Arthur Conan

Doyle

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Die Wiederkehr von Sherlock Holmes

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

TITELBLATT

THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE

THE ADVENTURE OF THE NORWOOD BUILDER

THE ADVENTURE OF THE DANCING MEN

THE ADVENTURE OF THE SOLITARY CYCLIST

THE ADVENTURE OF THE PRIORY SCHOOL

THE ADVENTURE OF BLACK PETER

THE ADVENTURE OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS MILVERTON

THE ADVENTURE OF THE SIX NAPOLEONS

THE ADVENTURE OF THE THREE STUDENTS

THE ADVENTURE OF THE GOLDEN PINCE-NEZ

THE ADVENTURE OF THE MISSING THREE-QUARTER

THE ADVENTURE OF THE ABBEY GRANGE

THE ADVENTURE OF THE SECOND STAIN

IMPRESSUM

THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE

It was in the spring of the year 1894 that all Lon­don was in­ter­ested, and the fash­ion­able world dis­mayed,
by the murder of the Hon­our­able Ron­ald Adair un­der most un­usu­al and in­ex­plic­able cir­cum­stances.
The pub­lic has already learned those par­tic­u­lars of the crime which came out in the po­lice in­vest­ig­a­tion,
but a good deal was sup­pressed upon that oc­ca­sion, since the case for the pro­sec­u­tion was so over­whelm­ingly strong
that it was not ne­ces­sary to bring for­ward all the facts.
Only now, at the end of nearly ten years, am I al­lowed to sup­ply those miss­ing links which make up the whole of that re­mark­able chain.
The crime was of in­terest in it­self, but that in­terest was as noth­ing to me com­pared to the in­con­ceiv­able se­quel,
which af­forded me the greatest shock and sur­prise of any event in my ad­ven­tur­ous life.
Even now, after this long in­ter­val, I find my­self thrill­ing as I think of it,
and feel­ing once more that sud­den flood of joy, amazement, and in­credu­lity which ut­terly sub­merged my mind.
Let me say to that pub­lic, which has shown some in­terest in those glimpses which I have oc­ca­sion­ally giv­en them of the thoughts and ac­tions of a very re­mark­able man,
that they are not to blame me if I have not shared my know­ledge with them,
for I should have con­sidered it my first duty to do so,
had I not been barred by a pos­it­ive pro­hib­i­tion from his own lips, which was only with­drawn upon the third of last month.
It can be ima­gined that my close in­tim­acy with Sher­lock Holmes had in­ter­ested me deeply in crime,
and that after his dis­ap­pear­ance I nev­er failed to read with care the vari­ous prob­lems which came be­fore the pub­lic.
And I even at­temp­ted, more than once, for my own private sat­is­fac­tion, to em­ploy his meth­ods in their solu­tion, though with in­dif­fer­ent suc­cess.
There was none, however, which ap­pealed to me like this tragedy of Ron­ald Adair.
As I read the evid­ence at the in­quest, which led up to a ver­dict of will­ful murder against some per­son or per­sons un­known,
I real­ized more clearly than I had ever done the loss which the com­munity had sus­tained by the death of Sher­lock Holmes.
There were points about this strange busi­ness which would, I was sure, have spe­cially ap­pealed to him,
and the ef­forts of the po­lice would have been sup­ple­men­ted, or more prob­ably an­ti­cip­ated, by the trained ob­ser­va­tion and the alert mind of the first crim­in­al agent in Europe.
All day, as I drove upon my round, I turned over the case in my mind and found no ex­plan­a­tion which ap­peared to me to be ad­equate.
At the risk of telling a twice-told tale, I will re­capit­u­late the facts as they were known to the pub­lic at the con­clu­sion of the in­quest.
The Hon­our­able Ron­ald Adair was the second son of the Earl of Maynooth, at that time gov­ernor of one of the Aus­trali­an colon­ies.
Adair’s moth­er had re­turned from Aus­tralia to un­der­go the op­er­a­tion for catar­act, and she,
her son Ron­ald, and her daugh­ter Hilda were liv­ing to­geth­er at 427 Park Lane.
The youth moved in the best so­ci­ety — had, so far as was known, no en­emies and no par­tic­u­lar vices.
He had been en­gaged to Miss Edith Wood­ley, of Carstairs,
but the en­gage­ment had been broken off by mu­tu­al con­sent some months be­fore,
and there was no sign that it had left any very pro­found feel­ing be­hind it.
For the rest the man’s life moved in a nar­row and con­ven­tion­al circle, for his habits were quiet and his nature un­emo­tion­al.
Yet it was upon this easy-go­ing young ar­is­to­crat that death came, in most strange and un­ex­pec­ted form, between the hours of ten and el­ev­en-twenty on the night of March 30, 1894.
Ron­ald Adair was fond of cards — play­ing con­tinu­ally, but nev­er for such stakes as would hurt him.
He was a mem­ber of the Bald­win, the Cav­endish, and the Baga­telle card clubs.
It was shown that, after din­ner on the day of his death, he had played a rub­ber of whist at the lat­ter club.
He had also played there in the af­ter­noon.
The evid­ence of those who had played with him — Mr. Mur­ray, Sir John Hardy, and Col­on­el Mor­an — showed
that the game was whist, and that there was a fairly equal fall of the cards.
Adair might have lost five pounds, but not more. His for­tune was a con­sid­er­able one, and such a loss could not in any way af­fect him.
He had played nearly every day at one club or oth­er, but he was a cau­tious play­er, and usu­ally rose a win­ner.
It came out in evid­ence that, in part­ner­ship with Col­on­el Mor­an, he had ac­tu­ally won as much as four hun­dred and twenty pounds in a sit­ting, some weeks be­fore, from God­frey Mil­ner and Lord Bal­mor­al.
So much for his re­cent his­tory as it came out at the in­quest.
On the even­ing of the crime, he re­turned from the club ex­actly at ten.
His moth­er and sis­ter were out spend­ing the even­ing with a re­la­tion.
The ser­vant de­posed that she heard him enter the front room on the second floor, gen­er­ally used as his sit­ting-room.
She had lit a fire there, and as it smoked she had opened the win­dow.
No sound was heard from the room un­til el­ev­en-twenty, the hour of the re­turn of Lady Maynooth and her daugh­ter.
De­sir­ing to say good-night, she at­temp­ted to enter her son’s room.
The door was locked on the in­side, and no an­swer could be got to their cries and knock­ing.
Help was ob­tained, and the door forced. The un­for­tu­nate young man was found ly­ing near the table.
His head had been hor­ribly mu­til­ated by an ex­pand­ing re­volver bul­let, but no weapon of any sort was to be found in the room.
On the table lay two bank­notes for ten pounds each and sev­en­teen pounds ten in sil­ver and gold,
the money ar­ranged in little piles of vary­ing amount.
There were some fig­ures also upon a sheet of pa­per, with the names of some club friends op­pos­ite to them,
from which it was con­jec­tured that be­fore his death he was en­deav­our­ing to make out his losses or win­nings at cards.
A minute ex­am­in­a­tion of the cir­cum­stances served only to make the case more com­plex.
In the first place, no reas­on could be giv­en why the young man should have fastened the door upon the in­side.
There was the pos­sib­il­ity that the mur­der­er had done this, and had af­ter­wards es­caped by the win­dow.
The drop was at least twenty feet, however, and a bed of cro­cuses in full bloom lay be­neath.
Neither the flowers nor the earth showed any sign of hav­ing been dis­turbed,
nor were there any marks upon the nar­row strip of grass which sep­ar­ated the house from the road.
Ap­par­ently, there­fore, it was the young man him­self who had fastened the door.
But how did he come by his death? No one could have climbed up to the win­dow without leav­ing traces.
Sup­pose a man had fired through the win­dow, he would in­deed be a re­mark­able shot
who could with a re­volver in­flict so deadly a wound.
Again, Park Lane is a fre­quen­ted thor­ough­fare; there is a cab stand with­in a hun­dred yards of the house. No one had heard a shot.
And yet there was the dead man and there the re­volver bul­let, which had mush­roomed out, as soft-nosed bul­lets will,
and so in­flic­ted a wound which must have caused in­stant­an­eous death.
Such were the cir­cum­stances of the Park Lane Mys­tery, which were fur­ther com­plic­ated by en­tire ab­sence of motive,
since, as I have said, young Adair was not known to have any en­emy,
and no at­tempt had been made to re­move the money or valu­ables in the room.
All day I turned these facts over in my mind, en­deav­our­ing to hit upon some the­ory
which could re­con­cile them all, and to find that line of least res­ist­ance
which my poor friend had de­clared to be the start­ing-point of every in­vest­ig­a­tion.
I con­fess that I made little pro­gress. In the even­ing I strolled across the Park, and found my­self about six o’clock at the Ox­ford Street end of Park Lane.
A group of loafers upon the pave­ments, all star­ing up at a par­tic­u­lar win­dow, dir­ec­ted me to the house which I had come to see.
A tall, thin man with col­oured glasses, whom I strongly sus­pec­ted of be­ing a plain-clothes de­tect­ive,
was point­ing out some the­ory of his own, while the oth­ers crowded round to listen to what he said.
I got as near him as I could, but his ob­ser­va­tions seemed to me to be ab­surd, so I with­drew again in some dis­gust.
As I did so I struck against an eld­erly, de­formed man, who had been be­hind me, and I knocked down sev­er­al books which he was car­ry­ing.
I re­mem­ber that as I picked them up, I ob­served the title of one of them, The Ori­gin of Tree Wor­ship,
and it struck me that the fel­low must be some poor bib­li­o­phile,
who, either as a trade or as a hobby, was a col­lect­or of ob­scure volumes.
I en­deav­oured to apo­lo­gize for the ac­ci­dent, but it was evid­ent that these books
which I had so un­for­tu­nately mal­treated were very pre­cious ob­jects in the eyes of their own­er.
With a snarl of con­tempt he turned upon his heel, and I saw his curved back and white side-whiskers dis­ap­pear among the throng.
My ob­ser­va­tions of No. 427 Park Lane did little to clear up the prob­lem in which I was in­ter­ested.
The house was sep­ar­ated from the street by a low wall and rail­ing, the whole not more than five feet high.
It was per­fectly easy, there­fore, for any­one to get into the garden,
but the win­dow was en­tirely in­ac­cess­ible, since there was no wa­ter­pipe or any­thing which could help the most act­ive man to climb it.
More puzzled than ever, I re­traced my steps to Kens­ing­ton.
I had not been in my study five minutes when the maid entered to say that a per­son de­sired to see me.
To my as­ton­ish­ment it was none oth­er than my strange old book col­lect­or,
his sharp, wizened face peer­ing out from a frame of white hair, and his pre­cious volumes, a dozen of them at least, wedged un­der his right arm.
“You’re sur­prised to see me, sir,” said he, in a strange, croak­ing voice.
I ac­know­ledged that I was.
“Well, I’ve a con­science, sir, and when I chanced to see you go into this house, as I came hob­bling after you,
I thought to my­self, I’ll just step in and see that kind gen­tle­man, and tell him that if I was a bit gruff in my man­ner there was not any harm meant,
and that I am much ob­liged to him for pick­ing up my books.”
“You make too much of a trifle,” said I. “May I ask how you knew who I was?”
“Well, sir, if it isn’t too great a liberty, I am a neigh­bour of yours,
for you’ll find my little book­shop at the corner of Church Street, and very happy to see you, I am sure.
Maybe you col­lect your­self, sir. Here’s Brit­ish Birds, and Catul­lus, and The Holy War — a bar­gain, every one of them.
With five volumes you could just fill that gap on that second shelf. It looks un­tidy, does it not, sir?”
I moved my head to look at the cab­in­et be­hind me.
When I turned again, Sher­lock Holmes was stand­ing smil­ing at me across my study table.
I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in ut­ter amazement, and then it ap­pears that I must have fain­ted for the first and the last time in my life.
Cer­tainly a gray mist swirled be­fore my eyes, and when it cleared I found my col­lar-ends un­done
and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon my lips.
Holmes was bend­ing over my chair, his flask in his hand.
“My dear Wat­son,” said the well-re­membered voice, “I owe you a thou­sand apo­lo­gies.
I had no idea that you would be so af­fected.”
I gripped him by the arms.
“Holmes!” I cried. “Is it really you? Can it in­deed be that you are alive? Is it pos­sible that you suc­ceeded in climb­ing out of that aw­ful abyss?”
“Wait a mo­ment,” said he. “Are you sure that you are really fit to dis­cuss things?
I have giv­en you a ser­i­ous shock by my un­ne­ces­sar­ily dra­mat­ic re­appear­ance.”
“I am all right, but in­deed, Holmes, I can hardly be­lieve my eyes.
Good heav­ens! to think that you — you of all men — should be stand­ing in my study.”
Again I gripped him by the sleeve, and felt the thin, sinewy arm be­neath it.
“Well, you’re not a spir­it any­how,” said I. “My dear chap, I’m over­joyed to see you.
Sit down, and tell me how you came alive out of that dread­ful chasm.”

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

Dies ist ein interaktives E-Book. Klicken Sie auf den Text, um die Übersetzung einzublenden.

Der Originaltext ist gemeinfrei. Die Rechte für die synchronisierte zweisprachige Ausgabe und für die von uns in der Übersetzung ergänzten Textpassagen liegen bei Doppeltext.

Die Übersetzung erschien erstmals 1984 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 1984, 2008.

Unser Programm umfasst viele weitere zweisprachige Titel. Besuchen Sie www.doppeltext.com, um mehr zu erfahren.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Meinung und Kritik.

Doppeltext
Igor Kogan & Tatiana Zelenska
Karwendelstr. 25
D-81369 München
Tel. +49-89-76 75 55 34
www.doppeltext.com
info@doppeltext.com