman was angry with the question.(THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
He explained that he was being pestered by the question about the geese for which he paid good money. Holmes understood that there were other men who were investigating the matter. He told the salesman that the goose he ate was good, and it was certainly country-bred. The salesman replied that it was town-bred. When Holmes argued on a bet, the books and the bill were brought. The salesman showed him that the fowls were bought from Mrs. Oakshott of Brixton Road and sold to Mr Windigate of the Alpha at 12s. Holmes paid his bet money, looked disgusted and went away. Holmes said to Watson that the man told him everything because he was doing on a wager .
Now when he was thinking whether he would go to Mrs. Oakshott that night and next morning, they heard a noise from the stall. They saw Breckinridge shaking his fists at a little rat-faced fellow standing in the centre of the circle of yellow light. Breckinridge was shouting that he would no longer be pestered with the silly talk about the geese. The little man said that one of the geese belonged to him. The salesman told him to ask Mrs. Oakshott for it. The man fled from the place.
Holmes followed the man and overtook him. The man was a little nervous. Holmes told the man that he had heard the questions put to the salesman. He could be of help to him. He then told him that he was tracing the geese sold by Mrs. Oakshott to Breckinridge and by him to Mr Windigate of the Alpha and by him to the club of which Mr Henry Baker was a member. The man told Holmes that he was interested in the matter. The man gave his name as John Robinson. Holmes insisted on knowing his real name. He then declared his real name as James Ryder, head assistant at the Hotel Cosmopolitan.(THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
Holmes asked him to step into the cab and in half an hour they came to the sitting room of Holmes He told Ryder that he was interested in the white goose with a black bar across the tail. He told him that the bird laid a little blue egg and he had it in his museum. Holmes opened his strong room and held up the carbuncle. Holmes quickly said that his game was up. The man was about to fall, but a little brandy braced him up. Holmes threatened him that he had proofs about his guilt. Still he wanted more details to make the case complete.
Ryder told Holmes that Catherine Cusack told him about the blue stone of the Countess of Morcar. Holmes charged him with villainy. Ryder had committed the crime and so managed the affairs that the guilt of robbery would fall on the innocent Horner. When Horner left the room, Ryder took the jewel and raised the alarm.
Ryder fell down at the feet of Holmes and asked him to pity him in consideration of his father and mother. Holmes then asked how the stone got into the goose and how the goose came into the open market.(THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
Ryder then narated the story. When Horner was arrested, Ryder wanted to get away with the stone. He started for his sister’s house. His sister was the wife of Oakshott who lived in Brixton Road. He was nervous and sweated. Then, He went into the backyard of the house and smoked. He was thinking of going to his friend Maudsley and taking him into confidence. He was afraid of going to him because he might be searched at any moment. The blue stone was in his pocket. Suddenly he saw the geese and an idea came to his head.
His sister had told him that he might pickout a goose for Christmas present. He planned to take his goose and in it to carry the stone to his friend to Kilburn. Then, He choose a big bird and thrust the stone down its throat. He thought that the stone passed into the crop. The bird was flapping and struggling, and at this time his sister came. The bird flew off among the others. Ryder explained to his sister that he was choosing his bird. He wanted to have the bird that he was handling. His sister wished to give the one which she had fattened specifically for him.
he took the white bird with the barred tail. He carried the bird all the way to Kilburn. In his friend’s house he killed the bird and opened the goose, but no stone was found. He went back to his sister’s house but came to know from his sister that all the geese were sold to the dealer, Breckinridge. His sister let him know that there were two birds with barred tails. He went fast to Breckinridge but he had sold the lot. Breckinridge always answered to him in the way he did today. He was almost mad. He would be branded as a thief without touching the wealth for which he committed the theft. Then, He burst into sobbing. (THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE )
Holmes rose and asked Ryder to get out of his house. The man rushed out to the street. Holmes said to Watson that he had no obligation to help the police. Ryder would not appear against Horner and so the case would collapse. He might commute a wicked action but he was saving a soul. Ryder would never commit any wrong again. If he was sent to jail, he would be a jail-bird. They had solved the problem which chance has produced before them and they had solved the problem and that is their reward.
THE ADVENTURE OF BLUE CARBUNCLE