The Five Orange Pips (Chapter 14)

`That hurt my pride,’ said Holmes. `It is now a personal matter with me. John Openshaw came to me for help, and I sent him away… to his death.’ Holmes got up quickly from his chair and paced around the room angrily. The cheeks on his face were red and he opened and closed his long, thin hands nervously.

`They are cunning devils,’ he said at last. `How could they have killed him at the pier? The Embankment is not the direct railway line to the station and the bridge would be too crowded for them. Someone would have seen something. Well, Watson, we shall see who will win in the end. I am going out now!’

`To the police?’ I asked.

`No, I shall be my own police,’ he said and I wondered what he meant.

I was busy all day with professional work and it was late before I returned to Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes had not come back yet. It was nearly ten o’clock before he entered. He looked pale and tired. He walked up to the table and took a large piece of bread. He ate this quickly.

`You are hungry,’ I said.

`Starving,’ he replied. `I forgot to eat. I have had nothing since breakfast.’


`Not a bite.’

`And how did you get on?’


`You have an idea, a clue?’

`I have them in my hand,’ said Holmes. `It won’t be long before young Openshaw is avenged! Why Watson, let us put their own devil’s trademark on them.’

`What do you mean?’ I asked.

Holmes took an orange from the cupboard, tore it into pieces and squeezed the pips onto the table. From these he picked up five and put them in an envelope. On the envelope he wrote, “S.H. for J.O.” Then he addressed the envelope to “Captain James Calhoun, Barque Lone Star, Savannah, Georgia.“

“This will await him when he reaches port,’ Holmes chuckled.

`Who is this Captain Calhoun?’ I asked.

`The leader of the gang! I’ll have others but he first!’

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