Alien at School
往期回听 | 经典侦探故事
有声书 | 经典侦探故事 1.1
Classic Detective Stories
The Five Orange Pips （part 2）
by Arthur Conan Doyle
'One moment,' said Holmes eagerly①. 'This is a very interesting story. I want to be sure of the facts. When did your uncle receive the letter with the five orange pips?'
'The letter arrived on the 10th of March, 1883,' Mr. Openshaw answered.
'And when did he die?' Holmes asked him.
'He died seven weeks later, on the 2nd of May,' Mr. Openshaw replied.
'I see,' Holmes said quietly. 'Now please go on with the story. Tell us what happened next.'
'My father examined the property very carefully,' Mr. Openshaw said. 'He searched the room in the attic. The box was there. A label② on the inside of the box had the letters 'KKK' written on it. There was a note on the label, which said, 'Letters, papers, receipts③'. The box was empty, but my father found some other papers in the attic. These were records④ of my uncle's military career. Other papers came from the period after the Civil War. They showed that my uncle did not like the new political situation in America. He did not like the new freedom that black people had. He did not like the new politicians from the North who came to Florida.
'My father came to live in the house in Horsham at the beginning of 1884. Everything went well for about a year. Then, one morning at breakfast, he suddenly gave a cry of surprise. I looked up, and he was sitting with an envelope in one hand. In his other hand he was holding five orange pips! Of course he knew the story of the five orange pips, but he had always laughed at it. Now he looked worried.
"What does this mean, John?" he asked me. His voice sounded scared.
"It's 'KKK'," I replied.
He looked inside the envelope.
"You're right," he said. "But what about this?" he asked anxiously. "What does this mean?"
'He showed me the envelope. Above the letters 'KKK' there was some writing.
'''Put the papers on the sundial⑤ in the garden," I read.
"What papers? I don't understand any of this."
''The papers must be the ones from the attic," I told him." Uncle Elias destroyed them all before he died."
'My father was worried, but he was determined to fight his fear.
"This is all nonsense," he decided. "Where does this letter come from?"
I looked at the postmark on the outside of the envelope.
"Dundee," I told him. "The letter was posted in Dundee." 'We were silent for a moment.
"I think you should tell the police," I warned⑥ my father.
"They'd laugh at me!" he said quickly. "This is just a foolish⑦ joke, John.We'll say no more about it."
I tried to persuade my father to do something about the letter and the five orange pips. It was no good. He refused to do anything.
About three days later he went to stay with an old friend of his, Major Freebody. I was glad my father was away from the house. I thought he was out of danger - but I was wrong!
The Major sent me a telegram two days after my father's arrival.
Something terrible had happened. My father had fallen over the edge of a chalk-pit⑧ while he was out walking one evening. He died a few days later.
I investigated the accident very carefully, Mr. Holmes.
There was no evidence of murder. The coroner decided that my father had died as a result of an accident.
'That is the story of my family,' Mr. Openshaw said. 'That is how I became the owner of my uncle's house about three years ago. I have lived there very happily, Mr. Holmes.'
Mr. Openshaw stopped talking for a moment. He put his hand in his pocket and took out an envelope.
'Until yesterday morning that is,' he said slowly. He emptied the contents of the envelope onto the table in front of him.
Five orange pips rolled out of it.
'The envelope was posted in London,' Mr. Openshaw told us.
'There was the same message that my father received: "'KKK'. Put the papers on the sundial."
'What have you done about it?' Holmes wanted to know.
'Nothing,' the young man replied.
'Nothing?' Holmes repeated in surprise.
'What could I do?' Mr Openshaw asked him. 'I feel desperate⑨ like an animal in a trap!'
'You must act⑩!' Holmes announced. 'You must save yourself.' 'I went to the police,' Mr. Openshaw said. 'It was no good. They listened to my story, but they didn't believe me. They just sent a policeman to the house,' he added.
'Why did you come to me?' Holmes wanted to know. 'And why didn't you come sooner?'
'I only spoke to Major Prendergast today,' the young man said.
Holmes began to speak quickly.
'You received the letter yesterday,' he said. 'Do you have any other evidence to show me?'
'Only this,' Mr. Openshaw told him. He put a piece of blue paper on the table.
'I found this piece of paper in my uncle's room after he burnt the papers from the box,' he explained. 'It was on the floor. It seems to be a page from a diary.'
Holmes and I looked at the piece of paper. It was dated 'March, 1869', and beneath⑪ it was written:
4th. Hudson came. Same old platform.
7th. Sent the pips to Mccauley, Laramore,and John Swain of St.Augustine.
9th. Mccauley cleared.
10th. John swain cleared.
12th. visited Laramore. All well.
Holmes studied the piece of paper for a few minutes and then he turned to Mr. Openshaw.
'You must go home at once,' he ordered him. 'Put this piece of paper into the box from the room in the attic. Then put the box on the sundial in the garden. You must also write a note.
Explain that your uncle burnt all the other papers. You can do nothing else at the moment. Do you understand?'
'Yes, I do,' Mr. Openshaw said. 'I'll do what you advise, Mr. Holmes.'
'Go home straight away⑫,' Holmes told him. 'And be very careful - you are in great danger!'
'I'm carrying a revolver,' Mr. Openshaw replied.
'Good,' Holmes replied. 'I will begin working on the case tomorrow.'
'You'll come to the house in Horsham, then?' Mr. Openshaw asked him.
'No,' Holmes said. 'The secret of the case is here in London. I shall stay here to solve the mystery.'
⑫ straight away：立即。
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