The Five Orange Pips – 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

The Five Orange Pips

“I think, Watson,” he remarked at last, “that of all our cases we have had none more fantastic than this.”

John Watson mencatat bahwa pada tahun 1887, banyak kasus aneh dan luar biasa yang ditangani oleh sahabatnya, Sherlock Holmes. Salah satunya berawal pada suatu malam saat berhujan di bulan September.

“Why,” said I, glancing up at my companion, “that was surely the bell. Who could come to-night? Some friend of yours, perhaps?”
“Except yourself I have none,” he answered. “I do not encourage visitors.”
“A client, then?”
“If so, it is a serious case. Nothing less would bring a man out on such a day and at such an hour. But I take it that it is more likely to be some crony of the landlady’s.”

Seorang pria muda bernama John Openshaw datang menemui Holmes dan menceritakan masalahnya. Dia menceritakan tentang pamannya—Elias—yang tinggal di Amerika pada masa mudanya, dan kembali ke Eropa karena perubahan kebijakan terhadap orang-orang kulit hitam, yang tidak disukainya. Setelah beberapa tahun menetap kembali di Horsham, pamannya meminta John untuk tinggal bersamanya. Di rumahnya, John dipercaya untuk menangani urusan rumah, sebagai wakil Elias, dan boleh melakukan apapun yang disukainya, mempunyai akses kemana saja di rumah tersebut, kecuali sebuah ruangan yang dikunci dan tak seorang pun–selain Elias sendiri–diizinkan masuk.

Pada Maret 1883, Elias Openshaw mendapat surat—hal yang tak biasa untuknya—dari India, berisi lima butir biji jeruk yang dikeringkan (orange pips). Pamannya terlihat sangat ketakutan dengan surat tersebut, dan juga tulisan “K. K. K.” yang tertera di amplop.

Sang paman pun meninggalkan wasiat untuk ayah John untuk mewarisi rumah itu, dan John yang akan mewarisinya dari ayahnya. Elias Openshaw menghabiskan sisa waktunya dengan ketakutan dan dibayangi teror, hingga tujuh minggu berlalu dan dia ditemukan meninggal. Pengadilan menyatakannya sebagai kasus bunuh diri, namun John berpendapat lain.

Tahun berikutnya, ketika ayah John telah menempati rumah mendiang saudaranya, surat berkode “K. K. K.” dengan lima butir biji jeruk kering tiba dari Dundee. Beberapa hari kemudian, ayah John ditemukan tidak bernyawa lagi, dalam keadaan seolah-olah karena kecelakaan.

“Tut! tut!” cried Sherlock Holmes. “You must act, man, or you are lost. Nothing but energy can save you. This is no time for despair.”

Dua tahun delapan bulan kemudian—tepatnya dua hari sebelum John menemui Holmes—dia mendapatkan surat yang sama yang berasal dari London. Dia yakin nyawanya pun kini terancam. Dapatkah Sherlock Holmes, dengan reputasinya, menolongnya?

Sherlock Holmes closed his eyes and placed his elbows upon the arms of his chair, with his finger-tips together. “The ideal reasoner,” he remarked, “would, when he had once been shown a single fact in all its bearings, deduce from it not only all the chain of events which led up to it but also all the results which would follow from it. As Cuvier could correctly describe a whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone, so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after. (…) To carry the art, however, to its highest pitch, it is necessary that the reasoner should be able to utilise all the facts which have come to his knowledge; and this in itself implies, as you will readily see, a possession of all knowledge, which, even in these days of free education and encyclopaedias, is a somewhat rare accomplishment. (…)”

Kunci dari kasus ini adalah sesuatu yang menyebabkan Elias Openshaw meninggalkan kenyamanan Florida dan hidup menyendiri di pedesaan Inggris, juga jarak waktu antara tibanya surat dengan waktu kematian penerima surat tersebut. Holmes tidak hanya mengandalkan pengetahuannya, sesuatu yang sudah ada di dalam otaknya. Ada kalanya bantuan diperlukan; buku, kamus, ensiklopedia, sesuatu yang menampung lebih banyak daripada otak manusia yang terbatas. (Spoiler: “K. K. K.” dapat kita temukan di ensiklopedia maupun dalam catatan sejarah Amerika)

“I say now, as I said then, that a man should keep his little brain-attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it. Now, for such a case as the one which has been submitted to us to-night, we need certainly to muster all our resources. Kindly hand me down the letter K of the American Encyclopaedia which stands upon the shelf beside you. Thank you. (…)”

Di sini, sekali lagi, kita dapat melihat sisi ‘manusiawi’ Sherlock Holmes. Dia membuat sebuah kesalahan dalam rencananya. Meski pada akhirnya misteri terpecahkan, ada hal-hal yang membuat detektif kita ini tidak akan puas.

“Holmes,” I cried, “you are too late.”
“Ah!” said he, laying down his cup, “I feared as much. How was it done?” He spoke calmly, but I could see that he was deeply moved.
(…)
We sat in silence for some minutes, Holmes more depressed and shaken than I had ever seen him.
“That hurts my pride, Watson,” he said at last. “It is a petty feeling, no doubt, but it hurts my pride. It becomes a personal matter with me now, and, if God sends me health, I shall set my hand upon this gang. (…)”

Dalam cerita pendek ini, saya memperhatikan salah satu sifat Holmes yang ditunjukkan kembali dalam salah satu percakapan yang dilakukannya dengan klien barunya itu. Meski telah dikenal luas dengan reputasinya, Holmes tetap bersikap ‘dingin’ dengan tidak menunjukkan sifat membanggakan diri—dia mengakui dan masih mengingat kegagalannya (terlebih salah satunya adalah wanita), tetapi dia juga tidak berusaha bersikap rendah hati—dia tak menyangkal bahwa kesuksesannya jauh lebih besar.

“That clay and chalk mixture which I see upon your toe caps is quite distinctive.”
“I have come for advice.”
“That is easily got.”
“And help.”
“That is not always so easy.”
“I have heard of you, Mr. Holmes. I heard from Major Prendergast how you saved him in the Tankerville Club scandal.”
“Ah, of course. He was wrongfully accused of cheating at cards.”
“He said that you could solve anything.”
“He said too much.”
“That you are never beaten.”
“I have been beaten four times—three times by men, and once by a woman.”
“But what is that compared with the number of your successes?”
“It is true that I have been generally successful.”

5 responses to “The Five Orange Pips – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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