The Five Orange Pips by Conan Doyle

The Five Orange Pips by Conan Doyle

Colonel Elias Openshaw has been a large planter in the South of U.S. But he returned at motherland, to England after war. Elias used to be brave and determined, but he become horrified, when received an envelope with letters “K.K.K.” on it, and inside was nothing but the five orange pips. Fourteen month later the exact same letter was send to his brother Joseph. Five days after that he died falling down from the hill and breaking his head. Almost two years left and now letter with five pips received John Openshaw the Joseph’s father.

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The Five Orange Pips by Conan Doyle

In September 1887 my wife was visiting some of her family, so I was staying with my old friend Sherlock Holmes in Baker Street. It was a windy, stormy evening, and the rain was falling heavily outside. Suddenly there was a knock at the door.

I looked at my friend in surprise. ‘Who can this be?’ I asked.

‘If he comes on business in this weather, it’s important,’ said Sherlock Holmes. ‘Come in!’ he called.

A young man came in. He looked wet, tired and worried. ‘I’ve come to ask for help,’ he said. ‘I’ve heard of you, Mr Holmes. People say you know everything. I don’t know what to do.’

‘Well, sit down,’ said Holmes, ‘and tell me about yourself.’

The Five Orange Pips by Conan Doyle

The young man sat down, and put his wet feet near the fire. ‘My name is John Openshaw. My father, Joseph, had a brother, my uncle Elias, who went to live in America when he was young. He made a lot of money there. He didn’t like the black Americans, so during the Civil War he fought against the men from the North, and with those from the South. But when the South lost the war, and there was equality for black people, Uncle Elias left America. So in 1869 he came back to England and went to live in a large house in the country. He was a strange, unhappy man.

‘He did not want any friends,’ John Openshaw went on, ‘and he often drank a lot. But he liked me, and when I was twelve, I moved to Uncle Elias’s house. He was very kind to me. I could go anywhere in the house. But there was one small room at the top of the house which was always locked. Nobody could go into this room.

‘One day Uncle Elias got a letter from Pondicherry in India. “I don’t know anyone in Pondicherry!” he said, but when he opened the envelope, five little orange pips fell on to his plate. I began to laugh but stopped when I saw my uncle’s white face.

“K.K.K.!” he cried. “Oh my God, my God, they’ve found me!”

“What do you mean, uncle?” I asked.

“Death!” he cried, and ran upstairs…

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