The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax by Conan Doyle

The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax by Conan Doyle

This is one of the stories of the English writer about the well-known detective Sherlock Holmes. One elderly governess seeks help from him. She asks Mr. Holmes to find her ward Lady Frances. Every two weeks the governess used to get letters from Lady Frances Carfax. But she got no letters for the last five weeks. The fortune of Lady Frances is modest. Still she inherited some rarest jewels. She always carries them with her. Sherlock Holmes is very busy so he lets his best friend Dr. Watson investigate this case. The doctor goes to Switzerland. He arrives at the hotel where Lady Frances usually stops at. Dr. Watson does not find her. Watson finds out that she had suddenly left in an unknown direction. Before that, a man with a beard visited Lady Frances. The truth is that this stranger haunted her.

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The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax by Conan Doyle

I was sitting in Sherlock Holmes’s rooms in Baker Street. He was looking at my boots.

‘Why Turkish?’ he asked.

‘They’re made in England,’ I replied. ‘I bought them yesterday.’

‘I can see that!’ he said. ‘Anyway, I didn’t mean your boots. I meant the bath. Why did you have a Turkish bath?’

‘It’s good for my health,’ I said. ‘I wanted a change.’

The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax by Conan Doyle

‘You shouldn’t let the assistants at the baths tie your boot laces. You tie them better yourself.’

I looked at my laces and saw the knot was in fact tied a little differently to the way I usually tied my knots.

‘Incredible!’ I thought. ‘He notices the smallest differences!’

‘If you really want a change, Watson, I have a job for you. You can go to Switzerland, all expenses paid. I have a case I must investigate there but I don’t want to go too far away. Besides, I prefer my housekeeper’s cooking to the food abroad. Mrs Hudson makes an excellent lunch, if you’d like to stay.’

‘Thank you,’ I replied. ‘But I can’t stop, I must go back home.’ Holmes ordered lunch anyway.

‘I think Scotland Yard would prefer to see me in London,’ he continued. ‘There’s one criminal in particular who will happily take advantage of my absence, but that is not something I can discuss at this moment.’

‘I’d like to hear more,’ I said.

‘Lady Frances Carfax,’ he began, ‘the daughter of the late Earl of Rufton, is around forty years old. She is very beautiful for her age. She has the advantage of wealth and the disadvantage of having none of her own. Her brother owns the family home whereas she has no fixed address and no husband. She has some valuable Spanish jewellery, which she carries with her everywhere. I’m afraid that she may be in danger.’

‘I don’t understand,’ I said. ‘Is Lady Frances Carfax in Switzerland?’

‘An interesting question,’ he replied. ‘Is she there or somewhere else? Is she alive or is she dead? Her family last heard from her more than five weeks ago. She has a friend in England she often writes to. She has had no letters from her.’

‘Has anyone seen her?’ I asked…

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