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The Five Orange Pips, a Sherlock Holmes Mystery

In one instance, the nefarious activities of the Ku Klux Klan extended to England, and Sherlock Holmes was called upon to solve some murders which members of this organization had committed.

     When the lawyer arrived, Uncle Elias asked John to come to his room again.  John noticed that the brass box was empty, and the presence of fluffy ashes indicated that some papers had been burned. Uncle Elias was making his will, and he asked John to sign it as a witness.

     After this, Uncle Elias fearfully stayed in his room. He drank more than usual He occasionally rushed outside into the garden with a revolver in his hand. In a drunken frenzy, he would scream that he was not afraid of anyone. However, after a while, he would fearfully rush back into his room.

     After seven weeks, he made one of his drunken excursions outside and never returned. There was a little pool at the foot of the garden. He was found dead, lying face down in the pool. Since there were no signs of violence, it was ruled a suicide. John did not believe the verdict.

     The death of Uncle Elias occurred in 1883. John’s father inherited his property, and in 1884 he decided to live in his brother’s residence in Horsham.

     In 1885, Joseph Openshaw received the same kind of letter that his brother had received. This time the postmark was Dundee. It contained five orange pips and had the triple K written on the inside flap of the envelope. Above the triple K, it was written: “Put the papers on the sundial.” This evidently referred to the papers that Uncle Elias had burned.

     Joseph had laughed when John told him that the death of Uncle Elias was connected with an ominous letter containing five orange pips. Even now he thought that it was a practical joke. He refused to go to the police and did not permit John to do so.

      Three days later, Joseph went to visit Major Freebody, who commanded a fort at Portstown Hill. When he had been gone two days, John received a telegram from the major, asking him to come at once because his father had fallen into a chalk pit and was unconscious. John went immediately, but his father died before he arrived.

     There were neither footprints nor any sign of violence. No robbery had occurred. It was ruled an accidental death. Again, John did not believe the verdict.

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