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An Untold Tale of Sherlock Holmes
Newly Discovered in Chinese

A Bogus Murder Case (2): The Trial

10 September 2012

Holmes told Watson since returned to London he had collected almost every newspaper that reported on the Blackpool trial. "Now Watson, I am going to pick holes in the way this trial has been conducted and I wish you can in turn pick holes in my argument."

"I'll do my best to defend the court's position."

So Holmes began. "Let me ask this first: Why Mrs Boswell's lawyers were not hired by herself or her family but appointed by the court?"

"That's a good question, Holmes, to be frank, I have no answer." Dr. Watson found the court's position on this issue is indefensible.

"Ah, you have no answer, I see" Holmes settled on a chair. "What is the normal procedure, Watson? The normal procedure is that only when the defendants cannot afford legal aid, a free legal service then is provided either by the Law Society or the court. Clearly, Mrs Boswell's circumstance did not fall into this category. In this case, her legal right to hire her own lawyers was unjustifiably taken away. Do you agree with what I said?"

"I couldn't agree more."

"But why? Why the court took away her right to hire her own lawyers?" Holmes leaned back in his seat, placed his finger-tips together and shut his eyes. "I see only one answer to this question: The court was afraid of the cross-examination by the independent lawyers, which means the prosecution's evidence against Mrs. Boswell are unable to withstand scrutiny."

"You mean the evidence presented at the trial are questionable?"

"That is precisely what I meant: the credibility of the evidence, Watson," Holmes returned without opening his eye. "Now please look back at that trial. According to the prosecution, the homicide nature of the death of the deceased was revealed by Bristol's police chief, yet this key witness against Mrs Boswell did not present or testify at the trial. Why?"


"Yes, why?" Holmes raised a finger pointing at the ceiling which was all painted in white. "Yet there was no explanation given by the court, nor did we hear any challenge raised from the defence lawyers over this massive legal blunder. And why?"

"Indeed, why?" Dr. Watson was filled with curiosity.

"The prosecution said Mrs. Boswell had successfully persuaded the family of the deceased to accept the coroner's conclusion that the cause of the death was cardiac failure. But how did she manage to do it? By bribing? By threat? Or through a tearful plea? Again, no details revealed whatsoever. Do not forget Hidewood is a foreigner and his family is out of the reach of Boswell's power. Then for what reason his family should help Mrs Boswell to cover up her crime against their loved one? And why they were not testified at the trial?" It was until then Holmes opened his eyes and looked up at the blank ceiling. "Since all these crucial witnesses were unavailable for cross-examination, it shall be safe to conclude that whatever the allegations allegedly made by the witnesses against Mrs Boswell cannot be taken seriously."

It was until then Dr. Watson discovered a hole in Holmes' argument. "You said well, Holmes, but you don't have evidence."

"Correct, I don't have evidence to support my claim, but my claim is derived from logical deduction; when you've eliminated all possibilities, what remains must be the truth."

"You have the point, Holmes. But the evidence they presented at the trial is quite substantial I may say."

"Aha, now we are returning to the evidence again, aren't we?" Holmes cracked coldly. "Watson, since you are a surgeon, let me ask you one question related to your profession. Say you performed an operation on a patient. Is it possible for me to collect a blood-stained cheesecloth, an empty medicine bottle or a surgical knife with the patient's blood on the blade some months later?"

"You must be joking, Holmes, how that could be possible? After each operation, the table, the instruments and the garbage bins were all cleaned and sterilized, and none of the things you mentioned would remain in my clinic."

"I'm glad to hear you say that! Excellent, excellent!" Holmes sprang to his feet. "You were just performing operation on your patient, you committed no crime with no evidence needed to be concealed, yet I would still not be able to find the tangible trace to prove what you did months ago on your operation room, right? Then this will be interesting - how a gifted lawyer would pay no attention to the evidence she left on the murder scene? And we should remember, it is a hotel room which is cleaned daily with its occupants coming and leaving frequently."

"But, what if the police officers secretly collected the evidence when they first arrived on the scene and handed them over to authority after Mrs Boswell was investigated?"

"That's possible, yes, possible. But in this case, the officers should not be prosecuted but awarded, should they? Sure, you may argue they failed to hand over the evidence to the authority in the first instance, but even so, you can only accuse them of neglecting their duty. Yet the fact is, they are charged with helping Mrs Boswell cover up the crime. Do you see the contradictory here? Do you?"

"I do, yes," Watson was convinced. "But how about the phone record of Mrs. Boswell and Hidewood's conversation, and, that cctv footage in the hotel?"

"Phone record and camera footage, ha!" Holmes let out a chuckle. "Here we come to the queer part of the story: One is an experienced lawyer and others are well-trained professional detectives, if these people worked together to conceal the evidence, do you think there would be anything left for others to discover later on? An ordinary thief or robber would know he should cover his head with a silk stocking, and throw the blood-smeared tools into water or buried deed in earth, yet Mrs Boswell seemingly knew nothing of those, now Watson, are you mocking Boswell's intelligence or sneering at the professionalism of the police officers?"

"Oh, no, Holmes ... but, yeah, you're right, I do see your point, entirely."

"That's not the all, Watson. Not at all." Sherlock Holmes bent over his angular figure towards Dr. Watson resting in the armchair and his sight looked into his friend's eye, intensely. "Now think about the relationship between Mrs Boswell and Hidewood. If it had indeed deteriorated to the point where Hidewood intended to kill Mrs Boswell's son and Mrs Boswell had to protect her child by killing the extortionist first, as it is so claimed by the prosecution, how on earth Hidewood would travel alone with Mrs Boswell's assistant from London to Bristol at request of his antagonist? And checked in a hotel arranged by his foe? And in his room chatted happily over the tea over the wine with his enemy? And allowed himself to get drunk and get sick and become defenseless before his victim and potential killer? If he was really so foolish, did he deserve Mrs Boswell to risk her husband's political future to get rid of through murder?" The detective suddenly straightened his back and rubbed is hands while walking down and up the room. "Trust me, Watson, please trust me, I'll find out what's behind the phone record and cctv footage."

"You've convinced me, totally," said Dr. Watson. "I just have one last question." The doctor furrowed his brow in dismay. "As we see, the witnesses and the evidence are all questionable, then why, Holmes, at the trial Mrs Boswell plead guilty to murder of Hidewood and apologised to the victim's family?"

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 second chapter of the story in the original Chinese text written by Shellstone Homes:

离 奇 命 案



Author: Shellstone Homes

























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What Chinese Say about the Case








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