Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
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+ By Peter Kung
"The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge"
AuthorArthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels.
SeriesHis Last Bow
Client(s)Mr. John Scott Eccles
Set in1894, by William S. Baring-Gould (1892 in the story)
The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles
Eccles, Holmes and Inspector Baynes.
Holmes is visited by a perturbed proper English gentleman, John Scott Eccles, who wishes to discuss something “grotesque”. No sooner has he arrived at 221B Baker Street than Inspector Gregson also shows up, along with Inspector Baynes of the Surrey Constabulary. They wish a statement from Eccles about the murder near Esher last night. A note in the dead man’s pocket indicates that Eccles said that he would be at the victim’s house that night.
Eccles is shocked to hear of Aloysius Garcia’s beating death. Yes, he spent the night at Wisteria Lodge, Garcia’s rented house, but when he woke up in the morning, he found that Garcia and his servants had all disappeared. He was alone in an empty house. He last remembers seeing Garcia at about one o’clock in the morning when he came to Eccles’s room to ask if he had rung.
The Tiger of San Pedro
Murillo confining Miss Burnet.
Holmes and Dr. Watson go to Esher to see Wisteria Lodge with Inspector Baynes. The constable guarding the house reports a hair-raising experience. A brutish-looking man — the devil himself, thought the constable — looked in the window. The constable gave chase, but the intruder got away. Holmes establishes by the footmarks that the constable did not imagine this.
Inside the house, a number of odd items are to be seen. Something resembling a mummified baby, a bird torn to pieces, a pail of blood, and a platter full of charred bones. Holmes later links these to voodoo, providing an important clue.
Suddenly, however, five days after the murder, Holmes is astonished to read in the newspaper that Baynes has arrested someone, Garcia’s cook, the brutish fellow who had given the constable such a start. He provides little information, though — only grunts. Holmes is sure that the cook is not the murderer, and warns Baynes. Baynes, however, declines Holmes's assistance and advice.
Holmes spends the next while reconnoitering the local country houses, and finds one of interest, the Henderson household, whose master has obviously spent time in the tropics, and whose servant is a dark-skinned foreigner. Henderson’s two girls have an English governess named Burnet. Holmes also learns from a sacked gardener that Henderson is rich, and scared of something, although no-one can say what. Nor can anyone say where he came from. Henderson is also violent.