In the small town of Oldershot, where the military unit is quartered, the murder of Colonel James Barclay, a valiant veteran, who began serving as an ordinary soldier and was promoted to officers for courage, was committed. In his youth, he married the daughter of a sergeant of his regiment, Nancy. After living for thirty years, the couple were considered an exemplary couple. Colonel madly loved his wife, she treated him more evenly, they had no children. Mrs. Barclay enjoyed the location of the regimental ladies, and her husband was a colleague.
In Aldershot, the Barclay family with several servants occupies a villa in which guests stop infrequently. A few days ago, Mrs. Barclay, in a good mood, went to the meeting of the charitable society, in which she was, with her friend Miss Morrison. Returning home in a bad mood, she locked herself up with her husband in the living room and the servants heard her screaming to him that he was a coward and had said the name “David”
several times. Suddenly, a terrible scream, a roar and a cry from the hostess was heard. Since the door was locked, the servants rushed to another door, glass, facing the garden, which was fortunately opened. In the room on the sofa, the landlady lay unconscious, her husband was dead, his head was broken by some blunt instrument. Nearby lay an unusual truncheon of solid wood, which did not belong to the colonel, and the police found that the murder was committed to her. Also the key to the door disappeared. The interrogation of Miss Morrison with whom Mrs. Barclay was all this time gave nothing, the girl said that she did not know what could cause a quarrel between the spouses.
Having studied all the details of the case, the police came to a dead end. Sherlock Holmes arrives at the crime scene. The case attracted the great detective. He draws attention to the fact that the deceased’s face distorted terrible fear. Since the key was not either the colonel or his wife, so there was someone in the room who took the key, and he could only penetrate the room through the glass door. On the lawn there were traces
of shoes, and on the portier prints the paws of a small animal that was with an unknown visitor. Having seen above a cage with a canary, the animal climbed up the curtain.
Having weighed the facts, Sherlock Holmes comes to the following conclusion. Standing on the road, a man sees a quarrel between the couple of Barclay in a lit room with raised curtains. Running across the lawn, a stranger, accompanied by a small beast, enters the room. Either he hit the colonel, or the colonel, frightened, falls striking his head on the fireplace. The stranger leaves, carrying with him the key.
Considering that Mrs. Barclay left the house in a good mood and returned upset, Sherlock Holmes suggests that Miss Morrison hides the truth. Frightened that Mrs. Barclay can be charged with murder, the girl says that on the way home, they met a wandering cripple hunchback who turned out to be Mrs. Barclay’s old acquaintance. The woman asked Miss Morrison to leave them alone. After catching up with her friend, Mrs. Barclay said that this man was very unlucky in life and asked no one to say anything.
Find in a small military town, where civilians are few, hunchback was not difficult. He was a wandering magician named Henry Wood, a hunched, twisted cripple. Once he served in India in the same regiment with James Barclay and was considered the first handsome regiment. Both were in love with Nancy, and she loved Henry. Young people wanted to get married, but then a riot began in the country and the regiment was siege. Henry volunteered to make his way to his and James Barclay, who knew the area well, advised him the best way. Making his way, Henry was ambushed. From the conversation of the rebels, he learned that he had been betrayed by Barclay. Retreating rebels took Henry with him, he was tortured, he became a cripple.
While traveling, he learned tricks and earned it for himself. In his old age, Henry was drawn to his homeland.
Encountering Nancy, who considered him dead, he followed her and from the street saw her quarrel with her husband, throwing him in the face of accusations of betrayal. Henry could not restrain himself and rushed into the house. Seeing him, Colonel Barclay fell and hit the fireplace during the fall, and Nancy fainted. Taking the key from her hands, Henry wanted to call for help, but then he realized that he could be accused of murder. He in a hurry put the key in his pocket and wanted to leave, but his mongoose, the animal with which he shows tricks, climbed up the curtain. Catching him, Henry forgot his stick.
The case was closed, as the medical examination admitted that death came from an apoplexy stroke, but Dr. Watson did not understand why Mrs. Barclay pronounced the name “David,” if the deceased was James, and the hunchback Henry. To which the great detective answered that if he were the ideal logic, as Watson describes it, he would have guessed at what the matter was: the name was cast into reproach, in analogy with the biblical king David.
Gisselle Adan recounted
The small town of Oldershot. It housed a military unit. The murder of Colonel James Barclay sparked the city. James was respected by his colleagues. He went from the rank-and-file soldier to the colonel. He was very brave. Thirty years ago he married Nancy, who was the daughter of a regimental sergeant. James loved his wife very much. God did not give them children, but they were a good couple. Regimental ladies were located to Mrs. Barclay.
The couple lived at the villa. The guests did not come here often. Mrs. Barclay was a charity. Once she returned from the meeting of the society in a bad mood. The servants heard her scolding her husband. She called him a coward and mentioned the name David several times. Then came the roar, the scream and the cries of the mistress. The door was locked, the servants entered through a door that faced the garden. In the room they saw the mistress, who lay unconscious and dead master. His head was broken with a blunt object.
The police found a club on the floor, which the colonel did not belong. The key to the door was missing. No one could explain the reason for the quarrel between the spouses. No clues. The police are at a loss.
The matter interested Sherlock Holmes. The famous detective identifies a terrible fear on the face of the murdered. The lack of a key indicates that someone else took it away. This version is confirmed by traces on the lawn. A small animal wanted to get to the cage with a canary and also left traces on the curtain. And this means that the secret guest was not alone.
Sherlock Homes concludes that the stranger through the window saw a quarrel between the spouses and ran into the house. Perhaps the stranger hit the colonel. He also has another assumption. The colonel could have been frightened and, falling to hit the fireplace. The stranger leaves, taking with him the key.
Further, Sherlock Homs believes that Miss Morrisson does not tell the truth, because she is afraid for Mrs. Barclay. After all, they can blame her for murder. Before leaving, Mrs. Barclay was in a good mood. On the way there was a meeting with a crippled hunchback. Mrs. Barclay stayed alone with him. And then she said that this person did not have a life, they asked not to tell anyone about their meeting.
They easily found a hunchback in town. A hunched, twisted cripple was a magician. In the past, Henry Wood was the first handsome man. He served with James Barclay in India. Both were in love with Nancy, but she preferred Henry. It was a wedding. The regiment fell into a siege during the riots. Henry had to go to his unit. James Barclay sent him on the wrong track. The guy ran into an ambush. After much torture, the young man remained a cripple. Henry learned about the betrayal of James Barclay. Now he earns only tricks.
Henry returned to his homeland. I met Nancy, who was sure that he was dead, the hunchback followed her. Seeing how the couple quarrel, Henry went into the house. The colonel, when he appears, falls on the fireplace. Nancy falls into a swoon. The hunchback wanted to call for help, but stopped, as he could be accused of murder. He leaves, leaves his cane in a hurry and carries away the key.
The case is closed, as the medical examination concluded that the death came from a blow in the fall. And the name David, it was said, as a reproach, similar to the biblical king.