Short summary - The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
The girl is hired by a governess on strange conditions. Sherlock Holmes discovers that they want to marry her to the owner’s daughter, whom her father is locked up, not allowing her to marry and take part of the inheritance.
Sherlock Holmes is contacted by a young woman named Violet Hunter. Left without work, she turned to a recruitment agency, where she was offered a governess for a six-year-old boy in the estate «Copper beeches». The owner of the estate, Mr. Rukesl, a fat, good-natured man, made very strange demands on behalf of his wife. The governess should wear a dress of a certain color worn by Mr. Rukesla's eldest daughter, who is currently abroad. In addition, the girl must cut her hair. Since there are no other proposals, the savings have run out, and the salary has been very large, Violet agrees, but she is confused by the conditions, and she wants to consult with the great detective. Without enough information, Holmes cannot make any conclusions, but warns that this is not the place he would have wished for his sister.
After some time, Holmes receives a telegram from Violet with a request to come to the hotel, located near the estate. The girl says that the Rukesl family lives in a large house guarded by a huge angry dog. The house is divided into two parts, one of which is non-residential. The assumption that Mrs. Ruckles is crazy is incorrect. She is a silent pale woman, much younger than her husband. Internally, it is as colorless as externally. The eldest daughter from her first marriage was forced to leave due to antipathy to her stepmother. A child is a spoiled and vicious creature prone to seizures. His only entertainment is catching insects, mice and birds. Also in the house live two servants, a husband and wife Toller. Toller is a rude uncouth man, from whom he constantly carries alcohol, and his wife is a strong, tall, angry woman.
In the room prepared for Violet, there was a well-worn dress that had to be her time. And in one of the boxes she found the same scythe as hers.
One evening, Mr. Rukesl asked to wear a dress prepared for Violet and invited her into the living room. The room, which stretched along the entire facade of the house, had three huge windows. The girl was seated on a chair with her back to the windows, and Mr. Rukesl began to entertain her, telling funny stories. Violet laughed heartily, but after an hour she was ordered to return to her duties. A few days later it repeated. Noticing that she was specially seated with her back to the window, Violet hid a mirror in her handkerchief and saw a young man looking out the window near the house. Mrs. Ruckles figured out the girl’s cunning and asked who the man was. Violet assured her that she had no idea who it was, but Rukachely insisted that she wave his hand. Violet was not invited to the living room anymore and was not forced to put on a dress.
In recent days, Toller drank more than usual, and forgot to lock the entrance to the uninhabited wing of the house. Taking the opportunity, Violet penetrated there. It was a dirty and neglected room with several doors. One of the doors was barricaded, and light penetrated from beneath it. The frightened girl ran out and ran into Mr. Ruckles, who warned that he would give the girl to be torn to pieces by the dog if she went there again.
Having heard the story, the great detective concludes that the girl is unusually similar to the daughter of the owner, and was invited to play her role. Miss Rucklell was most likely imprisoned in the non-residential part of the house. The man on the road, apparently her fiancé, and the dog is kept hungry on a leash to prevent them from seeing each other. Judging by the behavior of the child, the father is a very cruel person. Since in the evening the Rucles leave for a visit, leaving their son in the care of Violet, Holmes, instead of with his friend Dr. Watson, will be able to enter the house.
Taking advantage of the fact that Toller is drunk, Violet closes his wife in the cellar and lets the great detective into the house. Entering the mysterious room, Holmes and Watson see that it is empty, and the hatch in the attic is open. Appearing on the doorstep, Mr Rukesl appeared confident that it was they who had helped his daughter escape. He wants to set a dog on uninvited guests, but a huge dog, who has not eaten for several days, attacks the owner and sticks his fangs in his throat.
Mrs. Toller came up and said that the owner’s daughter was unhappy since her father remarried. They did not reckon with her, they did not pay attention to her. When she met the man whom she decided to marry, it became very bad. In case of marriage, Mr. Rukusl had to give his daughter her part of the inheritance. He began to demand that the girl give up her share. The daughter fell ill with inflammation of the brain, her hair had to be cut. Mr. Rucklell locked the girl in the house and invited the governess to play the role of her daughter. This did not bother the young man; he was still faithful to his beloved. With the help of money, he lured Tollers to his side, and they helped the captive to escape.
Mr. Rukesl survived, but turned into a complete invalid, and now his devoted wife takes care of him. Miss Rucklesl married and left England with her husband. Miss Hunter has been very successful as director of a private school. Unfortunately for Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes shows no interest in her.