Valley Of Fear
(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
VALLEY OF FEAR
It is not impossible to connect the death of a person in London suburbs to the criminal group in Virginia Valley, far end of US, in today?s circumstances with a flick of finger on computer. But it is not definitely so, in the days of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Use of telephone is not mentioned in any of Sherlock Holmes?s detective stories. He relies only on the fast service of telegrams.
Mr. Sherlock home receives a coded message. After cracking the code the message suggests danger to someone?s life which is confirmed by the arrival of the police inspector with confirmation of death and seeking his help. The murderer has left all the possible clues of his identity. The typical gun, the card which says V.V (it is not difficult for the police to trace it to Virginia valley), the missing wedding ring and the foot print in the window seal. Still what puzzles the local police is that there is no way the criminal could have escaped as the security is very tight..
The victim is of fifty year old, survived by a beautiful young wife of 30 years, with many servants and a strong Victorian house of 200 years old surrounded by a lake. Strangers can not enter the house if the bridge is lowered in the night. The victim is said to have possessed good wealth and always a little careful about protecting himself, though apparently a fearless man. The gun shot is heard by his friend who was staying in his house at that time. One servant heard the gun shot though she was not very sure of herself as she thought it was closing of the door. After half an hour the servants were summoned by the friend.
Mr. Sherlock Holmes is not troubled by the missing ring, but the missing of one dumble from the pair. His only conclusion is that it could have been used to drown some thing. On his investigation he finds a set of clothes including a yellow coat described as worn by the stranger in the town reported by the inn on the day of murder.
The police and Mr. Watson have perceived some flaw in the behaviour of wife of the victim and friend of the victim as she does not seem to be as sober as much as the occasion necessitated. But what Holmes could calculate from the enquiry of the servants in the household is that there is delay in the summoning of the servants using a bell after the gun shot is heard. His suspicion that there must be a trap door in the house as it was the custom in the olden days for the royal families to have one to escape from the enemies prove to be right. His conclusions were right that the lady is trying to protect her husband, who has killed the enemy while defending himself. Her husband comes out of the hiding and presents his story.
The story track leads to the valley of coal mines where one person from the police department could smash down the gang by infiltrating into their close ranks. But the story does not end there as he believed that the criminal gangs are linked to people in high positions in the hierarchy.
- The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes
- The Valley Of Fear
- The Complete Sherlock Holmes
- The Hound Of The Baskervilles
- The Hound Of The Baskervilles