Study Guide

The Return of Sherlock Holmes The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter

By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter

  • February on Baker Street. Watson can't remember the exact date and says it's seven or eight years ago. His note taking skills are slacking.
  • They get a very mysterious telegram from a man named Overton.
  • Overton soon shows up and introduces himself as Cyril Overton from Cambridge. He was sent to Baker Street by Stanley Hopkins, who felt that the case was more up Holmes's alley than his own.
  • Perhaps Hopkins is punking Holmes and Watson.
  • Overton jumps right into it: Godfrey Staunton is missing, and it's a huge disaster.
  • Holmes has no idea what he's talking about, and Cyril is shocked.
  • Turns out, Cyril and Godfrey are star rugby players for Cambridge and that without Godfrey the team is sure to lose their match against Oxford tomorrow. Cyril is also team captain.
  • Holmes is still clueless, and Cyril can't believe that anyone can be this dumb about sports.
  • Cyril backtracks and gives a fuller explanation of himself.
  • The team came up to London yesterday for their big match with Oxford.
  • Cyril checked on his teammates before bed and said Godfrey seemed pale and distracted, so he told him to get some rest.
  • Later, Cyril found out that Godfrey got a note and freaked out over it. He then met downstairs in their hotel with an older guy, and they left together.
  • No one has seen Godfrey since then.
  • Cyril also reveals that Godfrey is the nephew of Lord Mount-James, one of the richest men in England.
  • Holmes and Watson saddle up and go to the hotel where the Cambridge team is staying.
  • They investigate Godfrey's room and talk to the night porter who delivered the note to Godfrey which freaked him out badly.
  • They learn that Godfrey wrote a reply to the note but delivered it himself.
  • Holmes is able to decipher an impression of the note that was left on some paper and finds out that it is a note begging someone to help "us."
  • Things are getting weirder.
  • Then Lord Mount-James barges in demanding answers.
  • Cyril had sent him a telegram explaining the situation.
  • The Lord is actually just concerned with who is going to pay for the private detective services.
  • Holmes cleverly suggests that Godfrey may be held for ransom somewhere, and the Lord decides that paying a detective will probably be cheaper than paying ransom so he's OK with it.
  • Holmes and Watson leave the cheap-skate and head off to the telegraph office to see who Godfrey wrote.
  • After some undercover work, they discover the name of the recipient.
  • The two set off for Cambridge and arrive that night by train.
  • They then take a cab to Dr. Leslie Armstrong's place.
  • Armstrong is a famous doctor, but the ex-doctor Watson hasn't heard of him. Watson is too busy being a full-time sidekick to keep up with the medical community these days.
  • The doctor is impatient and doesn't want to waste time speaking with Holmes and Watson, especially when he finds out that Lord Mount-James is paying them.
  • Armstrong is evasive and finally throws them out of his house.
  • They leave.
  • Holmes goes out again that night and attempts to follow Dr. Armstrong.
  • Armstrong manages to lose him, and Holmes comes back discouraged.
  • The next day they receive a note from Armstrong telling them to stop spying on him and to go back to London. Snap!
  • Holmes is delighted by this and finds Armstrong to be a worthy opponent.
  • Game on.
  • After roaming around the neighborhood looking for clues, Holmes decides to call in reinforcements for the next day.
  • Cyril writes and tells him to ask for Pompey.
  • Watson and Holmes see an article in the paper describing how Cambridge was badly beaten by Oxford in the big rugby match.
  • The next morning Watson freaks when he sees Holmes with a syringe, thinking that Holmes is shooting up cocaine again.
  • FYI: Holmes used to be a drug addict, and he actually used cocaine in some of the earlier Sherlock Holmes stories. He had quit by the time The Return of Sherlock Holmes came out, however.
  • Holmes assures him that it's all cool, and they go outside to meet their helper, Pompey.
  • Pompey turns out to be a dog.
  • The syringe is actually full of some seeds he found on the wheel of Armstrong's carriage.
  • He'll let Pompey get the scent and then track down Armstrong.
  • Pompey takes off and leads the two men to an isolated cottage off the main road.
  • The two men lurk outside and see Armstrong arriving.
  • Holmes and Watson rush into the house before Armstrong can get inside.
  • They come across a dead young woman on a sickbed and a grief stricken young man, who says he's Godfrey Staunton.
  • Armstrong comes in and is really mad.
  • The three men go outside, leaving Godfrey in peace.
  • Holmes explains that he only wants to help Godfrey and won't publicize any details that are private.
  • Armstrong admits he misjudged Holmes's character and tells the truth.
  • The young woman upstairs is Mrs. Staunton, Godfrey's secret wife. She was the daughter of his landlady and they fell in love.
  • But they had to marry in secret because of crazy Lord Mount-James would disinherit Godfrey if he found out that his nephew married a lower-class girl.
  • The wife became ill, and Dr. Armstrong was helping her and Godfrey.
  • He sent word that she was dying, and Godfrey ran off to be with her.
  • The mystery man he left with that night was the girl's father.
  • Holmes agrees to keep this all a secret, and he and Watson leave.

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