Tuesday, July 3, 2007

the adventure of denied possession

On an evening in 1905,Arthur Conan Doyle had just finished writing the adventure of denied possession when strong Easterlie winds started.It so happened that the wind swept away his notes and those notes are what I have in my hands now.Little did I know that an idle walk at the Deauville beach at the west coast of France will bring me such fortune.Without further ado I present the contents of the note I stumbled upon which traveled from England to France in over a hundred years to be found by me:
The Adventure of Denied Possession:
It is hard to find a comparison for my friend Mr Sherlock Holmes.One can compare his distinct qualities to separate personalities of the field,but to compare him to just one soul who walked the earth is a tough job.For that matter,many of his virtues might still be unparallel.
I had become famous as his companion in my circles.And one fine day in a get together I was asked to describe him.A bunch of people asked me to find a similie for him.A few moments later I heard myself saying"He can only be compared to a duck,calm and composed on the outside,but paddling for his life inside the surface."
Much satisfied with my description I headed back to sit on a table as the meals were about to begin.I myself did not know many people in the plethora of known personalities and had requested Holmes to come along which he acquiesced.
The room was a richly furnished one, full of the neatest men in London.Just then there was a loud cry of fear from one corner.On paying attention I soon read the situation.An elegant lady had just received a message through a messenger that her dear one had met with an accident.She rushed out of the room with horror written all over her face.I looked at Holmes and we exchanged looks of feeling sorry for the lady.
By that time Holmes had become a public figure and attracted admirers where ever he went.He was surrounded by one such group when I took the liberty of sneaking out and take a breath of solitude and occupy a vacant seat on a table which was placed in a corner of the hall,separated from the others .I noticed I was in company of three other well groomed men.I introduced myself and they followed suit.
The man to my immediate right was a gentleman from India.His skin and accented indicated that he had shifted to England early on in his life and had left few marks of his place of origin on himself.He told me his name was Mr Ram Kumar Shah.He was a dealer of spices in London which he imported from Kerala in India.
The man to my left told me that he was Mr Romaine Palsey and was in the business of designing carriages for the rich and famous in England.He had started as a mere appointee at one of the small firms in London but rose in leaps and bounds to a great place of prominence in England.
The man to his left was next.He introduced himself as Mr Everton Gommez from Brazil.He told us he was in the tourism business and owned several ships which worked on weekly basis between several ports and that of England.
I was much impressed by the quality and diversity of men I was in company with.And the discussion soon shifted to the great cuisine we had had amongst us.
Just then,the monotonous sound of the rumbling crowd was broken by one of the groups of men that Holmes was a part of.A gentleman
called for every one's attention for a toast to the 'most celebrated detective on the planet :Mr.Sherlock Holmes'.
This triggered a frenzy of people approaching him and congratulating him on whatever work of his they had read about.This was not happening for the first time and was the exact reason why Holmes was hard man to get out of his home.I enjoyed watching him awkwardly acknowledging accolades from a corner.
Just when finally my attention shifted back to myself,I saw a fabulous diamond necklace kept on the very table I was sitting on. One after the other all three of the men seated on the same table noticed it.We all looked at it in sheer astonishment failing to read how it got there.The ring looked possibly the most expensive one in the hall and there it laid on our table with all four looking equally baffled.
It was evident nobody else could have done it.Had somebody from the gentlemen kept it on the table and now refusing to claim the ring?It was just then that the room was entered by the lady in an equal frenzy in which she had left on knowing that somebody from her family had met with an accident.She murmured in tears that she had lost her expensive necklace that she had worn that night and the letter she had received was a hoax.She was not sure whether she lost it in the party or on her way back.It took a while for her frenzy to abate.Mr Ram Kumar showed her the necklace found on the table.On seeing the necklace she started crying again and thanked Mr. Ram Kumar .It was natural for my friend Sherlock Holmes to step in.The necklace was given to her but the mystery was still unsolved that how did it reach our table.I narrated the sequence of events to him as they had unfolded.
He agreed to me that it could not have come from anywhere except the table itself.
He requested nobody to move out until the mystery was solved.Not many were ignorant enough to object thinking that Holmes might take a few months to crack this preposterous sequence of events.Others were supportive.
Holmes approached the lady whose necklace was stolen.
She told him that a boy had handed her over a piece of paper which she gave to him.He studied the paper for a while and sneaked it in his pocket.She told him how she had gone out in a panic and found her brother hail and hearty at her place. Only then she realized that her necklace was missing.Her immediate reaction was to check the carriage and not finding it there she came back to the party.
Sherlock Holmes took a deep breath.
Next he wanted an interview with me.This made me little apprehensive because I was as much a suspect as the other three men.I was confident he can not take me as a suspect and only wanted me for some questions.He asked me to describe the course of events starting from me slipping out when he was surrounded by people.I told him as the events unfolded giving as much detail of the other men as I had collected on that evening.
Next Sherock requested every one to leave him alone with the four men.We realized it was not possible to vacate the huge hall and we had to move to the lawns.We walked out with all four of us walking together and Holmes coming behind us in deep thought.He was so engrossed in deep thought that he stumbled over a stone and fell down on his knees.This resulted in spilling dirt on the shoes of all four of us.I bent down to clean my shoes and made eye contact with Mr Ram Kumar and Mr Everton Gommes as we all were getting erect after cleaning my shoes.Holmes apologized profusely and said we could begin with the proceedings.He asked all four of us to explain our professions which all of us did.He gave a nod and finally spoke when I was done with the description of my job.
He said" I am sorry gentlemen for the great inconvenience I have caused you.But one of you is criminal and has made a basic mistake of leaving behind his hand writing on the paper that he gave to the woman.I request you gentlemen to one by one copy the text on this paper on this sheet."
I went first but much to my surprise I noticed that the text had a sketch of an owl on it.I tried my best with the sketch and showed it Holmes.He studied it briefly.
In a similar manner all three of them submitted the sheet back to Holmes which he studied with great concentration.
And then he asked us to move back inside the hall.He closed the door of the hall behind him and stood with a face of a highly satisfied man.
He made an eye contact with the sherrif and the next moment I saw Mr.Romaine Palsey being arrested by the sherrif .Everyone looked bemused.Palsey was escorted out of the room by the police.
Impulsively everybody hurried to Holmes and inquired about the way of his discovery.To this he asked everybody to get seated and began his narration.He said that it was obvious from the beginning that the crime had been committed by one of these four gentlemen namely Dr. Watson,Everton Gommes,RamKumar,Romaine Palsey.They had all four described to me of the respectable business they were in.That makes it obvious that whoever was lying about the nature of profession was definitely masquerading as somebody else.Thus I just had to assure who was not truthful about his profession.Luckily,I have known this gentleman Dr Watson for a long time and I had removed him from consideration.That left me with a spice dealer,ship merchant and the chariot designer.Holmes took out 2 pieces of paper on both of which it was written 'Chapron met with an accident.Come soon.'
I noticed however that one of these had a yellow tinge to it.
Holmes went on "I took those gentlemen outside with a plan for all three of them.Once I had a little hint of the culprit,I could easily take out the corresponding piece of paper and know the culprit for sure.
Had it been the spice merchant then I would have taken out his paper" and he held out the paper with yellow tinge"Any Indian spice merchant's reaction on seeing this paper would be to say that how the hell this paper has turmeric powder, which is a famous Indian spice."The crowd gasped in appreciation on listening to this.
Then Holmes held out the other piece of paper and said " Had the shit merchant been my prime suspect, I would have shown him this paper". Everybody was confused as it seemed like an ordinary paper"This paper has a stink of Tundra fish and any fish merchants first reaction would be to exclaim how did it get there.
But I needed some hint as to who was the thief.I used the fact that all of them claimed to be rich gentlemen from well off families.But were they really gentlemen or masquerading as one?It was easy enough to differentiate.I used the simple fact that a true gentleman can never bear soil upon his shoes the way north pole can not stick to south pole of a magnet.
So I feigned stumbling and threw some dust on them.All of 3 of them bent down to clean except Palsey.It made me suspicious of his back ground.I decided to give him a piece of paper with a small sketch at its corner.A designer for 20 years, as he told me is suppose to be very smooth with his lines.Which,evidently,he was not at all.The over writing in his hand makes it absolutely clear that he was the thief. I had known from before,it was not his hand writing on the paper. on being asked for handwriting,he relaxeded and forgot completely that he had to be good at graphics That was my sole motive of claiming hand writing match as a clue.
As I understand the sequence of events,he had stolen the necklace with the help of an accomplice.He stole the necklace and the accomplice sent the letter to the lady about the brother.This gave them ample time to run from the place because a lady with such terrible news will rarely realize a missing necklace.The plan was smooth until I was publicly introduced.Palsey froze on hearing that a great detective was present.He got desperate to save his skin but froze while trying to get rid of the necklace and ended up throwing it on the table.After that I stepped in and you all know what followed"
The crowd clapped.

It feels great to own a piece of history.I am planning to hold an auction regarding the same.
Interested people contact me through this blog.

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