Short summary - The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans - Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

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Short summary - The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

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In the pocket of the murdered engineer, they find the drawings of the submarine, which are a state secret. Sherlock Holmes discovers that the engineer died trying to take the blueprints from the spy who stole them.


Cadogen West, a young man working in the public service, fell out of a subway car and crashed to death. No traces of violent death and robbery were found. There was heavy fog that evening; Cadogen suddenly left his fiancee Miss Violet Westbury on the street. There was no quarrel between them, and the girl cannot explain his behavior.

The corpse lay near the stop where the rails exited the tunnel. A man could get there only if he was thrown dead or alive from the train. Where Cadogen boarded the train is unknown, since no ticket was found with him. There were money in his pockets, theater tickets and blueprints for a submarine designed by Bruce-Partington, which are state secrets.

Of the ten drawings, seven were found in the victim’s pocket, the most important ones disappeared. The official accountant is Sir James Walter, a government expert. He left work during the day, taking the key with him, his alibi was confirmed by several people. The second key to the safe is located at the senior office clerk, who also has an alibi.

A case of national importance is entrusted to Sherlock Holmes. The great detective arrives at the place where the corpse was discovered. The body of the dead could fall only from the train. No signs of struggle and violence were found in the cars, but one of the passengers before the stop seemed to think something heavy had fallen from the train.

Holmes concludes that West was killed elsewhere and that his body was laid on the roof of the wagon. Since the station is nodal and many arrows pass through it, the car swayed and the body fell.

Holmes comes to Sir James Walter, but finds out that he died suddenly.

West's bride recalls that he was excited for the last days, saying that military documents are kept carelessly, and spies can give a lot for this secret. So far, according to the great detective, everything is going against West.

Holmes visits the place where the documents were stolen. The senior clerk is sure that the culprit is West. The great detective begins to change his mind. In order to get to the blueprints during off-duty time, the criminal needs to have a key to the front door, a key to the office and a key to the safe. All three keys were only with the late Sir James Walter. Also, why would West steal the blueprints if he could copy them? A man who did not have the necessary technical knowledge could abduct them.

After examining the room, Holmes discovers that the shutters do not close to the end, and from the street you can see what is happening in the room, and under the window he finds traces.


The great detective gets a list of people who could start a kidnapping. One of them, Oberstein, lives in a house, under the windows of which the railway line intersects with another, larger one. After the abduction, the spy left London. Holmes decides to pay him a private visit. Examining the window, he is convinced that the body was lying there. Having examined the rooms, the great detective sees newspaper clippings with correspondence. He advertises in a newspaper and ambushes the apartment.

The brother of Sir Walter, Colonel Valentine Walter, is caught. Entangled in debt, the colonel agreed to the spy's offer. Having made a copy of his brother’s keys, he brought the blueprints to the apartment. Suddenly West rushed in. Oberstein killed him, and threw the body onto the roof of the car, having previously put blueprints in his pocket. Oberstein left the most important papers to himself. Realizing who the thief was, Sir James Walter committed suicide.

With the help of Colonel Oberstein they catch. The colonel dies in prison, and the great detective is invited to the Windsor Palace. Since then, his tie has been adorned with an emerald pin.