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I find it rather interesting that the escape of Sherlock Holmes eventually might be just pure luck and that each of them independently decided by chance the bus stop they should get off assuming that their opponent will do the same. September 18, category: Uncategorized. In the story Holmes and Watson take a train to Dover where a ship to France would be leaving in 15 minutes after the trains arrival.

This detail changes the payoff table — if Moriarty gets off the train at Canterbury and Holmes gets off at Dover, then Holmes can safely aboard a ship to France and save his life at least for immediate future , thus the payoff is 1 for Holmes and -1 for Moriarty. However if Holmes gets off at Canterbury and Moriarty gets off at Dover, then Holmes does not loose his life, but he does not save it as of yet either, so the payoff in that case should be 0 for both players. Name required. Mail will not be published required. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. By analyzing the table, we can derive a few pieces of information: If Sherlock Holmes gets off at Canterbury, Moriarty should get off at Canterbury.

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A shower of rain fell while we were in the train, and the heat was far less oppressive in Croydon than in town. Holmes had sent on a wire, so that Lestrade, as wiry, as dapper, and as ferret-like as ever, was waiting for us at the station. A walk of five minutes took us to Cross Street, where Miss Cushing resided. It was a very long street of two-story brick houses, neat and prim, with whitened stone steps and little groups of aproned women gossiping at the doors. Halfway down, Lestrade stopped and tapped at a door, which was opened by a small servant girl.

Miss Cushing was sitting in the front room, into which we were ushered. She was a placid-faced woman, with large, gentle eyes, and grizzled hair curving down over her temples on each side. A worked antimacassar lay upon her lap and a basket of coloured silks stood upon a stool beside her.

When Photographs Turn the Real Into the Surreal

I only kept them here until my friend, Mr. Holmes, should have seen them in your presence. I am a quiet woman and live a retired life. It is something new for me to see my name in the papers and to find the police in my house. If you wish to see them you must go to the outhouse. It was a small shed in the narrow garden which ran behind the house.


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Lestrade went in and brought out a yellow cardboard box, with a piece of brown paper and some string. There was a bench at the end of the path, and we all sat down while Holmes examined, one by one, the articles which Lestrade had handed to him. It is a piece of tarred twine. You have also, no doubt, remarked that Miss Cushing has cut the cord with a scissors, as can be seen by the double fray on each side. This is of importance. Brown paper, with a distinct smell of coffee.

What, did you not observe it? I think there can be no doubt of it. Cushing, Cross Street, Croydon. So far, so good! The box is a yellow half-pound honeydew box, with nothing distinctive save two thumb marks at the left bottom corner. It is filled with rough salt of the quality used for preserving hides and other of the coarser commercial purposes. And embedded in it are these very singular enclosures.


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He took out the two ears as he spoke, and laying a board across his knee he examined them minutely, while Lestrade and I, bending forward on each side of him, glanced alternately at these dreadful relics and at the thoughtful, eager face of our companion. Finally he returned them to the box once more and sat for a while in deep meditation. But if this were the practical joke of some students from the dissecting-rooms, it would be as easy for them to send two odd ears as a pair. Bodies in the dissecting-rooms are injected with preservative fluid.

These ears bear no signs of this.

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They are fresh, too. They have been cut off with a blunt instrument, which would hardly happen if a student had done it. Again, carbolic or rectified spirits would be the preservatives which would suggest themselves to the medical mind, certainly not rough salt. I repeat that there is no practical joke here, but that we are investigating a serious crime.

This brutal preliminary seemed to shadow forth some strange and inexplicable horror in the background. Lestrade, however, shook his head like a man who is only half convinced. We know that this woman has led a most quiet and respectable life at Penge and here for the last twenty years. She has hardly been away from her home for a day during that time. Why on earth, then, should any criminal send her the proofs of his guilt, especially as, unless she is a most consummate actress, she understands quite as little of the matter as we do?

These two people are presumably dead, or we should have heard their story before now. To-day is Friday.

The packet was posted on Thursday morning. The tragedy, then, occurred on Wednesday or Tuesday or earlier. If the two people were murdered, who but their murderer would have sent this sign of his work to Miss Cushing? We may take it that the sender of the packet is the man whom we want. But he must have some strong reason for sending Miss Cushing this packet. What reason then? It must have been to tell her that the deed was done! But in that case she knows who it is. Does she know? I doubt it. If she knew, why should she call the police in?

She might have buried the ears, and no one would have been the wiser. That is what she would have done if she had wished to shield the criminal. But if she does not wish to shield him she would give his name.

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There is a tangle here which needs straightening out. I think that I have nothing further to learn from Miss Cushing.

Sherlock Holmes vs Professor Moriarty

You will find me at the police-station. A moment later he and I were back in the front room, where the impassive lady was still quietly working away at her antimacassar. She put it down on her lap as we entered and looked at us with her frank, searching blue eyes. I have said this several times to the gentleman from Scotland Yard, but he simply laughs at me. I have not an enemy in the world, as far as I know, so why should anyone play me such a trick?


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Surprise and satisfaction were both for an instant to be read upon his eager face, though when she glanced round to find out the cause of his silence he had become as demure as ever. I observe that she was unmarried at the time. But she was married to Mr. Browner a few days afterwards. Jim came down here to see me once.

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SHERLOCKIAN STORY SUMMARIES

That was before he broke the pledge; but afterwards he would always take drink when he was ashore, and a little drink would send him stark, staring mad. It was evident that Miss Cushing had come upon a subject on which she felt very deeply. Like most people who lead a lonely life, she was shy at first, but ended by becoming extremely communicative. She told us many details about her brother-in-law the steward, and then wandering off on the subject of her former lodgers, the medical students, she gave us a long account of their delinquencies, with their names and those of their hospitals.

The Final Problem

Holmes listened attentively to everything, throwing in a question from time to time. I tried it when I came to Croydon, and we kept on until about two months ago, when we had to part. Why, she went up there to live in order to be near them. And now she has no word hard enough for Jim Browner. The last six months that she was here she would speak of nothing but his drinking and his ways. He had caught her meddling, I suspect, and given her a bit of his mind, and that was the start of it. Good-bye, and I am very sorry that you should have been troubled over a case with which, as you say, you have nothing whatever to do.

Jump in, Watson.