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Classics For Kids
Sherlock For Kids
adapted for children from
the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle original,
© 2015 Mark Williams
Published by Odyssey.
Table of Contents
Thank you for reading.
Mrs. Hudson had prepared us a fine breakfast, a little larger than usual. The kind she arranged when we would not be about for lunch. So I was not at all surprised when my dear friend Sherlock Holmes told me he would be leaving for Dartmoor that morning.
“Silver Blaze?” I asked.
“Silver Blaze,” Holmes said. “And I trust you will join me, Watson. I fear this is task where I will need some help.”
Of course I agreed immediately. The missing racehorse, Silver Blaze, had been headline news for several days now, and everyone had an opinion about what might have happened to the animal, and who had killed the horse’s trainer.
But the newspapers all showed the local police making no progress in their investigations. I knew that, if there was but one person in the country who could solve this mystery, it was Sherlock Holmes.
And so it was, an hour later, we were leaving London’s Paddington Station and heading west for Exeter.
Holmes had bought all the latest newspapers at the station just before we boarded the train, and for the first part of the journey read through them one by one, but seemed to find nothing of interest. Then I saw him stare out of the window for several minutes, while checking his pocket-watch.
“Fifty-three and a half miles an hour,” he said to me. “That is our current speed.”
I stared at Holmes. “How can you possibly know that?” I asked.
Holmes pointed to the telegraph poles that followed the railway. “If you know that each pole is sixty yards apart then the calculation is quite simple,” he said.
I thought to myself, Only if you have a brain like Sherlock Holmes. Who else would know that each telegraph pole is sixty yards apart?
I pointed at the newspapers Holmes had finished with and asked, “Any more news on the Silver Blaze mystery?”
“Let me bring you up to date,” said Holmes, leaning back into his seat. “On Tuesday evening I received a telegram from Silver Blaze’s owner, Colonel Ross, asking for my assistance. And shortly after that a telegram arrived from Inspector Gregory, also asking for my assistance.”
“But today is Thursday!” I stared at Holmes. “So why did we not leave for the wilderness of Dartmoor yesterday? Why wait another day?”
“Because,” said Holmes, “as you say, Dartmoor is a wilderness. How on earth can anyone steal and hide any horse in such a barren land? Least of all a horse as distinctive as Silver Blaze, the most famous horse in all of England, and with the police and the public all looking for it? I fully expected the animal to have been found yesterday and the matter closed.”
“And so you wasted a whole day, Holmes?” I said. “That is not like you.”
“Hardly wasted, my dear Watson,” said Holmes. “I used the time to study the facts as we know them, and now have a clear picture of what has happened so far, so we will be able to start work immediately we arrive.”
“I’m delighted to hear it, Holmes,” I said. “Now perhaps you will explain to me, as I have no clear picture at all of what has happened other than that a horse has gone missing and the horse’s trainer is dead.”
I sat back in my chair and watched the scenery fly by as Holmes told me what he had learned so far.
“Silver Blaze is a fine racehorse, owned by Colonel Ross,” said Holmes. “His trainer, John Straker, was found dead in a field near to the stables early in the morning. The horse had vanished.”