Arthur Conan


The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Die Memoiren von Sherlock Holmes

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















I am afraid, Wat­son, that I shall have to go,” said Holmes, as we sat down to­geth­er to our break­fast one morn­ing.
“Go! Where to?”
“To Dart­moor; to King’s Py­land.”
I was not sur­prised. In­deed, my only won­der was that he had not already been mixed up in this ex­traordin­ary case,
which was the one top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion through the length and breadth of Eng­land.
For a whole day my com­pan­ion had rambled about the room with his chin upon his chest and his brows knit­ted,
char­ging and re­char­ging his pipe with the strongest black to­bacco, and ab­so­lutely deaf to any of my ques­tions or re­marks.
Fresh edi­tions of every pa­per had been sent up by our news agent, only to be glanced over and tossed down into a corner.
Yet, si­lent as he was, I knew per­fectly well what it was over which he was brood­ing.
There was but one prob­lem be­fore the pub­lic which could chal­lenge his powers of ana­lys­is,
and that was the sin­gu­lar dis­ap­pear­ance of the fa­vor­ite for the Wessex Cup, and the tra­gic murder of its train­er.
When, there­fore, he sud­denly an­nounced his in­ten­tion of set­ting out for the scene of the drama it was only what I had both ex­pec­ted and hoped for.
“I should be most happy to go down with you if I should not be in the way,” said I.
“My dear Wat­son, you would con­fer a great fa­vor upon me by com­ing.
And I think that your time will not be mis­spent, for there are points about the case which prom­ise to make it an ab­so­lutely unique one.
We have, I think, just time to catch our train at Pad­ding­ton, and I will go fur­ther into the mat­ter upon our jour­ney.
You would ob­lige me by bring­ing with you your very ex­cel­lent field-glass.”
And so it happened that an hour or so later I found my­self in the corner of a first-class car­riage fly­ing along en route for Ex­eter,
while Sher­lock Holmes, with his sharp, eager face framed in his ear-flapped trav­el­ling-cap,
dipped rap­idly into the bundle of fresh pa­pers which he had pro­cured at Pad­ding­ton.
We had left Read­ing far be­hind us be­fore he thrust the last one of them un­der the seat, and offered me his ci­gar-case.
“We are go­ing well,” said he, look­ing out the win­dow and glan­cing at his watch.
“Our rate at present is fifty-three and a half miles an hour.”
“I have not ob­served the quarter-mile posts,” said I.
“Nor have I. But the tele­graph posts upon this line are sixty yards apart, and the cal­cu­la­tion is a simple one.
I pre­sume that you have looked into this mat­ter of the murder of John Straker and the dis­ap­pear­ance of Sil­ver Blaze?”
“I have seen what the Tele­graph and the Chron­icle have to say.”
“It is one of those cases where the art of the reason­er should be used rather for the sift­ing of de­tails than for the ac­quir­ing of fresh evid­ence.
The tragedy has been so un­com­mon, so com­plete and of such per­son­al im­port­ance to so many people,
that we are suf­fer­ing from a pleth­ora of sur­mise, con­jec­ture, and hy­po­thes­is.
The dif­fi­culty is to de­tach the frame­work of fact — of ab­so­lute un­deni­able fact — from the em­bel­lish­ments of the­or­ists and re­port­ers.
Then, hav­ing es­tab­lished ourselves upon this sound basis, it is our duty to see
what in­fer­ences may be drawn and what are the spe­cial points upon which the whole mys­tery turns.
On Tues­day even­ing I re­ceived tele­grams from both Col­on­el Ross, the own­er of the horse,
and from In­spect­or Gregory, who is look­ing after the case, in­vit­ing my co­oper­a­tion.”
“Tues­day even­ing!” I ex­claimed. “And this is Thursday morn­ing. Why didn’t you go down yes­ter­day?”
“Be­cause I made a blun­der, my dear Wat­son —
which is, I am afraid, a more com­mon oc­cur­rence than any one would think who only knew me through your mem­oirs.
The fact is that I could not be­lieve it pos­sible that the most re­mark­able horse in Eng­land could long re­main con­cealed,
es­pe­cially in so sparsely in­hab­ited a place as the north of Dart­moor.
From hour to hour yes­ter­day I ex­pec­ted to hear that he had been found, and that his ab­duct­or was the mur­der­er of John Straker.
When, however, an­oth­er morn­ing had come, and I found
that bey­ond the ar­rest of young Fitzroy Simpson noth­ing had been done, I felt that it was time for me to take ac­tion.
Yet in some ways I feel that yes­ter­day has not been wasted.”
“You have formed a the­ory, then?”
“At least I have got a grip of the es­sen­tial facts of the case.
I shall enu­mer­ate them to you, for noth­ing clears up a case so much as stat­ing it to an­oth­er per­son,
and I can hardly ex­pect your co-op­er­a­tion if I do not show you the po­s­i­tion from which we start.”
I lay back against the cush­ions, puff­ing at my ci­gar, while Holmes, lean­ing for­ward,
with his long, thin fore­finger check­ing off the points upon the palm of his left hand,
gave me a sketch of the events which had led to our jour­ney.
“Sil­ver Blaze,” said he, “is from the So­momy stock, and holds as bril­liant a re­cord as his fam­ous an­cest­or.
He is now in his fifth year, and has brought in turn each of the prizes of the turf to Col­on­el Ross, his for­tu­nate own­er.
Up to the time of the cata­strophe he was the first fa­vor­ite for the Wessex Cup, the bet­ting be­ing three to one on him.
He has al­ways, however, been a prime fa­vor­ite with the ra­cing pub­lic, and has nev­er yet dis­ap­poin­ted them,
so that even at those odds enorm­ous sums of money have been laid upon him.
It is ob­vi­ous, there­fore, that there were many people who had the strongest in­terest in pre­vent­ing Sil­ver Blaze from be­ing there at the fall of the flag next Tues­day.
“The fact was, of course, ap­pre­ci­ated at King’s Py­land, where the Col­on­el’s train­ing-stable is situ­ated. Every pre­cau­tion was taken to guard the fa­vor­ite.
The train­er, John Straker, is a re­tired jockey who rode in Col­on­el Ross’s col­ors be­fore he be­came too heavy for the weigh­ing-chair.
He has served the Col­on­el for five years as jockey and for sev­en as train­er, and has al­ways shown him­self to be a zeal­ous and hon­est ser­vant.
Un­der him were three lads; for the es­tab­lish­ment was a small one, con­tain­ing only four horses in all.
One of these lads sat up each night in the stable, while the oth­ers slept in the loft. All three bore ex­cel­lent char­ac­ters.
John Straker, who is a mar­ried man, lived in a small villa about two hun­dred yards from the stables.
He has no chil­dren, keeps one maid-ser­vant, and is com­fort­ably off.
The coun­try round is very lonely, but about half a mile to the north there is a small cluster of vil­las
which have been built by a Tav­is­tock con­tract­or for the use of in­val­ids and oth­ers who may wish to en­joy the pure Dart­moor air.
Tav­is­tock it­self lies two miles to the west, while across the moor, also about two miles dis­tant,
is the lar­ger train­ing es­tab­lish­ment of Mapleton, which be­longs to Lord Back­wa­ter, and is man­aged by Silas Brown.
In every oth­er dir­ec­tion the moor is a com­plete wil­der­ness, in­hab­ited only by a few roam­ing gypsies.
Such was the gen­er­al situ­ation last Monday night when the cata­strophe oc­curred.

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

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Die Übersetzung erschien erstmals 1983 in Sämtliche Sherlock-Holmes-Erzählungen im Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig. Gustav Kiepenheuer ist eine Marke der Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.
Übersetzung © Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin 1983, 2008.

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