Short summary - The Adventure of Silver Blaze
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
The first favorite of races is stolen. Sherlock Holmes discovers that the culprit is the stallion's trainer, bribed by competitors.
Sherlock Holmes seeks help from Colonel Ross, who has been stolen from a stallion named Silver, the first favorite in the Wessex Cup. Silver Trainer John Straker was found murdered.
The great detective arrives at the crime scene. Since the last time Silver took away all the prizes at the races, there are many people in whose interests it was not to allow his presence at the next competition. Understanding this, the favorite's stable was carefully guarded. John Straker served with the colonel for 12 years. At first he was a jockey, then he became a coach. Duties he performed exemplary. In the stable at night one stableman was on duty, the rest slept in the hayloft. Straker and his wife lived near the stable in a small house.
In the evening, two grooms went to the coach to have dinner, and the third remained on duty at the stable. The maid brought him food, lamb in garlic sauce. She did not take a drink with her, as there is a tap in the stable, and it is forbidden for a night watchman to drink anything other than water. Not far from the stable, an unfamiliar, well-dressed man with a cane approached the girl and began to offer her money for information about horses. The girl rushed to the stable. The groom ran to lower the dog, but the stranger was gone. He closed the door, and it was impossible to climb through the window. One of the grooms went to report to Streker about what had happened. At first, the coach did not attach any importance to this, but in the middle of the night he was alarmed and, despite the rain, went to find out if everything was in order in the stable.
Waking up in the morning and seeing that there was no husband, Mrs. Straker was worried, and together with the maid went to the stable. The door was wide open, there was no Silver in the stall, the groom on duty was fast asleep, apparently, under the influence of a hard drug. The other two grooms also slept and did not hear anything.
Not far from the stable, Strecker's cloak hung on the bush, and Straker himself lay dead. His head was crushed by a heavy object, a cut on his hip. In one hand he clutched a small bloodied knife, and in the other - a tie that was on a stranger. Traces of Serebryany were visible near the bush, but then disappeared. The horse disappeared without a trace. An analysis of the remnants of the groom's dinner showed that opium was sprinkled in the food, but the other inhabitants of the house ate the same thing, and nothing happened to them.
Police arrested a stranger who was approaching the stable. It turned out to be a certain Fitzroy Simpson, who lost most of his fortune at the races. He confessed that he was near the stable, recognized his tie, which he had lost while running away, but denied any involvement in the murder, although he could very well inflict a mortal blow to Straker.
Sherlock Holmes examines the pockets of the murdered. There he finds matches, cinder candles, paper. The great detective is attracted by the knife clamped in Strecker's hand - this is a surgical instrument designed for the most delicate operations. It is strange that a person who sets off to catch thieves takes such weapons with him. Among the papers, he discovers bills for a large sum from a certain William Derbyshire, who, according to Mrs. Straker, is a friend of her husband.
Holmes goes to the scene of the murder. Since there was no wind that day, he establishes that the cloak was laid on a bush. In the mud he finds matches. The great detective wonders where Silver could ride. The stallion is very attached to people. If he didn’t return home, he could wander to the neighbors. In a nearby estate, Holmes finds the owner of the horse and threatens him with big trouble, because he is sure that the horse is hidden in his stable. Colonel Ross is kept a little down, and the great detective wants to have fun. He reports that the horse will still run, but it will be difficult to arrest the killer, which is very disappointing for the colonel. Meanwhile, Holmes wonders if there are sheep in the estate and whether there have been any recent troubles with them. Upon learning that several sheep began to limp, he points this out to the police inspector. He also pays attention to
Seeing that Silver was declared on the poster, the colonel does not believe his eyes. The stallion wins the race. Ross does not recognize his horse, which is smeared with white spots. The Colonel apologizes for doubts, but who is Stracker's killer? The great detective points to the stallion.
If you add opium to a person, he will notice and will not eat, and garlic sauce is exactly what can drown out his smell and taste. Simpson could hardly know what was getting ready for dinner. And under the suspicion falls family Strakerov. The dog was silent, therefore, John Straker himself went into the stable and took the horse away. Seeing Stracker a strange knife, the great detective concludes that the coach wanted to do the Silver operation. If the tendon is skillfully pierced by the stallion, there will be no trace on the skin, and the horse will begin to limp. It is impossible to do such an operation without preparation, so Straker trained on sheep. That night he led the horse into a ravine, lit a candle with a match. Silver got scared, struck Stracker with his hoof and ran away. Finding the dressmaker’s address in the accounts of the slain, Holmes showed her a photograph of Straker, and she recognized Mr. Derbyshire in him. Apparently, he got into debt because of some woman and therefore decided to commit a crime.