A Case of Identity – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Title : The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Author : Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)
Publisher : Project Gutenberg
Edition : Ebook #1661, 12th edition, November 2002

Contents:

  1. A Scandal in Bohemia
  2. The Red-Headed League
  3. A Case of Identity
  4. The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  5. The Five Orange Pips
  6. The Man with the Twisted Lip
  7. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  8. The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  9. The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  10. The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  11. The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  12. The Adventure of the Copper Beeches

A Case of Identity

“life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”

Saat sedang berbincang dengan sahabatnya, John Watson, Sherlock Holmes didatangi seorang wanita muda—Mary Sutherland. Wanita ini tinggal bersama dengan ibu dan ayah tirinya—James Windibank. Miss Sutherland sendiri telah bekerja, di samping agar tak merepotkan orang tuanya, penghasilannya yang cukup besar untuk ukuran wanita yang belum menikah, juga dapat dipergunakan sebagai tambahan untuk orang tuanya.

Seperti biasa, sebelum kliennya berbicara, Holmes telah unjuk kemampuan menganalisis pekerjaan dan garis besar masalah wanita tersebut.

“it is my business to know things. Perhaps I have trained myself to see what others overlook. If not, why should you come to consult me?”

“My first glance is always at a woman’s sleeve. In a man it is perhaps better first to take the knee of the trouser.”

Sebuah kejadian aneh yang menimpa Miss Sutherland mendorongnya untuk meminta bantuan Holmes. Beberapa waktu sebelumnya, Miss Sutherland bertemu dengan seorang laki-laki bernama Hosmer Angel. Mr. Angel digambarkan sebagai pria yang tertutup, lebih suka bertemu saat sore hari, suaranya lemah hingga serupa bisikan, dan dia selalu mengenakan kacamata berwarna. Miss Sutherland menjalin hubungan dengan Mr. Angel tanpa sepengetahuan ayah tirinya, karena Mr. Angel sendiri hanya berani berkunjung jika Mr. Windibank sedang di luar kota. Hingga saat mereka memutuskan untuk menikah, Mr. Angel meminta janji Miss Sutherland bahwa jika terjadi sesuatu sebelum pernikahan mereka berlangsung, dia akan setia menunggunya.

“[…] there is nothing so unnatural as the commonplace.”

Kemudian tepat sebelum pernikahan berlangsung, Hosmer Angel menghilang secara misterius. Dia menghilang dari keretanya, bahkan tanpa sepengatuan pengemudinya. Tak ada alasan dan penjelasan yang masuk akal untuk Mr. Angel menghilang pada saat itu.

“Indeed, I have found that it is usually in unimportant matters that there is a field for the observation, and for the quick analysis of cause and effect which gives the charm to an investigation. The larger crimes are apt to be the simpler, for the bigger the crime the more obvious, as a rule, is the motive.”

Siapa yang paling diuntungkan dari menghilangnya Hosmer Angel, dan bagaimana pria itu bisa menghilang di tengah keramaian?

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”

“You did not know where to look, and so you missed all that was important.”

Petunjuknya ada di mesin ketik yang selalu dipergunakan Mr. Angel untuk berkorespondensi dengan Miss Sutherland.

“It is a curious thing,” remarked Holmes, “that a typewriter has really quite as much individuality as a man’s handwriting.”

Dan pada akhirnya, yang dituntut dari Sherlock Holmes kali ini bukanlah kebenaran, bukan menguak kejadian yang sesungguhnya, namun kebijaksaannya untuk menghadapi masalah (atau aib?) ini.

“You may remember the old Persian saying, ‘There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.’ […]”

I had had so many reasons to believe in my friend’s subtle powers of reasoning and extraordinary energy in action that I felt that he must have some solid grounds for the assured and easy demeanour with which he treated the singular mystery which he had been called upon to fathom. Once only had I known him to fail, in the case of the King of Bohemia and of the Irene Adler photograph; but when I looked back to the weird business of the Sign of Four, and the extraordinary circumstances connected with the Study in Scarlet, I felt that it would be a strange tangle indeed which he could not unravel.

PS.: All quotes in “…” are Sherlock Holmes’ words.

2 responses to “A Case of Identity – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  1. Pingback: 2013 TBRR Pile Mystery and Fantasy Wrap Up | Bacaan B.Zee

  2. Pingback: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle | Bacaan B.Zee

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