NCERT Solutions for Class 11th: Chapter 4 The Adventure of the Three Garridebs Woven Words Short Stories English

By Aurthur Conan Doyle

Page No: 54

Understanding the Text

1. What clues did Sherlock Holmes work upon to get at the fact that the story of the three Garridebs was a ruse?


The first time Holmes felt wry of the story when the American Garrideb was angry at Nathan to have involved a detective. When Sherlock noticed the Garrideb in English appearance and he pointed it out to him that how come that he was an American and yet was dressed so English. The American said that he was a lawyer in Kansas, Holmes made his bait by pointing out to a unreal late Dr. Lysander Starr, who Holmes said to be a Mayor in 1830. and as he had suspected, Garrideb fell for it, he reciprocated by saying that good old Dr. Starr's name was still honoured. Holmes was then sure that as he had suspected, Garrideb was never a lawyer in Kansas. Holmes grew sure of that the story of Alexander Garrideb was made up by John Garrideb when he brought an advertisement published in a local paper of Birmingham that was from some Howard Garrideb. Holmes and Watson both noticed the written piece to have been in American English and they concluded that the piece was published in the paper by Garrideb himself to set Nathan off to Birmingham to buy time so he can intrude in his room without any disturbance.

2. What was John Garrideb's objective in inventing the story of Alexander Hamilton Garrideb and his legacy?


John Garrideb's was a fool proof plan. However, as Holmes said even the best criminals leave behind some clues. John had the knowledge of a note printing machine, cloistered below the room Nathan Garideb was living in. The previous tenant of the room was a man named Waldron or Rodger Presbury, he was the owner of the machine and he was shot by John Garrideb or James Winter, alias Morecroft, alias Killer Evans. Thus, so that no body suspects his intentions, Garrideb wove the intricate plan and decided to break in Nathan's house when he was off to Birmingham to see the third Garrideb.

3. Why didn't John Garrideb like the idea of including Holmes in the hunt for the third Garrideb?


Holmes was a detective, and a renowned one. John Garrideb was afraid that Sherlock Holmes and his partner Watson will suspect his motives and will jeopardise his plan. Involving a detective in a plan that had a fake story, other that the fact that Garrideb, alias Killer Evans, who had a criminal background was not safe.

4. Who was Roger Presbury and how was John Garrideb connected with him?


Roger Presbury was a man shot by John Garrideb over cards in a night club on the Waterloo Road in January, 1895. His appearance matched with the appearance of Waldron, the previous tenant in Nathan Garrideb's room, who acquired the note printing press. It was this printing press that John Garrideb was after and carved out the whole plan to acquire it.

5. How did Holmes guess that John Garrideb would go to 136, Little Ryder Street? Did he expect to find what he ultimately did before he went there?


John Garrideb was furious over the fact that Nathan got a detective involved in the whole case and as Holmes and Watson knew this they expected John Garrideb to show up immediately after their meeting in Nathan's apartment. They knew that John will come to question and express his discomfort over Nathan's actions. However, Holmes and Watson did put the man at ease by clearing it to him that they were least interested in any matter and won his confidence by showing that they were just to help him in discovering another Garideb. Thus, Garrideb did appear at Little Ryder Street. To their amazement, he had acted promptly by coming up with the advertisement of Howard Garrideb and with a neat plan of sending Nathan away to Birmingham and knocking the detectives out of his way so that he can carry his plan out without any hindrance.

Talking about the Text

1. 'It was worth a wound?t was worth many wounds?o know the depth of loyalty and love that lay behind that cold mask'?ow does this comment throw light on the kind of relationship between Holmes and Watson?


The expression is made by Watson on being shot on his thigh by Killer Evans. When he got shot, Holmes led him to a chair and with great concerned asked him if was hurt. For the first time,. Says Watson, the clear hard eyes of Holmes were dimmed for a moment and firm lips were shaking. Watson says that it was worth a wound, worth many wounds, to know the depth of loyalty and love that lay behind that cold mask. It was no doubt a professional relation that Holmes and Watson shared. However, it had grown into a friendship that ran much deeper than it appeared. It was in this moment that Watson caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain.

2. The cleverest of criminals leave behind clues to their crime.


It is so true that even the cleverest of criminals leave behind clues to their plan. See how hard John Garrideb tried to work things out and made such a fool proof plan that anybody would have fallen to it. Yet Holmes was able to sort it out with his applied intelligence. He looked for loose ends and caught Garrideb at various points where he got assured of his fake identity and the loop holes in his plans were visible. First when he pretended to be a American, though he was actually, he was caught due to his British look. Then, when Holmes pointed out Dr. Starr, it was clear that Garrideb had not done his homework that he responded with such conviction as if there was a Dr. Starr in real. Even the advertisement he got published was not edited properly and the language in it was easily recognised to be American English. Thus, though Killer Evans had a well knit plan, he could not fool Holmes.

3. How did Holmes' digressions sometimes prove in the end to have a bearing on the matter on hand?


It is a queer thing about many detectives that they often deviate from the original question. It may seem surprising to anyone. Same was the case with Sherlock Holmes, when on a case visit, he seemed to digress from the objective. For example, he would ask a person to be interrogated about his plans, however he would ask him about his nationality and talk about his attire. Little the person would come to know what Holmes is progressing at. While he is solving the mystery in his mind. He would never run a background check on a person by directly asking him his whereabouts. He would pretend to know a person from the suspect's vicinity and call out his name to check if the person is honest about his background. However, the suspect would not realise and will fall to the bait by exclaiming how well he knows the person, while in reality the person does not even exist in reality. This way Holmes does his inspection of the matter and does not bring it to the suspect's notice as well.


Examine the structure of the short story 'Adventure of the Three Garridebs' with the help of this framework

The introduction of the story
Introduction of the topic of the story
Introduction of the main characters in the plot
Development of the plot
Resolution of the mystery


    The introduction of the story: The story opens with a faint reflection of the climax. Watson, the narrator, does not give the climax entirely. However, he does tell the reader how the experience will be in the end.

    Introduction of the topic of the story: The narrator does not hit the nail on the head, he rather lets the reader explore the story as the situation unfolds itself. However, Watson does not make the reader wait for too long.

    Introduction of the main characters in the plot: Watson, the narrator takes the hold of the narration in the very beginning introducing the reader to the story. However we get to know him only once he introduces the reader to him. And it is when Holmes addresses Watson, we come to know the name of the narrator. For it is a first person narrative, we have to wait and move as the narrator describes all the events.

    Development of the plot: In the beginning, Holmes is talking about a person with a particular surname and that there is a need to find a person with the surname. Then he tells Watson to wait for the person who has assigned the task to the detective as Holmes wants the person in question himself to explain the situation to his friend. Then arrives, John Garrideb of Kansas, who explains the reason for why is there a need of another surname. And it is made clear for why Nathan approached Holmes for the task as it was John who approached Nathan for the same reason. And then further the story unfolds and with it is the truth explored.

    Climax: The climax is built as the series of events are described. There are clues laid for the reader to guess, yet the narrator does not give away the resolution. The reader guesses the possibilities. Ultimately a stage comes where the story reaches its height when Holmes is sure of the identity of the suspect and is sure of evil intentions and yet his motives are not clear. It is all to be discovered by the reader as he/she advances to the final tragedy.

    Resolution of the mystery: The resolution unleashes a comical tragedy. The reader is surprised and feels funny as well, thanks to the witty detective that leads the case. A faint reflection of the emotions that the reader might go in the ending were already given in the beginning, yet the resolution was unknown. It is not just the tragedy revealed but along with it is revealed the other side of the main character Sherlock Holmes and his friendship with Dr. Watson. There is more than expected revealed. The digressions of Holmes are justified in the end as well. It was a mystery resolved in the end.

2. Examine the subtle humour in the narration of the story that lightens the gravity of the subject matter.


The story's wittiest character is the detective Sherlock Holmes whose digressions are most funny. How in the middle of a sensitive interrogation he points out to the suspect that he appears to be a English, though the suspect exclaims that he is an American. In the beginning when Holmes is explaining the case to Watson, he remarks that there is a chance to make money with this case as if it is they and not the Garridebs who will be given the inheritance Alexander Garrideb. The most interesting part is the style with which Holmes talks or discusses any information. Even while explaining a serious matter he adapts a casual style. For example, again while in the beginning Holmes is explaining the case to Watson, he did not give away the people already involved in the case. However, he tells that Nathan is already taken in as Watson comes across his name in the directory. He did not even tell the name of the mastermind John Garrideb until Mrs. Hudson approached with the card signed by Garrideb. There are many such instances that make the mystery light-hearted and the reader is not burned by it.

Page No: 55

Language Work

a. Identify the words in the advertisement that gave away the fact that it was placed by John Garrideb.

b. Make a list of words which are spelt differently in American and British English.


a. The errors, to say, that gave away the fact that the advertisement was placed by John Garrideb, or an American.

b. BritishAmericanAmongstAmongColourColorDefenceDefensePretencePretense

2. Look at the highlighted expressions in the following sentences from the text and explain their figurative meaning.
'I went through it, sir, with a fine-toothed comb and never a Garrideb could I catch.'
'They are my favourite covert for putting up a bird, and I would never have overlooked a cock pheasant as that.'
'There is no bolt-hole for you in this country.'
'When his castle in the air fell down, it burred him beneath the ruins.'


with a fine-toothed comb: To investigate minutely
putting up a bird:
a cock pheasant:
bolt-hole: A place of escape or refuge
castle in the air: A fantasy

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