Short summary - The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
A woman who inherited rare jewels disappears. Sherlock Holmes finds a crook who tried to take possession of jewelry by burying a woman alive, and saves her right from the grave.
Sherlock Holmes asks Miss Dobni for help with a request to find her pupil, Lady Francis. Once every two weeks, Lady Francis writes to her old governess, but for five weeks there has been no news from her. Lady Francis is in little condition, but she inherited the rarest jewels and always carries them with her. It is also known that two and a half weeks ago, the maid of the pupil received money on the check from her account.
Since the great detective is very busy, he entrusts this matter to his friend Dr. Watson.
The last letter was from Lausanne, and the doctor travels to the specified address. He learns from the hotel manager that Lady Francis is a charming woman, but he knows nothing about her jewelry. She left unexpectedly, but he gave the address of the groom to the maid.
The groom of the maid said that a tall bearded man came to Lady Francis, but she refused to accept him and left the next day. He also said that the maid left her mistress, but refused to give a reason.
Dr. Watson then learns that Lady Francis headed for Baden in a district route, apparently to knock someone off the trail. There she met the Schlesinger family. Mr. Schlesinger was ill, and she helped his wife look after him. Three weeks ago they left for London, then the track is lost. But the bearded man is also looking for Lady Francis.
Dr. Watson telegraphes the information received to Holmes, but in response receives a request to describe Schlesinger's left ear. Watson thinks this is a joke.
Maid Lady Francis reports that the bearded man was very rude to her mistress, and the girl received the money from her as a wedding gift. Then the girl sees this man in the window. Dr. Watson walks up to him and asks directly about Lady Francis. With a fierce cry, a bearded man rushes at the doctor, but a man jumps out of the vegetable marrow opposite and protects him. The protector is Sherlock Holmes himself.
Holmes introduces Watson to a stranger. This is Mr. Philip Green, he has long loved Lady Francis, but because of his dissolute lifestyle, she broke off relations with him. Now he wants her to forgive him, but Lady Francis does not want to see him. He is also concerned about her disappearance.
The great detective inquires about Schlesinger. This is the famous criminal Peter the Righteous, who was bitten in his left ear in a fight, and who specializes in single women.
Time passes, but the search for results does not bring. Suddenly, in one of the pawnshops, Lady Francis pendant appears. It was laid by a man whose description coincides with that of Schlesinger.
Green sets up a pawnshop, and soon the woman lays the exact same pendant. Then she goes to the undertaker's shop. There, Green overhears her conversation with the undertaker's wife, who makes excuses for the delay in ordering: she had to make a special coffin. Then the stranger goes to her home. Soon, near the house, a van stops, from which they carry out the coffin. It’s clear that Lady Francis was trapped, but in order for the funeral to be official, you need a doctor’s certificate and permission from the police.
The great detective comes to the house where they brought the coffin. There he meets someone who pretends to be Dr. Schlesinger. The fraudster says that he paid the bills for Lady Francis, and she left him some trinkets. In London, they broke up, and he does not know where she is now. Holmes demands to open the coffin. But there is the old nanny of Schlesinger’s wife, and the documents about her death are in order. The great detective leaves with nothing.
Holmes meditates all night, and on the day of the funeral he runs to Schlesinger's house. Having stopped the procession, he tears off the roof of the coffin and finds Lady Francis in it, lulled by chloroform. With difficulty, a woman is brought to her senses.
The criminals who were planning to bury two women in one coffin escaped, but the police followed in their wake.