Sherlock Holmes: The Three Students
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When Soames had called Bannister upon the discovery of the moved papers, Bannister had collapsed into the chair to hide an object that would have revealed who had been present. Bannister continues to deny everything, and so Gilchrist is summoned from his rooms, and Holmes accuses Gilchrist of being the guilty party. Gilchrist thinks that Bannister has abandoned him, and again a denial emits from Bannisters lips, but Holmes calls upon Gilchrist to make a full confession.
Instead, with Gilchrist overcome with emotion, Holmes recounts his findings. The accidental leaving of the key in the lock allowed for the temptation to become actuality. Gilchrist was the tallest of them, and when it became known that he was a long jumper, then additional evidence also pointed to Gilchrist; for the lumps of clay came from a long jump pit, and the scratch in the table came from shoe spike.
The unexpected return of Soames had seen Gilchrist rush into the bedroom, indicated by the depth and direction of the scratch, but in his haste, Gilchrist had left gloves on the chair, which Bannister had recognised. Gilchrist acknowledges all that Holmes has said to be correct, but Gilchrist has some news of his own, for in his possession is a letter to Soames, telling him that he is not going to take the exam. Gilchrist has already decided not to prosper from his lapse in judgement, and has instead decided to leave the university and become a commissioned officer in the Rhodesian Police.
Gilchrist then tells of how Bannister had given him guidance as to what the right thing to do was. It is now revealed, that before coming to the university, Bannister had worked for Sir Jabez Gilchrist, who had not been an unkind employer, and so Bannister had looked after his son when Gilchrist had come up to University.
So ends the case of the Three Students, and wishing Gilchrist all the best in the future, Holmes and Watson depart for their breakfast. To comment on this article, you must sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.
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- Plot Summary of the Adventure of the Three Students by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. Some articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. You left him in a chair, you say; which chair? Near this little table. You can come in now. I have finished with the carpet. Let us take the little table first. Of course, what has happened is very clear. The man entered and took the papers, sheet by sheet, from the central table. He carried them over to the window table, because from there he could see if you came across the courtyard, and so could effect an escape.
Well, anyhow, that was in his mind. Let me see the three strips. Well, he carried over this one first and he copied it. How long would it take him to do that, using every possible contraction? A quarter of an hour, not less. Then he tossed it down and seized the next. He was in the midst of that when your return caused him to make a very hurried retreat—VERY hurried, since he had not time to replace the papers which would tell you that he had been there. You were not aware of any hurrying feet on the stair as you entered the outer door?
This is of interest, Watson. The pencil was not an ordinary one. Look for such a pencil, Mr. Soames, and you have got your man. When I add that he possesses a large and very blunt knife, you have an additional aid. Soames was somewhat overwhelmed by this flood of information. What could this NN be? It is at the end of a word.
Adaptations of the Adventure of the Three Students
Is it not clear that there is just as much of the pencil left as usually follows the Johann? No, I see nothing. Now for the central table. This small pellet is, I presume, the black, doughy mass you spoke of. Roughly pyramidal in shape and hollowed out, I perceive. As you say, there appear to be grains of sawdust in it. Dear me, this is very interesting. And the cut—a positive tear, I see.
It began with a thin scratch and ended in a jagged hole. I am much indebted to you for directing my attention to this case, Mr. Where does that door lead to?
What a charming, old-fashioned room! Perhaps you will kindly wait a minute until I have examined the floor. What about this curtain? You hang your clothes behind it. If anyone were forced to conceal himself in this room he must do it there, since the bed is too low and the wardrobe too shallow. No one there, I suppose? As Holmes drew the curtain I was aware, from some little rigidity and alertness of his attitude, that he was prepared for an emergency.
As a matter of fact the drawn curtain disclosed nothing but three or four suits of clothes hanging from a line of pegs. Holmes turned away and stooped suddenly to the floor. It was a small pyramid of black, putty-like stuff, exactly like the one upon the table of the study. Holmes held it out on his open palm in the glare of the electric light. You came back by an unexpected way, and so he had no warning until you were at the very door. What could he do? He caught up everything which would betray him and he rushed into your bedroom to conceal himself.
Holmes, do you mean to tell me that all the time I was talking to Bannister in this room we had the man prisoner if we had only known it? And it looks out on an angle of the courtyard so as to be partly invisible. The man might have effected his entrance there, left traces as he passed through the bedroom, and, finally, finding the door open have escaped that way. The lower of the three is Gilchrist, a fine scholar and athlete; plays in the Rugby team and the cricket team for the college, and got his Blue for the hurdles and the long jump.
He is a fine, manly fellow. His father was the notorious Sir Jabez Gilchrist, who ruined himself on the turf. My scholar has been left very poor, but he is hard-working and industrious. He will do well. He is a quiet, inscrutable fellow, as most of those Indians are. He is well up in his work, though his Greek is his weak subject. He is steady and methodical. He is a brilliant fellow when he chooses to work—one of the brightest intellects of the University, but he is wayward, dissipated, and unprincipled.
He was nearly expelled over a card scandal in his first year. He has been idling all this term, and he must look forward with dread to the examination. He was a little, white-faced, clean-shaven, grizzly-haired fellow of fifty. He was still suffering from this sudden disturbance of the quiet routine of his life.
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His plump face was twitching with his nervousness, and his fingers could not keep still. But I have occasionally done the same thing at other times. I thought I would come back for the key. Such a thing has never happened during the many years that I have been here. I nearly fainted, sir. Why did you pass these other chairs? He was looking very bad—quite ghastly. You have not mentioned to any of the three gentlemen whom you attend that anything is amiss? Soames, we will take a walk in the quadrangle, if you please. One of them seems restless enough. It was the Indian, whose dark silhouette appeared suddenly upon his blind.
He was pacing swiftly up and down his room. Come along, and I will personally conduct you. A tall, flaxen-haired, slim young fellow opened it, and made us welcome when he understood our errand. There were some really curious pieces of mediaeval domestic architecture within.
Holmes was so charmed with one of them that he insisted on drawing it on his note-book, broke his pencil, had to borrow one from our host, and finally borrowed a knife to sharpen his own. I could not see that in either case Holmes had come upon the clue for which he was searching. Only at the third did our visit prove abortive. The outer door would not open to our knock, and nothing more substantial than a torrent of bad language came from behind it.
You can go to blazes! Holmes, I cannot undertake to say. He is taller than the Indian, not so tall as Gilchrist. I suppose five foot six would be about it. Soames, I wish you good-night. Our guide cried aloud in his astonishment and dismay. Holmes, you are surely not going to leave me in this abrupt fashion! To-morrow is the examination. I must take some definite action to-night. I cannot allow the examination to be held if one of the papers has been tampered with. The situation must be faced. I shall drop round early to-morrow morning and chat the matter over.
The Adventure of the Three Students
It is possible that I may be in a position then to indicate some course of action. Meanwhile you change nothing—nothing at all. We shall certainly find some way out of your difficulties. I will take the black clay with me, also the pencil cuttings. When we were out in the darkness of the quadrangle we again looked up at the windows.
The Adventure of the Three Students
The Indian still paced his room. The others were invisible. There are your three men. It must be one of them. You take your choice. He is the one with the worst record. And yet that Indian was a sly fellow also. Why should he be pacing his room all the time? Many men do it when they are trying to learn anything by heart. No, I see nothing in that. Pencils, too, and knives —all was satisfactory. But that fellow DOES puzzle me.
We shall begin our researches here. There were only four stationers of any consequence in the town, and at each Holmes produced his pencil chips and bid high for a duplicate. All were agreed that one could be ordered, but that it was not a usual size of pencil and that it was seldom kept in stock. My friend did not appear to be depressed by his failure, but shrugged his shoulders in half-humorous resignation. This, the best and only final clue, has run to nothing.
But, indeed, I have little doubt that we can build up a sufficient case without it. My dear fellow, it is nearly nine, and the landlady babbled of green peas at seven-thirty. What with your eternal tobacco, Watson, and your irregularity at meals, I expect that you will get notice to quit and that I shall share your downfall—not, however, before we have solved the problem of the nervous tutor, the careless servant, and the three enterprising students.
Holmes made no further allusion to the matter that day, though he sat lost in thought for a long time after our belated dinner. At eight in the morning he came into my room just as I finished my toilet. Can you do without breakfast? It is not for nothing that I have turned myself out of bed at the untimely hour of six. It is a fair argument that wherever No. Well, come along and put friend Soames out of his pain.
The unfortunate tutor was certainly in a state of pitiable agitation when we found him in his chambers. In a few hours the examination would commence, and he was still in the dilemma between making the facts public and allowing the culprit to compete for the valuable scholarship. He could hardly stand still, so great was his mental agitation, and he ran towards Holmes with two eager hands outstretched. I feared that you had given it up in despair. What am I to do? Shall the examination proceed?
The Adventure of the Three Students - Wikipedia
If this matter is not to become public we must give ourselves certain powers, and resolve ourselves into a small private court-martial. You there, if you please, Soames! I think that we are now sufficiently imposing to strike terror into a guilty breast. Kindly ring the bell! When you sat down on that chair yesterday, did you do so in order to conceal some object which would have shown who had been in the room?
But it seems probable enough, since the moment that Mr. Up to now you may have spoken the truth, but now I know that you have lied. Would you please remain in the room? Stand over there near the bedroom door. Now, Soames, I am going to ask you to have the great kindness to go up to the room of young Gilchrist, and to ask him to step down into yours. An instant later the tutor returned, bringing with him the student. He was a fine figure of a man, tall, lithe, and agile, with a springy step and a pleasant, open face. His troubled blue eyes glanced at each of us, and finally rested with an expression of blank dismay upon Bannister in the farther corner.
Gilchrist, we are all quite alone here, and no one need ever know one word of what passes between us. We can be perfectly frank with each other. We want to know, Mr.