Sunday, October 12, 2003

Foundations -- Part Three of Four

But not this time. When we turn over our tests to begin, I am delighted to discover, not the fact pattern of some dry legal dispute, but the familiar story of "The Abbey Grange."

In "The Abbey Grange," a ship's captain was in love (from afar) with a married woman. When her abusive husband struck her, the captain flew to her defense. Attacked by the husband, the captain killed him. The captain then covered the crime to make it appear as if burglars had killed the husband. Holmes deduced the truth, but the authorities did not. When Holmes confronted the captain, he confessed the crime, but admitted no guilt--he believed he had done the right thing in saving the woman from her brutal husband.

Holmes then appointed himself judge, and Watson the British jury. Watson, on cue, acquitted the captain and Holmes, accordingly, set him free, promising to keep the truth a secret unless some other man be brought up on charges for the murder.

The question, "Did Holmes do right?" stared at me from the paper.

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