Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chapter 04-The Adventure of the Three Garridebs - Arthur Conan Doyle

Class Notes - English - XI - Elective - Woven Words - Chapter:04


  1. What clues did Sherlock Holmes work upon to get at the fact that the story of the three Garridebs was a ruse?

    Sherlock Holmes noticed that the gentleman who was paying visit to him and his friend Watson under the name of John Garrideb was not what he purported to be because there were discrepancies in his statements as well as appearance. John Garrideb’s claim that he was new to London was not true because the dress that he was wearing was British and that too a worn out one. John’s accent also hinted that he was staying in London for quite some time. Moreover John’s story about Alexander Hamilton Garrideb of Chicago fell flat when he claimed that he knew Dr. Lysander Starr of Topeka very well, a bait cleverly placed by Holmes. Sherlock Holmes also noticed that the advertisement shown to him by John Garrideb apparently placed by Howard Garrideb contained words which were mainly used in USA, proving that it was none other than John Garrideb himself who placed the advertisement. 

    All the above mentioned discrepancies proved that the story of three Garridebs was a ruse.
  2. What was John Garrideb’s objective in inventing the story of Alexander Hamilton Garrideb and his legacy?

    John Garrideb's objective was to gain entry into the house of Nathan Garrideb. He wanted to enter the house because before Nathan Garrideb the house was rented to Presbury, the American criminal, who was running a racket of counterfeit British notes and currencies in a secret  basement in the house of Nathan Garrideb. John and Presbury being friends back then worked in tandem and knew about each others' secrets. When John shot Presbury dead he wanted to lay his hands on the counterfeit notes printing machine and currencies lying hidden in the basement of the house where Nathan Garrideb lived. But Nathan Garrideb proved a hindrance in his planning for he hardly left his dwellings. This led John Garrideb to invent the story of Hamilton Garrideb and his legacy. Nathan Garrideb almost fell in the trap except the fact that he got over enthusiastic and involved Holmes in the hunt of the third Garrideb.
  3. Why didn't John Garrideb like the idea of including Holmes in the hunt for the third Garrideb?

    John Garrideb didn't like the idea of including Holmes in the hunt for the third Garrideb because he feared that his fictitious story of three Garridebs might get busted. His worst fears came true at the end, because Holmes noticed all the discrepancies in his statements and pinned down John Garrideb while he was entering the basement of Nathan Garrideb's house to take away the counterfeit currencies.
  4. Who was Roger Presbury and how was John Garrideb connected with him?

    Roger Presbury was an American criminal who was living in Britain and was involved in counterfeit currency business. He was shot by John Garrideb over cards in a night club on the Waterloo Road in January, 1895. Sherlock found out that his appearance matched with the appearance of Waldron, the previous tenant of the lodging in which now Nathan Garrideb lived. Presbury aka Waldron had hidden a note printing press in his basement and John Garrideb knew about it. It was this printing press that John Garrideb was after and carved out the whole plan to acquire it.
  5. How did Holmes guess that John Garrideb would go to 136, Little Ryder Street? Did he expect to find what he ultimately did before he went there?

    Once it became clear to Holmes that John Garrideb wants to send Nathan Garrideb away for a while, he sensed that there must be something at 136, Little Ryder Street that was of immense importance to John, Holmes expected John Garrideb to show up.Meanwhile Holmes and his friend Watson ensured that John did not suspect that they have any inkling of his plans of sending Nathan Garrideb away. Holmes and Watson did put the man at ease by clearing it to him that they were least interested in any matter and won his confidence by showing that they were just to help him in discovering another Garrideb. Expecting John they arrived and hid themselves in the house at 136, Little Ryder Street and did catch John Garrideb..


  1. Examine the structure of the short story ‘Adventure of the Three Garridebs’ with the help of this framework
  • The narrator of the story
  • Introduction of the topic of the story
  • Introduction of the main characters in the plot
  • Development of the plot
  • Climax
  • Resolution of the mystery.

The introduction of the story: The story opens with a faint reflection of the climax. Watson, the narrator, does not give the climax entirely. However, he does tell the reader how the experience will be in the end.
Introduction of the topic of the story: The narrator does not hit the nail on the head, he rather lets the reader explore the story as the situation unfolds itself. However, Watson does not make the reader wait for too long.

Introduction of the main characters in the plot: Watson, the narrator takes the hold of the narration in the very beginning introducing the reader to the story. However we get to know him only once he introduces the reader to him. And it is when Holmes addresses Watson, we come to know the name of the narrator. For it is a first person narrative, we have to wait and move as the narrator describes all the events.

Development of the plot: In the beginning, Holmes is talking about a person with a particular surname and that there is a need to find a person with the surname. Then he tells Watson to wait for the person who has assigned the task to the detective as Holmes wants the person in question himself to explain the situation to his friend. Then arrives, John Garrideb of Kansas, who explains the reason for why is there a need of another surname. And it is made clear for why Nathan approached Holmes for the task as it was John who approached Nathan for the same reason. And then further the story unfolds and with it is the truth explored.

Climax: The climax is built as the series of events are described. There are clues laid for the reader to guess, yet the narrator does not give away the resolution. The reader guesses the possibilities. Ultimately a stage comes where the story reaches its height when Holmes is sure of the identity of the suspect and is sure of evil intentions and yet his motives are not clear. It is all to be discovered by the reader as he/she advances to the final tragedy.

Resolution of the mystery: The resolution unleashes a comical tragedy. The reader is surprised and feels funny as well, thanks to the witty detective that leads the case. A faint reflection of the emotions that the reader might go in the ending were already given in the beginning, yet the resolution was unknown. It is not just the tragedy revealed but along with it is revealed the other side of the main character Sherlock Holmes and his friendship with Dr. Watson. There is more than expected revealed. The digressions of Holmes are justified in the end as well. It was a mystery resolved in the end.

  1. Examine the subtle humour in the narration of the story that lightens the gravity of the subject matter.

    The story's wittiest character is the detective Sherlock Holmes whose digressions are most funny. How in the middle of a sensitive interrogation he points out to the suspect that he appears to be a English, though the suspect exclaims that he is an American. In the beginning when Holmes is explaining the case to Watson, he remarks that there is a chance to make money with this case as if it is they and not the Garridebs who will be given the inheritance of Alexander Garrideb. The most interesting part is the style with which Holmes talks or discusses any information. Even while explaining a serious matter he adapts a casual style. For example, again while in the beginning Holmes is explaining the case to Watson, he did not give away the people already involved in the case. However, he tells that Nathan is already taken in as Watson comes across his name in the directory. He did not even tell the name of the mastermind John Garrideb until Mrs. Hudson approached with the card signed by Garrideb. There are many such instances that make the mystery light-hearted and the reader is not burned by it.

No comments:

Post a Comment