- The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
"The Adventure of the Three Garridebs" by Arthur Conan Doyle Released 1924 Series The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes Client(s) Nathan Garrideb Set in June 1902 Villain(s) James Winter, alias Morecroft, alias Killer Evans, alias John Garrideb
"The Adventure of the Three Garridebs", one of the 56 Sherlock Holmes short stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is one of 12 stories in the cycle collected as The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes.
According to Dr. Watson's opening narration, this story is set at "the latter end of June, 1902 ... the same month that Holmes refused a knighthood for services which may perhaps some day be described."
Holmes receives a letter from a Nathan Garrideb of 156 Little Ryder Street, asking for help in a most peculiar quest. He is looking for another man with his unusual surname, for it will mean a $5,000,000 inheritance for him. He has been approached by another man, John Garrideb of Kansas, who says that he needs to find others with the same last name.
The American Garrideb comes to see Holmes and Watson at 221B Baker Street, and is apparently not very pleased that Nathan Garrideb has involved a detective. Garrideb, who claims to be a lawyer, spins a ridiculous story about Alexander Hamilton Garrideb, a millionaire land tycoon he met in Kansas. Hamilton Garrideb bequeathed his $15,000,000 estate to John Garrideb on the provision that he find two more Garridebs to share it with equally. He came to England to seek out people with the name, having failed in his own country. So far, he has found only Nathan.
During the interview, Holmes detects many discrepancies in John Garrideb's story, but decides not to confront him. This piques Holmes' interest, and he decides to contact Nathan Garrideb to investigate further. Upon arrival at Little Ryder Street, Holmes observes Nathan Garrideb's nameplate outside the house. It has obviously been there for years; so Holmes concludes that Garrideb is at least his true surname.
It turns out that Nathan Garrideb is an elderly eccentric who collects everything from ancient coins to old bones. Garrideb's rooms look like a small museum. He is obviously a serious collector, but has nothing of great value in his collection. Holmes finds out that John Garrideb has never asked for any money, nor has he suggested any course of action. Nathan Garrideb has no reason, it seems, to be suspicious of John Garrideb. This puzzles Holmes.
During Holmes's and Watson's visit, John Garrideb arrives in a most jolly mood. He has apparently found a third Garrideb, as proof of which he shows a newspaper advertisement purportedly placed by a Howard Garrideb in the course of his everyday business. Holmes sees instantly that John Garrideb has placed the advertisement himself from various Americanisms in the spelling and wording.
Despite Nathan Garrideb's objections — for he is a man who very seldom goes out, much less travels — John Garrideb insists that Nathan go to Birmingham and meet this Howard Garrideb. It has now become clear to Holmes what the "rigmarole of lies" is all about. John Garrideb wants Nathan Garrideb to be out of his rooms for a while.
The next day brings fresh information. Holmes goes to see the unimaginative Inspector Lestrade at Scotland Yard, and is shown a series of photographs. One of these is unmistakably John Garrideb. His true identity is James Winter, alias Morecroft, alias "Killer" Evans, who was imprisoned for shooting a man, but avoided the hanging owing to mitigating circumstances. The man that he killed was Rodger Prescott, a forger from Chicago whose description matches that of the former occupant of Nathan Garrideb's residence.
Holmes and Watson go to Garrideb's home armed with revolvers. They do not have to wait long before Winter shows up. From their hiding place, Holmes and Watson see the criminal use a "jemmy" to open a trapdoor revealing a little cellar. They capture Winter, but not before he manages to shoot twice, striking Watson in the leg. For once, Holmes shows his human side; he is quite distraught for a short while about Watson's injury, and strikes Killer Evans on the head with the butt of a gun hard enough to draw blood, vowing that Winter would never have left the rooms alive if he had killed Watson. Fortunately, Watson's wound proves to be 'quite superficial.' The little cellar contains a printing press and stacks of counterfeit banknotes, hidden there by Prescott, the man that Evans killed.
Jeremy Brett was taken ill during the production of the Granada Television adaptation of this story (which was also a conflation with "The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone" and transmitted under the latter title) and so Holmes's role in the plot was taken by Mycroft Holmes with Charles Gray called in at short notice to reprise his role as Sherlock's older brother. Some note that "In addition to being immensely entertaining, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes has the unfortunate bonus of tracing the decline of Jeremy Brett's health, episode by episode."
- ^ The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle (1927)
- ^ An actual London street, with a history going back to the seventeenth Century
- ^ The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
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