Short summary - The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
A woman under a veil tells Sherlock Holmes how, together with her lover, she tried to get rid of her sadistic husband, a famous trainer, putting the blame on the lion, and the predator disfigured her face.
Mrs. Merrillow, the owner of the guesthouse, is contacting Sherlock Holmes. Recently, a woman called Mrs. Ronder came to her, who laid out good money for housing for three months in advance. She chose Mrs. Merrylow's house because he is standing far from the road, and Mrs. Ronder wants to live away from people. Her face is covered with a veil, but once the milkman saw him and dropped a can out of fear, it was so disfigured. At night, a woman shouts «murder!» And «you are a beast!». At Mrs. Merrillow’s offer of help, Mrs. Ronder asks to contact Sherlock Holmes and remind him of the tragedy at the circus.
The great detective promises to come in after dinner, but for now recalls the tragedy. Mrs. Ronder's husband was the owner of the circus, a huge kid who was considered one of the most famous trainers. Among the animals of the circus was an African lion, into the cage which included the Ronders. Once the circus stopped in a small village. At night, there was a lion's roar and a female cry. Ronder was found near a cell with a broken head and traces of lion's claws. Mrs. Ronder was lying at the door of the cage, and the lion tore her face. The clown and wrestler who came running drove the lion into a cage and locked it.
How the lion found himself at large is incomprehensible. Probably the couple opened the cage and he attacked them. There was nothing significant in the testimony of the witnesses, except that Mrs. Ronder kept shouting «Coward!» The case was closed as an accident, but one of the police inspectors doubted. Why did the lion, jumping out of the cage, kill Ronder, come back and attacked his wife? And why did Mrs. Ronder accuse her husband of cowardice when he was dead? So there was someone else, and the witnesses said that they heard a man's voice.
Holmes accompanied by Dr. Watson visits Mrs. Ronder. A woman, in the past of amazing beauty, now lives like a beast in a cage. For seven years she was silent, so as not to destroy one man, but now he is dead, and she wants to lighten her soul.
Mrs. Ronder grew up in a circus and from poverty married Ronder, a villain and a lout who mocked her, cheating and beating with a whip. He and the wrestler Leonardo fell in love and decided to get rid of Ronder and made a club resembling the paw of a lion, which they were going to kill the trainer.
At night, she and her husband went to feed the lion. Leonardo crept behind and hit Ronder. Mrs. Ronder opened the cage, and the lion, smelling the blood, attacked it. Instead of saving her, Leonardo escaped, and then returned along with those who escaped to screams. Now, upon learning that Leonardo was dead, she decided to speak.
Holmes sympathizes with the woman, but warns that she does not decide to lay hands on herself. In response, the woman lifts her veil and reveals her disfigured face.
A few days later, the great detective receives in the mail a vial of hydrocyanic acid and a letter in which Mrs. Ronder informs that she will follow his advice.