Short summary - The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
The girl is pursued by two swindlers to take possession of her inherited fortune. The famous Sherlock Holmes exposes swindlers.
Sherlock Holmes is contacted by a young woman named Violet Smith. After the death of her father, she and her mother were left without a livelihood, and the girl makes her living with music lessons. The only relative of their family, father's brother Ralph Smith, left for Africa many years ago, and since then there has been no news from him. Four months ago, Violet and her mother found gentlemen who came from Africa - Mr. Carruthers and Mr. Woodley. Ralph Smith was their friend, he died in complete poverty and before his death asked to find his brother's family and help. Violet seemed strange that for so many years my uncle did not want to know anything about them, but the gentlemen explained that Ralph had learned of his brother's death shortly before his own.
Mr. Carruthers, a middle-aged, black-haired, smooth-shaven man, made a favorable impression on the girl, and Mr. Woodley disgusted him. Mr. Carruthers was a widower and lived on his own estate, Chiltern Grange. He offered Violet to teach the music of his ten-year-old daughter for a good salary. A girl should live in his estate and visit her mother only on weekends.
Violet was pleased with her new job, she liked the inhabitants of the house. The only cloud that overshadowed her stay there was Woodley, who behaved extremely impudently towards her. Carruthers stopped his harassment, and Woodley no longer appeared in the house.
Every Saturday morning, the girl traveled to the train station by bicycle. Usually the road was deserted, but for some time a bearded cyclist began to chase after him - he rode behind her, at the same distance and on the same stretch of road. Upon reflection, Violet concluded that the stranger could only appear from the Charlington Hall estate, which is located between the station and the estate of Mr. Carruthers. Upon learning of this, Mr. Carruthers became alarmed and promised to order her a stroller. The girl’s anxiety did not subside, and she decided to ask the great detective for advice. In addition, it seems to her that the owner is not indifferent to her.
Despite the fact that Holmes is very busy with an important investigation, he promises to help Violet and asks to keep him informed. In the girl’s story, Holmes notices several inconsistencies: why Ralph Smith, who had not been interested in his relatives for so many years, remembered them; what connects such different people as Mr. Carruthers and Mr. Woodley; why Mr. Carruthers pays the girl such a large salary, and why he does not keep horses if he lives far from the railway station. However, most likely, this is a trifle affair, and so as not to break away from his investigation, Holmes sends Dr. Watson to find out who lives in the Charlington Hall estate.
Having chosen a convenient place, Dr. Watson observes the road that leads from the estate to the station. Soon he sees a bearded cyclist hiding at the edge of the estate. After a while, Violet appears, returning home from the station. The cyclist leaves his shelter and rides behind her, crouching low and trying to maintain the same distance between them.
To learn more about the inhabitants of Charlington Hall, Watson goes to a real estate agency. There he learns that the estate was rented a month ago by the venerable elderly gentleman, Mr. Williamson.
Holmes is unhappy with the trip. Watson’s story only confirms the girl’s words, and he had no doubt that she was telling the truth. The great detective is sure that Violet knows his pursuer, otherwise he would not have been hiding from her. And the information about the tenant of the estate does not tell him anything. We'll have to wait until next Saturday, but for now, Holmes himself will make some inquiries. Meanwhile, a letter comes from Violet: the owner of the house made her an offer, but she cannot accept it, as she is engaged to another. Now the girl is forced to leave work. On Saturday, she returns home.
Sherlock Holmes sets off for Charlington Hall in the middle of the week. Entering a local zucchini, he discovers that the lonely Mr. Williamson used to be a priest with the worst reputation. Over the weekend, a fun company comes to him, led by a gentleman named Woodley. At that moment Mr. Woodley himself appears. Hearing what they are interested in, he pounds on the great detective with his fists.
On Saturday, leaving the train, Holmes and Watson set off on foot to the estate. Seeing the stroller in the distance, Holmes runs forward to track where the cyclist will appear, but the stroller is empty, and the cyclist rides towards. Finding that there is no woman in a wheelchair, a cyclist runs into the forest, and Holmes and Watson chase him. On the road, they find a wounded groom who drove Violet to the station, on the lawn they see an insensible girl tied to a tree, and next to her is Woodley and an elderly priest who has just married them.
The cyclist, who was actually Mr. Carruthers, shoots Woodley in desperation. But the master of the situation is the great detective. He arrives in time for the groom.
Upon learning that Ralph Smith bequeathed his fortune to his niece, Woodley and Carruthers came from Africa to England. One of them was to marry her and share a fortune with an accomplice. The role of husband Woodley won in the cards. Carruthers invited the girl as a music teacher to his home, and Woodley tried to look after her, causing only disgust. The priest, Williamson, who was deprived of his dignity, was to perform the ceremony of marriage. But Carruthers fell in love with Violet and tried to stop it. There was a quarrel between him and Woodley, and Woodley decided to implement his plan on his own.
Miss Violet Smith, who inherited a large fortune, marries her fiancé; Woodley and Williamson stand trial for abduction and forced marriage. Given that Carruthers tried to prevent injustice from happening, several months of imprisonment satisfy justice.