Tag Archives: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – 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

(click the title for review per story [in Bahasa Indonesia])

This first short story collection of Sherlock Holmes contains twelve adventures of our detective and his biographer, John Watson. Purposely, I made review for each short story to catch as many details as possible. From that, I made some mental notes of Doyle’s style. One thing I love from this author is the ending of his stories. It feels like it’s just another beginning of an adventure. Or if it really ends, it gives some satisfaction even the adventure itself ends badly (for the characters involved). But, for me, it is just the power of words. How he made his conclusions (mostly through Holmes) sufficient and content.

Speaking of characters, we have known Holmes enough from A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four. However, some minor details provided here are also interesting. The development that appeared in this collection is the interaction of Holmes and Watson. We can see how Holmes valued his friend so much. He involved Watson intensivey, he made Watson his assistant—his right hand, and he meant to hear Watson’s judgments and opinions, although mostly Watson didn’t reach Holmes’ methods and deductions. However, he also criticized Watson’s methods of writing his journals.

Adventures of sherlock holmes.jpg“To the man who loves art for its own sake,” remarked Sherlock Holmes, tossing aside the advertisement sheet of the Daily Telegraph, “it is frequently in its least important and lowliest manifestations that the keenest pleasure is to be derived. It is pleasant to me to observe, Watson, that you have so far grasped this truth that in these little records of our cases which you have been good enough to draw up, and, I am bound to say, occasionally to embellish, you have given prominence not so much to the many causes célèbres and sensational trials in which I have figured but rather to those incidents which may have been trivial in themselves, but which have given room for those faculties of deduction and of logical synthesis which I have made my special province.”
(The Adventure of the Copper Beeches)

The cases that appeared are truly varied. Holmes clients came from variable background, from the noblemen to ordinary housewife. The cases could be some domestic conflict to some serious criminal, but nothing ordinary. However, sometimes they have some patterns, like mutual motive in A Case of Identity and The Adventure of the Speckled Band, that can be read from the mutual circumstances between those two cases. Some hints in The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet could give a conclusion of the innocent, although we couldn’t reach the final conclusion of the true criminal. I can say that those repetition, even the tiniest, sharpen our senses, at least to understand Holmes cases.

Even though Holmes characterized as unemotional person, we’ll see, however, that he captured human’s emotions and used them for his observation and deduction, without being attached to those emotions himself. That’s what I saw. When he ignored official procedures to form his own definition of justice is one thing. Holmes had us to justify his unofficial decision.

My most favourite stories are the ones with the real adventures. Most of the stories had no real threat in them. All the mayhem, the crime, the fraud were already happened, waiting for our detective to reveal the truth. But stories like A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, The Adventure of the Speckled Band, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches showed Holmes and Watson in action, facing real threat, and caught the culprit red-handed. My personal favourite is The Adventure of the Speckled Band for that reason, it was, in my opinion, one story with the most intense, near-death adventure. And fortunately, Doyle had made that story into a play too.

“He is so cunning that I never know when I am safe from him. What will he say when he returns?”
“He must guard himself, for he may find that there is someone more cunning than himself upon his track.”
(The Adventure of the Speckled Band)

And of course even Sherlock Holmes had some flaws. Sometimes he was late that an unnecessary death had to happen. On other occasion, he also formed some wrong deductions that made his action didn’t occur as it planned. Even though, I didn’t see it as a major failure, as long as he reached his main goal (which mostly happened), and if he did not, it didn’t make him seems insufficient (which sometimes happened).

Overall, this collection is enjoyable, good step to know more about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, exhibit our detective’s brilliance well, and give some nice adventures. There are not so many ‘wow’ aspects, but still have some thrilling moments. 4/5 stars from me.

Review #22 of Classics Club Project

Advertisements

The Adventure of the Copper Beeches – 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 Adventure of the Copper Beeches

“ … what do the public, the great unobservant public, who could hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb, care about the finer shades of analysis and deduction! … I think that I have touched bottom at last, however. …”

Holmes mendapat sebuah kasus yang dirasakannya sepele pada mulanya, saat menerima surat dari Miss Violet Hunter yang hendak meminta nasihat darinya. Namun setelah melihat penampilan dan sikap wanita itu yang meyakinkan, serta mendengar kisahnya, pandangan Holmes berubah.

Miss Hunter ditawari sebuah pekerjaan sebagai pengasuh anak di Copper Beeches, rumah milik Jephro Rucastle, di daerah Hampshire. Mr. Rucastle menawarkan gaji yang jauh lebih besar daripada yang dimintanya, dengan tuntutan pekerjaan yang tidak wajar. Miss Hunter harus menuruti semua perintah Mrs. Rucastle, termasuk jika diminta memakai gaun tertentu, duduk di tempat tertentu, dan—yang hampir ditolak olehnya—memotong pendek rambutnya. Meski agak mencurigakan, Miss Hunter yang sudah terlalu lama menganggur sulit menolak gaji besar tersebut. Miss Hunter pun hendak meyakinkan diri dengan meminta persetujuan Holmes mengenai pekerjaan tersebut.

“I assure you that your little problem promises to be the most interesting which has come my way for some months. There is something distinctly novel about some of the features. If you should find yourself in doubt or in danger—”
“Danger! What danger do you foresee?”
Holmes shook his head gravely. “It would cease to be a danger if we could define it,” said he.

Beberapa waktu kemudian, Holmes mendapat panggilan darurat dari Miss Hunter. Dia dan Watson pun datang ke Winchester untuk menemui kliennya itu. Miss Hunter menceritakan tentang rumah dan majikannya yang misterius, juga situasi mencurigakan di rumah itu. Laki-laki yang mengawasi Copper Beeches dari jendela tempatnya sering duduk, anjing penjaga yang disiagakan setiap malam, sebuah ruangan misterius yang selalu terkunci, juga ancaman Mr. Rucastle pada Miss Hunter saat pengasuhnya terlihat penasaran. Apakah sebenarnya yang disembunyikan oleh keluarga Rucastle? Adakah hubungannya dengan Alice Rucastle, putri mereka yang saat ini berada di Amerika?

“Data! data! data!” he cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.”

Salah satu deduksi awal yang disimpulkan oleh Holmes berasal dari keterangan sang pengasuh mengenai sifat anak yang diasuhnya. Hal yang menuntun sang detektif untuk mengenali masalah yang mungkin ada.

“My dear Watson, you as a medical man are continually gaining light as to the tendencies of a child by the study of the parents. Don’t you see that the converse is equally valid. I have frequently gained my first real insight into the character of parents by studying their children.”

Cerpen terakhir dalam kumpulan The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes ini sekaligus menjadi kesimpulan mengenai pandangan Holmes atas publikasi kasusnya oleh Watson. Meski dalam satu dua kesempatan, Holmes juga pernah menyinggung sedikit di cerita-cerita sebelumnya. Keduanya masih kurang sepakat mengenai titik berat apa yang harus dituliskan dalam jurnal Watson.

“You have erred, perhaps,” he observed, taking up a glowing cinder with the tongs and lighting with it the long cherry-wood pipe which was wont to replace his clay when he was in a disputatious rather than a meditative mood—“you have erred perhaps in attempting to put colour and life into each of your statements instead of confining yourself to the task of placing upon record that severe reasoning from cause to effect which is really the only notable feature about the thing.”

“If I claim full justice for my art, it is because it is an impersonal thing—a thing beyond myself. Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell. You have degraded what should have been a course of lectures into a series of tales.”

Dalam kisah ini juga ada aksi seru yang dilakukan oleh Holmes dan Watson, demi menyelamatkan beberapa nyawa. Bahaya yang telah diprediksi Holmes sebelumnya, berdasarkan observasi dan deduksinya. Dalam hal ini, sempat terlontar dari mulut sang detektif, betapa apa yang dilihatnya bisa berbeda dari kebanyakan cara orang melihatnya. Mungkin inilah yang disebut intuisi, hingga secara otomatis sebuah pemikiran muncul dari pikiran Holmes yang sangat terlatih.

“Do you know, Watson,” said he, “that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there.”

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet – 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 Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

“It is an old maxim of mine that when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Alexander Holder dari bank swasta terbesar di London datang kepada Sherlock Holmes dalam keadaan luar biasa panik. Sehari sebelumnya, salah seorang pria yang disegani di Inggris meminjam sejumlah uang dengan menggunakan Beryl Coronet sebagai jaminannya. Menyadari betapa berharganya mahkota itu, Holder tidak berani meninggalkannya di brankasnya. Holder memutuskan untuk membawanya pulang bersamanya.

Namun, keputusannya ternyata tidak sebaik perkiraannya. Malam itu, dia menangkap basah putranya sedang memegang mahkota itu dalam kondisi rusak. Polisi pun dikerahkan, tetapi kepingan mahkota yang hilang tidak ditemukan. Pun putra Holder—Arthur—menyangkal kejahatannya, tetapi menolak untuk mengatakan apa yang dilakukannya malam itu dengan mahkota rusak di tangannya.

Sebenarnya, keberadaan beryl coronet itu diketahui oleh hampir seisi rumah, juga orang yang diduga sempat berhubungan dengan orang di rumah Holder. Namun belum ditemukan bukti yang mendukung untuk menemukan pelaku sebenarnya dan membebaskan Arthur Holder dari tuduhan. Holmes yang sejak penuturan Holder merasa sangat yakin bahwa Holder muda tidak bersalah, memulai penyelidikan dengan cara khasnya. Dan tentu saja dengan pendampingan kawan baiknya, John Watson, yang juga menarasikan kisah ini—seperti biasa.

My friend insisted upon my accompanying them in their expedition, which I was eager enough to do, for my curiosity and sympathy were deeply stirred by the story to which we had listened.

Dalam kisah ini, ada sebuah adegan yang menunjukkan bahwa di balik sikap apatis terhadap emosi, Holmes nyatanya bisa juga melakukan sesuatu untuk mengatasi emosi kliennya.

Sherlock Holmes pushed him down into the easy-chair and, sitting beside him, patted his hand and chatted with him in the easy, soothing tones which he knew so well how to employ.
“You have come to me to tell your story, have you not?” said he. “You are fatigued with your haste. Pray wait until you have recovered yourself, and then I shall be most happy to look into any little problem which you may submit to me.”

Juga kemampuan menyamarnya yang tidak diragukan lagi (meski sebenarnya ini bukan yang pertama).

He hurried to his chamber and was down again in a few minutes dressed as a common loafer. With his collar turned up, his shiny, seedy coat, his red cravat, and his worn boots, he was a perfect sample of the class.

Mungkin dalam kisah ini, penemuan-penemuan Holmes bisa dikatakan tradisional, khas cara-cara yang biasa dilakukannya, serta tidak banyak kendala yang berarti. Yang menjadikannya menarik adalah bagaimana sang detektif harus menganalisis hubungan-hubungan antarmanusia di lingkup keluarga Holder, sehingga motif dan kejadian dapat diketahuinya.

“It is equally certain, too, that whatever her sins are, they will soon receive a more than sufficient punishment.”

The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor – 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 Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

Beberapa minggu sebelum pernikahan Watson–saat dia masih tinggal di Baker Street, ada berita menghebohkan tentang pernikahan seorang bangsawan–Lord Robert St. Simon. Berkat saran dari Lestrade, Lord St. Simon menghubungi Holmes untuk membantunya dalam kasus pelik dan aneh yang tak kunjung ditemukan titik terangnya.

“Yes, my correspondence has certainly the charm of variety,” he answered, smiling, “and the humbler are usually the more interesting. This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.” –Sherlock Holmes

Namun setelah membaca surat dari sang bangsawan, Holmes membuat sebuah pengecualian.

St. Simon bertemu dengan calon istrinya itu di Amerika Serikat. Dalam beberapa pertemuan, orang-orang sekitar mereka mendukung pernikahan itu oleh karena latar belakang keduanya yang baik, meski tak banyak yang mengenal si wanita saat di Amerika. Keduanya sangat serasi dan bahagia menyambut pernikahan itu, hingga menjelang resepsi, Lady St. Simon—yang telah resmi dinikahi, tiba-tiba berubah sikap dan menjadi murung. Beberapa saat kemudian terjadi keributan yang dipicu oleh seorang teman wanita Lord St. Simon, hingga tak ada yang menyadari hilangnya Lady St. Simon. Polisi telah dikerahkan untuk pencarian, tetapi tak ada kemajuan dari penyelidikan Lestrade, yang menangani kasus ini.

“Should you be fortunate enough to solve this problem,” said our client, rising.
“I have solved it.”
“Eh? What was that?”
“I say that I have solved it.”
“Where, then, is my wife?”
“That is a detail which I shall speedily supply.”
Lord St. Simon shook his head. “I am afraid that it will take wiser heads than yours or mine,” he remarked, and bowing in a stately, old-fashioned manner he departed.
“It is very good of Lord St. Simon to honour my head by putting it on a level with his own,” said Sherlock Holmes, laughing.

Keuntungan dari membaca kasus Holmes satu per satu adalah bahwa lama-kelamaan, kita bisa mengetahui ke mana arah penyelidikan Holmes, walaupun hanya sepersekiannya saja. Dalam kasus ini, penceritaan penulis jelas mengarahkan kita untuk berpikir tentang kehidupan sang Lady di Amerika, meski samar-samar agak sulit juga mencari hubungannya. Sama seperti Holmes sendiri yang dengan menghadapi kasus serupa, dia bisa mengarahkan pikirannya ke arah yang benar. Mungkin posisi pembaca hampir sama seperti Watson, yang masih sedikit pengalamannya dibanding Holmes.

“But I have heard all that you have heard.”
“Without, however, the knowledge of pre-existing cases which serves me so well.”

Meski begitu, Holmes tak pernah mengecilkan peran Watson.

“… Do not dream of going, Watson, for I very much prefer having a witness, if only as a check to my own memory.”

Kebiasaan Holmes untuk tak mengungkapkan deduksinya sebelum mendapatkan fakta membuat orang-orang di sekitarnya–termasuk Watson, polisi, maupun kliennya sulit untuk mengikuti cara kerja Holmes. Dalam kasus ini, Holmes yang tiba-tiba mendapatkan petunjuk dari sesuatu yang dianggap tak penting oleh Lestrade, membuat sang polisi meragukan ‘kewarasan’nya karena pemikiran yang agak aneh.

“Just one hint to you, Lestrade,” drawled Holmes before his rival vanished; “I will tell you the true solution of the matter. Lady St. Simon is a myth. There is not, and there never has been, any such person.”
Lestrade looked sadly at my companion. Then he turned to me, tapped his forehead three times, shook his head solemnly, and hurried away.

Dan akhirnya, ada sesuatu di luar kasus yang juga menarik, yaitu pendapat Holmes (yang kemungkinan besar adalah pendapat sang penulis) tentang negaranya.

“It is always a joy to meet an American, Mr. Moulton, for I am one of those who believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.”

The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb – 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 Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb

The story has, I believe, been told more than once in the newspapers, but, like all such narratives, its effect is much less striking when set forth en bloc in a single half-column of print than when the facts slowly evolve before your own eyes, and the mystery clears gradually away as each new discovery furnishes a step which leads on to the complete truth.

Dikatakan oleh Watson, bahwa sepanjang hubungannya dengan Holmes, ada dua kasus yang dirinya berperan mengenalkannya pada Holmes, salah satunya adalah kasus ini. Pada musim panas ’89, tak lama setelah pernikahannya, Dr. Watson menjalankan praktik di rumahnya yang perlahan berkembang menjadi terkenal, terutama di sekitar stasiun Paddington. Pagi itu dia medapatkan pasien baru, Mr. Victor Hatherley, seorang insinyur yang datang dalam keadaan kehilangan sebuah ibu jarinya. Mr. Hatherley menyimpan sebuah kisah percobaan pembunuhan yang aneh hingga dia ragu untuk menghubungi polisi. Watson pun menyarankannya mengunjungi Sherlock Holmes terlebih dahulu. Karena tak ada orang yang lebih tepat untuk kasus yang aneh dan ganjil selain kawannya itu.

Sang insinyur pun memulai kisahnya saat didatangi seseorang bertampang dan beraksen Jerman yang mengaku bernama Colonel Lysander Stark. Colonel Stark memintanya bersumpah untuk merahasiakan pertemuan dan pembicaraan mereka sebelum menyampaikan maksudnya. Mr. Hatherley diminta untuk melihat kerusakan pompa hidroliknya, yang digunakan untuk sebuah proyek rahasia. Dia akan dibayar tinggi, tetapi semua harus dirahasiakan dan dia harus datang pada malam hari. Tergoda dengan bayaran yang sangat tinggi dan pekerjaan yang terdengar mudah, dia pun menerima tawaran itu. Akan tetapi perjalanannya tidak seperti yang diduganya. Pengamatannya yang teliti pun membuat dirinya mengetahui sesuatu yang tidak boleh diketahuinya, yang membuatnya hampir kehilangan nyawanya.

I had never seen so suspicious and questioning an eye. –Victor Hatherley

Apa rahasia yang disimpan oleh pompa hidrolik itu? Siapa Colonel Stark itu dan apa yang dilakukannya? Bagaimana Sherlock Holmes menemukan lokasi rumah tersebut tanpa petunjuk arah yang jelas?

Kisah ini tampaknya kurang ‘memamerkan’ kemampuan deduksi Holmes. Hanya satu deduksi yang penting, tapi tidak signifikan terhadap keseluruhan kasus, yang dituliskan di sini. Selebihnya, kasus ini benar-benar kisah tentang ‘ibu jari sang insinyur’. Beberapa misteri tetap terkubur tanpa jawaban.

“Well,” said our engineer ruefully as we took our seats to return once more to London, “it has been a pretty business for me! I have lost my thumb and I have lost a fifty-guinea fee, and what have I gained?”
“Experience,” said Holmes, laughing. “Indirectly it may be of value, you know; you have only to put it into words to gain the reputation of being excellent company for the remainder of your existence.”