Short summary - The Adventure of Black Peter - Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

British literature summaries - 2020

Short summary - The Adventure of Black Peter
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle


The former captain of a hunting vessel, which terrified others, was killed. Sherlock Holmes discovers that the captain was killed by a harpoon officer who served on his ship.

In Sussex, the former captain of a hunting vessel Peter Carey with his wife and daughter lived in a small estate. He was considered one of the most successful whale and unicorn hunters. Life on the estate was not easy. Keri drank heavily, in the middle of the night he could push his wife and daughter out of the house and chase them with his fists. The handmaids could not stand it and changed often; the neighbors hated and avoided the captain. For his frantic disposition and black beard, he was nicknamed Black Peter. Near the house, Keri built a small outbuilding, furnished it like a cabin and lived there. He served himself and did not allow anyone to go there.

A few days ago, returning from a tavern at night, a local resident saw the light and shadow of an unfamiliar man in the outhouse window. The next night there was a terrible scream. Since drunken Peter often screamed, no one paid attention to it. In the morning, the servants found that the door to the outbuilding was open. Keri pinned to the wall with a huge harpoon, which was taken from his collection. On the table was a bottle of rum and two dirty glasses. Keri was dressed, so he had a date with the killer. In addition to rum, there were other drinks in the room.

In the middle of the table lay a pouch of seal leather with P.K.'s initials with strong tobacco that sailors smoke, and a notebook with a list of stock exchange shares was found at the door itself. There was a bloody stain on the cover of the book facing the floor; therefore, the offender lost it after the murder. Arriving at the scene of the crime, Inspector Hopkins comes to a standstill and seeks help from his teacher, the great detective Sherlock Holmes.

After listening to his student, Holmes draws attention to the fact that the book is not described in the main protocol. The great detective arrives at the crime scene. Wife and daughter Keri are happy to get rid of their tyrant. The daughter blesses the hand that struck the father.

Scratches on the outhouse door indicate that the door was being tried to crack. Carey terrified the neighbors so that hardly anyone came out of curiosity. Holmes decides to watch the unknown visitor at night. Holmes notices that there is no dust in the room on the shelf. There was some object that the killer took.

At night, Holmes, along with Dr. Watson and Inspector Hopkins, detain a thin, sickly-looking young man who is trying to break open the door. The young man's name is James Hopkins Neligan. His father was one of the owners of a large bank that went bankrupt and devastated half of Cornwall County. Before the arrest order was issued, Neligan sailed to Norway, hoping to pay off his debt to depositors. He took securities with him, and left the inventory to his family.

Neligan disappeared, and no one else heard of him. Recently it became known that Peter Carey sells missing securities. Neligan came to Sussex to meet him, but Keri had already been killed. Hopkins presents the young man with his notebook and arrests him.

The great detective is disappointed in his student. The next day, he invites Hopkins to his home. He believes that the case has been solved and the criminal has been found, but Holmes makes fun of the young detective: how could a frail young man kill Black Peter with a harpoon? To do this, you need to have great physical strength and have the appropriate skills. Did he drink night rum with the murdered one, and a passerby saw his profile?

Meanwhile, people on Baker Street are coming by ad. They are looking for a harpoon job. Holmes refuses everyone, but one, named Patrick Caris, is hired. When the harpoon bends over the table to sign a contract, Holmes deftly handcuffs him.

Patrick Caris served as harpooner with Peter Carey. Once they met a fragile little ship, with one man on board. The rest of the boat sailed to Norway, leaving the ship to drift. Keri took this man to his ship. Nobody knew his name. With him there was only one tin box. At night, Keris accidentally saw Keri throw a stranger into the sea. Since there was a strong storm, the crew decided that it was washed away by the wave. Caris guessed that Keri had committed the killing from behind a box.

Soon, Carey retired. Many years later, Caris found him. He came to Sussex to squeeze money out of Black Peter for silence. The first night, Carey promised a decent amount. But the next time he was drunk and rushed at Karis with a large knife. Defending himself, Caris grabbed a harpoon from the wall and killed him. Seeing a tin box on the shelf, Karis picked it up, but forgot his pouch on the table. Going outside, he saw a man enter the outbuilding, scream and run away. In the box, Karis found some papers. Finding himself aground, he began to look for work again and responded to the announcement given by the great detective.

Sherlock Holmes explains to Hopkins that Peter Carey smoked very rarely, and the guests did not go to him, therefore, the pouch was not his. And who, besides the sailor, will drink rum if there are other drinks? Keri sailed on only one ship. Having made inquiries, the great detective went to Patrick Caris. Now you should release Neligan, apologize to him and give the papers that remained in the tin box.