Made by Alex, Takumi, and June, this video is a comprehensive summary of the major events in France from 1786 to 1804. Four key events are discussed in more detail—the Tennis Court Oath, the Great Fear, the Reign of Terror, and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte. At the end of the video, we will give our own opinions on a question that puzzled historians for over two hundred years—was the French Revolution worth it? Hopefully, viewers of this video will get a better sense of the violent and chaotic nature of revolutions and war.
This video gives an overview of “Chew On This” by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson, discusses central ideas and themes, and will hopefully convince you to read this book!
“Chew On This” explores the American fast food industry, focusing on McDonald’s. The author begins by telling the story of the McDonald brothers, who unknowingly founded the largest fast food chain ever. Then, the book moves on to discuss the variety of strategies fast food advertisers today use to persuade children to buy their products, including giving them free toys and building playgrounds inside their restaurants. Some issues found throughout the text include health, advertising, and money.
One theme of this book is that when making decisions, we should not be blinded by the short-term benefits. Instead, we should consider the long-term effects first. This central idea is present on almost every page. As early as in the introduction, the author stresses the importance of considering the effects of the food that we eat—“It helps determine whether you’ll be short or tall, weak or strong, thin or fat. It helps determine whether you will enjoy a long, healthy life or die young.” Later on, the book discusses the long-term health effects of fast food in more detail. One week after having finished this book, I still remember these words on page 105—”Take a look at the ingredients you might find in a fast-food strawberry milk shake: sugar, sweet whey, high fructose corn syrup… and artificial strawberry flavor. “And what does that artificial strawberry flavor contain? Just these few yummy chemicals: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate…” I counted the number of additives the author listed out—there were four dozen! This book completely changed my view on fast food.
I would recommend “Chew on This” because this book is full of shocking statistics, interesting details, and engaging text. Although there is a lot of information in this book, the author presents it in a clear, step-by-step manner and uses simple language. Also, “Chew on This” will help you learn more about everything related to fast food, from the history of McDonald’s to how chicken is produced. These are topics that are still present today—almost everyone has eaten at a fast food restaurant. But the next time you visit one, be sure to think again. Think about all of these factory workers, toiling day and night just to make your burger. Think about the fats and sugars in your meal. Is it really worth it?
Something I learned in this unit is that sometimes, we have to reread a section of the book to gain a deeper understanding. Before, I was always so eager to find out what happens on the next page that I will hardly do rereading. But now, I know that every time I read a page another time, I strengthen my memory and develop new thoughts.
The Adventure of SHE
The first draft of my second mystery novel imitating the Canon
Is hereby proudly presented to
Mr. Xu Jingqi
Table of contents
The Science Of Deduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
The Wife’s Narrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The Tragedy At Harrow Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Two Clues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
The Housekeeper and the Maid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
The University of London . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
The Doctor of Chemistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
THE SCIENCE OF DEDUCTION
“MRS. VIOLET MARTIN, I daresay?” asked Sherlock Holmes to our visitor on a Thursday morning in late-December of the year ’97, gripping in his hand the card Mrs. Hudson had provided. Two inches of snow last night did nothing to alleviate the harsh winter air; I really could not say a word against our bespectacled client for standing so rigidly at our door with her plain-looking high heels together. She was a tall, graceful figure, but her wear was dark and formal, with a striped shirt below her tight greatcoat, long gloves, and a rather large hat. The face, covered partially by the last, would have been a delightful one, with the dark blue eyes, blonde hair, and sweet and amiable complexion, if not for the melancholic expression which seemed to have consumed her.
“Yes.” Her voice was shy, barely audible, and her tone curt. The manner was typical to that of the middle-aged academic Englishwoman, but not quite to one in her early thirties.
“Please settle yourself down across us and enjoy the heat of our blazing fire. You seem to be rather under the weather today, I must say.”
Our visitor turned her head slightly and swallowed.
“Forgive me, Mr. Holmes, but what had convinced me to consult you this morning was a most disastrous event that had occurred last night. You would only once in a blue moon find a woman who is nearly as distressed as I am.”
My friend leaned forward.
“Oh, by all means don’t get bent out of shape. Perhaps you could solace yourself with a cup of tea and a cookie that I should ask my companion, Doctor Watson, to produce. I assure you that it is my greatest honor to assist you, and I am confident that Doctor Watson here would also be delighted to contribute—but where did the incident you described occur? Last night in your apartment?”
“An apartment? No, sir—a three-storey house at 14 Harrow Street is where I reside.”
“Ah! directly across the street from Mycroft, my brother,” Holmes interrupted.
Mrs. Martin raised her eyebrows ever so slightly.
“Why, that is surely a coincidence!”
Holmes contemplated for five or six seconds silently with his eyes half-closed and chin resting on his palms.
“In that case, what have we here? A first inspection tells me that you are married, earn a living as a chemist, are left-handed, had perhaps spent quite a few years in America and, pray excuse me, but there has been murder done. Personally, I incline to think that the victim was none other than your partner. I trust that there is nothing of consequence that I had overlooked?”
Mrs. Martin’s jaws dropped to reveal her regular, snow-white teeth.
“I have heard of your extraordinary abilities, sir,” she raised her voice slightly in astonishment. “But how could you—why, surely you knew my husband? I had not, as yet, spoken to anyone of this catastrophic affair and had not even spoken to you, sir, that I was married at all. If you could offer me so much as a brief explanation, sir, of how came you to know of these facts—”
“It is my business to know what others do not know, to see what others only catch a glimpse of. Explicitly, you have not indeed mentioned your matrimony, yet when you assented, upon my asking, to Mrs. Martin, it could not have been more blatant if you had shouted it ten times. My train of thought then proceeded as thus: the ringed eye sockets, the tears in your eyes, your unnaturally quiet and terse manner of speech, and the stiffness of your behaviour all indicated that sorrow is in the air. These observations—facts of such simplicity, they are, that they hardly deserve the term—coupled with your sombre attire, especially the gloves, high-heels, and hat, made it certain that a funeral is to occur today. You also revealed to me that the event that had occurred last night was why we found you knocking outside our door. Well, we know that someone you adored had passed away, so what else would be that incident? It was murder, of course.
“But why my husband? Why not a child, for instance?”
“Ah, that was a more daring shot. But in all my investigations I had never found a killer targeting an assault on a child. Consider what he could benefit from it! No, no, I would propose the husband to be the more probable victim for such foul play.”
“Wonderful!” Mrs. Martin ejaculated. “And you could see, as well, that I am a chemist, and a left-handed one as well?”
“Why, apparently. Your spectacles and your Elements of Chemistry by Lavoisier with a bookmark two-thirds into the classical work told me that you are the scholarly type—a chemist, specifically. More crucially, there was a small light-yellow stain on your forearm, which was originally solid and adhered to your skin upon your entry. However, it gradually began to melt as we conversed. Such is only possible for a few elementsthe element caesium, which has a melting point of around 83 degrees, not far off from the temperature of our rooms. If not for a ”
“And your parents, you may ask? Well, well, I have attained sufficient experience in my trade to know that as a youthful woman matures, the parent-daughter relationship tends to gradually dissolve. Hence, I would not expect the death to have so dramatic an effect on you. If that fails to appear convincing, Mrs. Martin, the crime took place in your address—a large, luxurious house no more than a few streets away in the heart of London, as mentioned in your telegram. Suppose that one of your parents was murdered. Why was the body to be found in your residence, then? The only explanation would be that the couple bought the incredibly expensive house before your birth and had since resided there along with you and your partner. It is surely improbable enough to be removed from our consideration.”
For a few seconds, Mrs. Martin was deprived of speech. Her slanting eyes were as wide as before under grey-tinted rectangular glasses. Finally, she nodded and said—
“You are correct, sir, and my husband’s death is why I desired to consult you. Your astute abilities are definitely not rumours, yet I still fail to see how you had suspected murder.”
“Commonplace, it really is. Why else would a man who is wealthy enough to marry to a young lady of your type and live in the centre of the city be found dead inside his house this morning? Yes; I am convinced that there is foul play in the matter,” my friend replied with a faint smile. “The weather is most unpleasant to-day, Watson, and I trust that our visitor would not say no to some warm refreshments from Mrs. Hudson. We shall hear the details when you return.”
THE WIFE’S NARRATIVE
FIVE MINUTES LATER found the three of us enjoying hot sips of tea while Mrs. Martin recounted her singular experience in that timid voice of hers.
“Here are the facts, sir, in brief,” said she. “In the year 1896 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded—”
Holmes covered his mouth and chuckled to himself while our visitor and I stared at him in confusion.
“What is it that you find so amusing, sir, may I ask?”
“Well, Watson,” said he with an enigmatic tone, “would you kindly receive your archives for the Jefferson Hope case?”
“Certainly, but what for?”
“Have a look at the first sentence of page one.”
The papers of our first inquiry together was not at all difficult to locate, for it was also one of our most dramatic and sophisticated ones. My friend’s meaning became obvious when I read these words, typed by none other than myself sixteen years ago, aloud to the two of them:
In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the army.
“It is indeed a funny coincidence,” said I with a smile. “You astound me by needing no more than a few seconds to recall it out of the hundreds of chronicles that I have written, Holmes.”
“Why could I not? It is, after all, the opening sentence of your first written account, and one of my favourite ones, as well. Pray continue, Mrs. Martin, and excuse my interruption.”
The young lady stared at Holmes with a mixture of surprise and admiration.
“Where was I, sir? Oh, yes, and proceeded—I was saying—to plan my marriage with a friend and classmate of mine by the name of Richard Martin, before settling down in a bustling neighbourhood which is, as you had alluded to, sir, at the centre of the city. The house was as expensive as any could be, no doubt, but it was perfect for four to reside—including our housekeeper and maid, that is. What is more, my husband’s occupation is, as you deduced, sir, beneficial to my studies, for he makes a respectable fortune as a banker and could more than afford it. Our house has three floors, of which the housekeeper’s and maid’s bed-room is on the first, my husband’s on the second, and mine on the third. Now that I think of it, sir, I should not have said ‘in the year 1896’ since it was no earlier than last year, though it is hard to believe that less than two years had passed since our marriage, for my sole task, this year and the last, is to study—read, research, experiment—even more diligently than before, to earn a living for myself. Hence, time passed rather slowly.
“You say,” Holmes began, “that Mr. Martin was a banker, while you are a chemist. Yet he was your classmate… in university?”
“In secondary school, sir,” corrected our client.
“Ah, that clears it up. Pray proceed.”
“It was my usual habit, sir, to retire to bed at a quarter to eleven after a brief chat about trivial matters—the weather, work, plans for the next day—with my husband, as I did last night. There was nothing unusual in his manner—he was energetic, outgoing, and did not lose his passion for heavy drinking. I even had the impression that he was somewhat drunk upon heading upstairs to his room while I simultaneously made for my own.”
“Was there anything particular which had arrested your attention?” asked Holmes.
“Nothing then, but I was woken from my sleep by some heavy footsteps, in all likelihood those of a large man, stomping outside my room, followed by what seemed like something breaking into pieces. I lit a small lamp and opened my door to reveal nothing outside, sir.”
“Did you note the time?”
“I thought I’d better, sir, for the steps could not match that of anyone in the household and the ‘breaking into pieces’ was simply inexplicable. It was twenty-three minutes past two, which is reasonable for autopsy reports indicated that the time of death was a little later than two o’clock.”
“Strange indeed. Did anyone else hear the sounds?”
“Both servants heard them as clearly as I did, sir.”
“And the door to the house was locked, of course?”
“Yes, sir, my husband would lock both it and the one to his own room every night at ten and keep the keys on his bedside table. I would, every now and then, check on them, as I did tonight.”
“And they were still there?”
“Of course, sir, and I had confirmed that the door was locked also. However, the inspector assigned to this case, Inspector Lestrade, has sufficient evidence that the clever murderer made his way into the house through the second-floor study, which was always locked and hence acted as our strongbox with all of the valuables inside. You see, he went up using a ten-foot tall ladder of his and then used something, presumably a hammer, to shatter the window. All of this was done to steal some ten thousand pounds, a diamond ring my husband gave me two weeks ago as a wedding present, and a golden bracelet I bought a month or two ago. There were quite a few other items of considerable value, but these that I speak of were the ones nearest to the window and thus the most obvious ones to the intruder while others, being farther from the moonlight, could hardly be seen in the dead of night.
“After satisfying himself in the study, the killer furtively made his way into my husband’s bed-room to poison him in his sleep. Then realizing that we were woken by his loud footsteps, he fled without wasting time unpacking the ladder, as Mr. Lestrade conjectured. Thus, it was found leading up to the study this morning. I was not, fortunately for the murderer, a resident of the second floor, for otherwise I would have seen him when I heard the sound and got outside my room with the light.”
“Then the murderer must have been familiar enough with the structure of the house to know the locations of both rooms. Who might have known your address?”
“There were many who knew of it, sir, since my husband would have told all of his colleagues. Only a few of my closest friends at school, however, would have known the exact arrangements of our rooms.”
“But the bed-room was locked, was it not? How could one have entered it, then, from the study?”
“That is precisely the question, sir. Surely it is impossible for one from inside the house to enter it, much less one from outside. He could not have forced it, for the door is as good today as it was any other day. There were no signs of damage whatsoever.”
“Then it was you, Mrs. Martin, who had found the body this morning?”
“The police found it, sir. You see, the maid was responsible for bringing him breakfast every day at a quarter past nine, usually. This morning, though, he had not answered to the knock, leading the maid, Mrs. Caroline Andersen—she should deserve a name by now—to suspect that the alcohol last night had interfered with his sleep. Well, my husband was a late riser, and although he was generally a light sleeper, it is not unusual for him to turn into a heavy one who seemed incapable of waking before afternoon if intoxicated with his favourite spirits, as he was last night. When the clock struck ten o’clock, however, Mrs. Andersen began to feel concerned and informed me of the matter. Together, we pounded on the door for several minutes without the slightest reply. The maid suggested breaking it down by force, to which I declined and instead offered to wait another half-hour. During this time, I wandered aimlessly around our house, recalling my husband’s behaviour yesterday and wondering if it might have a possible connection to to-day’s incident. That is when I collided face-to-face with our terrified housekeeper, Mrs. Martha Bennett, who could habitually be found outside gardening in the morning. She was trembling when she led me to the ladder and, above it, the broken window. Of course, we sent for the police immediately and was told of the stolen items and the tragic death. And he was poisoned, sir! Would using, say, a dagger, not be much more convenient for the murderer?”
Sherlock Holmes rose and lit his pipe.
“Well, I am beginning to understand why not even the able Scotland Yard investigators were able enough to throw light upon this matter. Watson, make your preparations to leave for 14 Harrow Street—the crime scene—in ten minutes’ time. I shall be waiting outside with Mrs. Martin, enjoying the cold but fresh winter air. However vile the weather is, it could not justify delaying detective work.”
THE TRAGEDY AT HARROW STREET
“TO YOUR LEFT, Mr. Holmes,” said our client a half-hour later, gesturing to the direction, “you would find the house in which my husband met his disastrous death.”
The serene atmosphere around the Martins’ low and widespread residence contrasted with the clamorous mob of Englishmen in the centre of Harrow Street. Its location was a reasonable one, for the two houses next to it were both unoccupied. The small garden was bounded by four-foot tall fencing and neatly planted with flowers that were gorgeous should one neglect the thick layer of snow surrounding each one. The first two floors were quite large, as they appeared from the outside, and both had facing the front two or three windows, which were all left ajar. The third, however, was somewhat smaller and had only one visible window on the left side.
“Perhaps you would be better employed inside the house, Mrs. Martin, while Watson and I survey the house for suggestive features,” said Holmes.
Nodding, the young lady hurried towards the door before slowly and carefully drawing it shut.
“Well, well, Watson,” my friend went ahead with that well-remembered intonation, “it was certainly the most troubled face I had ever came across. A bright, charming lady succumbed to depression after losing her husband… I really should regret it if we fail to clear up this matter for her.”
I followed Holmes as he made for the right of the house and came to a stop a few steps short of where a simple wooden ladder, which the murderer supposedly used to gain access inside the house, stood leading to the second floor. It was natural for one to conclude that he broke in through the window, considering the fragments of glass scattered around it in the half-melted snow.
“Our murderer,” said Holmes, “should be a man in his prime, able to endure extreme temperatures, and of no less than six feet in height. Do you follow, Watson?”
“The last two you deduce, no doubt, from the footprints on the ladder—one would not expect them to be covered since the snow ceased near one o’clock. They suggest that the killer had worn only leather shoes in such severe a weather, and of course, his height.”
“Indeed, Watson, you imitate my methods quite effectively.”
“I could not, however, see why he was ‘in his prime.’ ”
“Have you not observed that there was still a two yards’ distance between where the ladder ends and the lowest part in which one could enter through the window? If the murderer was both strong enough and brave enough to climb that height, then he could not have been a bald-headed man of seventy or eighty, could he? You see, a ladder—a seemingly trivial object, it is—could be the basis of several key deductions. Ah, if it isn’t my good old Lestrade!”
A small, ferret-like man approached us from ten yards behind, gripping a walking stick in his palm.
“I was anticipating you, Mr. Holmes,” he said, warmly shaking my friend’s hand. “Surely you are aware of the details, and perhaps the theory that I had already formed?”
“The two of us were told very plainly by the wife, Mrs. Martin.”
“And you do not disagree with my view that the window acted as the killer’s entrance?”
“It is certainly possible.”
“Possible? Why, I thought it was not only possible. Was it not probable, as well? Why would he desire to put such an effort to pretend as if he came in through the study—with the ladder and the hammer—if I might be incorrect? What is more, such ‘burglar-murder’ cases are not uncommon. It is perfectly reasonable for one to enter another’s house with his main intention being murder, but also to pocket some valuables he should come across on the way, is it not?”
“Consider, Lestrade, consider!” Holmes spoke in a sharp voice. “You fail to account for quite a few significant points. For instance, why were the murderer’s footsteps abnormally loud?”
“Well, perhaps he was an abnormally stout man.”
“That only leads to a contradiction once more. Could an abnormally stout man have made his way up two yards of cement, from the top of the ladder to the base of the window?” my friend insisted with a gesture.
Lestrade gazed blankly at the famous detective for a brief moment.
“You might, then, be satisfied with some investigations of your own, Mr. Holmes,” he said coldly. “The death chamber is the first room to the right upon ascending the stairs to the second floor. You shall find me here when you are finished.”
Sherlock Holmes clapped his hands suddenly and gave a burst of exclamation.
“Yes, yes—I should have noted it sooner… come, Watson, come! Into the house and up the stairs—quick!”
WHILE HOLMES WAS most enthusiastic, with his face as red as tomato, his mouth racing to catch his breath, and his long, muscular legs dashing around the house and across the snow, there was not a moment in all these years in which I had been more perplexed at my friend’s exceedingly queer ways of detection. Before I came to my senses, he was half-pulling, half-dragging me beside him. Five seconds had not passed before we were at the door, and Holmes desperately knocking.
A lady answered us—but time did not allow us to identify her, for he was sprinting up the stairs and into not the victim’s bed-room, but his study, as if his life had depended on solving this one case out of his hundreds upon hundreds of others. Fortunately, the door was ajar.
It was a large and comfortable room, with its late-baroque paintings, the thick and ornate matting, and the Georgian furniture all pointing to the early eighteenth century, which one could assume is when the house came into existence. There were two broad writing tables to our sides, with a four-layered wooden bookshelf in between. Both of the tables were neatly lined up with a dozen titles—those on the left desk were masterpieces on the field of chemistry, while those on the right were a mixture of various genres, though my attention was arrested by the classical works on economics, most notably Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by the celebrated Adam Smith. It would be reasonable to infer based on their profession that the left one was the wife’s and the right one the husband’s. And of course, beside the shattered window was a small desk on which there were jewels of all kinds—rubies, emeralds, sapphires—and a two-foot long iron strongbox.
Hearing the muffled sound of a breeze coming through the window, I turned to come face-to-face with Sherlock Holmes, who was beaming at me.
“The affair, Watson,” said he, “has proven itself far more complicated than Lestrade imagined.”
“What is it that you find baffling, Holmes?”
“You did see, downstairs, what had remained of this window, Watson?”
“I could hardly have neglected it.”
“And a few fragments could be found in the room also, couldn’t they?” asked Holmes, revealing a small one in his hand.
“Undoubtedly,” I replied, noticing the shreds of glass scattered across the floor.
“Yet were there more of these inside or outside?”
“Almost all were outside.”
“Quite so, Watson. If the murderer had indeed hammered the window, from the outside, then it is guaranteed that most of the glass would be found inside. Since that is not the case, we could safely dismiss the hypothesis and instead accept that the murderer broke the window from the inside, put a ladder underneath it, and stole a few valuables to throw us onto the wrong track. That would explain his footsteps as well—they were done on purpose to deceive us. Well, then, he must have come from somewhere else—his victim’s study strikes me as the most natural entrance. Mr. Martin’s door was reported to be locked, after all, hence nothing would be more convenient than going through his open window to make short work of him. I do apologize for rushing you into this room without an explanation—please introduce me and bring my apologies to the household also—but I had just happened to notice this crucial detail a few minutes ago. When Mrs. Martin has pardoned me for my intrusion, we shall visit the bed-room, Watson, to find our proof.”
A few minutes later I found Holmes scrutinizing every element of our destination, which was no more than a few paces away from the study. It was a slightly smaller room than the last, but still more than enough to satisfy the needs of a single man. To the two sides of the well-decorated bed opposite us there were two cupboards and a lamp on each. There was also an arm-chair beside a small round table to the left of the bed, with a cup of water on the latter. The curtains of the east-facing window were drawn open and tied to let in the bright sunlight, which seemed capable of bringing warmth and light to any freezing winter day. Diagonally ahead of us was a tall but narrow wardrobe, with its back against the cream wall. A large French portrait painted in the ‘70’s or ‘80’s to our right perfected the instant impression the chamber gave as the master bed-room of the house.
The only item that was not pleasing and amiable to the mind was the five-foot-ten tall body of Richard Martin, which lay beside the bed, covered with loose sleeping clothes and blue heelless slippers. He had a sturdy, muscular physique, was clean-shaven, had curling black hair, and was of the same age as his wife—thirty, that is to say. Thus, it would have been imaginable that they had been classmates in secondary school. His square face was contorted into an expression of horror, with the bulged eyes, flared nostrils, and wide-open mouth. The victim had coughed blood as well before meeting his end, as could be seen from the red stains that covered his top, while there was another wound on his forehead which was quite large. It had just occurred to me that the arms were in a rather awkward position when Holmes remarked:
“The left forearm—why is it stretched under the bed? I wonder!”
He gently lifted Mr. Martin’s lifeless arm by the elbow and placed it on the latter’s chest. On it there was a single word, scribbled hastily in capital letters—
“It was done with this pen,” said I, gesturing to the one in the victim’s right hand.
“Or it was put there deliberately by the killer, Watson, as in the Study in Scarlet. Faked. It is impractical to make hasty assumptions,” said Holmes in a half-criticising tone.
“In either case, the word indicates that some female—the only ones in the house being the housekeeper, the maid, and Mrs. Martin herself—is involved.”
“Watson, you must learn to broaden your scope of thinking. A woman or girl is only one definition of the word, out of several possible others. Consider a female animal; consider an inanimate object, such as a ship, regarded as female; consider a person or animal of unspecified sex! Surely you remember the ‘speckled band,’ Watson? The deadly swamp adder, responsible for the death of the most unfortunate Julia Stoner? Why could our Mr. Martin not be killed in the same fashion? In that case, ‘SHE’ would denote the snake.”
“Well, I consider my definition the most commonly used and probable one.”
“Let us not theorize in advance of the facts, Watson, and instead devote our attention to what we could infer from the information we have at hand. Put yourself in the victim’s shoes. You had fallen asleep after conversing with your wife, only to be awoken—yes, no doubt Mr. Martin had not only awoken, but also had quite a struggle with the killer, as could be seen from the rectangular mark of a hammer on his forehead—at a little after two o’clock, which was the time of death indicated by the autopsy reports. You saw someone, or perhaps some animal, entering through either the door or the window. You then either recognized the murderer as a woman, a girl, a female animal, or a person or animal of unspecified sex, or recognized an inanimate object that you associate with him… or her. In a hurry, you wrote the word “SHE” on your forearm to provide a clue to the observant detective, before hiding it under the bed so that the killer himself would not notice. Whatever the interpretation of the word might be, it is certain that you are able to recognize the intruder. In other words, he was someone whom Mr. Martin knew to such an extent so as to be able to identify him instantly. So far you follow me?”
“Quite clearly. And have you anything which might prove your theory that the murderer came directly from the bed-room?”
“Not as yet, but I fancy there would be some to acquire outside the house. In the meantime, you ought to inform Lestrade of our findings, which may prove valuable to he and his colleagues.”
THE HOUSEKEEPER AND THE MAID
THE INSPECTOR MERELY nodded in a somewhat discourteous fashion upon my recounting of Holmes’s speculation that the killer had entered through the bed-chamber. Then again, I could hardly expect better of one of the sharpest Scotland Yarders, only to be proven incorrect in every respect by an amateur detective. Yet Lestrade did show his interest by rubbing his chin and narrowing his eyes when told of our surprising discovery of the word “SHE.”
“There are three females in the house, Doctor,” he remarked. “And the word could indicate any of them.”
“I had thought the same. The victim could be referring to any female in England, really, when he had used the word ‘SHE.’ Considering that Mr. Martin is a banker, there might as well be hundreds if not thousands of women who would recognize his name,” I replied before making my way to the back of the house to find Sherlock Holmes observing an identical pair of rectangular dents in the snow, three or four inches each side and two inches deep.
“They were left there by the ladder, Watson,” said Holmes triumphantly, pointing to a small scrap of wood inside one of the dents. “The combined weight of it and our killer would have been enough to make a two-inch hole in the snow, validating my initial speculation, you see, for the marks were underneath the bed-room window. But look at this, Watson!”
He jerked me to the side of the ladder, on which there were three small, barely legible letters which were half-covered by the snow, written neatly in pencil—
“Dear me, the word reappears, but written by another as one could tell from the difference in the handwriting.”
“The ‘E’ is cursive, whilst the other letters are not,” I observed.
“Quite so, Watson! But why is it so?”
“Perhaps it was simply the writer’s habit to print his letters in this fashion, though we could only theorize as of yet. Should we now hear what the housekeeper and the maid would like to say?”
“I would be delighted to. Kindly ask for the housekeeper to step up first, Watson. You shall find me standing in this room with my notebook when you return.”
“Mrs. Bennett, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said I to the two of them a while later, introducing them. Beside me was a plump, plainly-dressed Frenchwoman of a little over fifty, with a pleasant face, large, round eyes, and brown, curly hair. She was holding a tray with two glasses of water on it, which she offered to us with compliments from Mrs. Martin.
My friend rose and shook her hand.
“Please take a seat, Mrs. Bennett. This is my most sincere companion, Doctor Watson. And perhaps you would already know my name?”
“Oh, of course, Mr. Holmes, Mrs. Martin was proud to tell me,” said the housekeeper with a smile, settling down on the arm-chair. “Now, then, what is it that you require from me?”
“Would you give us a detailed recount of all that occurred from, let us say, ten o’clock last night to your discovering of the ladder? Ah, but firstly, your full name.”
“Martha Abigail Bennett, sir.”
“The victim was called Richard Martin, if I am not mistaken, and the wife Violet. But their middle names?”
“Jean, sir, Richard Jean Martin, and Violet Elizabeth Martin, if you should desire to know. But what might be your intention?”
“To the detective, every trivial detail may prove significant, Mrs. Bennett,” replied Holmes, with that faraway, contemplative twinkle in his eyes. “Pray begin your narrative.”
“Ten o’clock—give me a moment, sir—at that time I had only retired to my room a few minutes ago, preparing for bed.”
“And I understand that your bed-room is on the first floor, Mrs. Bennett?”
“Indeed, sir, beside that of the maid—her name is Mrs. Caroline Andersen. And then a quarter hour later at fifteen minutes past ten, I drew the curtains and fell asleep almost instantly upon lying down, as I usually did, only to be woken by some abnormally loud footsteps a few hours later. I thought perhaps Mr. Martin was outside, for he was quite a large man and could have produced the sound when walking heavily, but I could not have been certain of it.”
“Would you be able to tell me the time?”
“It was twenty-three minutes past two, sir.”
Holmes and I glanced at each other briefly.
“At twenty-three minutes past two—so was I told by the victim’s wife, who described the sounds using similar words. Pray continue, Mrs. Bennett.”
“Nevertheless, I transitioned back to sleep within five minutes or so and rose at half-past six this morning. After taking care of my daily duties—dusting and sweeping the three floors, washing the apparel, and preparing breakfast for the household—I could not help but wonder what the heavy snow last night had made of our blossoms. Since you may recall, sir, that our garden was at the back of the house, I had to exit via the front, turn either left or right, and make my way around the building. Upon turning right this morning, it was all that I could do to not scream at that dreadful scene with the ladder and the shattered window, sir. I hurried to inform Mrs. Martin of what I had seen, who in turn contacted the police. Presumably no explanation would be needed of the events afterwards. They found the body and—oh, it makes my blood run cold to see him still lying in this room beside us!”
There was a silence that lasted for a few seconds where Holmes stood motionlessly with a concentrated expression.
“You had no prior acquaintance with Mrs. Martin before her marriage?”
“I was already employed as her housekeeper during her time in the university, sir, and followed her to this house when she wed.”
“At university!” my companion exclaimed. “Speaking of it, were there any intimates of hers, classmates or not, that she spoke of?”
“Only one that I could recollect at the present, sir. The two grew close quickly, for they were both majoring in chemistry. I had met him once and remembered him as a large man, tough and muscular. He also possessed certain gifts in his major. Mrs. Martin mentioned him more frequently than anyone, sir, for he was among her closest friends at university.”
“And his name?”
The lady hesitated, glancing at the victim’s corpse.
“The name—please do allow me some time to recall it, sir.”
“Of course, Mrs. Bennett.”
Twenty seconds had passed before the housekeeper spoke again.
“Samuel Howard Earhart, sir.”
“Very well, you are now free to leave. I do appreciate your responses, Mrs. Bennett, which may play a critical role in forming our conclusions. Watson, please show the maid her way to our room. Let us see if we could find anything useful in what she has to say.”
I returned with a slim lady of thirty-five by my side. She was of average height, had dark, shoulder-length hair which seemed the darker next to her fair skin, rosy cheeks, and a pointed nose. Her expression was solemn, and her eyes deep set.
My friend greeted her with a small bend of his head.
“Sit down, Mrs. Andersen. I am a detective by the name of Sherlock Holmes; this is my intimate friend, Doctor Watson, before whom you could speak as freely as before myself. Firstly, I would be delighted to hear of your full name.”
The maid nodded taciturnly, gazing intently at Mr. Martin’s dead body.
“Caroline Sarah Andersen,” she whispered.
“Nothing is troubling you, I suppose?” asked my friend, tentatively.
“Oh, nothing, sir. It is just that I somehow consider myself partially responsible for his death!” cried the maid, pointing to the body. “Had I brought him breakfast a few hours earlier, he might have woken before the murderer could strike!”
“Well, well, Mrs. Andersen, calm yourself. Why should you put the blame on yourself when you know that you did nothing wrong? After all, it was confirmed that the death took place between two and three o’clock, when all in the house was asleep save the killer. There was not a thing that you could have done in Mr. Martin’s defence.”
“You are right, sir,” said the maid while making an effort to pacify herself. “But as to that none was awake during this time, I rather think not. A series of footsteps had awoken me, you see, when it was a little after two.”
“And perhaps you would be able to describe them?”
“They were tremendously loud and could not have been produced by conventional walking. I have good reason to suspect that someone was stomping outside my room.”
“What was the exact time, Mrs. Andersen?” asked Holmes.
“Well, it was twenty-three minutes past two, sir.”
Holmes clapped his hands together abruptly.
“The third time.”
The maid stared at my companion with a puzzled look.
“I am afraid that I do not quite comprehend you, sir. The third time—what?”
“The third time that I have been told the time. Once from Mrs. Martin, once from Mrs. Bennett, and once more from you. Now, was there anything else worthy of note that had occurred to you since last night?”
“Well, there was nothing that was unexpected save the sound that roused me in the night, sir. Mr. Martin did drink rather heavily that night whilst conversing with his wife—after the couple retired to their rooms upstairs and it was my turn to put the dining room back to order, there were three empty bottles of whiskey on the table. It was a quarter past eleven when I had finished, which was an hour past my regular bedtime—I was not to sleep until Mr. Martin was settled, for she had anticipated him being drunk and required me to help him manage himself in case her prediction proved true.”
“And then you found yourself in bed?”
“Yes, sir. It was already a late hour for me, as I mentioned.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Andersen. Next I shall hear about this morning.”
“To compensate for my delayed bedtime last night, sir, I rose a half-hour later than usual, at seven o’clock. After returning from the market, carrying two large bags of daily supplies, we entered the room, I cooked breakfast for Mr. Martin—he prefers to have his breakfast made by me—and brought it to his room in a tray. Upon knocking on his door with all the force I could manage but receiving not the slightest response, I couldn’t say I was taken back, since it would be sensible to assume that the whiskey last night had gotten in the way of his sleep. Hence, I stood by for ten minutes, tried again at his door, waited for ten more, gave another attempt, and done this for four or five times before finally heading upstairs for Mrs. Martin. I had the impression that something was amiss and proposed breaking the door down, but she decided for us to wait another half-hour. Mrs. Bennett would have told you the rest, sir.”
“You had no earlier contact with Mrs. Martin prior to her marriage, Mrs. Andersen?”
“None at all, sir. I had served under Mr. Martin for four years in Yorkshire until last year, when we relocated into this luxurious house, which is more than twice as expensive as our last.”
Holmes paused for a moment to jot down a few items on his notebook before turning back to the maid with a beam.
“Thank you very much, Mrs. Andersen. You may employ yourself elsewhere should you have no requirement for further discussion.”
With a curtsey and a stylish swing of her arm, the door shut and she was gone.
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
“OUR NEXT SCENE of operations,” said Holmes after several minutes of deep pondering, “would be the department of chemistry of the University of London. I should send a telegram to the manager there to acquire some useful information.”
“Such as what?” I spoke in a rather petulant voice.
“Such as a comprehensive list of both its students this year and its graduates for the last several years.”
“Holmes!” I exclaimed.
“It is quite manifest, Watson, is it not? Especially when one considers Mrs. Martin’s response to one of my inquiries. When I had asked her who might have known her address, she replied with ‘only a few of my closest friends at school would have known the exact arrangements of our rooms.’ She had said herself that she had attended the University of London. Hence, it would be natural to familiarize ourselves with both the school’s current students, who might be Mrs. Martin’s friends, considering that she had only graduated last year, and its alumni from the previous few years, who would then be only a couple of years ahead of her and thus might be acquainted with her as well.”
“But the chemistry department!” I protested.
“Why, having sniffed the air around Mr. Martin’s lips and nostrils, I caught an exceedingly sour smell and concluded that the poison was a powerful one. Would you, an experienced Doctor of Medicine, have produced such a toxin with the minimal effort? With all due respect for your natural talents, Watson, I think not. Surely the man we should be looking for had considerable expertise in the topic. Well, then, he must have been a student of chemistry, which was, suggestively, Mrs. Martin’s major as well, making it more likely that she might befriend him and thus have been told of her address.”
Twenty minutes later we arrived at our destination together in a hansom. It was strange to consider the university I had attended almost twenty years ago, for if I had not attained my degree thence and thus became known as “Doctor Watson,” I would never have been attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers and then so haplessly struck in the shoulder by that Jezail bullet, would never have headed to London to look for lodgings, and hence would never have become acquainted to such a roommate as Sherlock Holmes, the wisest man whom I had ever known. No more than a few minutes, however, did we spend rambling its grounds, for as soon as Holmes announced his name, we were greeted by a short, stocky man in his late fifties, who handed us two documents of a few sheets each with a smile. I glanced at them to make out the titles “The Department of Chemistry—Our Current Students” and “The Department of Chemistry—Our Graduates From the Last Five Years.”
Holmes, with a brief “thank you very much,” received the two papers and, while I waited on a bench twenty yards away, proceeded to the front desk to inquire the lady at the front desk of “a few small details in this mystery.”
Thus, we departed from my alma mater to make for Baker Street once more.
“Rehearsing a story demands time, energy, and focus to ensure quality in performance, Watson,” began he upon arriving at our cosy quarters after lunching together across Harrow Street. “Practicing it only once or twice would hardly be enough.”
I fixed my gaze at my companion rather strangely over my wine-glass, much like how Young Stamford gazed at me upon introducing me to Holmes twenty years ago.
“Indeed, Holmes,” said I. “Though what might you be implying?”
“Honestly, Watson, could you not see for yourself?”
“That Mrs. Bennett’s story was not exceptionally well-rehearsed. In fact, her lie is a straightforward one.”
“Holmes!” I bursted out for the second time.
“You could surely recall that she described a ‘large man, tough and muscular,’ majoring in chemistry. Do this man’s features not correspond with our previous assumptions of that of the killer, who was in his prime, able to endure extreme temperatures, of no less than six feet in height, and skilled enough in chemistry so as to be able to create this immensely powerful poison? No, it is not merely a coincidence. I am convinced that Mrs. Martin was inventing this man’s features so as to throw suspicion on him.”
“Well, perhaps he really is our killer.”
“No, no, Watson, has it not occurred to you that there were a few suggestive points about Mrs. Bennett’s behaviour? For one thing, whilst in most cases it would be enough to know the first and last names only, she had also revealed the man’s middle name. Clearly there is something about the killer’s name that we knew, as the housekeeper took it.”
“But what was her purpose? Surely, she is innocent?”
“As to that,” said Holmes with a nod, “we must confer our visitor, who is bound to arrive within a few minutes’ time.
My companion was proven right when with a light knock on our door our landlady entered with a card upon her salver.
“A young man spoke of an appointment with you, sir,” she said, fixing her gaze upon Sherlock Holmes.
“Mr. Sebastian Ethan Emery, an alumnus of the University of London,” he read. “By all means allow him in, Mrs. Hudson.”
THE DOCTOR OF CHEMISTRY
OUR VISITOR WAS a tall and robust young man, blue-eyed, dark-skinned, yet somewhat grey-haired despite him being, as with the Martins, of only thirty years of age. His clenched fists, frowning brows, and compressed lips had betrayed his anxiety.
“Pray take a seat, Mr. Emery, and try one of these cigarettes. My telegram did find you?”
The young man settled himself down into an arm-chair opposite us and stared at the two of us with eyes that spoke of confusion.
“I did, sir, and arrived sharply at the indicated hour. But who might you be, and what is it exactly that you desire from me?”
My friend got to his feet and held out his hand to Mr. Emery, who shook it hesitantly.
“My name is Sherlock Holmes, a consulting detective, and this is my companion, Doctor Watson. I would like you to give me an honest account of the incident last night on 14 Harrow Street, with nothing added and nothing abridged. Tell me the real story and all could be put back in order. Play tricks on me and the affair would go out of my hands forever before you could regret it, I assure you.”
Mr. Emery considered awhile before striking the table rather loudly with his hand.
“Very well, then, you shall know the truth about the death of that miserable drunk,” said he with a focused expression. “It began four years ago when Violet Evans, as she was called before her wretched marriage, was put into my class whilst we were both studying for our Doctorates in chemistry. I knew she was the woman to me from the first moment I met her. Ah, never had I seen so elegant a figure, so queenly a presence, so delightful a face. I would not hesitate to offer my life to please her for a second. For countless times had I sat beside her at the back of the classroom with a pen and my notebook, capturing her beautiful smile while our professor lectured aimlessly twenty yards ahead. Although she was to me as she was to any other classmate—unusually generous and benevolent—never had she reciprocated my feelings romantically. Instead, she considered me nothing more than a close friend of hers. That was all right, for it is unrighteous for a man to impose himself in a woman’s life. I had no intention to engage her before completing my studies anyhow.
“I had succeeded in making contact with her old housekeeper, Martha Bennett, to whom Violet had spoken about me, and was overjoyed to hear from Martha of her marriage two months after graduating from university. Well, it was all that a woman could ever wish for to reside peacefully in a spacious house in London, married to a wealthy banker who just happened to be her classmate in secondary school. Yet I was infuriated when Martha spoke of how this lunatic was treating my dear Violet—not only had he forced her to sleep in a room smaller than his bathroom, refused to share his fortune with her, but was also known to lose his mind completely and insult her with the most dreadful curses on a daily basis when drunk. I could not have even believed it without stalking the two while they were out together and hearing that savage insult her with the most dreadful words for the tiniest flaw in her appearance. My distress had overwhelmed me and caused my hair to turn grey—how could any man on earth of sound mind have done these things to any woman! How could any husband have done these things to his wife! Then three months ago I began writing to her, only to find that her own words reinforced her housekeeper’s account of this devil’s abuse. Even as Martha spoke of her husband, I could see clearly from her ghastly expression that her blood was boiling as well. It was only her fear that had hindered her from taking action. As I have said, however, Violet is a most amiable and tolerant woman and would never consider harming her husband, which compelled me, with the housekeeper’s assistance, end her sufferings for her own good.
“I started by having Martha map each of the three floors of the house so that it would be clear where the brute’s bed-room is located. To enter through the door at the front would be most straightforward, but after testing it a week ago I found that it could never be found unlocked at night. Although I had considered breaking it down and was fully capable of it as well, I dismissed the notion for the housekeeper told me that the husband was a light sleeper. While it is unlikely that the sound downstairs would be enough to awake him, forcing open the door of his bed-room certainly will. What am I left with, then? The window, of course.
“For my weapon of murder, I used a small towel soaked with a poison which, when inhaled, could paralyze one in ten seconds claim his life in a matter of minutes. I had produced it recently—I am a Doctor of Chemistry and do have quite a solid understanding of the subject—and saw this as a perfect opportunity to test it. Hence, after putting a ladder up to my victim’s room—the window was ajar, fortunately for me—I covered his mouth and nose firmly with the towel. It was unexpected, however, that at this instant the man opened his eyes and sprung up from his bed before I struck him in the head with a hammer I had brought, rendering him unconscious for a few seconds so that the poison could take effect. I did bring a lamp with me and, via it, saw that the weapon had made a rectangular wound on his forehead. Seeing that he was already immobilized upon regaining consciousness, I left him there to meet the death that he deserved.
“Then I had recalled that the study, which contained the valuables as Martha indicated on her map, was only a few paces away. Using the keys that I found on a cabinet in the bed-room, I entered the room and pocketed what I saw on a desk via the moonlight—ten thousand pounds worth of cash, a diamond ring, and a golden bracelet. Before leaving, wrecked the window from the inside with my hammer and walked heavily on the second floor to fake footsteps. This was done to mislead the police into believing that I entered from the study with my primary motive being robbery, leaving them baffled as to how I could have then gotten past the husband’s locked room.”
“Would you, then, be kind enough to tell us where the stolen items are at the present, Mr. Emery?” asked Holmes after smoking for some time in silence.
Our visitor reached for his briefcase and opened it to reveal a thick roll of hundred-pound notes, an appealing ring with a glimmering diamond on it, and a bracelet decorated with rubies.
“After one night’s careful consideration, I was intending to confess to Violet regarding the incident and return them to her this afternoon. A widow does have the right to know how her husband had died.”
Holmes gave the visitor a round of applause.
“You are really a brave fellow, sir,” said he, nodding. “Pray continue with your impressive narrative.”
“Two or three more sentences and I should be finished with my tale. Then I saw a light downstairs coming in the direction of Violet’s room and knew that my sound proved enough to wake the household from their sleep. Unwilling to risk being discovered, I descended from the ladder at once and fled, leaving it to Martha, who would carry it underneath the study in the morning before the rest of the household awoke to further deceive the police as agreed. Now that I know the demon who had formerly terrorized my poor Violet could harm her no more, I could, for once, lay back in my chair and enjoy the beautiful snow. Consider my situation, Mr. Holmes, put yourself in my shoes! What were my other options? Should I let him torture her freely while I devote myself to my textbooks? Never if it costs me my life! A man like he deserves not to live. That is all that I have to say for myself, Mr. Holmes, and you should decide what to do with me. I am more than prepared to face the gallows if it should mean that no punishment should await my dear Violet, sir.”
“But Holmes!” I ejaculated. “Out of the hundreds of alumni in the chemistry department, how did you manage to identify Mr. Emery at once?”
Holmes took out his notebook, flipped to a blank page, and printed three long, narrow letters—
“The desire for revenge must have seized control of you, sir, for during your struggle with Mr. Martin, for apparently you failed to notice the latter scribbling this on his left forearm with a pen in his pocket. Could you make anything out of them?”
Our visitor studied the letters closely.
“Why, these are my initials—S.H.E.!”
“Your initials, sir? Excuse me, but is your name not Sebastian Ethan Emery?”
Holmes cleared his throat.
“It becomes quite plain when you consider it, Watson. Why was it written in capital letters when writing them in lowercase would have been the more convenient choice if he had only a few seconds? You must have noticed the full stop following each of the letters, have you not? And why was it also written on the ladder? These could only indicate that they were the initials of someone’s name, but whose? In my quest for a solution, I had asked for the full names of all whom I had interviewed. Richard Jean Martin was the husband, Violet Elizabeth Martin the wife, Martha Abigail Bennett the housekeeper, and Caroline Sarah Andersen the maid. Yet none of them seemed likely of matching our given ‘S.H.E.’
“That the ‘E’ was cursive while the other letters were printed was a fact that had continued to strike me. In what language would an ‘e’ be usually written as thus? And then, I saw light in this confounding affair. Why, of course the name was a Greek one and the writer had used the epsilon in place of the ‘e’ to indicate it! The epsilon, as you would both know, is almost indistinguishable from the cursive ‘E’ when printed by hand.
“I then proceeded with my working hypothesis that the letters stand for a Greek name and hence also, covertly, took a few files from the Greek Department at the university now that I know the man bearing this name must have been familiar with the Greek language as well. Among the few names that had appeared in both this and the chemistry departments, the name whose initials were the closest to our given ‘S.H.E.’ was that of ‘Sebastian Ethan Emery.’
“But the middle name! Why should the ‘H’ stand for ‘Ethan’?” I asked.
“We must not neglect that it is Greek, Watson. The Greek letter eta, which produces the ‘ee’ sound found in the first syllable of “Ethan,’ is identical to ‘H’ when capitalized.”
Mr. Emery cleared his throat.
“It was my sobriquet in university, sir, which originated from a few of my closest friends as a pun—‘S.H.E.,’ or ‘she’—used to refer to both myself and Violet, whom they took to being on romantic terms with me, hence the ‘she.’ Perhaps you have heard from the housekeeper of another fellow student at our time, Samuel Howard Earhart. He was, of course—”
“No more than your scapegoat, indeed. Naturally I had understood that Mrs. Bennett was concealing matters from me upon her saying that she had exited the house and turned right to notice the ladder, when in reality she should have turned left. This could only indicate that she had relocated the ladder to stand underneath the study. Another instance betraying her guilt was that while Mrs. Bennett was able to give us an intelligible outline of this claimed most frequently mentioned friend of Mrs. Martin’s at university, she hesitated for no less than twenty seconds when asked of his name. Additionally, she glanced at the letters—‘S.H.E.’—on the victim’s forearm while attempting to invent it, and in the end provided us a name whose initials had matched—Samuel Howard Earhart, and whose features corresponded with that of our murderer. This was confirmed when I had saw the name listed in that document I acquired from the chemistry department. After all, who else would be a better scapegoat than he who not only had the same initials as the actual criminal, but also was in the same department?”
“But how could the husband have known my name?”
“Could you ask, Mr. Emery? Why, Mrs. Martin had told him, of course. Do you imagine that a woman would have so easily forgotten a man who loves her from the bottom of his heart? Now, any sane man would have agreed that you had only committed the crime under the most desperate circumstances. And if I were a British jury, I would certainly be most empathetic towards you. Well, we have assisted friend Lestrade to the best of our abilities this morning and hinted him that the ladder was nothing more than a deception, Watson, but we are not obligated to do any more if he fails to make use of our clue. Your courage is certainly admirable, but it would be imprudent to appear in the house while the case is still active. Return these precious items to your dear Violet in a year, Mr. Emery, and may the two of you enjoy the most promising futures together along with the old housekeeper. I, for one thing, am certainly not prepared to stand in your way and could assure you that should you vanish within the next twenty-four hours, none should hinder you.”
Our visitor bowed deeply and sombrely to the two of us, locked his briefcase, and made slowly for our door.
I had never married, my dear Watson,” said Holmes, turning to me, “but if I had and my partner was addicted to alcohol and offended me so fiercely when drunk, it would be quite a challenge indeed to not part with her. In the most extreme case, perhaps, I would have done what our companion did. Would you not consider it? But as for now, Watson, we may dismiss the matter from our minds, relax in the heat of our blazing fire, and appreciate the beauty of the Christmas snow.”
- I made a 40.0 cm.* 6.2 cm. bookmark from a brown piece of felt. On it, I sewed a small image of Zhao Yun, a powerful third century Chinese military general. I attached an LED under Zhao Yun’s head and, using conductive thread, sewed it to a battery holder. Finally, I added decorations in orange thread, such as Zhao Yun’s name and my name, both in Chinese characters.
- I chose to make this product because my brother enjoys playing a card game called San Guo Sha, in which his favorite character to use is Zhao Yun. Therefore, I created my version of this character with the LED light so that he would have a more stylish card to use.
- The two other designs that I considered on my planning sheet were a piece of felt with an Among Us character attached and a piece of felt with an image of Diao Chan, one of the Four Beauties of Ancient China. I discarded the first design since I lacked enough knowledge about Among Us to create a character in this game; I discarded the second design because I could not find an accurate image of Diao Chan with color.
- Here are a few photos that I took during my design process:
Here is a photo of my final project:
I learned many new skills during the design process, such as how to tie on, thread a needle, bury the thread, and sew a running stitch.
6. What things were hard for you, how did you overcome them?
A challenge that I faced at the beginning was that when I tried to sew a back stitch, the needle would almost always get unthreaded before I was finished. I overcame this problem by sewing a running stitch instead of using a back stitch.
7. What tips would you give to next semester’s students?
The most important tip I would give to next semester’s students is to manage your time wisely so that you can finish your project on time. Although these students have seven more weeks than us for this course, they should still strive to make the most out of every minute of class time.
8. What new things do you want to learn based on this project?
Some new things that I want to learn based on this project is how to attach multiple LED’s to a single piece of felt and more about electric energy.
The Boxers, a Chinese secret society, do not deserve a bad rap (reputation) because they only triggered the Boxer rebellion due to the exploitation of the Qing Dynasty by foreign powers. During the two Opium Wars, for example, the British and the French forced the Chinese to sign several unequal treaties, such as the Treaty of Nanking and the Treaty of Tientsin. After Japan emerged victorious in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Qing Dynasty also lost significant prestige and was forced to cede several territories to Japan. Even without these wars, the living conditions in China were also awful during that time. Furthermore, the droughts and floods from 1899 to 1900 led the Boxers to believe that foreign intervention caused these disasters. It was the series of wars and natural disasters in China that caused the Boxers to blame foreign influence, especially Christian missionaries. Therefore, they do not deserve a bad reputation—they only started to oppose the foreigners and Chinese Christians because they were desperate to solve all of their problems.
This is the Magazine Cover Task that I completed for Humanities. I analyzed the character Theseus from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Below is a link to a plot overview of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”:
Below is a link to a biography of William Shakespeare, the author of this play:
The City Where All Aged People Are Left To Die
Did you know that a famous Japanese folktale, “The Aged Mother,” took place in a society ruled by a despotic governor who demanded that all old people in the city are to be abandoned and left to die? This short story led me to believe that old people are not to be ignored by the rest of the society—they too, deserve to live peacefully.
“The Aged Mother” tells the tale of an old mother and her diligent son, who love each other very much and are not willing to separate even when the government orders the son to leave his mother on a mountain to die. Instead, the son secretly hides his mother in a hut. Some time later, the mother impressed the governor by solving a riddle he posed to his subjects, leading this barbarous ruler to change his views towards the elderly and abolish the “cruel law.”
A motif that repeatedly appears in this story is love. Matsuo Basho believes that due to love, it is sometimes understandable for us to break rules and do things that we would not otherwise choose to do. For example, the son broke the law and did not leave his mother on the mountain to die: “ ‘I will not leave you. Together we will follow the path of twigs…” (Basho 2). This shows that his love for his mother had compelled him to disregard the law and save her from doom. Further along in the story, the son ides his mother in a hut to avoid capture: “There the son hid his mother, supplying her with everything she needed…” (Basho 2). Although he was aware that it was against the law to conceal his mother from the authorities, his love for her convinced him to take risks and do what he would otherwise not choose to do.
In conclusion, “The Aged Mother” is a marvelous tale with many connections to real life. It has taught me the importance of a family and has persuaded me to be more intimate with mine as well. Otherwise, a similar law to the one in the story may be passed someday and it would be too late to regret.
Below is a short biography of the author of the story, Matsuo Basho:
Below is a summary of “The Aged Mother”:
Describe your favorite circuit experience in the class to date and explain why it’s the best.
My favorite circuit experience in the class to date was when I tested my first electronic card. Although the LED failed to shine, it was the best experience because it had made me realize what my mistake was—I had done the taping too carelessly. Knowing now how I should improve my circuit, I created another card, which fortunately functioned properly.
Describe a challenge that you’ve overcome already in this class:
a. what made it a challenge
b. what you tried that didn’t work
c. how you finally overcame it
A challenge that I have overcome already in this class was managing my time effectively and avoiding distractions. In the first few classes, I felt more interested in my friends than in circuits and hence could frequently be found chatting with others. At the beginning, I tried to pay attention to the classwork, but I lacked creative ideas. How could an LED be used in a card? No, not a “Thank You” card—who should I thank? No, not an apology card—who am I to apologize to?
Then suddenly, an idea struck me—a birthday card! Since my sister’s birthday is with a few week’s time, I saw an opportunity to create one for her. I could not imagine how thrilled she might be upon receiving one. Thus, I was always focused on designing the card from that point on and used my time wisely by my friends when they tried to chat with me during class time.
Describe a difficulty you are currently having that you have not yet overcome.
a. what about it is challenging
b. what have you tried so far
c. what are your next steps to continue trying to overcome it
A difficulty I am currently having is making the LED shine continuously without me pressing down on the battery. Currently, the light would only shine if one presses down on the battery, strengthening the connection. Although I have already tried pressing down on the copper tape to make it smoother, my efforts proved to be in vain. My next steps to continue trying to overcome it is to make the copper tape shorter so that the connection would be more stable.
Explain one aspect of the class you really like and why you like it (This means Miss Kim shouldn’t change it).
One aspect of the class I like is that there is usually not much homework in this class. I like it because this gives us more time to complete the homework for our other classes.
Explain one aspect of the class you really dislike, why you dislike it, and how Miss Kim could change it to make it better.
One aspect of the class I dislike is the absence of collaboration. For example, we are to complete our electronic card individually. I dislike it because I consider it necessary for us to know how to work with others. Next time when doing a project, Miss Kim could split us into groups of two or three people so that we could work together.
Describe your project: the theme, the circuit, what the LEDs represent
My project is an electronic birthday card intended for my sister’s upcoming ninth birthday on October 4th. The front of the card consists of the words “HAPPY BIRTHDAY Angelina!!!”, a drawing of a cake and nine candles, and my signature. The candle in the center is shaped like a “9” and has an LED poked through it.
On the back of the card is the circuit, which consists of copper tape, joined to both sides of the battery and both legs of the LED. There is also a flap, created by folding the tape onto itself, which could be lifted to prevent the battery from draining and placed back down for the light to shine.
Explain one aspect that you are happy with and why
One aspect that I am happy with is that the decorations are very clear and relevant. This is important because they help to make my card more aesthetically pleasing.
Explain one aspect you would do differently, how and why
One aspect that I would do differently is twirling the legs of the LED instead of keeping them straight. This should be done to enlarge the area of contact between the copper tape and the LED so as to ensure the best connection.