Short summary - The «Gloria Scott»
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
An old beggar acquaintance blackmails a wealthy magistrate. Sherlock Holmes discovers that the judge was a criminal convicted and sent to Australia.
While in college, Sherlock Holmes pondered what he saw around him and began to create his own method. Victor Trevor, with whom Holmes is friends, invites him to spend a vacation at his father's estate. Old Mr. Trevor, Justice of the Peace, is a venerable wealthy man. He has a wonderful library, a decent cook, and young people have a great time.
Once Victor starts a conversation about the deductive method of Holmes, and Mr. Trevor offers to check it on him. Looking at his stick, the future great detective concludes that Mr. Trevor has been afraid of someone lately. Judging by the inscription, this stick is no more than a year old, and lead is poured into its knob, which turned it into a formidable weapon. Having looked at the shape of his ears and nose, Holmes claims that in his youth Mr. Trevor was a boxer, and the corns on his hands indicate that he had to dig the ground. Mr. Trevor listens to the correct guesses with a smile, but when Holmes says that before the judge was familiar with the man whose initials D.A., and then tried to forget him, Mr. Trevor faints. Surprised, Holmes explains that Mr. Trevor’s tattoo, which he was trying to destroy, is higher than Mr. Trevor’s elbow.
From this day, the host’s hospitality turns into suspicion, and Holmes decides to leave. On the eve of his departure, Hudson appears in the house, a small shriveled man, who looked like a former sailor, an old acquaintance of Mr. Trevor. Hudson is miserable, while Mr. Trevor and his friend Bedoz are all right. After hearing Hudson's reproaches, Mr. Trevor orders to feed him and give him everything he needs.
Holmes returns to London and two months later receives a telegram from Victor asking him to come. Mr. Trevor is very bad. Since Hudson settled on the estate, their life has turned into hell. His father made him a butler, but he demanded more. Hudson was rude to the servant, and his father had to raise the salaries of the servants. Hearing once how Hudson was rude to his father, Victor drove him out of the room. The father got scared and began to ask his son to apologize to Hudson. Mr. Trevor was clearly afraid of him. Hudson decided to go to Bedoz. Shortly after his departure, Mr. Trevor received a letter that caused him a blow. The letter said: «We believe that the game is finished. The head of the enterprise, Hudson, reportedly told everything about fly swatters. Pheasant chickens beware. "
Holmes ponders what is happening. It is clear that Hudson knows some secret of Trevor and Bedoz and is blackmailing them. Having studied, at first glance, the ridiculous letter, he comes to the conclusion that this is a cipher. If you take every third word, you get the following: «The case is finished. Hudson told everything. Watch out. »
Judge Hill doesn’t catch up - he suddenly dies. Victor gives his friend the dying manuscript of his father. Mr. Trevor writes that his real name is James Armitage. In order to pay the debt, he took the money from the bank where he served, hoping to soon repay the shortage. But a revision took place in the bank, he was arrested and sent to Australia on a small vessel, Gloria Scott, not intended for prisoners. A conspiracy arose among those arrested, and Trevor with several prisoners managed to escape in a boat, killing almost the entire crew. Soon they saw Hudson, a sailor with Gloria Scott, who was floating on the board. During a shootout, a bullet hit a barrel of gunpowder, a fire broke out, and the ship sank. Soon they were picked up by a ship sailing to Australia, and the "Gloria Scott" was considered missing in the Admiralty. When you get to Australia
Soon, Victor goes to tea plantations, where he succeeds, and Hudson and Bedoz disappear without a trace.