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The Adventure of the Three Students

By A. Conan Doyle

Mr. Holmes
Dr. Watson
A Servant of Mr. Holmes
Mr. Hilton Soames, a lecturer at the College of St. Luke Bannister, a servant
Mr. Gilchrist, a student


Мистер Холмс и доктор Ватсон сидят, Холмс курит трубку, звучит музыка. Звенит звонок, входит служанка.

А Servant of Mr. Holmes: Excuse me, a lecturer from the College of St. Luke’s is here. He is very excited. Perhaps something unusual has happened.

Врывается мистер Соамс. Служанка выходит.

Mr. Soames: I hope, Mr. Holmes, you can give me a few hours of your time. A very unpleasant thing has taken place at our college and I don’t know what to do.
Mr. Holmes: I am very busy just now. Could you call the police?
Mr. Soames: No, no, dear sir, that is absolutely impossible. It is quite necessary to avoid scandal. I am sure you will keep our secret. You are the only man in the world who can help me. I beg you, Mr. Holmes, to do what you can.
Mr. Holmes:O.K., tell us your story.
Mr. Soames: I must explain to you, Mr. Holmes, that tomorrow is the first day of the examination for the Fortescue Scholarship. I am one of the examiners. My subject is Greek. Of course, every student would be happy to see the examination papers in advance.
Dr. Watson: Do you keep them in secret?
Mr. Soames: Sure. But today at about 3 o’clock I went out to take tea in a friend’s room and I left the papers on my desk. When I approached my door and looked at my table I knew that someone had touched the examination papers.
Dr. Watson: And how did you discover it?
Mr. Soames: There were 3 pages to it. I had left them all together. Now one of them was lying on the floor, one was on the small table near the window and the third was on my desk.
Mr. Holmes:The first page on the floor, the second near the window and the third where you left it.
Mr. Soames: Exactly, Mr. Holmes. But how could you know that?
Dr. Watson: Please, continue your very interesting story.
Mr. Soames: I did not know what to think. Bannister said he had not touched my papers and I am sure he speaks the truth.
Mr. Holmes: Who is Bannister?
Mr. Soames: My servant. Bannister has been looking after my room for 10 years. He was very much upset by the incident. He nearly fainted when I told him that someone had touched the examination papers. Do help me, Mr. Holmes!
Dr. Watson: Can you prepare new papers?
Mr. Soames: This cannot be done without explanation and a terrible scandal will follow. This will throw a cloud not only on the college but on the University.
Dr. Watson: The case is not without interest, I think.
Mr. Holmes: I shall be happy to look into this matter and give as much help as I can.
Dr. Watson: Did anyone visit you in your room after the papers had come to you?
Mr. Soames: Yes, young Daulat Ras, an Indian student who lives on the same floor.
Mr. Holmes: What for?
Mr. Soames: To ask me a question about some details of the examination.
Dr. Watson: The examination which he is going to take?
Mr. Soames: Yes.
Mr. Holmes: And the papers were on your table?
Mr. Soames: Yes, but as far as I remember, they were rolled up.
Mr. Holmes: Did anyone else come to your room?
Mr. Soames: No.
Mr. Holmes: Did anyone know that the papers would be there?
Mr. Soames: No one.
Dr. Watson: Did this man Bannister know?
Mr. Soames: No, certainly not. No one knew.
Mr. Holmes: Where is Bannister now?
Mr. Soames: He was very ill, poor man! I left him in my room.
Mr. Holmes: So you left your door open?
Mr. Soames: Yes, but I locked up the papers first.
Dr. Watson: It seems, Mr. Soames, that the man who touched your papers came upon them without knowing that they were there.
Mr. Soames: So it seems to me.
Mr. Holmes: Let’s go to your room now, Mr. Soames. I am at your service. All right, Watson, come with us if you want to.

Все выходят, звучит музыка.


Звучит музыка. В комнату входят Холмс, Ватсон и Соамс.

Mr. Holmes: So Mr. Soames, it’s your room.
Mr. Soames: The thief must have entered through the door. The window doesn’t open.
Mr. Holmes: (Cмеясь) Well. (Oглядывая комнату) Your servant seems to feel better. He is not here.
Mr. Soames: I left him in a chair.
Mr. Holmes: Which chair?
Mr. Soames: By the window over there.
Mr. Holmes: I see. Near this little table. Let’s examine this writing table. (Наклоняется и поднимает кусочек глины) Well, the man left no traces on it except some clay. (Смотрит по сторонам) Dear me, this is very interesting! Where does that door lead to? (Указывает на дверь)
Mr. Soames: To my bedroom.
Mr. Holmes: I should like to have a look at it. (Делает пару шагов в сторону двери, внимательно смотрит) No, I see nothing. But what is about this curtain? If anyone had to conceal himself he must do it here. (Наклоняется, смотрит)
But what is this? (Поднимает кусочек глины) Exactly like the one upon the table.
Dr. Watson: Your visitor seems to have left traces in your bedroom as well as in your sitting-room.
Mr. Soames: Good God, do you mean to tell that all the time I was talking to Bannister we had the criminal in my bedroom?
Mr. Holmes: Now, Mr. Soames, let’s have a look at your servant Bannister. It would be right to call him just now.

Входит Баннистер. Он очень волнуется.
Bannister: I am at your service.
Mr. Holmes: I understand that you left your key in the door?
Bannister: Yes, sir.
Dr. Watson: Was it not rather strange that you should do this on the very day when there were these papers inside?
Bannister: But I have done the same thing at other times.
Mr. Holmes: How did it happen?
Bannister: I had the tea-tray in my hand. I thought I would come back. Then I forgot.
Mr. Holmes: So the door was open all the time?
Bannister: Yes, sir.
Mr. Holmes: Did you look at the papers on the table?
Bannister: No, sir, certainly not.
Mr. Holmes: When Mr. Soames returned and sent for you, you were very much upset?
Bannister: Yes, sir. I nearly fainted, sir.
Mr. Holmes: Where were you when you began to feel bad?
Bannister: Where was I, sir? Why, here, near the door.
Dr. Watson: That is strange, because you sat down in that chair near the window. Why did you pass these other chairs?
Bannister: I don’t know, sir. It did not matter to me where I sat.
Mr. Holmes: Whom do you suspect?
Bannister: Oh, I don’t know, sir.

Холмс поворачивается к Соамсу.

Mr. Holmes: Mr. Soames, I think you have told me that there are three students who use the stairs and pass your door.
Mr. Soames: Yes, there are.
Mr. Holmes: And they are all going to take the examination?
Mr. Soames: Yes.
Mr. Holmes: I’d like to meet these students. Is it possible?
Mr. Soames: Certainly. Visitors often come to the college. Come along. I’ll be your guide. (Холмс, Ватсон и Соамс идут к дверям) This is Gilchrist’s door. He plays cricket for the college and he is a prize-winner in the long jump. He is a fine young fellow. His father was very rich, but lost all his money in horse-racing. He died, and young Gilchrist was left very poor. But he is hard-working and will do well.
Mr. Holmes: No names, please. (Стучат в дверь)
Gilchrist: Come in, please. Glad to meet you.
Mr. Holmes: Excuse me, what were you doing at 3 o’clock yesterday?
Gilchrist: Oh, I was studying my Greek with my fellow-student. What’s the matter?
Mr. Holmes: Oh, sorry to trouble you. Bye-bye.
Dr. Watson: A very pleasant student. (Идут к другой двери)
Mr. Soames: This room is occupied by Miles Mclaren. He is a brilliant fellow when he wants to work – one of the brightest intellects of the University, but his conduct is bad. And he is very lazy. I am sure he is very much afraid of the examination. Perhaps of the three he is the only one who might possibly be suspected.
Mclaren: I don’t care who you are. You can go to the devil. Tomorrow is the exam. I won’t open my door to anyone.
Dr. Watson: A very rude fellow.
Mr. Holmes: Anyhow his conduct is rather suspicious.
Mr. Soames: Let’s go into the last room. (Идут дальше) It is occupied by Dault Ras, the Indian. He is a very quiet fellow, very hard-working, though his Greek is his weak point.
Dr. Watson: Sorry, we won’t trouble you. Are you preparing for your exams?
Dault Ras: Certainly, sir.
Dr. Watson: What were you doing yesterday at 3?
Dault Ras: I was studying my Greek.
Dr. Watson: That’s all right. So, what do you think of it?
Mr. Holmes: Only that fellow Bannister does puzzle me.
Dr. Watson: He seemed a very honest man to me.
Mr. Holmes: So did he seem to me. (Выходя из комнаты) That’s all very puzzling. Why should a perfectly honest man...?


Холмс и Ватсон входят. В комнате – Баннистер и Соамс.

Mr. Holmes: Well, Watson, it is time to go to the college. I have solved the mystery.
Dr. Watson: Have you got anything positive?
Mr. Holmes: You see, I covered at least 5 miles to find this. I want to meet Bannister.
Mr. Holmes: Will you tell me, Bannister, the truth about yesterday’s incident?
Bannister: I have told you everything, sir.
Mr. Holmes: Nothing to add?
Bannister: Nothing at all.
Mr. Holmes: When you sat down on that chair at the window did you do so to conceal some object?
Bannister: No, sir, certainly not.
Mr. Holmes: It is only a suggestion. I can’t prove it. But it seems that when Mr. Soams left the room you let out a man who had been hiding in the bedroom.
Bannister: There was no man, sir.
Dr. Watson: Come, come, Bannister.
Mr. Holmes: All right. Then that will do. Please remain in the room, Bannister. Now, Soames, may I ask you to go and bring Gilchrist here?

Соме выходит. Звучит музыка. Соамс возвращается с Гилкристом.

Mr. Holmes: You see, your position is hopeless. We know that you are a criminal. Your only chance is a frank confession.
Dr. Watson: Now, Mr. Gilchrist, we are all alone here. No one will ever know a word of what passed between us. We want to know, Mr. Gilchrist, how you, an honest man, could do such a thing as you did yesterday.
Mr. Holmes:Come, come. Don’t trouble to answer. I know that you are a long-distance jumper. You had been practicing the jump, then returned carrying your jumping shoes and noticed the key left in the door. And a sudden impulse made you enter the room and take the examination papers. Suddenly you heard Mr. Soames at the very door and you rushed into the bedroom. Some of the clay was left on the desk and a second clod fell in the bedroom.
Dr. Watson: We walked to the sports ground in the morning and saw that black clay in the jumping pit.
Mr. Soames: Is that true?
Gilchrist: Yes, it is true.
Mr. Soames: Have you got nothing to add?
Gilchrist: Yes, I have. I have a letter. Here it is. I have decided not to take the exams. I shall start working.
Dr. Watson: But why did you change your plans?
Gilchrist: There is the man who sent me in the right path. Many years ago he was a butler in the house of my father. He decided to save me.
Bannister: My poor master came out of the bedroom and confessed it all to me. I spoke to him like a father and made him understand that he must not profit by such an action. Can you blame me, sir?
Dr. Watson: No, indeed. I think we have cleared your little problem up.
Mr. Holmes: Come, Watson. As for you, Mr. Gilchrist, I hope a bright future awaits you. For once you have fallen low. Let’s see in the future how high you can rise.

Submitted by Ludmila Sinyaeva ,