Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Holiday read: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

The second story moves back to London to an area that although I know is unrecognisable with its trees and green spaces in this description. The story again has that brilliant sense of place with Holmes a restless man in search of a case strolling around his rooms in Baker Street.

Highlights from The Yellow Face

Holmes needs a case to give his brain something to engage with and a young man turns up who sipplies it nervously telling the story about his wife and a broken promise. he reveals that they have been married for several years and have no secrets between them until he comes across a yellow face peering out of a cottage that borders their garden.

He tells Holmes that his wife had a former husband in America who died of yellow fever along with her child and the detective immediately suspects the husband has returned. The relationship between the pai is strained after the husband finds his wife is visiting the cottage and breaks her promise to do so even after the husband confronts her about it.

Holmes asks him to cable him if the cottage is still inhabited and comes down when told and despite the wife's pleadings they storm the cottage and discover not the husband but a child wearing a yellow face mask. The child is black and that is why the wife is ashamed but the husband asks her to consider him a better man that she obviously thinks and they go off together. Holmes tells Watson that if he is ever too quick to jump to a conclusion of a case he should be gently reminded of this one.

More tomorrow...

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