Sherlock Holmes Memoirs
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Summary is based on Wikipedia content
Quote from Silver Blaze -
afraid, Watson, that I shall have to
go," said Holmes, as we sat down
together to our breakfast one morning.
"Go! Where to?"
"To Dartmoor; to King's Pyland."
I was not surprised. Indeed, my only
wonder was that he had not already been
mixed upon this extraordinary case,
which was the one topic of conversation
through the length and breadth of
England. For a whole day my companion
had rambled about the room with his chin
upon his chest and his brows knitted,
charging and recharging his pipe with
the strongest black tobacco, and
absolutely deaf to any of my questions
or remarks. Fresh editions of every
paper had been sent up by our news
agent, only to be glanced over and
tossed down into a corner. Yet, silent
as he was, I knew perfectly well what it
was over which he was brooding. There
was but one problem before the public
which could challenge his powers of
analysis, and that was the singular
disappearance of the favorite for the
Wessex Cup, and the tragic murder of its
trainer. When, therefore, he suddenly
announced his intention of setting out
for the scene of the drama it was only
what I had both expected and hoped for.
"I should be most happy to go down with
you if I should not be in the way," said
"My dear Watson, you would confer a
great favor upon me by coming. And I
think that your time will not be
misspent, for there are points about the
case which promise to make it an
absolutely unique one. We have, I think,
just time to catch our train at
Paddington, and I will go further into
the matter upon our journey. You would
oblige me by bringing with you your very
We have hundreds more books for your
enjoyment. Read them all!
And so it happened that an hour or so
later I found myself in the corner of a
first-class carriage flying along en
route for Exeter, while Sherlock Holmes,
with his sharp, eager face framed in his
ear-flapped traveling-cap, dipped
rapidly into the bundle of fresh papers
which he had procured at Paddington. We
had left Reading far behind us before he
thrust the last one of them under the
seat, and offered me his cigar-case.
are 12 stories included in the memoirs.
The Cardboard Box was revised prior to
being introduced in the United States
due to content related issues that may
have been unsuitable for this audience.
As a result, most American editions
include the Memoirs with His Last Bow,
while most British editions keep the
story in its original place in The
Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
The 12 stories in this collection
Silver Blaze -
Holmes is brought in when a famous horse
Silver Blaze, is missing and his trainer
is found dead on the moor on the
eve of an important race.
John Straker, the trainer appears to be
murdered with his skull smashed and a
knife clenched in his hand.
deduces it is the horse that kicked the
owner in the head which killed him.
Why? And, how? Additionally, where is
finds the horse and investigates what
learns happened almost immediately;
however, he keeps the horse hidden until
the time of the race.
a more sinister reason and circumstance
that looms in the intentions for the
murder and the missing horse.
Holmes solves the case and makes special
agreements to keep anyone who may have
assisted in the disappearance of the
horse from from legal prosecution.
Blaze is one of the most popular stories
in the memoirs.
Cardboard Box (The Last Bow) -
"The Adventure of the
Cardboard Box" " was not
published in the first
British edition of The
Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.
It was published in the
first American edition, but
An old spinster, Miss Susan Cushing,
receives a parcel containing two severed
human ears packed in coarse salt.
Holmes, upon examining the parcel is
convinced they are dealing with a very
serious crime. Inspector Lestrade of
Scotland Yard suspects former borders of
Miss Cushing are playing a prank whom
Miss Cushing was forced to evict.
After Holmes questions Miss Cushing,
makes a few observations, sends a cable
to Liverpool, and visits Miss Cushing's
sister (although she does not see him as
she has "brain fever") convinces
Sherlock of the facts.
Holmes gives the whole pleasure to
Lestrade without a mention of his
involvement as this investigation was
too elementary for his credit.
Adventure of the Yellow Face
Holmes embarks upon a shameful
secret to be kept closely hidden, and
whose revelation might entail very
Holmes and Watson listen to the
account of Munro's untruthfulness from
his wife. She had been previously
married in America; however, her husband
and child had died of yellow fever.
After her sorrow she returned to England
and met and married Munro.
Their marriage was harmonious until
she asked him for a hundred pounds and
refused to tell him why she needed the
money. Two months later, he finds his
wife, Effie Munro conducting secret
association with the occupants who just
moved in a cottage near the Munro house.
He explains to Holmes and Watson that
when he attempts to take an interest in
discovering who is lives in the cottage,
he finds it empty.
Holmes sends Munro back home with
instructions to wire for him if the
cottage is once again occupied.
Holmes comments to Watson that it is
his belief that Effie Munro's first
husband is alive and has come to England
to blackmail her.
The saga unfolds and to Holmes and
Watson's amazement, Sherlock is not
correct on his assessment.
When Holmes with almost no notice
asks Watson to join he and his friend on
a journey, heto quickly agrees; along
with Holmes' young client, Hall Pycroft,
a stockbroker's clerk, who tells a very
Pycroft recently found a new job.
However, that very same day a man named
Arthur Pinner offered him a better
position, paying £500 a year to start.
Pinner said his company was a chain
of hardware stores all over France and
one in Belgium and Italy.
Pinner explains Pycroft's
ignorance of hardware is not important
as the company wanted him for his
expertise with figures.
Pycroft decides to accept Pinner's
offer, without writing any resignation
to Mawson & Williams who also just hired
Pinner gives Pycroft an advance.
Additionally, he asks him to write out a
statement saying that he is willing to
act as business manager for the
Franco-Midland Hardware Company,
Pinner tells Pycroft to go to an
address in Birmingham, a considerable
distance from London, and see his
brother, Harry Pinner, for further
From here the criminal caper is
There are many twists and turns in
this one. Be sure not miss the
This jaunt is related by
Holmes more so than Watson.
It is the first case
where he applies his
supremacy of deduction.
Prior, he treated it as a
mere hobby until this time.
In his college days
his studies are interrupted when a
telegram arrives from a friend
Trevor who he visited prior. His
friend begs him to come back to
Holmes learns the elder Trevor has
been in a critical state after he
suffered a stroke when he opened a
letter he received.
The elder Trevor
dies during Holmes's return to
Holmes discovers a
dark secret upon the Gloria Scott
and blackmail scheme.
Holmes and young
Trevor find the elder's confession
in his Japanese Cabinet that sets
forth a possible scandal and ruin of
the Trevor history.
Musgrave Ritual -
The main narrator of
this story is Sherlock Holmes
himself and not Doctor Watson.
Watson provides the introduction for
the narrative thereby this being a
Holmes gives an
account to Watson of developing
events after a visit from his
university colleague, Reginald
Holmes and recounts the
disappearance of his two domestic
staff, Rachel Howells, a maid, and
Richard Brunton, a longtime butler.
They both vanished after he finds
Brunton reading the Musgrave Ritual,
a family document; and, he dismisses
and discovers the meaning of the
document and the events that led to
the Butler and the Maid's
disappearance. Musgrave is shocked
to learn the facts and the resolve.
Adventure of the Reigate Squire
Watson takes Holmes
to a friend's manor near Reigate in
Surrey to rest after a rather
strenuous case in France.
There has been a
burglary at the nearby Acton estate
in which the thieves stole a
contrasting assortment of
possessions, yet none are valuable
Then one morning,
there is news the coachman was
murdered at the nearby Cunningham's
and interviews the two Cunningham
men, Alec and his elderly father.
Holmes fakes his
illness to get further control and
access to the home and a note that
reveals the details that eventually
resolves the murder at the
Cunningham estate and the burglary
at the Acton estate.
Adventure of the Crooked Man -
Holmes calls on Watson
late one evening to tell
him about a case he is
investigating and to ask
him to be a witness in
the final stage of the
Barclay, of The Royal
Mallows is dead,
and his wife Nancy is
the prime suspect.
Two maids and the
coachman heard an argument between
the Colonel and his wife where she
was angry and mentioned the name
David. The staff listened as they
quarreled hearing her tell her
husband he was a coward.
All of a sudden, the
Colonel cried out, there was a
crashing sound, and Nancy screamed.
Holmes believes that
a third person came into the room at
the time of the Colonel’s death, and
ran off with the missing key.
Although the staff are positive they
only heard the Colonel’s and his
wife’s voices, Holmes is convinced
Resident Patient -
Dr. Trevelyan has a
business arrangement with a man
named Blessington, who he knows
little about; yet, as Blessington
has money to invest, he sets Dr.
Trevelyan up in an office in a
prestigious address and pays all
expenses for a sizable and
Daily events and
patients frequent Dr. Trevelyan and
Blessington receives his large
return on investment, until one day
an occurrence evolves.
A cataleptic man has
an attack in his office, but
disappears with his son before Dr.
Trevelyan can treat the him.
Blessington is angered and an
argument ensues because his room has
Due to the
excitement of Mr. Blessington;
Trevelyan, seeks the advice and
assistance of Sherlock Holmes.
"Sherlock Holmes had listened to
this long narrative with an
intentness which showed me that his
interest was keenly aroused. His
face was as impassive as ever, but
his lids had drooped more heavily
over his eyes, and his smoke had
curled up more thickly from his pipe
to emphasize each curious episode in
the doctor's tale. As our visitor
concluded, Holmes sprang up without
a word, handed me my hat, picked his
own from the table, and followed Dr.
Trevelyan to the door. Within a
quarter of an hour we had been
dripped at the door of the
physician's residence in Brook
Street, one of those somber,
flat-faced houses which one
associates with a West-End practice.
A small page admitted us, and we
began at once to ascend the broad,
From this point
Sherlock attempt to resolve the
case; however, Mr. Blessington is
unwilling to speak the truth and
"Might the whole story of the
cataleptic Russian and his son be a
concoction of Dr. Trevelyan's, who
has, for his own purposes, been in
Blessington is then
found hanging. Was it suicide or
recognizes the issues and details
that resolve any unanswered details.
Greek Interpreter -
Mr. Melas, a Greek
interpreter, tells a rather
unnerving experience to Mycroft
Holmes, Sherlock's brother.
On one evening Melas
was asked by Harold Latimer to go to
a house, in pretense to do some
The coach windows
were completely covered to prevent
anyone from seeing where they were
and where they were going.
protested, Latimer lay beside him a
club like weapon as an implied
threat. Latimer threatened him with
unspecified retribution should the
evening’s business ever be made
After riding for at
least two hours they arrived at
Melas was brought
into a room where a man almost
starved with tape over his mouth sat
tied into a chair.
Since Latimer and
the other kidnapper did not know one
word of Greek, within Melas'
translation demands that this man
sign papers, he added his own short
questions to the dialogue.
The victim not only
answered Latimer that he would never
sign these papers, but he also
answered Melas that his name was
Kratides, that he had been in London
for three weeks; yet, he had no idea
where he was.
Kratides wrote all
his answers, as he was unable to
speak through the cover on his
Quote from the Greek
would have extracted the whole story
from this stranger had the woman
herself not burst in unexpectedly,
but even that event furnished new
information. She recognized Kratides
as “Paul”, whereupon he managed to
get the plaster off his mouth and he
called her “Sophy”. They both
behaved as though neither had
expected to see the other."
ushered back into the coach for
another interminable ride and was
deposited far from his home on
Common. He made it to
just in time for the last train to
He has now presented his story at
the Diogenes Club to Mycroft, who
asks his brother Sherlock to look
Melas has betrayed the evil ones and
is kidnapped once again.
It is necessary to find him as soon
as possible for the outcome looks dim.
Sherlock sifts through the
information and details to discover the
whereabouts and to try and save their
Naval Treaty -
Dr. Watson receives a letter from an
old schoolmate, who now is an employee
at the Foreign Office; and, he has had
an important naval treaty stolen.
It disappeared while Mr. Percy Phelps
walked out of his office late one night.
His office has two entrances, a side
and a main access. The commissionaire
kept watch at the main entrance;
however, there was no-one watching the
Phelps asks Watson to bring Mr.
Holmes into the case for his opinion.
The authorities guaranteed him that
nothing more could be done; however it
was of grave importance to retrieve the
Naval Treaty documents.
Sherlock and Watson look into this
matter together. They begin be seeing
Forbes who can probably tell many more
The most difficult crime to track is
the one which is purposeless. Now this
is not purposeless. Who is it who
profits by it? There is the French
ambassador, there is the Russian, there
is who-ever might sell it to either of
these, and there is Lord Holdhurst.
Quote from the Naval Treaty:
my word, you may put it down to my weak
nerves or not, but I believe there is
some deep political intrigue going on
around me, and that for some reason that
passes my understanding my life is aimed
at by the conspirators. It sounds
high-flown and absurd, but consider the
fats! Why should a thief try to break in
at a bedroom window, where there could
be no hope of any plunder, and why
should he come with a long knife in his
Of course, Holmes has the answers and
sets the game afoot.
Final Problem -
This story, set in 1891, introduces
Holmes' greatest opponent, the criminal
mastermind Professor Moriarty.
Holmes has been tracking Moriarty and
his agents for months and is close to
capturing them all.
Moriarty is the central organizer of
a highly secretive criminal force.
Holmes will consider it a crowning
achievement when he can defeat Moriarty.
Moriarty intends to destroy Holmes
and any plans of attack and capture.
Holmes admits, that Moriarty is his very
close intellectual equal.
Holmes asks Watson to come to the
continent with him providing
instructions to meet him in a reserved
first class coach. However, Watson sees
only an elderly Italian priest. Holmes
soon makes it apparent that he is the
cleric in disguise.
Holmes spots Moriarty on the platform
trying to have someone stop the train.
Moriarty has obviously tracked Watson
despite extraordinary precautions.
Holmes and Watson change their route
plan and are forced to hide behind
luggage; as they see Moriarty pass on
another train that he hired to follow
them. Holmes suspected he would, and the
route change proves valuable, at least
for the moment.
Holmes and Watson journey to
Switzerland and stay at Meiringen. They
walk to Reichenbach Falls, a local
natural wonder. While on their walk, a
young boy delivers a note to Watson
saying an English doctor is required
back at the Hotel for a very sick old
English woman. Holmes realizes it is a
hoax, yet does not mention it to
Watson.Watson leaves Holmes alone to
attend the patient.
Watson rushes back to Reichenbach
Falls after realizing it was a hoax. At
the Falls he finds no one there.
Watson notices two sets of footprints
going onto the muddy dead end path with
none returning. He also finds a note
from Holmes, explaining that he knew the
note for Watson was a deception and that
he is about to fight Moriarty.
Watson observes at the end of the
path there are signs of a violent
struggle occurring. It is all too clear
Holmes and Moriarty have both died,
falling to their deaths down the gorge
whilst locked in mortal combat. Dr.
Watson returns to England with sorrow in
"The Final Problem" was intended to
stop writing about his famous detective.
Conan Doyle, having rid the world of
a criminal so powerful and dangerous as
Moriarty felt that any further cases
would be inconsequential in comparison.
Fans, however, did not think the
same; and, eventually they persuaded
Doyle to bring Holmes back.
Doyle was plausibly able to resurrect
Holmes. During Holmes' three year
supposedly death there were a few
surviving members of Moriarty's
Additionally, Holmes' brother Mycroft
appears in the return of Sherlock Holmes
knowing he is still alive.
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