Show me the Carfax! No, really, I seriously need to see the Carfax. She’s gone missing and I need to see her. Lady Carfax is, of course, heir to the fortune of the Carfax family and their desire to make sure everyone knows the history of their cars before they make a purchase.
John and Sherlock are talking. Sherlock thinks it’s weird that John went to a Turkish bath, he could tell this all by John’s shoes. He then asks John if he would like to go on a vacation to Switzerland. John says that would be great, so Sherlock sends John off to Switzerland where he is to investigate the disappearance of Lady Carfax.
The Lady Carfax has not written to her governess in five weeks, which is quite unusual, both in the fact that she hasn’t written, but also in the fact that she seems to have no real friends. It is assumed that she is missing, or dead. John learns that her waiting-maid has left her employ to be married. He also learns that she hung out with a preacher and his wife for a while in Switzerland, but soon left. The waiting-maid was quite upset to be outside of her employ. When John is able to interview a few people he learns big bristly man has been seen skulking about around Lady Carfax.
John accosts this big bristly man when he sees him, but the man proceeds to beat him up, luckily a man stops the whole thing, but it’s also Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock has asked what the preacher’s ear looks like and John thought it was a joke.
The maid is asked about Lady Carfax. Her fiance is asked about Lady Carfax. Everyone is asked, but no one seems to know anything. Sherlock knows the big bristly man and it turns out he’s has a crush on Lady Carfax and has known her for some time. He only beat up John because he was upset. Sherlock and John go back to London. Lady Carfax had in her possession some unique jewelry. Sherlock has been watching the pawn shops. It becomes apparent that someone is pawning off her jewelry.
Sherlock says he thinks that the preacher is actually a bad man. He thinks he is a con artist who cons wealthy women out of their money and jewels using religion. The big bristly man follows the wife of the preacher home one day. He also followed her to an undertaker’s where they told her that it took longer because it was larger than usual.
Sherlock and John go to the house, but they don’t have a warrant. There is no evidence that Lady Carfax is there, that they can see. There is a dead woman, but supposedly she’s an old servant that they wanted to give a proper burial. John and Sherlock cannot look through the house more without a proper warrant. They do find out there is to be a funeral the next morning. They have to wait for a warrant in the meantime.
Sherlock rushes to the house the next morning before the funeral. He gets the lid pried off the coffin and inside is Lady Carfax. The coffin was made deep enough for two bodies. Lady Carfax was to be buried alive with the dead woman. The fake preacher is in fact a notorious con artist and criminal and the wife isn’t really his wife. He has a weird ear and this is why Sherlock asked about it.
In the end Lady Carfax was not murdered and can go on living despite a rather to tortuous few weeks.
From all the movies and stories, France is beginning to seem like a dangerous place. This story takes place France, Switzerland, and England. Luasanne is in Switzerland, but they speak French in that region of Switzerland. Montpellier, also mentioned in the story, is in France. Lady Carfax was apparently on quite the vacation.
In the illustration, it appears as if Sherlock Holmes is pretending to be a police officer. That’s not what Ouvrier means. Ouvrier is a French word, of course, which means a worker or a laborer. It could possibly mean operator. It’s not a police officer. Sherlock is not pretending to be any type of figure with any authority.
This story mentions Rue de Trajan. Rue means road, I know that much French, and de is “of.” Trajan is the guy you want to know about though. He’s important to European history, that’s why there is a rue de Trajan or Trajan’s column. Trajan was the man responsible for those maps showing the Roman empire stretching all over Europe and into parts of Asia and Africa. He’s the guy. He’s the guy responsible for a lot of those old roman roads. He was actually declared the best emperor ever. People like him for the most part, that’s why there are streets named after him. So the next time you see a road named Rue de Trajan or Trajan’s road, he probably ordered it to be built, or the person who named it just really liked Trajan.
I didn’t go too into detail during my summary. Arthur can get tedious at time and I can’t get all tedious with my summaries, otherwise no one will read these posts because they’re just too darn long.
This is a story about a con-man, that’s why I called him a con-artist. The story doesn’t use that word. I used that word. I don’t know if being the term “con-artist” was a thing back in the day’s of Arthur, but maybe being a swindler was. They mean the same thing. A con-person, let’s be PC, is a person who manipulates you out of money, usually. They may manipulate you into and out of other things as well. In the end, you’re usually going to be a little poorer, maybe a lot poorer.
One of my favorite con-people, is Sawyer from Lost. Who didn’t love them some Sawyer? Nobody. Everybody loved Sawyer. Sawyer used his charm and southern accent to swindle people out of money. Con-people have been around for a long, long time.
The guy in this story uses religion as a means to con women. Religion can be a pretty convincing means to con people. A large majority of the people of the Earth practice some form of religion or other. They have a desire to have a higher power in their life. If some guy says, “Follow me, I know God.” People tend to listen. I’m not saying it’s a great idea and I’m not condoning that type of behavior. People follow though. Somewhere along the line, God needs some more money. God needs a new house. God needs this or that. This con-person acts on the supposed will of God.
Sadly, it’s easy to get a religious person to believe something else, even if it is to their detriment. This guy saw a niche he could fill. He told Lady Carfax that he was a true man of God and she willingly went with him to minister to the servant of God. As a result, she was held captive and deprived of her valuable worldly possessions.
This just goes to show you that you need to be careful of people. Ok, maybe they really do know God, but God doesn’t need a brand new Mercedes, so if your preacher asks you for a down-payment all in a way to serve God, maybe you want to get another preacher. You know, it’s like getting a second opinion from the doctor.
You’re not always going to have Sherlock looking out for you. You need to recognize when someone is trying to con you. Yes, I know they sound really nice and convincing, but they just want your money, or in your pants.
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Doyle-Sir Arthur Conan, Sherlock Holmes