Arthur Conan

Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Die Abenteuer von Sherlock Holmes

Übersetzt von Alice und Karl Heinz Berger, Lizenz der Aufbau Verlagsgruppe
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2012

TITELBLATT

I. A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

II. THE RED-HEADED LEAGUE

III. A CASE OF IDENTITY

IV. THE BOSCOMBE VALLEY MYSTERY

V. THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS

VI. THE MAN WITH THE TWISTED LIP

VII. THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE CARBUNCLE

VIII. THE ADVENTURE OF THE SPECKLED BAND

IX. THE ADVENTURE OF THE ENGINEER’S THUMB

X. THE ADVENTURE OF THE NOBLE BACHELOR

XI. THE ADVENTURE OF THE BERYL CORONET

XII. THE ADVENTURE OF THE COPPER BEECHES

IMPRESSUM

I. A SCANDAL IN BOHEMIA

I

To Sher­lock Holmes she is al­ways the wo­man. I have sel­dom heard him men­tion her un­der any oth­er name.
In his eyes she ec­lipses and pre­dom­in­ates the whole of her sex.
It was not that he felt any emo­tion akin to love for Irene Adler.
All emo­tions, and that one par­tic­u­larly, were ab­hor­rent to his cold, pre­cise but ad­mir­ably bal­anced mind.
He was, I take it, the most per­fect reas­on­ing and ob­serving ma­chine that the world has seen,
but as a lov­er he would have placed him­self in a false po­s­i­tion.
He nev­er spoke of the softer pas­sions, save with a gibe and a sneer.
They were ad­mir­able things for the ob­serv­er — ex­cel­lent for draw­ing the veil from men’s motives and ac­tions.
But for the trained reason­er to ad­mit such in­tru­sions into his own del­ic­ate and finely ad­jus­ted tem­pera­ment was to in­tro­duce a dis­tract­ing factor
which might throw a doubt upon all his men­tal res­ults.
Grit in a sens­it­ive in­stru­ment, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses,
would not be more dis­turb­ing than a strong emo­tion in a nature such as his.
And yet there was but one wo­man to him, and that wo­man was the late Irene Adler, of du­bi­ous and ques­tion­able memory.
I had seen little of Holmes lately. My mar­riage had drif­ted us away from each oth­er.
My own com­plete hap­pi­ness, and the home-centred in­terests
which rise up around the man who first finds him­self mas­ter of his own es­tab­lish­ment, were suf­fi­cient to ab­sorb all my at­ten­tion,
while Holmes, who loathed every form of so­ci­ety with his whole Bo­hemi­an soul,
re­mained in our lodgings in Baker Street, bur­ied among his old books,
and al­tern­at­ing from week to week between co­caine and am­bi­tion, the drowsi­ness of the drug, and the fierce en­ergy of his own keen nature.
He was still, as ever, deeply at­trac­ted by the study of crime,
and oc­cu­pied his im­mense fac­ulties and ex­traordin­ary powers of ob­ser­va­tion in fol­low­ing out those clues,
and clear­ing up those mys­ter­ies which had been aban­doned as hope­less by the of­fi­cial po­lice.
From time to time I heard some vague ac­count of his do­ings: of his sum­mons to Odessa in the case of the Trepoff murder,
of his clear­ing up of the sin­gu­lar tragedy of the Atkin­son broth­ers at Trin­co­malee, and fi­nally of the mis­sion
which he had ac­com­plished so del­ic­ately and suc­cess­fully for the reign­ing fam­ily of Hol­land.
Bey­ond these signs of his activ­ity, however, which I merely shared with all the read­ers of the daily press,
I knew little of my former friend and com­pan­ion.
One night — it was on the twen­ti­eth of March, 1888 — I was re­turn­ing from a jour­ney to a pa­tient
(for I had now re­turned to civil prac­tice), when my way led me through Baker Street.
As I passed the well-re­membered door, which must al­ways be as­so­ci­ated in my mind with my woo­ing, and with the dark in­cid­ents of the Study in Scar­let,
I was seized with a keen de­sire to see Holmes again, and to know how he was em­ploy­ing his ex­traordin­ary powers.
His rooms were bril­liantly lit, and, even as I looked up, I saw his tall, spare fig­ure pass twice in a dark sil­hou­ette against the blind.
He was pa­cing the room swiftly, eagerly, with his head sunk upon his chest and his hands clasped be­hind him.
To me, who knew his every mood and habit, his at­ti­tude and man­ner told their own story.
He was at work again. He had ris­en out of his drug-cre­ated dreams and was hot upon the scent of some new prob­lem.
I rang the bell and was shown up to the cham­ber which had formerly been in part my own.
His man­ner was not ef­fus­ive. It sel­dom was; but he was glad, I think, to see me.
With hardly a word spoken, but with a kindly eye, he waved me to an arm­chair,
threw across his case of ci­gars, and in­dic­ated a spir­it case and a gas­o­gene in the corner.
Then he stood be­fore the fire and looked me over in his sin­gu­lar in­tro­spect­ive fash­ion.
“Wed­lock suits you,” he re­marked. “I think, Wat­son, that you have put on sev­en and a half pounds since I saw you.”
“Sev­en!” I answered.
“In­deed, I should have thought a little more. Just a trifle more, I fancy, Wat­son.
And in prac­tice again, I ob­serve. You did not tell me that you in­ten­ded to go into har­ness.”
“Then, how do you know?”
“I see it, I de­duce it. How do I know that you have been get­ting your­self very wet lately, and that you have a most clumsy and care­less ser­vant girl?”
“My dear Holmes,” said I, “this is too much. You would cer­tainly have been burned, had you lived a few cen­tur­ies ago.
It is true that I had a coun­try walk on Thursday and came home in a dread­ful mess,
but as I have changed my clothes I can’t ima­gine how you de­duce it.
As to Mary Jane, she is in­cor­ri­gible, and my wife has giv­en her no­tice, but there, again, I fail to see how you work it out.”
He chuckled to him­self and rubbed his long, nervous hands to­geth­er.
“It is sim­pli­city it­self,” said he; “my eyes tell me that on the in­side of your left shoe,
just where the fire­light strikes it, the leath­er is scored by six al­most par­al­lel cuts.
Ob­vi­ously they have been caused by someone who has very care­lessly scraped round the edges of the sole in or­der to re­move crus­ted mud from it.
Hence, you see, my double de­duc­tion that you had been out in vile weath­er,
and that you had a par­tic­u­larly ma­lig­nant boot-slit­ting spe­ci­men of the Lon­don slavey.
As to your prac­tice, if a gen­tle­man walks into my rooms smelling of iod­o­form,
with a black mark of ni­trate of sil­ver upon his right fore­finger, and a bulge on the right side of his top-hat to show where he has secreted his steth­o­scope,
I must be dull, in­deed, if I do not pro­nounce him to be an act­ive mem­ber of the med­ic­al pro­fes­sion.”
I could not help laugh­ing at the ease with which he ex­plained his pro­cess of de­duc­tion.
“When I hear you give your reas­ons,” I re­marked, “the thing al­ways ap­pears to me to be so ri­dicu­lously simple that I could eas­ily do it my­self,
though at each suc­cess­ive in­stance of your reas­on­ing I am baffled un­til you ex­plain your pro­cess.
And yet I be­lieve that my eyes are as good as yours.”
“Quite so,” he answered, light­ing a ci­gar­ette, and throw­ing him­self down into an arm­chair.
“You see, but you do not ob­serve. The dis­tinc­tion is clear.
For ex­ample, you have fre­quently seen the steps which lead up from the hall to this room.”
“Fre­quently.”
“How of­ten?”
“Well, some hun­dreds of times.”
“Then how many are there?”
“How many? I don’t know.”
“Quite so! You have not ob­served. And yet you have seen. That is just my point.
Now, I know that there are sev­en­teen steps, be­cause I have both seen and ob­served.
By the way, since you are in­ter­ested in these little prob­lems,
and since you are good enough to chron­icle one or two of my tri­fling ex­per­i­ences, you may be in­ter­ested in this.”
He threw over a sheet of thick, pink-tin­ted note­pa­per which had been ly­ing open upon the table.
“It came by the last post,” said he. “Read it aloud.”
The note was un­dated, and without either sig­na­ture or ad­dress.
“There will call upon you to-night, at a quarter to eight o’clock,” it said, “a gen­tle­man who de­sires to con­sult you upon a mat­ter of the very deep­est mo­ment.
Your re­cent ser­vices to one of the roy­al houses of Europe have shown
that you are one who may safely be trus­ted with mat­ters which are of an im­port­ance which can hardly be ex­ag­ger­ated.
This ac­count of you we have from all quar­ters re­ceived.
Be in your cham­ber then at that hour, and do not take it amiss if your vis­it­or wear a mask.”
“This is in­deed a mys­tery,” I re­marked. “What do you ima­gine that it means?”
“I have no data yet. It is a cap­it­al mis­take to the­or­ise be­fore one has data.
In­sens­ibly one be­gins to twist facts to suit the­or­ies, in­stead of the­or­ies to suit facts. But the note it­self. What do you de­duce from it?”
I care­fully ex­amined the writ­ing, and the pa­per upon which it was writ­ten.
“The man who wrote it was pre­sum­ably well to do,” I re­marked, en­deav­our­ing to im­it­ate my com­pan­ion’s pro­cesses.
“Such pa­per could not be bought un­der half a crown a pack­et. It is pe­cu­li­arly strong and stiff.”
“Pe­cu­li­ar — that is the very word,” said Holmes. “It is not an Eng­lish pa­per at all. Hold it up to the light.”
I did so, and saw a large “E” with a small “g,” a “P,” and a large “G” with a small “t” woven into the tex­ture of the pa­per.
“What do you make of that?” asked Holmes.
“The name of the maker, no doubt; or his mono­gram, rather.”
“Not at all. The ‘G’ with the small ‘t’ stands for ‘Gesell­schaft,’ which is the Ger­man for ‘Com­pany.’
It is a cus­tom­ary con­trac­tion like our ‘Co.’ ‘P,’ of course, stands for ‘Papi­er.’ Now for the ‘Eg.’
Let us glance at our Con­tin­ent­al Gaz­etteer.” He took down a heavy brown volume from his shelves.
“Eglow, Eglon­itz — here we are, Egria. It is in a Ger­man-speak­ing coun­try — in Bo­hemia, not far from Carls­bad.
‘Re­mark­able as be­ing the scene of the death of Wal­len­stein, and for its nu­mer­ous glass-factor­ies and pa­per-mills.’
Ha, ha, my boy, what do you make of that?” His eyes sparkled, and he sent up a great blue tri­umphant cloud from his ci­gar­ette.
“The pa­per was made in Bo­hemia,” I said.
“Pre­cisely. And the man who wrote the note is a Ger­man.
Do you note the pe­cu­li­ar con­struc­tion of the sen­tence — ‘This ac­count of you we have from all quar­ters re­ceived.’
A French­man or Rus­si­an could not have writ­ten that. It is the Ger­man who is so un­cour­teous to his verbs.
It only re­mains, there­fore, to dis­cov­er what is wanted by this Ger­man who writes upon Bo­hemi­an pa­per and prefers wear­ing a mask to show­ing his face.
And here he comes, if I am not mis­taken, to re­solve all our doubts.”
As he spoke there was the sharp sound of horses’ hoofs and grat­ing wheels against the curb, fol­lowed by a sharp pull at the bell. Holmes whistled.
“A pair, by the sound,” said he. “Yes,” he con­tin­ued, glan­cing out of the win­dow. “A nice little brougham and a pair of beau­ties.
A hun­dred and fifty guineas apiece. There’s money in this case, Wat­son, if there is noth­ing else.”
“I think that I had bet­ter go, Holmes.”
“Not a bit, Doc­tor. Stay where you are. I am lost without my Boswell.
And this prom­ises to be in­ter­est­ing. It would be a pity to miss it.”
“But your cli­ent —”
“Nev­er mind him. I may want your help, and so may he.
Here he comes. Sit down in that arm­chair, Doc­tor, and give us your best at­ten­tion.”
A slow and heavy step, which had been heard upon the stairs and in the pas­sage, paused im­me­di­ately out­side the door.
Then there was a loud and au­thor­it­at­ive tap.
“Come in!” said Holmes.
A man entered who could hardly have been less than six feet six inches in height, with the chest and limbs of a Her­cules.
His dress was rich with a rich­ness which would, in Eng­land, be looked upon as akin to bad taste.
Heavy bands of as­trakhan were slashed across the sleeves and fronts of his double-breasted coat,
while the deep blue cloak which was thrown over his shoulders was lined with flame-col­oured silk
and se­cured at the neck with a brooch which con­sisted of a single flam­ing beryl.
Boots which ex­ten­ded halfway up his calves, and which were trimmed at the tops with rich brown fur,
com­pleted the im­pres­sion of bar­bar­ic op­u­lence which was sug­ges­ted by his whole ap­pear­ance.
He car­ried a broad-brimmed hat in his hand, while he wore across the up­per part of his face, ex­tend­ing down past the cheekbones, a black viz­ard mask,
which he had ap­par­ently ad­jus­ted that very mo­ment, for his hand was still raised to it as he entered.
From the lower part of the face he ap­peared to be a man of strong char­ac­ter,
with a thick, hanging lip, and a long, straight chin sug­gest­ive of res­ol­u­tion pushed to the length of ob­stin­acy.
“You had my note?” he asked with a deep harsh voice and a strongly marked Ger­man ac­cent.
“I told you that I would call.” He looked from one to the oth­er of us, as if un­cer­tain which to ad­dress.
“Pray take a seat,” said Holmes.
“This is my friend and col­league, Dr. Wat­son, who is oc­ca­sion­ally good enough to help me in my cases. Whom have I the hon­our to ad­dress?”
“You may ad­dress me as the Count Von Kramm, a Bo­hemi­an no­ble­man.
I un­der­stand that this gen­tle­man, your friend, is a man of hon­our and dis­cre­tion,
whom I may trust with a mat­ter of the most ex­treme im­port­ance. If not, I should much prefer to com­mu­nic­ate with you alone.”
I rose to go, but Holmes caught me by the wrist and pushed me back into my chair.
“It is both, or none,” said he. “You may say be­fore this gen­tle­man any­thing which you may say to me.”
The Count shrugged his broad shoulders. “Then I must be­gin,” said he, “by bind­ing you both to ab­so­lute secrecy for two years;
at the end of that time the mat­ter will be of no im­port­ance.
At present it is not too much to say that it is of such weight it may have an in­flu­ence upon European his­tory.”
“I prom­ise,” said Holmes.
“And I.”
“You will ex­cuse this mask,” con­tin­ued our strange vis­it­or.
“The au­gust per­son who em­ploys me wishes his agent to be un­known to you,
and I may con­fess at once that the title by which I have just called my­self is not ex­actly my own.”
“I was aware of it,” said Holmes dryly.
“The cir­cum­stances are of great del­ic­acy, and every pre­cau­tion has to be taken to quench what might grow to be an im­mense scan­dal
and ser­i­ously com­prom­ise one of the reign­ing fam­il­ies of Europe.
To speak plainly, the mat­ter im­plic­ates the great House of Orm­stein, hered­it­ary kings of Bo­hemia.”
“I was also aware of that,” mur­mured Holmes, set­tling him­self down in his arm­chair and clos­ing his eyes.
Our vis­it­or glanced with some ap­par­ent sur­prise at the lan­guid, loun­ging fig­ure of the man
who had been no doubt de­pic­ted to him as the most in­cis­ive reason­er and most en­er­get­ic agent in Europe.
Holmes slowly re­opened his eyes and looked im­pa­tiently at his gi­gant­ic cli­ent.
“If your Majesty would con­des­cend to state your case,” he re­marked, “I should be bet­ter able to ad­vise you.”
The man sprang from his chair and paced up and down the room in un­con­trol­lable agit­a­tion.
Then, with a ges­ture of des­per­a­tion, he tore the mask from his face and hurled it upon the ground.
“You are right,” he cried; “I am the King. Why should I at­tempt to con­ceal it?”
“Why, in­deed?” mur­mured Holmes. “Your Majesty had not spoken be­fore I was aware that I was ad­dress­ing Wil­helm Gott­s­reich Sigis­mond von Orm­stein,
Grand Duke of Cas­sel-Fel­stein, and hered­it­ary King of Bo­hemia.”
“But you can un­der­stand,” said our strange vis­it­or, sit­ting down once more and passing his hand over his high white fore­head,
“you can un­der­stand that I am not ac­cus­tomed to do­ing such busi­ness in my own per­son.
Yet the mat­ter was so del­ic­ate that I could not con­fide it to an agent without put­ting my­self in his power.
I have come in­cog­nito from Prague for the pur­pose of con­sult­ing you.”
“Then, pray con­sult,” said Holmes, shut­ting his eyes once more.
“The facts are briefly these: Some five years ago, dur­ing a lengthy vis­it to Warsaw, I made the ac­quaint­ance of the well-known ad­ven­turess, Irene Adler.
The name is no doubt fa­mil­i­ar to you.”
“Kindly look her up in my in­dex, Doc­tor,” mur­mured Holmes without open­ing his eyes.
For many years he had ad­op­ted a sys­tem of dock­et­ing all para­graphs con­cern­ing men and things,
so that it was dif­fi­cult to name a sub­ject or a per­son on which he could not at once fur­nish in­form­a­tion.
In this case I found her bio­graphy sand­wiched in between that of a Hebrew rabbi and that of a staff-com­mand­er who had writ­ten a mono­graph upon the deep-sea fishes.
“Let me see!” said Holmes. “Hum! Born in New Jer­sey in the year 1858. Con­tralto — hum! La Scala, hum!
Prima donna Im­per­i­al Op­era of Warsaw — yes! Re­tired from op­er­at­ic stage — ha! Liv­ing in Lon­don — quite so!
Your Majesty, as I un­der­stand, be­came en­tangled with this young per­son,
wrote her some com­prom­ising let­ters, and is now de­sirous of get­ting those let­ters back.”
“Pre­cisely so. But how —”
“Was there a secret mar­riage?”
“None.”
“No leg­al pa­pers or cer­ti­fic­ates?”
“None.”
“Then I fail to fol­low your Majesty.
If this young per­son should pro­duce her let­ters for black­mail­ing or oth­er pur­poses, how is she to prove their au­then­ti­city?”
“There is the writ­ing.”
“Pooh, pooh! For­gery.”
“My private note-pa­per.”
“Stolen.”
“My own seal.”
“Im­it­ated.”
“My pho­to­graph.”
“Bought.”
“We were both in the pho­to­graph.”
“Oh, dear! That is very bad! Your Majesty has in­deed com­mit­ted an in­dis­cre­tion.”
“I was mad — in­sane.”
“You have com­prom­ised your­self ser­i­ously.”
“I was only Crown Prince then. I was young. I am but thirty now.”
“It must be re­covered.”
“We have tried and failed.”
“Your Majesty must pay. It must be bought.”
“She will not sell.”
“Stolen, then.”
“Five at­tempts have been made. Twice burg­lars in my pay ran­sacked her house.
Once we di­ver­ted her lug­gage when she trav­elled. Twice she has been way­laid. There has been no res­ult.”
“No sign of it?”
“Ab­so­lutely none.”
Holmes laughed. “It is quite a pretty little prob­lem,” said he.
“But a very ser­i­ous one to me,” re­turned the King re­proach­fully.
“Very, in­deed. And what does she pro­pose to do with the pho­to­graph?”
“To ruin me.”
“But how?”
“I am about to be mar­ried.”
“So I have heard.”
“To Clotilde Loth­man von Saxe-Men­in­gen, second daugh­ter of the King of Scand­inavia.
You may know the strict prin­ciples of her fam­ily. She is her­self the very soul of del­ic­acy.
A shad­ow of a doubt as to my con­duct would bring the mat­ter to an end.”
“And Irene Adler?”
“Threatens to send them the pho­to­graph. And she will do it. I know that she will do it.
You do not know her, but she has a soul of steel. She has the face of the most beau­ti­ful of wo­men, and the mind of the most res­ol­ute of men.
Rather than I should marry an­oth­er wo­man, there are no lengths to which she would not go — none.”
“You are sure that she has not sent it yet?”
“I am sure.”
“And why?”
“Be­cause she has said that she would send it on the day when the be­troth­al was pub­licly pro­claimed. That will be next Monday.”
“Oh, then we have three days yet,” said Holmes with a yawn.
“That is very for­tu­nate, as I have one or two mat­ters of im­port­ance to look into just at present.
Your Majesty will, of course, stay in Lon­don for the present?”
“Cer­tainly. You will find me at the Langham un­der the name of the Count Von Kramm.”
“Then I shall drop you a line to let you know how we pro­gress.”
“Pray do so. I shall be all anxi­ety.”
“Then, as to money?”
“You have carte blanche.”
“Ab­so­lutely?”
“I tell you that I would give one of the provinces of my king­dom to have that pho­to­graph.”
“And for present ex­penses?”
The King took a heavy chamois leath­er bag from un­der his cloak and laid it on the table.
“There are three hun­dred pounds in gold and sev­en hun­dred in notes,” he said.
Holmes scribbled a re­ceipt upon a sheet of his note-book and handed it to him.
“And Ma­demois­elle’s ad­dress?” he asked.
“Is Bri­ony Lodge, Ser­pent­ine Av­en­ue, St. John’s Wood.”
Holmes took a note of it. “One oth­er ques­tion,” said he. “Was the pho­to­graph a cab­in­et?”
“It was.”
“Then, good-night, your Majesty, and I trust that we shall soon have some good news for you.
And good-night, Wat­son,” he ad­ded, as the wheels of the roy­al brougham rolled down the street.
“If you will be good enough to call to-mor­row af­ter­noon at three o’clock I should like to chat this little mat­ter over with you.”

Arthur Conan Doyle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes / Die Abenteuer von Sherlock Holmes
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Alice und Karl Heinz Berger

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