"Before this business, Silver Blaze was the favourite horse for the Wessex Cup, an important race which will be held next week. Large amounts of money have been bet on him, so his disappearance will be of advantage to some people. Colonel Rose has been anxious to guard him will.
"The murdered horse trainer, Straker, had worked with the Colonel for many years. He was in charge of three stable boys, and he and his wife lived near the stables. Straker had always shown himself to be an honest man.
"There is a small town just two miles away, and there are some racing stables, at Capleton, quite close by. In every other direction there is only field and forest.
"On Monday night one of the stable boys, Ned, was on duty. When Straker's cook took some curry out to him for his evening meal, Ned was talking to a stranger. The stranger offered Ned some money for information about the horses. Ned was angry at this and rushed to get the dog. The cook is sure that she then saw the stranger trying to open the stable door."
"Wasn't the stable door locked when the boy went to get the dog?" I asked.
"Excellent, Watson, excellent. I also wondered about that. I received a telegram from Pyland yesterday. It said that the stable boy did lock the door.
"Later that night," continued Holmes, "Straker got up and dressed - to see if all was well in the stables, he told his wife. In the morning he was still absent, so Mrs Straker went to the stables. There she found Ned, lying on the ground, in a deep sleep. Both Straker and Silver Blaze were gone. Although the other two stable boys slept above the stables, they had heard nothing in the night.
"They went out to search for horse and trainer. About a quarter of a mile from the stables they found the dead body of the unlucky Straker. His head had been beaten in by some heavy weapon, and there was a wound in his leg from something sharp. Clearly Straker had fought back, for there was a small knife, covered in blood, in his right hand. In his left hand was a handkerchief. Both the cook and Ned are sure the handkerchief belonged to the stranger. Ned also believes that the stranger secretly put some opium into his curry to make him sleep. These, Watson, are the main facts." "What have the police done so far?"I asked.
"Gregory, the police officer in charge of the case, is a man of great ability. But he doesn't have much imagination. As soon as he arrived at Pyland, he found the man who was naturally suspected, the stranger, and arrested him. His name is Simpson and he comes from a good family, but wastes all his money on betting. It seems that he has bet five thousand pounds that Silver Blaze will lose in the Wessex Cup.
"Simpson says he went there just to get information about the horses. He agrees that he was at the Pyland stables that night, but cannot say why Straker had his handkerchief. His wet clothes proved he had been out that night. Also, he has a heavy walking stick, which is possibly the weapon that killed Straker. But he has no knife wound."
"Is it possible'", I asked, "that Straker's wound was caused by his own knife during the fight?"
"Good, Watson. Yes, it is possible. But, if so, that goes against Simpson, I suppose that the police think Simpson used the opium to make the stable boy fall asleep. Then, with a second key he opened the stable door and led the horse away. They think that Straker saw him doing this and there was a fight. Simpson killed Straker, and then hid the horse somewhere - or else it ran away." It was evening when we arrived at the small town near Pyland. At the station we were net by Gregory, the police detective, and Colonel Ross, the owner of silver Blaze. They took us to Pyland, and during the journey, Holmes discussed the case with Gregory. The policeman's ideas were exactly as Holmes had supposed.
"Your explanation leaves too many unanswered questions, Gregory," argued Holmes. "Why did Simpson take the horse from the stables? What did he plan to do with it? Have you found the second key? Where did he get the opium? Where could he, a stranger, hide the horse?"
"The difficulties are not so great,' replied Gregory. "He probably threw the key away. Opium can easily be bought in London. He has been to Pyland several times before. The horse may be hidden in the forest, or left with a band of gypsies - we know there were gypsies camping near the stables on Monday, and we are searching for them now."
"Is there another horse-training stable near here?" asked Holmes.
"Yes," said Gregory. "That is something we should not forget. At Capleton they have a horse which is the second favourite in the Wessex Cup. So the disappearance of Silver Blaze is to their advantage. Silas Brown, the Capleton trainer, has large bets on tis horse. However, the Capleton trainer, has large bets on his horse. However, we have searched the stables there and found nothing to connect him with this business. And Simpson is not connected with Capleton either."
Here their conversation ended, and soon we reached Pyland. Holmes remained silent for some minutes, looking thoughtfully into the sky. I touched his arm.
"Excuse me," he said, turning to Colonel Ross, who was looking at him wiht some surprise. "I was thinking." A smile on his face suggested to me that he had found a clue.
"Do you want to go immediately to the scene of the crime, Mr Holmes?" asked Gregory.
"I prefer to stay here a while and go into one or two questions in detail."


夜凉 11级
2009-08-27 回答









“到现在为止警察做了些什么?”我问。 “格雷戈里,负责这案件的警察,是个很有能力的人。但是他没有太多的想象了。他到达Pyland之后立刻就找到了那个谁都会怀疑的陌生人,并且逮捕他了。他的名字是辛普森,来自一个好家庭,但是把他的钱全都浪费在赌博上面了。看来他花了5000英镑赌银火焰会在韦塞克斯杯输掉。

”辛普森说他去那里只是为了拿些马匹的资料。他承认那一晚他是在Pyland的马厩,但是无法说出为什么斯特拉克会有他的手巾。他的湿衣服证明了他那一晚曾经出去。而且,他有一支沉重的手杖,而那可能是杀死斯特拉克的凶器。可是他身上并没有刀伤。 “有没有这个可能,”我问,“斯特拉克身上的伤是他自己的刀在打斗中造成的?” “很好,华生。没错,那是可能的。但是要是如此,那就对辛普森不利了。我推断警察认为辛普森用鸦片来让马童熟睡。然后,利用第二条钥匙来打开马厩并把马儿带走。他们认为斯特拉克看到他这样做所以跟他打斗起来。辛普森杀了斯特拉克,然后把马儿藏在某处 - 或者它自己逃跑了。”

我们到达Pyland 附近的那个小镇时已经是晚上了。那个警探格雷戈里和银火焰的主人罗斯上校在火车站接我们。他们带我们到Pyland去的途中,福尔摩斯跟格雷戈里讨论案情。那警察的意见和福尔摩斯所推断的完全一样。


“这些都不是什么太困难的事。”格雷戈里答道。“他可能把钥匙丢掉了。鸦片在伦敦很容易就买得到。他可能已经来过Pyland好几次。马儿可以藏在森林,或者留给一群吉普赛人 - 我们知道星期一晚上马厩附近有一些吉普赛人的营帐,而我们正在搜那些营帐。”

“这附近还有其他练马的马厩吗?”福尔摩斯问。 “有的。”格雷戈里说。“这是一件我们不能忘记的事。在卡普莱顿那里他们有一只能赢得韦塞克斯杯的次热门马匹。所以银火焰的失踪对他们来说是有利的。卡普莱顿的练马师西拉斯.布朗在这马儿身上下了很大的赌注。但是我们搜寻了这里的马厩,并没有发现任何能将他和这事件联系起来的线索。而且辛普森也和卡莱普顿没有任何关系。”