فصل 03

مجموعه: شرلوک هولمز / کتاب: انجمن موسرخ ها / فصل 3

فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Mr Wilson’s shop

‘Well, Watson,’ said Holmes when our visitor left, ‘what do you think of this strange case?’

‘I don’t know, Holmes. It’s very mysterious and confusing.’

‘Yes, I agree,’ replied Holmes. ‘I must work hard on this case.’

‘What are you going to do?’

‘I’m going to smoke my pipe. Please don’t speak to me for fifty minutes.’ Holmes sat down in his chair, closed his eyes and started smoking his old black pipe.

‘Holmes is probably sleeping,’ I thought. But then he suddenly jumped up and put his pipe down on the table.

‘There is a concert of classical music at St James’s Hall this afternoon,’ Holmes said. ‘Let’s go and listen!’

‘Yes, I’m free today,’ I replied.

‘Good! Put on your hat and come. I want to have some lunch first.’

We went to see Saxe-Coburg Square - it was quite poor and ugly. There was some grass in the middle of the square and old houses around it. One of them had a shop window and shop door, as well as a house door. Outside the shop we saw a sign with the name JABEZ WILSON painted in big white letters. This was Mr Wilson’s shop.

Holmes stopped and looked at the shop for a moment. Then he stood in front of the shop, and hit the large stones of the street with his walking stick. Finally he knocked on the shop door.

A young man opened the door immediately.

‘Can you tell me the way to the Strand?’ asked Holmes.

‘Third right, fourth left,’ answered the assistant quickly.

‘A very clever man!’ said Holmes, as we walked away.

‘Do you know him?’ I asked.

‘No, but I looked at the knees of his trousers.’

‘And what did you see?’

‘What I expected to see.’

‘And why did you hit the stones of the street?’

‘My dear doctor, this is a time for looking, not for talking. Let’s go and look at the street behind the square.’

We left the square and we were soon in one of the noisiest streets in London. We saw a bakery, a newspaper shop, a restaurant and an office of the City and Suburban Bank.

‘We did our work well, Watson,’ said Holmes. ‘Now let’s have some lunch, and then go to the concert.’ Holmes was a very good musician and he loved concerts.

After the concert he said, ‘Do you want to go home now, Watson?’

‘Yes, I do, Holmes.’

‘I have many things to do,’ he said. ‘This case at Saxe-Coburg Square is serious. Someone is planning a serious crime, but I think we can stop it. Let’s meet tonight.’

‘At what time?’

‘At ten o’clock.’

‘I’ll be at Baker Street at ten.’

‘Good! There will possibly be danger tonight so bring your gun.’ He waved his hand and walked off.

I was quite confused about this case but Holmes, of course, was not. I saw and I heard exactly the same things as Holmes saw and heard, but he seemed to understand everything - and I understood nothing. I thought about it for a long time but everything was still a mystery to me.

When I arrived at ten o’clock, there were two carriages outside the door at Baker Street. Two visitors were there too: a policeman called Peter Jones, and a tall, thin man with a sad face and dark clothes.

‘Watson, I think you know Mr Jones? Let me introduce you to Mr Merryweather, the director of the City and Suburban Bank.

He is going to be part of our adventure tonight.’

‘I hope you’re right, Mr Holmes,’ said Mr Merryweather, ‘because I didn’t go to my usual card game with my friends this evening. And I have never missed my card game in thirty-seven years!

‘I think this will be an exciting night, Mr Merryweather,’ said Holmes. ‘You are going to save thirty thousand pounds. And you, Jones, are going to catch a terrible criminal.’

‘John Clay, the murderer and bank robber!’ exclaimed Jones. ‘He’s young but he’s the cleverest and most dangerous criminal in England. His grandfather was a king’s brother, and he is an Oxford University man.’

‘It’s time to go now,’ said Holmes looking at his watch. ‘Mr Merryweather, please go with Mr Jones in the first carriage, and Watson and I will follow you in the second one.’

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