To Sherlock Holmes, a young woman named Violet Hunter appeals for help. Left without work, she turned to an employment agency, where she was offered the place of a governess for a six-year-old boy in the estate “Copper beeches.” The owner of the estate, Mr. Rukasl, a fat, good-natured man, put forward very strange demands on behalf of his wife. The governess should wear a dress of a certain color, worn by the elder daughter of Mr. Rukasla, currently staying abroad.
In addition, the girl must shave her hair. Since there are no other offers, savings have run out, and salaries are offered very large, Violet agrees, but she is embarrassed by the conditions, and she wants to consult a great detective. Not having enough information, Holmes can not make any conclusions, but warns that this is not the place he would have wished his sister. She and Violet assume that Mrs. Roukasl is a bit out of sorts, and the landlord wants to keep it a secret.
After a while, Holmes
receives a telegram from Violet with a request to come to a hotel not far from the estate. The girl tells that the Rukasl family lives in a big house guarded by a huge evil dog. The house is divided into two parts, one of which is non-residential. The assumption that Mrs. Rukasl is crazy is wrong. She is a silent, pale woman, much younger than her husband. Internally, it is as colorless as it is outwardly. The eldest daughter from her first marriage was forced to leave because of her antipathy towards her stepmother. The child is a spoiled and spiteful creature, subject to seizures. His only entertainment is catching insects, mice and birds. Also in the house there are two servants, husband and wife Toller. Toller is a rough, uncouth man who constantly drinks alcohol, and his wife is a strong, tall, angry woman.
In the room prepared for Violet, lay a worn dress, which she had in time. And in one of the boxes she found the same braid as she had.
One evening, Mr. Rukasl asked me to put on my Violet dress and invited her to the living room. In the room that stretched along the entire facade of the house, there
were three huge windows. The girl was seated on a chair with her back to the windows, and Mr. Rukasl began to entertain her, telling funny stories. Violet laughed heartily, but an hour later she was told to return to her duties. In a few days it happened again. Noticing that she was specially seated with her back to the window, Violet hid a mirror in her handkerchief and saw a young man looking through the window near the house. Mrs. Rukasl solved the cunning of the girl and asked who this man was. Violet assured me that she had no idea who it was, but Rukasly insisted that she wave to him. More Violet was not invited to the drawing room and she was not forced to wear a dress.
The last days Toller drank more than usual, and forgot to lock the entrance to the uninhabited wing of the house. Taking advantage of the incident, Violet entered there. It was a dirty and neglected room with several doors. One of the doors was barricaded, and from under it penetrated the light. The frightened girl ran out and collided with Mr. Rukaslom, who warned that he would give the girl to the tattered dog if she again went there.
Hearing the story, the great detective comes to the conclusion that the girl is unusually similar to her master’s daughter, and was invited to play her role. Miss Rukasl, most likely, was imprisoned in the uninhabited part of the house. The man on the road, apparently her fiancé, and the dog is kept hungry on a leash to prevent them from seeing each other. Judging by the behavior of the child, the father is a very cruel person. As in the evening Rukasly go to visit, leaving his son in the care of Violet, Holmes, instead of with his friend Dr. Watson, will be able to enter the house.
Taking advantage of the fact that Toller is drunk, Violet closes his wife in the cellar and lets in the house of the great detective. Entering the mysterious room, Holmes and Watson see that it is empty, and the hatch in the attic is open. Appearing on the threshold, Mr. Rukasl appeared confident that they had helped his daughter escape. He wants to set the dog against uninvited guests, but a huge dog that has not eaten for several days attacks the master and thrusts his fangs into his throat.
Approaching Mrs. Toller says that the owner’s daughter was unhappy since her father married again. They did not consider it, they did not pay attention to it. When she met a man for whom she decided to get married, it became very bad. In the case of marriage, Mr. Rucale had to give her daughter her share of the inheritance. He began to demand that the girl give up her share. The daughter was blinded with an inflammation of the brain, her hair had to be shaved. Mr. Rukasl locked the girl in the house and invited the governess to play the part of her daughter. The young man did not feel embarrassed, he was still faithful to his lover. With the help of money, he lured Toller to his side, and they helped the captive escape.
Mr. Rukasl remained alive, but turned into a complete disabled, and now his devoted wife cares about him. Miss Ruskalem married and left with her husband from England. Miss Hunter very successfully works as a director of a private school. Unfortunately, Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes does not show interest in her.