This is the second and final installment of the story about the Wisteria Lodge.
We last left John and Sherlock as they were going to go checkout Wisteria Lodge. Well John and Sherlock end up at Wisteria Lodge. Inside it seems pretty normal, actually, it doesn’t seem normal. It appears as if the tenants had simply used the house like a hotel room. There weren’t any personal belongings for the most part. The house was mostly bereft of anything.
When the gang had first arrived the police officer stationed at the house blurted out that something terrible had been in the window. It had a strange face. It was a strange color. Indeed someone had been at the window, a rather big someone. There is suspicion that it was Garcia’s cook. They looked around and found a dead rooster in the kitchen. There were burnt animal bones in the fireplace. There was also a dried-out thing in the house that is assumed to be a fetish.
After examining the house, Sherlock seems to do nothing. John and Sherlock stay in the town for about a week. One night it is made known that the cook of Garcia has been arrested. Sherlock tells the local detective that he thinks he has the wrong man and the detective just chuckles to himself.
Sherlock finally tells John what he’s been doing.
Sherlock: John, I’ve been peeping through windows. There is this woman in the house over that way that has…great tracks of land.
Ok, he didn’t actually say that, but what he said was close enough. He tells John he’s been examining all the houses in the area and gaining confederates among ex-employees. There is one house in particular belonging to a Mr. Henderson which fits the bill. Henderson seems to be a man no one ever sees. He is eccentrically rich. He employs a governess for his two daughters. Sherlock reasons that the governess is the woman who wrote the note to Garcia.
From his confederate he has learned some strange things about Henderson. They watch the house, but the local detective is also watching the house. They catch a cab that is about to spirit the governess away, but they catch her before she is taken away. She has been drugged. They let her recover and she tells her story.
The man in the house is not actually named Henderson, he’s named Murillo and he used to be a tyrant over San Pedro. The governess is actually the widow of one of the men Murillo had killed. Garcia was also a family member of someone who had been ill-done by Murillo. The governess and Garcia were both part of a plot to kill Murillo. She sent the note denoting which room he was in for the night, because Murillo switched rooms often, but she was caught in the act and forced to send the note. When the appointed time came, Garcia was murdered.
The governess was imprisoned and finally drugged. When people can finally get to the house, Murillo has fled, but some months later a man fitting his description has been found dead. Sherlock assumes that justice has been found.
San Pedro is a city. It’s not a country. I was wondering if what Arthur says of San Pedro in this story had any bearing on reality. I could totally have the wrong San Pedro, but the San Pedro I’m going with is on the largest inhabited island of Belize, Belize being a country in Central America. The area was once ruled over by ruffians and it’s a possibility that there could have been a guy like Murillo there. Belize was under Spanish control for a while, but it was also under British control for a while. Both of those facts do give it a place in this story. Perhaps Murillo was an agent of the British empire and he wasn’t very nice, or perhaps he was Spanish and England offered him sanctuary. I really don’t know. It’s just a story. Arthur made it up. There really isn’t a Murillo.
The situation is not that far-fetched. There have been dictators whom people have been unhappy with. Those people then plotted to assassinate said dictators. That’s life. Why wouldn’t the governess be in on the whole thing? Since I read In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, which is all about the Mirabel sisters, this story doesn’t seem that out of line. I can see something like this happening.
It turns out Arthur was using the term half-breed to describe a person who was a mulatto, although, I don’t think using the term mulatto is that PC by today’s standards.
These past couple of stories or so have used the word “grange.” I finally decided to look up what in the heck that meant. It means a country house with outbuildings attached. It’s a farm-house, but your tool shed is on the side of the house essentially. When this story says an outhouse is below the governess’s window, it doesn’t mean they put the toilet there, it means that’s where they keep the hay or something.
What in the heck happened to this guy’s kids?
If you’re Spanish, is it really so easy to pass yourself off as a British person?
Does everything have to be some government plot? It seems to be that Arthur has gotten a little political in his later stories of Sherlock Holmes. The dude got away for crying out loud. He got away. Sherlock and John did a whole lot of nothing, besides preventing the drugged governess from being put on a train against her will. I’m glad she’s ok, but come on!
Look here, if you’re a dictator, Hitler, Trujillo, Hussein, and so forth, somebody will kill you, if you don’t kill yourself first or die of some nasty disease. You can’t be a dictator and survive. Your reign may last for a while, but somebody is going to kill the heck out of you. Out of all the nasty dictators we’ve had in the history of the world, how many of them have not had the crap killed out of them? A lot of them have been assassinated. Why do dictators think they can get away with being dictators? People rebel. People don’t want to be treated like junk. If you’re the person treating them like junk, you better live in a box made of bullet proof glass and have a car that can withstand gunfire for eight hours, it exists.
Your closest confederates could be the people plotting to kill you. There are really no lengths wronged people won’t go to in order to get rid of a dictator. This guy thought he could hide. He thought he could pretend to be a different nationality. He thought he could live in a country house out in England and be safe. Yeah, well he thought wrong. He only narrowly escaped and then someone did eventually get him.
It blows my mind that people think they can treat an entire people like dirt and get away with it. You’re going to pay for it, maybe not right now, but it’s going to happen.
It’s almost stupidity of the highest degree. A dictator comes to power and he thinks, “I can treat all these people like crap for years and I’ll be fine. I’m better that Hitler. I’m better that Hussein. I’m better that Trujillo. Nobody will kill me.” Yeah, ok, dude, you’re not any different. If you’re a jerk and you’re a jerk to an entire people, you’re probably not going to escape death like you think you are. Go ahead and make your arrangements. Pick out that casket you want. The clock’s ticking.
I feel bad for Murillo’s children. they’re just little girls, but chances are whoever took out Murillo might have also taken out his kids. Children of dictators have been known to be collateral damage.
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Doyle-Sir Arthur Conan, Sherlock Holmes