Part I: Chapter I

Wounded in the Afghan War, British army surgeon Dr. John Watson is looking for cheaper lodgings in London. Stamford, a former colleague, introduces him to Sherlock Holmes, an eccentric who uses the lab in his hospital and is looking for a roommate. Holmes notes Watson has been to Afghanistan and describes a discovery he just made. They agree to visit the possible lodgings on Baker Street the next day.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter I.

Part I: Chapter II

Watson and Holmes visit, rent, and move into the Baker Street apartment immediately. Watson describes Sherlock's routine, appearance, personality, and his unusual abilities. One day, after Watson criticizes an article about deduction and analysis, Holmes says he wrote it and that he works as a consulting detective. They discuss Sherlock's ideas and some fictional detectives. Then a man knocks on their door and hands Holmes a letter.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter II.

Part I: Chapter III

Tobias Gregson's letter asks for Sherlock's help with the case of an American, Enoch Drebber, who was murdered in an empty house in Brixton. Holmes goes there with Watson, examines the place, introduces Gregson and Lestrade from Scotland Yard, and discusses the case with them. They find a woman's wedding ring and the word RACHE written in blood on a wall. Sherlock says the victim was poisoned, describes the murderer, and explains RACHE means "revenge" before leaving with Watson.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter III.

Part I: Chapter IV

After leaving the house, Holmes sends a telegram. He and Watson visit John Rance, the constable who found the body, and learn what he saw and did on the night of the crime. Holmes chastises him for not arresting a drunk man who came to the house and is probably the murderer, but he pays him and leaves with Watson. On the way to and from Rance's house, Holmes explains his conclusions of the case.

Part I: Chapter V

That night, Holmes shows Watson a newspaper ad he placed saying Watson had found a wedding ring in Brixton. As they wait for the murderer to come for the ring, Holmes receives an answer to the telegram he had sent to America, confirming his suspicions. An old woman comes and claims the ring. After she leaves, Holmes follows her, but is fooled and concludes she was a disguised male actor helping the murderer.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapters IV & V.

Part I: Chapter VI

The next day, the newspapers claim different interpretations of the case. Six street boys tell Sherlock they haven't found what he wanted them to. Gregson says he’s identified the murderer, Arthur Charpentier, a Navy sub-lieutenant and the son of the owner of the boarding house where the victim had stayed with his secretary, Mr. Stangerson. As he finishes his account, Lestrade comes in saying Mr. Stangerson had been murdered that morning in a hotel.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter VI.

Part I: Chapter VII

Lestrade says he found the secretary's body with RACHE written in blood on it, a money purse, a telegram, and a box of pills. Holmes gives the pills to a sick dog and it dies. A street boy comes in and tells Holmes his cab is waiting. Holmes handcuffs the driver and tells the others he is Jefferson Hope, the murderer. The driver tries to escape, but the men subdue him. Holmes offers to answer the others' questions.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part I: Chapter VI.

Part II: Chapter I

In 1847, in the western plains of the United States, a caravan of Mormons, fleeing from Illinois, rescue a man, John Ferrier, and a small girl, Lucy. The pair had been wandering in the desert after Lucy’s mother and their other travel companions had all died. The Mormon leader, Brigham Young, offers them refuge, only requiring that they adopt the Mormon religion. Young asks one of their elders, Stangerson, to take care of them.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapter I.

Part II: Chapter II

As the Mormons settle Salt Lake City, Ferrier proves himself useful, is given as much land as elders such as Stangerson and Drebber, and becomes rich. He refuses to marry and raises Lucy as his daughter. Years later, Jefferson Hope, a young man from St. Louis, saves Lucy from a herd of cattle and they fall in love. After frequent visits, Hope leaves on business but vows to return for her in two months, as agreed with Ferrier.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapter II.

Part II: Chapter III

Hearing that Lucy might marry a non-Mormon, Brigham Young gives Ferrier and Lucy one month for her to choose the son of either Elder Stangerson or Drebber for her husband. Ferrier tells Lucy he will send Hope a message asking him to rescue them.

Part II: Chapter IV

Ferrier sends Hope a message asking for help. Meanwhile, Stangerson's and Drebber's sons come to their house to force Lucy to choose one of them, and Ferrier sends them away. Every day, someone writes the number of days left for Lucy's decision inside and outside their house. In the evening before the last day, Hope comes, and Hope, Ferrier, and Lucy flee during the night.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapters III & IV.

Part II: Chapter V

On the second day of their journey, as Hope leaves Ferrier and Lucy to hunt for food, the Mormons kill Ferrier, take Lucy back to Salt Lake City, and force her to marry Drebber. Lucy dies within a month. Hope visits her dead body, removes her wedding ring, and for years stalks Stangerson and Drebber intending to kill them. He finally catches up with them in London.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapter V.

Part II: Chapter VI

Hope is taken to the police station with no further resistance. He says he has a serious heart condition and wants to tell his story before he dies. Hope tells them why he pursued the two men, how he found them in London, and how he killed them, confirming several of Sherlock's theories. Hope is taken to jail to wait for his trial later that week, and Watson and Holmes go home.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapter VI.

Part II: Chapter VII

Hope dies of his heart condition on the night he was arrested. At home, Sherlock explains to Watson how he drew his conclusions and solved the case in three days. Upon seeing a newspaper article that praised Gregson and Lestrade for solving the case, Watson promises to publish his notes on the case eventually and suggests in the meantime that Sherlock content himself with his own knowledge of his success.

Read a full Summary & Analysis of Part II: Chapter VII.