Three-quarters of what?
Sherlock and John are bored. John thinks this is bad because Sherlock gets up to strange things when he’s bored. They receive a telegram from a man named Overton.
Please await me. Terrible misfortune. Right wing three-quarter missing, indispensable to-morrow. Overton.
Overton does show up. He says Godfrey Staunton is missing. Then he says a whole bunch of other stuff that Sherlock doesn’t understand. Sherlock is all like Who-sey-what-y? That’s because Overton is speaking of sports. Sherlock and I have something in common. I have no idea what most sports terms mean. I could watch a football game, but all I see is a bunch of guys in tight pants trying to jump on top of each other and that’s probably not what football is about, but I could be wrong.
Overton simplifies it a bit. Without Staunton they will lose their match/game/contest/whatever. The circumstances are this–a messenger came to summon Staunton at his room. He left with the messenger, but was not back by morning. He did however send off a telegram before leaving. He has a rich relative of some sort. There is suspicion that maybe he was kidnapped for ransom. There is also suspicion that maybe he was kidnapped because of betting on the game. Whatever it may be, he’s gone.
Sherlock wants to examine the room from which the man disappeared. There nothing is really amiss, but Sherlock carefully examines the stack of telegraph forms. Through some clever working, Sherlock is able to get a partial impression of the message that Staunton sent off in his telegraph. It still doesn’t shed any light on the case. Sherlock is able to trick the telegraph office into letting him see the telegraph impression that had been sent off the day before. He is able to determine that the telegraph was sent to a doctor.
Sherlock questions whether Staunton was in the best health. Everyone thinks that Staunton was in great health. The rich relative shows up and says he doesn’t want to put any money towards the finding of Staunton and doesn’t really care for him one way or the other. In the end he says he’ll contribute 5 or ten pounds if need be.
Sherlock speak with the doctor in question and finds him very evasive and rude. He finds him even more evasive when the doctor won’t say what a receipt to Staunton from him was for. He then proceeds to spy on the doctor. One night he follows the doctor on a bicycle but loses him. The doctor knows that Sherlock has been following him. Sherlock soon requires the use of an unlikely helper. A bloodhound is employed to track the carriage that the doctor takes out into the country.
John and Sherlock follow the dog and the dog leads them to a little house out in a field. In the house they find Staunton, he’s fine, but the woman on the bed is not. It turns out the woman on the bed is actually his wife. She has recently died. He married her secretly because he feared that his rich relative wouldn’t leave him any money in his will if he found out he had married a poor woman. The wife suddenly became ill before the game and thus Staunton disappeared from his position on the team to be by his wife’s side as she died.
I have no idea what sport is being spoken of in this story. Rugby? It doesn’t sound like Cricket. I don’t think it’s soccer, but I could be wrong. Sports are not my thing. I know people bet on them and that’s what gives a bit of intrigue to this story. Maybe someone really was trying to persuade the results of the game by stealing the star player. Things like that have happened before. I get the feeling that the teams mentioned in this story are more like college sports teams. They’re not in the pros, that much is obvious by the continuous use of the word amateurs. College sports are still quite a big deal. People pay money to watch college football. There are people who bleed, sweat, and eat college football. Why? I have no freaking idea. Around here all I hear is arguments about gamecocks and tigers.
With all of that said, there are people who bet on college sports. There are probably people who would do some maybe illegal things to throw the results of a game. The possibility of some illegal betting going on in relation to this match is what makes the disappearance of Staunton interesting.
I think it was awfully rude of Sherlock to butt in on this whole situation. There are several things to think of here. People have a right to go missing. While it wouldn’t be very nice of Staunton to just up and disappear the day before a big match/game, it’s his right. He doesn’t have to stay. It’s not illegal. Sure, he might get fired or kicked off the team or lose his scholarship, whatever the case may be, but it’s not illegal. He doesn’t have to play whatever sport it is and people don’t have to know where he is at. People are usually not declared missing persons for at least twenty-four hours, but it’s usually forty-eight hours.
People have right to doctor/patient confidentiality. I don’t know what the laws were back in England when this story was written, but usually it’s considered poor taste for your doctor to discuss your medical history with anyone. The doctor in this story was in the right for choosing not to discuss anything with Sherlock, but Sherlock was in the wrong for pressing for that information.
Sometimes your nose doesn’t belong in the place where you’re trying to stick it. There is not one person in this entire story that had a right to know where Staunton was. The only person who had a right was the dead wife, but you know she died, so nobody in this story has a right to know where Staunton is all of the time, but yet, everyone thought they had to know. His coach, or whoever, thought he had a right to know. His teammates thought they had a right to know. Sherlock and John thought they had a right to know. None of them needed to know. In the end Sherlock just ended up barging in on a situation he shouldn’t have been in at all. It was a private and difficult moment for Staunton and strange people shouldn’t have been there.
You don’t have to be a part of everything.
Another thing I take away from this story is that people are way too into sports. A friendly game of volleyball is great. It’s fun. You get your heart rate up. You joke around. Things get a little competitive. You burn a few calories and afterwards everyone goes home and resumes their normal lives. Right? Yes, that’s right.
What I see in this story is that people are just way too into it. Oh, my God! We’re going to lose! We can’t win without Staunton! Find him immediately! It doesn’t matter if we’re invading his privacy. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t want to play. It doesn’t matter if he’s sick! It doesn’t matter if this is none of our business! It doesn’t matter if we try to break his doctor/patient confidentiality! Things like that don’t exist when there is a risk of losing the game!
They’re idiots. This guy has a right to a life outside of this sport, whatever it may be.
Another thing, your team of whatever sport should be good enough to win without any one person. If your whatever player is sick, put in the substitute guy and win. Each player should be skilled enough that something like that is possible. You don’t make a team around one man. It’s called a team for a reason. It means that more than one person puts an effort into it.
Yeah, so they lost without Staunton, but that’s their own darn fault for not being better without him. Leave the man to grieve for his dead wife and go practice. Losing the game is not the end of the world. It’s a game, which means it’s not serious.
This story is stupid. I don’t understand all the sports crap. I don’t understand why these people think it’s any of their business what this guy does with his own time. I don’t understand why Sherlock was involved at all. He could have at least apologized.
Even the dog had his nose all up in other people’s business.
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Doyle-Sir Arthur Conan, Sherlock Holmes