Holmes invited Dr Watson to accompany him to Ross-on Wye to solve a murder case. Charles McCarthy was the victim; his son, James was the main suspect. The McCarthys lived on John Turner's estate. Patience Moran was the witness.
Moran & a policeman found Charles McCarthy dead and James' gun at the scene, Boscombe Pool. James was arrested. Alice Turner was sure he was innocent, So, she invited Holmes to solve the mystery. James admitted he went to B.P to shoot rabbits. He met his father and had an argument. After that he left his father and heard a cry. He ran back and found his father dead.
Alice T. explained that Charles McCarthy wanted James to marry her. John Turner became ill after the murder. Holmes had some idea and discussed it with Dr Watson. They went with Inspector Lestrade at B.P. They found footprints and stones which was suspected as the murder weapon. Holmes described the murdered a tall mam, left-handed and walked with a limp. He wore heavy boots and grey coat, and smoked Indian cigars.
Holmes explained to Watson about the clue. Charles knew the murderer. The last word said by him was " R-A-A-T " which refer to Ballarat in Australia. The footsteps indicated the person's height, the fact that he hit the victim showed that he's a left-handed, and the ash was from an expensive cigar.
Mr Turner came to Holmes's house by invitation. He said that he was the murderer. He wrote a confession letter to use after Turner's death and should James be found guilty. Holmes could destroy the letter if he was found guilty. Mr Turner explained how he met Charles in Australia. They were enemies. John was known as Black Jack of Ballarat. He robbed a gold convoy in B. near Melbourne. Charles was the stagecoach driver and witnessed the robbery. Turner became rich and a respectable landowner in England. In 1880's, Charles ran into him and blackmailed him to provide farm on his estate. When he heard Charles ordering his son, James to marry Alice, he had no choice but to kill him. His secret was safe with Holmes and Watson. John died. James and Alice were married. Holmes destroyed the confession letter.
Seeking the Truth
Being an investigator, Sherlock Holmes must take into account all the evidence put forward and analyse them to prove whether James McCarthy is innocent or not. If he had only relied on what the papers and rumours said about James, he would not be able to solve the case successfully. Weighing the facts, evidence, the accuser’s statement and the physical evidence at the crime scene, Sherlock Holmes proves that a thorough investigation to seek the truth will be worthwhile.
Keeping a secret
There are two instances where this is shown. The first instance is when Sherlock Holmes writes a letter inviting John Turner to his house wanting to see him to avoid scandal. It was at that moment; John Turner breaks down and confesses to the killing of Charles McCarthy. Sherlock Holmes later asks John Turner to write a confession letter and promises to use it only if James is found guilty. Towards the end of the story, John Turner dies; James gets out of prison and marries Alice. Sherlock Holmes keeps his promise and destroys the letter. Next instance is when Charles McCarthy promises to keep the old secret between him and John Turner about their past. He breaks his promises and uses it to blackmail John Turner, who has turned a new leaf and lives a well and respected life. Here , we can see how a secret can bring more harm than good.
Being knowledgeable really helps in solving the case. Sherlock Holmes, using his knowledge and experiences, cleverly solves the mystery. Knowing the word ‘cooee’ is an Australian word and associating ‘Raat’ with Ballarat really helps to narrow down the suspect. Next, when Sherlock Holmes is at the crime scene, he examines the footprints. He also takes into account the unusual mark on Charles’s head and where he was hit. He also deduce...
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