Just like the rest of us, Sherlock hates getting his period early…hahahaha!
I’m sorry, I had to do it.
This story is not about that. It does involve a bit of blood, but it’s from a murder, not from…well, you know where it’s not from.
Two men have frantically contacted Sherlock and John. They work for the government; it’s all supposed to be very hush-hush. They say that something is missing. One of the men is named Trelawney, Professor Trelawney’s father or grandfather? Trelawney says he works for the government. He’s a big deal. He deals with very important papers. He has one paper so important that if it were published war would break out all over Europe. He takes this paper home every single night and locks it up in a box beside his bed, one day, it went missing.
I’m assuming it’s a lewd drawing of the queen or something.
He says nobody really has the key but himself. Other people have access to the room, mainly his wife, the maid, and the butler. The maid and the butler are old and the wife thinks he works in investments or something, he never tells her the true nature of his work. Mrs. Trelawney, does know that her husband works for the government, but he will never tell her anything. She’s a beautiful woman, but seems to be clueless in the matter of the missing paper.
Trelawney will never exactly outline to Sherlock what is in the paper, but Sherlock has enough to start on. He knows of several men who make their living selling state secrets to other countries and generally passing around gossip and blackmail. We would call this treason if we wanted to put a more definite name on the whole thing.
Sherlock begins studying his list of treasonous people right away. By chance John is reading the newspaper and reads about a gruesome murder. The man murdered is one Eduardo Lucas. This so happens to be the first man Sherlock was going to check on in relation to this special paper everyone is talking about. It can’t be a coincidence that he’s been murdered. Lucas was found dead in one of his rooms. It appears that he had been stabbed, but one of his own knives.
Before they can discuss anything else, Lady Trelawney shows up. she’s pretty and she seems nice, but she also seems evasive. She sits away from John and Sherlock in the shadows so that no one can see her face. She says her husband never tells her anything about matters of state. She asks Sherlock what the paper was, but Sherlock doesn’t really know, so he can’t tell her. She asks if her husband’s career would suffer over this and Sherlock said it would. She leaves rather abruptly and leaves John and Sherlock to figure her visit out.
The next day Sherlock does a bunch of research on the death of Lucas. They arrested a man named Mitton, Sherlock doesn’t think he did it. Lucas was something of a ladies man. Mitton has a complete alibi and was simply arrested so that someone would be arrested in relation to the crime. They soon find out a woman named Mme. Henri Fournaye was declared insane in the area of the house. It turns out that Lucas lived in Paris part of the year as Henri Fournaye and the woman is his wife. She was known to be jealous. The authorities can’t get anything out of the woman because she seems very distraught.
They suppose that maybe this woman killed Lucas and his death wasn’t in relation to the paper after all.
They go to the scene of the crime. The crime scene had been cleaned up, but there was a blood stain left on the rug in the room. Lestrade is there. He says they were very careful not to move anything from the crime scene, but they’ve found something strange. The large blood stain on the carpet does not have a corresponding blood stain on the floor. There is a stain, but it appears to be in a completely different spot. Someone has moved the carpet. Sherlock tells Lestrade to threaten the police officer in charge of watching the crime scene to get any news out of him.
While he is doing so, Sherlock examines the floor. He finds a secret compartment, but it’s empty. He quickly closes it before Lestrade comes back.
The police officer on duty says someone did come into the crime scene. It was a woman. She said she had the wrong house, she was looking to apply for a typist position. She got to talking to the officer and said she wanted to see the crime scene. She came into the room, looked around, and seemingly fainted. The officer went to get some brandy.
Sherlock and John then go to see Lady Trelawney. They want the truth they say. Sherlock says they know that she went to see Lucas and that she took a letter out from the hiding place underneath the carpet. They threaten to tell her husband that she has the letter and she relents. She presents the letter to Sherlock and it is exactly as described. They determine to put it back into the box her husband kept it in. That way they could say he simply overlooked it.
The Lady soon tells her story. Lucas had come in possession of a letter she had written to someone else. This letter would do terrible things for her relationship to her husband. Lucas threatened to give the letter to her husband unless she gave him the letter of state as described. They were going to make the exchange, but the Lady showed up at the wrong time. She saw Lucas hide the letter underneath the floorboard, but then another woman showed up saying that she had caught him with another woman. There was a fight and Lady Trelawney left. She didn’t learn that Lucas had been murdered until later.
She went back to the crime scene to retrieve the letter underneath the floorboards. She now had both letters. Sherlock says he will not tell. Mr. Trelawney comes home and they tell him too look in his box again. You must have overlooked it. Maybe some papers got shuffled on top of it. Trelawney says he knows the letter was not in the box before, but Sherlock says he has his own secrets.
Arthur seemed to be an equal opportunity villainist. Villainist isn’t a real word, but let’s make it one. A villainist being someone who creates villains. So if you’re a writer, a film-maker, or even an artist, you too could be a villainist. It’s not only men who are villains in his stories, it’s also women. We’ve had a couple of murderesses, we’ve had women who steal state secrets, and we’ve had women who are spies. Arthur really was kind of on the forefront as far as women went in the late 1800s.
One of his stories was about a woman who regularly rode a bicycle. Believe it or not, people used to think women riding bicycles was not very lady-like. First off, you had to straddle the bike to ride it, and who did that? What woman straddled something? Oh the shame! There was a bit of a sexual aspect associated with bicycles; yes, bicycles you read it correctly. I mention all of this to paint an example of Arthur being kind of cutting edge in a sense. Arthur didn’t relegate women to the sidelines in his stories; women are primary actors in his stories. They do things women weren’t supposed to do in the time period. Women didn’t steal state secrets! Come on man! Only men stole state secrets…yeah, well, shows how much you know.
Trelawney underestimated his wife. He talked of her like one talks of a puppy. Oh, she’s so sweet! Isn’t she so sweet?! She sits there looking cute. She doesn’t need to know any of this nonsense about how I work for the government. She wouldn’t understand it anyway. Yeah, ok, dude.
It turns out Lady Trelawney knew more than she let on, she had secrets of her own, and she had the guts to steal state secrets. Men, don’t underestimate your wives. We’ve said it before–women know. It doesn’t matter if you think they don’t know; they know. You can’t hide.
This guy is irresponsible anyway. He has possession of a letter, which could plunge Europe into a premature WWI. What does he do with it? He carries it to and from his house each day. He locks it in something that doesn’t sound very secure. It actually sounds like one of those fireboxes you can get at Wal-mart for thirty dollars and bust open by dropping them on their corners. Try it! They’re not very difficult to break into. Of course, that’s not what he actually had; he had something different, but it doesn’t sound very secure all the same.
If you had something that important, you wouldn’t carry it from place to place. You would lock it up in one place. It would stay in that one place. You would have a guard. You would have a security camera. You would have alarms. You get the picture. If this dude had been smart, he would have locked this letter in a safe, at his place of work, or in some very official government building that had a guard on duty twenty-four hours a day. Only certain people would have the key and/or combination. The guards would be highly vetted. Everyone involved in the entire situation should be above reproach.
Look, if you have an object, when are you more likely to lose it? Are you more likely to lose this object if it stays in your house all day? Who has had their refrigerator stolen? I’m sure some of you might have had your refrigerator stolen, but it stays in your house, not many people see it. Now, how many of you have had your phone stolen, a few more correct? You carry your phone around everywhere. Because you carry it around everyone, you might lose it. There is a chance that you simply left it on a seat on the bus. You might drop your phone in the toilet at K-mart. Someone might steal your phone. Ooh, that’s a nice iPhone 6. I can jailbreak that and sell it for two-hundred dollars.
It’s common sense. If you move something around often, it’s more likely to be lost, stolen, or damaged. What if this guy had accidentally lit this letter aflame when lighting his cigar? There are so many possibilities. Oh my gosh, people, just leave this important documents in guarded safes in guarded buildings, a bank works, you know; banks have security deposit boxes.
So this guy is stupid in two counts. He’s stupid enough to think that carrying a very important letter back and forth is a good idea and he’s stupid enough not to suspect his wife of anything. Who elected this guy? Strategery
Then on top of all the other stupidity this guy has, he’s stupid enough to half-way believe that the letter stayed in his box the entire time. When you know you’ve looked through something twenty times and it’s not there, you know it’s not there. There is no need to second-guess yourself.
It just goes to show you, that maybe the public should be a little more selective of their government officials.
Hey, this idiot almost caused a World War because he was carrying around a piece of paper he should have left in one place. It’s election day you know.
blackmail, jealous wife, john watson, murder, politicians, second stain, sherlock, sherlock holmes, sir arthur conan doyle, stabbed to death, The Adventure of the Second Stain, The Adventure of the Second Stain sherlock holmes, The Adventure of the Second Stain sir arthur conan doyle, trelawney
Doyle-Sir Arthur Conan, Sherlock Holmes