Short summary - The Man with the Twisted Lip
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
Successful businessman disappears. A beggar who does not want to wash himself is suspected of his murder. Sherlock Holmes washes makeup off the suspect and discovers the missing person who earned alms beneath him.
Mrs. St. Clair, who lives in a small house near London, asks Sherlock Holmes to find her missing husband, Mr. Neville St. Clair.
Mr. Neville St. Clair has recently appeared in that area. He rented a luxurious villa, got married, two children were born in the family. According to reviews of others, Mr. Neville is a wonderful family man and an excellent person. He is engaged in commerce, does not experience financial difficulties.
That day, after her husband left for work, Mrs. St. Clair received a notice that a parcel had arrived in her name. Arriving in London, she went to the specified address. She had to walk past the port - a place where beggars gather. One of them, a lame cripple named Hugh Boon, gained particular popularity. Having a repulsive appearance, mutilated by a scar, he sold wax matches and attracted buyers with rare wit. He always sat in the same place, near the brothel where opium was smoked. When a woman passed this place, there was no beggar, but she was horrified to see her half-dressed husband in the window of the brothel. Without hesitation, she rushed there. The owner of the brothel tried to restrain her, but she, accompanied by a policeman, burst into the room and found Hugh Boone there. Mr. St. Clair was nowhere to be found. His clothes with pockets full of coins, was thrown out the window into the river. Blood stains were found in the room, but Hugh Boone showed a wounded finger and claimed it was his blood. A box of baby blocks was found that Mr. St. Clair was supposed to bring to his son. The owner of the brothel and the beggar were arrested, although they swore that they had no idea about anything.
The great detective and his friend Dr. Watson visit Mrs. St. Clair. Unfortunately, Holmes cannot say anything comforting; he believes that Mr. St. Clair is dead. Mrs. St. Clair displays a note from her husband on the day of her disappearance. In a note, Neville said that everything was fine with him, an error occurred that would soon be corrected. A ring was attached to the note. In a conversation, the woman mentions that Mr. St. Clair injured his finger that day.
All night the great detective weighs the facts. Early in the morning, taking a small suitcase, he and Dr. Watson visit the arrested beggar. According to the jailer, the beggar behaves quietly, only he doesn’t want to wash himself and thereby dishonors their prison. Holmes takes a sponge out of a suitcase, wakes a prisoner, takes off his wig and rinses off his makeup. Before the visitors is the missing Mr. Neville St. Clair.
Neville St. Clair received an excellent education. In his youth, he had to try many professions. He was an actor, a reporter. One day he was instructed to write a note for the newspaper about the poor. To get the necessary material, Neville made up and sat down in a busy place to beg. By evening, he was surprised to find that he had earned a decent amount. Neville forgot about this case until he had to pay a debt. To get the necessary amount, he took leave from work and went to beg. Realizing that he would earn more money by begging, Neville St. Clair quit his job. Only the owner of the brothel, to whom Neville generously paid, was dedicated to his secret. Now Neville swears to himself the most solemn oath to give up this occupation.