Short summary - A Case of Identity
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
A girl with a good dowry, just before the wedding, the groom disappears. Sherlock Holmes finds out that the girl’s stepfather played the role of the groom, who did not want to miss the income from her condition.
Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes are sitting in his apartment on Baker Street and argue that "life is incomparably freakier than anything that the human imagination can create." Looking out the window, the detective declares that he sees one of his future clients. Soon the doorbell rings. An agitated woman who came in "wearing a heavy fur boa, with a large red feather on a flirty wide-brimmed hat flipped to one side" begs to find the missing groom.
Miss Mary Sutherland lived with her mother and stepfather, Mr. Windybenk. From her uncle, she got a small fortune, from which, not wanting to be a «burden at home,» she gave to her family, and she earned by typing on a typewriter. The stepfather forced the soldering workshop remaining after his father’s workshop to sell him - to him, the salesman of the sale of wines, to keep it «not to face.» He was strict about his stepdaughter and did not like it when it was published, believing that "a woman should be content with her family circle."
Once, the gas union, in which father used to be, sent mothers tickets for the annual ball, and Miss Sutherland, despite her stepfather’s discontent and taking advantage of his business trip, decided to go with her. There she met Mr. Gosmer Angel. Soon they began to meet secretly from their stepfather.
«He was very shy, Mr. Holmes. He was more willing to walk with me in the evening than in the afternoon, he did not like to draw attention to himself. He was very reserved and courteous. Even his voice was quiet, quiet. » Where Gosmer lives and works, she certainly did not know, and addressed all letters to the post office on Lednhall Street on demand.
Soon, Gosmer proposed to get married. The stepfather was not at home at that time, and the mother persuaded her daughter not to inform him of the wedding, but she nevertheless sent a letter that, without having caught Mr. Windibenck, returned. On the day of the wedding, the cab, in which the bridegroom sat, to the surprise of the coachman and the audience, came to the church empty. As if anticipating some danger, Gosmer constantly kept repeating that the bride should believe him and wait for him, even if something unexpected happened.
Holmes advises Miss Sutherland to forget Gosmer. Having lit his pipe and thinking about the case materials, he sends two letters: one to the company of his stepfather, and the other personally to Mr. Windibenk with a request to drop by.
The next night on Baker Street is Mr. Windibank. «I believe that this letter on a typewriter in which you promise to come to me at six o’clock in the evening is written by you?» Holmes inquires and after an affirmative answer declares that the fonts in his answer and letters of the elusive Gosmer coincide. Windibank, "looking around like a rat caught in a rat trap," falls into a chair.
Miss Sutherland had a decent income, and so that when she married, she did not withdraw this money from the family budget, the stepfather, with the help of his wife, decided to play the role of the groom. Leaving her just before the wedding, Windibank hoped that she would not soon recover from the shock and for some time she would not be in love.
«This ... this is an unlawful matter,» Windibank says. At the sight of his insolent grin, Holmes wants to remove a whip from the wall and to teach a lesson a bastard, but he jumps out the door and runs away from all legs. Holmes decides not to inform Miss Sutherland of what happened, because "it is dangerous to take a tiger cub from a tigress, and a woman is mistaken of it."