From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Events / "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton"
The Return of Sherlock Holmes "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton" Summary
Watson let's us know that this is a very unusual story and it has to be shrouded in some secrecy in order to protect people's identities. Color us intrigued, Watson. One night Holmes comes in and tells Watson they're about to have a visitor. The visitor is a Charles Augustus Milverton, a professional blackmailer who is scum of the earth in Holmes's opinion. Holmes has been hired by a Lady Eva Blackwell to deal with Milverton, who is blackmailing her with some old love letters on the eve of her wedding to a super-rich nobleman. Milverton comes over and is a friendly looking guy in his 50s. Not typical super-villain material. He toys with Holmes and Watson and demands a huge amount of money from Lady Eva. Holmes says she can't pay it and offers a lower amount. Milverton refuses, and Holmes tries to reason with him. Then Holmes springs up, and he and Watson grab Milverton. Milverton mocks them and says that he isn't stupid enough to carry Lady Eva's letters around with him. He mocks them some more and then leaves. Holmes and Watson just got owned. Sherlock Holmes won't be beat, though, so he gets to work. A few days later, Holmes comes in to announce that he's engaged. A confused Watson wonders if Holmes has had a mental breakdown. Turns out Holmes is fake-engaged to a maid in Milverton's house. Watson questions the morality of such an action, and Holmes brushes him off. He then announces that he pumped his fiancée for intel so that he can break in to Milverton's house. Watson is horrified. Holmes convinces Watson that their illegal actions are morally justifiable in this case, since Milverton is the Devil, or something. Watson then insists that he's coming with Holmes and Holmes argues a bit but finally says OK. He can't do anything without his wingman. Holmes points out that they can share a prison cell this way too. That night the two head off to break in to Milverton's home. They even put on bandanas to hide their faces, which is hilarious. They must've gotten burglary confused with bank robbery. They sneak in to the house and are super stealthy. Once in Milverton's study, Holmes gets out his tools to break in to Milverton's safe, and Watson stands guard. Things are going well until Holmes hears a noise. He and Watson duck behind some curtains and in walks Milverton. Oops. Holmes is totally calling off this engagement now. He got bad intel out of the bargain. Milverton chills out a while and finally a mystery woman knocks at the door. She is let in by Milverton, and he gripes that she's late. Milverton thinks she's there to buy some letters, but he then recognizes her. The lady dramatically removes her veil and then speechifies for a bit about how Milverton blackmailed her, ruined her life, caused her husband to die of a broken heart, etc. Milverton tries to throw her out, but she pulls out a gun and shoots him right in the chest. Milverton dies after some dramatic stumbling around, and the mystery lady scampers away. Holmes and Watson are stunned. Holmes recovers quickly and tosses all of Milverton's papers into the fire. He and Watson then run for it. They are nearly caught scaling a wall in the garden by the cops, who showed up after gun shots were heard. But they dynamic duo make it away safely. The next day our buddy Inspector Lestrade comes by Baker Street and fills Holmes and Watson in on Milverton's shocking murder. Two suspects were seen fleeing the scene, one who looked a bit like Watson. Holmes and Watson just shrug. They never tell anyone anything about what they did and saw. A while later they see a famous lady's picture in a shop window and realize that she's the murderer. They never tell anyone her identity though.
People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...