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Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Norwood Builder, Scene 7
Holmes’ reconstruction of the crime gets us all up to speed
Scene 7 wraps up the story of the Norwood Builder. Once Holmes had proven Jonas Oldacre’s guilt and, therefore, John McFarlane’s innocence, he was willing to explain how the crime must have been committed and how he’d figured it out. This is the reconstruction of the crime, a feature of every cozy detective story.
Holmes reveals Oldacre’s motive
As Holmes responds to their questions, Lestrade and Watson come to understand how Oldacre had the housekeeper put the thumbprint on the wall, and how he’d even gotten John’s thumbprint in the first place. Holmes is also able to explain Oldacre’s dual motive, one reason being for revenge on John’s mother, and the other reason being to defraud his creditors. Holmes has an explanation for the remains that were found, the buttons, and the bloodstained walking stick too. All of this so-called evidence, like the thumbprint, had been intentionally placed at the crime scene just to frame John McFarlane.
John is released from jail and comes to thank Sherlock Holmes. He is exuberant at his newfound freedom, a fresh chance to live again.
Sherlock, who only takes on interesting cases, is amazed at how simple it was for Oldacre to set John up as the prime suspect in a murder case and change his identity to get out of paying off his creditors.
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Review time: Listen to the whole play again, from beginning to end, Length: [27:26].
What role did the housekeeper play? Do you think she should be arrested too? And if so, what crime should she be charged with?
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