5201Coincidence in the Second Stain
- Aug 6, 2017Hello fellow Holmesians,
Here's a long unsolved problem I've had with Sherlock Holmes that
I'd like to offer for consideration.
In the Adventure of the Second Stain, the detective names 3
possible criminals one of whom is Eduardo Lucas. Immediately, there's
news that this person was found dead in his rooms.
Watson suggested that the murder was a coincidence to which Holmes
asserts - "A coincidence! Here is one of the three men whom we had named
as possible actors in this drama, and he meets a violent death during
the very hours when we know that that drama was being enacted. The odds
are enormous against its being coincidence. No figures could express
them. No, my dear Watson, the two events are connected -- MUST be
connected. It is for us to find the connection."
Now, this seemed like he was jumping to conclusions, given how
stubbornly led by facts he is but in this instance, we can actually
verify it. Lady Hilda had exchanged the diplomatic paper for her
indiscreet love letter and was leaving when the French woman came into
the room and stabbed Mr. Lucas. This was completely coincidental. The
only thing that actually helped the mystery was that Mr. Lucas couldn't
immediately use the letter in any fashion but the murder itself was
still a complete coincidence. If one of the other 3 possible suspects
had stolen the letter, the whole murder would still have happened and
Holmes would have followed up the fake lead because of his confidence
that the two incidents "MUST be connected".
Is this not a lapse in his judgment? What are your opinions?
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