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An Untold Tale of Sherlock Holmes
Newly Discovered in Chinese

A Bogus Murder Case (8): The Church

5 October 2012
 

Holmes and Watson returned to Bristol as businessmen Howe and Walter, and met their detective "cousin" Stevens at Bistro du Vin next day. As soon as they settled at a table positioned against the wall next to a fireless fireplace, Stevens informed his guests the test result of the liquid that killed John. "It's cyanide."

"Good lord, cyanide, again?" Watson exclaimed in suppressed voice, immediately lifting his sight from the menu.

But Holmes kept researching his "a la carte". "If Hidewood indeed died of cyanide poisoning as alleged by the court," he whispered, "then it is very likely both of them were murdered by the same group of - ah, dear dear," Holmes raised his head to smile at an approaching waiter, "I understand your steaks are 28-day dry-aged -"

"Yes sir, it's the most popular pick among our customers."

"Then, gentlemen, we shall follow the lead of the popular opinion, shall we?"

"You won't regret sir."

Once the order was made, the waiter delivered drinks and left the table, Holmes' charming smile faded. "Cyanide is a substance strictly controlled by the government, yet it seems they can easily gain access to it, which means this group is extremely resourceful." He poured more liquid into his glass from a bottle.

"But Mr Holmes, I don't understand," said Stevens, "if they could easily kill him now, what stopped them from killing him early when they did so to Joseph? Why they bothered to shadow him to the hospital and waited so long?"

"They may suspect he had passed some crucial evidence to someone else and they wished to find out who is that person or persons." Holmes replied in rumble and, lifting his glass, gazed through reflective red decadent wine with eager curiosity.

"But your appearance in the town forced them to act immediately," Watson suggested.

Holmes tasted the red liquid. "What do you know about the church?"

Stevens looked around then leaned forward to near the ears of his companions. "According to my investigation this morning, the church is indeed the place of worship that John frequented most, and it is believed that he received his last holy communion from Father Peters."

"Excellent, that's fabulous! I believe we urgently need a priest to say a prayer for the tormented soul of our unfortunate brother -" Holmes beamed brilliantly, and his eyes went to the waiter delivering soup and breads to the table. "Ah, now here comes our entrée." He neatly tucked a napkin under his chin.

But the night visit to St Mary on the Quay Presbytery didn't go smoothly. The priest in question declined to discuss anything related to his flock. "Besides, I'm not supposed to know who was on the other side of the screen talking to me," said the priest, frigidly. "You may return home now, I will pray for his soul tomorrow, and pray for our dear brother to return to the loving arms of the Holy Father for all of eternity."

It was not until Holmes removed his fake mustache and facial skin to reveal his true identity as the world renowned detective, and Dr. Simon was urgently called to the premises by Stevens, the icy facade of the clergyman began to thaw.

"Yes, John and I were very close. Since he had no family here, he loved to share his secret with me. His last visit here was about half a year ago - he told me Joseph died and he could meet the same fate." The priest rose from his chair. "He asked me to keep his documents in a safe place, and if he died, they shall only be handed over to someone sent by Mr Boswell -" He turned to move his heavy chair away from the spot. "But Simon, you are my close friend for so many years, how can I not trust you; and Mr Holmes, I know what your name means - all right, all right, forgive me John!" He lifted a plank in the flooring, and, thrusting his hand beneath, drew up a tin box.

"John, my dear son, I hope I haven't made a wrong decision!" groaned the priest when handing the box to Holmes.

(to be continued)

Tale of Sherlock Holmes (1): Mrs Boswell
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (2): The Trial
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (3): The Photos
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (4): The Police
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (5): The Wife
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (6): The Hospital
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (7): The Mug
Tale of Sherlock Holmes (8): The Church

Below is the eighth chapter of the story in the original Chinese text written by Shellstone Homes:

离 奇 命 案

(八)

《福尔摩斯探案集·续集》

Author: Shellstone Homes

福尔摩斯将心爱的大烟斗放进办公室的抽屉里,脱下了那件惹人注目的黑色披风,穿上了粗厚的短装,脸上黏贴了一部黑白相间的浓密的胡须,乔装成了一个饱经风霜的马车夫。我则戴上礼帽,右手拿着手杖,左手提着一口小皮箱,扮成了一个出门的绅士。天刚入暮,福尔摩斯亲自赶着马车上路了,经过了几乎一个整晚上的紧赶慢赶,黎明将至的时候,我们来到了埃尔顿旅馆。

我们饥饿已极,好在斯蒂芬早就给我们准备了一大堆吃的喝的食物。福尔摩斯一改往日的斯文,一上来就狼吞虎咽地咬完了一大块荞麦面包,这个吃相倒很符合马车夫的形象。我先倒了一大杯水来喝。还没等我吃东西,斯蒂芬就告诉我们,化验结果显示,约翰死于氰化物中毒,而警方公布的是心脏病猝死。又是氰化物中毒?我差点给水呛着。福尔摩斯似乎一点都不惊讶。

“福尔摩斯先生,难道你早就料到约翰是被氰化物毒死的?”斯蒂芬问道。

“法庭指控贝丽福夫人杀害安道尔不也是用的氰化物吗?现在几乎可以肯定,制造贝丽夫人杀人案和杀死约翰的就是同一伙人。氰化物被政府下辖的部门极其严格的管制着,而这伙人却如探囊取物般轻易就能弄到手而不受任何制裁,可见他们的势力强大到了多么可怕的程度!这是我预料中的事。”尽管福尔摩斯看上去依然镇定自若,但眼神还是透露出了隐忧。

“他们既然杀死了约瑟夫,为什么不连同约翰一起杀了,而要让约翰在精神病院呆这么长时间费这么大劲再杀死他?似乎有些不合情理吧?”斯蒂芬提出了他的疑问。

“不奇怪。杀死约翰对他们来说就像踩死一只蚂蚁,再简单不过,但那些人显然怀疑约翰掌握了他们制造贝丽夫人杀人案的证据,担心那些证据流落出去,会暴露他们的整个阴谋。他们当然有理由怀疑约翰的精神失常是装出来的,这就是他们不惜耗费大量精力想出各种花招紧盯约翰的原因。当他们知道我们已经介入调查,就不得不采取下策——迅即杀死约翰。”

福尔摩斯分析完约翰的死因,就问斯蒂芬:“对于圣玛丽教堂,你了解多少?”

“圣玛丽教堂属于哥特式建筑,轻巧灵动,装饰华美,顶上的尖塔高耸入云,外观看,和其他具有同类建筑特点的教堂没什么两样。教堂的神父叫彼得,是一位德高望重的长者,他就生活在教堂里,只有在采购必须的生活用品时才会外出。除了主持弥撒和婚礼,彼得还常常给灾祸缠身的人祷告、驱魔。当艾伯顿公爵做了市长后,那些昔日荼毒布里斯托居民的灾祸大大减少了,一时间,整个布里斯托山明水净,风清气正,老百姓丰衣足食,安居乐业。这几年来求神父祷告、驱魔的人越来越少。彼得因此非常钦佩艾伯顿公爵,称他是上帝的使者。我通过警察局里可靠的朋友了解到,约翰平时就是在圣玛丽教堂做礼拜。”

福尔摩斯露出了久违的一丝微笑,这是他对斯蒂芬的工作的嘉许。随后他吩咐:“白天容易被人发现,我们都不要出去了,就在房间休息,等养足了精神,晚上我们再去探访彼得神父。”

这是一个漆黑的夜晚,街上空寂无人,我们来到了圣玛丽教堂,彼得神父接待了我们。

“我能帮你们什么,我的孩子?”神父面带微笑,和蔼可亲,一眼看上去就会让人油然生出敬仰之感。

福尔摩斯恭敬地回答:“神父,我们的朋友约翰死在了贝尔斯特精神病院,我们来请求您给他做一次祷告。”

神父听完福尔摩斯的话,脸上的笑容消失了,渐渐布满了忧伤。他用怀疑的眼神看着我们,严肃地问:“你们真的是来要求我做祷告的吗?能不能告诉我你们是谁?”

斯蒂芬赶紧说:“神父,这位是福尔摩斯先生,您一定知道他;这一位是华生医生;我是斯蒂芬,就是布里斯托的私家侦探。我们的确是为约翰而来。”

神父在我们身上看来看去,一遍又一遍,然后说:“你们回去吧,明天我会给约翰做一次祷告,祈求上帝饶恕他所有的过失和罪孽。”

机智的福尔摩斯马上意识到了彼得神父为什么会拒绝和我们深入接触。他立即动手除下假胡须,露出了鹰钩鼻下那紧绷的嘴和方正突出的下颚,这张线条明晰、神情坚毅的脸,就是福尔摩斯特有的标志。神父睁大眼睛看着福尔摩斯,点了点头,说道:“不错,你就是福尔摩斯先生。可你们到这里来究竟为了什么?”

福尔摩斯将约翰被毒死、杯底上发现“教堂”字样以及我们推测约翰有秘密留在教堂的经过告诉了神父,然后等着神父的反应。

神父淡淡地说:“水杯上有‘教堂’字样,也不能证明一定就是约翰所刻。就算是他刻的,一个精神病患者随便刻刻画画,那又能说明什么呢?”

“神父,请您相信我们!我们是为了还艾伯顿公爵、贝丽夫人公道而来。我知道您也非常钦佩公爵,肯定不希望他永远冤沉大海,我们和您、约翰、西蒙院长以及整个布里斯托的人的心情是一样的。帮助我们吧,神父!”福尔摩斯说得极其虔诚。

“你们认识西蒙院长?”神父有些惊讶。

“是的,西蒙院长是我们的朋友,他尽最大努力帮助了我们,可由于我们的疏忽,约翰还是死了。我们只能寄希望于神父了!”

听完福尔摩斯的话,彼得神父还是犹豫不决。

福尔摩斯想到了办法,他问道:“神父,您和西蒙院长也是好朋友吗?”

“是的,我们是多年的好朋友。”

“斯蒂芬,请你马上把西蒙院长请到这里来,别让人发现!”

“帮助他们吧,为了艾伯顿公爵和贝丽夫人,为了布里斯多,为了英国,为了上帝,我的神父!”西蒙先生走进教堂来不及和老朋友做任何寒暄就急急恳求神父。

“对不起,福尔姆斯先生,不是我有意刁难,实在是这件事太过重大。约翰的确将秘密留在了圣玛丽,他是用生命相托,所以我不能不慎之又慎啊!西蒙先生都来了,我再没有理由怀疑你们。约翰是一个聪明、善良、正直而又勇敢的的孩子,我一直很喜欢他,他也信赖我。他没有亲人,所以常常会来这里让我分享他的快乐、幸福、忧愁与悲伤。有一天晚上,大约是半夜了,约翰匆匆忙忙来到教堂,他告诉我,约瑟夫出事了,他马上也会出事。他没有说会出什么事,但我从他的语气中知道这事非同小可。”神父顿了一下继续说,“他交给我一个铁盒子,要我替他保管。他反复叮嘱我,铁盒子内有艾伯顿公爵和贝丽夫人案的秘密,必须等他来取。如果他死了,就要等到乌恩首相及其党羽倒台后才能拿出来,一定要将铁盒交到支持艾伯顿公爵的人手上。没过几天,他就疯了。可怜的孩子!”神父流下了伤心的眼泪。

“神父,为了揭露乌恩首相的阴谋,我们必须弄清楚艾伯顿公爵和贝丽夫人案的来龙去脉,请您把铁盒交给我们吧!”福尔摩斯再次恳求,眼里充满了毅然决然的神采。

“我答应你,我相信约翰不会怪我的,因为你是福尔摩斯!”

彼得神父说完,费力的挪开他做弥撒和祷告时坐的沉重的木椅,掀开地面的木板,露出了地下室。神父点上蜡烛,颤巍巍的爬进地下室取出了约翰寄存在这里的铁盒,郑重地交到福尔摩斯手中。

“拜托了,福尔摩斯先生!愿上帝保佑你!愿上帝保有艾伯顿公爵和贝丽夫人!”

 
 
RELATED:

What Chinese Say

About the bogus murder case

*邪

有一个问题:乌恩首相是凭什么能够做到一手遮天、指鹿为马的?就他那种轻佻的德性,放在正常的社会中,恐怕早就去一边仰望星空,一边扫马路去了……答案:?

新**友

如果是中国的话,应该哪个地方对应这里的教堂呢?

*杨98*

中国的福尔摩斯在哪里???

sh***i

期待福尔摩斯把吴恩的邪恶都揭出来。

大**竹

千古奇冤,人神共愤!

*爱秋*

期待真相大白还艾伯顿公爵和贝丽夫人清白的一天早点到来!

**谷子

彼得神父,您老人家该出马了,别再等了,公爵正在受苦,国家正在遭罪!

*扣宝

那个指鹿为马的乌恩首相会遭天谴的!

笨笨**世界

就怕出现“国会纵火案”,无人当时敢揭。

谐和

开始清算薄熙来时,国外出口转内销的"新闻"说他有100多个情妇,后来又是几百个,最近铁板定钉的“新闻”是2 8个,还捕风捉影地什么“倪XX”“章XX ”。明眼人一看就知道这些八卦“新闻”用的是历史上久玩不衰的靠“红颜祸水”向政敌身上泼脏水那一套,为的是把一个人不但从上半身,还要从下半身一起搞臭。

我开始还扫一眼标题,后来就出离愤怒了:制造这些“新闻”的家伙,你们自己的裤裆里面干净么?!文革那套给人栽赃“男女乱搞” 丑闻又不让当事人澄清辩护,用“生活作风问题”向人身上泼脏水的卑鄙伎俩,在文革4 0年以后,又上演了!而且是从上到下地,出口转内销地上演。

从制造和传播这些“丑闻”的人身上,我看到了人类一些最卑劣的特性:仇恨,嫉妒,幸灾乐祸,落井下石。如果是个男人制造制造这类东西,他必是个自己裤裆里不干净的猥琐小人[温、李、令 - Multipletext],如果是个女人制造这种东西,她必定是个王婆那样的没有男人的皮条客 [马馼 - Multipletext]。


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