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The Mystery of Cloomber

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Mystery of Cloomber

Narrated by John Fothergill West, a Scottish man, who moves from Edinburgh to Wigtownshire to care for the family estate when his father's half brother dies. Near the estate is The Cloomber Hall, for years uninhabited, but now the residence of John Berthier Heatherstone, a general of the Indian Army. General Heatherstone is an anxious man, apprehensive about someone he offended in India. The Mystery of the Cloomber unfolds, revealing Heathstone's war crime against a Buddhist priest.

Source: Doyle, A. C. (1889). The Mystery of Cloomber.London, England: Ward and Downey.

Chapter I: “The Hegira of the Wests from Edinburgh”
The narrator introduces himself.
Chapter II: “Of the Strange Manner in Which a Tenant Came to Cloomber”
The narrator and his sister spy a light in Cloomber Tower and discover two people inside.
Chapter III: “Of Our Further Acquaintance with Major-General J. B. Heatherstone”
We meet General Heatherstone and his family. When the narrator and his family go to pay their respects to the General, they are unwelcomed.
Chapter IV: “Of a Young Man With a Grey Head”
The narrator goes back to the General’s house and confronts the General’s daughter. The reader begins to see the mystery surrounding the Heatherstones.
Chapter V: “How Four of Us Came To Be Under the Shadow of Cloomber”
The narrator’s sister, Esther, is frightened of the General. The narrator decribes his love of the General’s daughter, Gabriel, and the relationship between Esther and Mordaunt, the General’s son.
Chapter VI: “How I Came To Be Enlisted as One of the Garrison of Cloomber”
The narrator, Jack, has a confrontation with the General. Neither Mordaunt or the General will tell Jack what the peril is.
Chapter VII: “Of Corporal Rufus Smith and His Coming to Cloomber”
Jack meets Corporal Rufus Smith. They visit the General. Rufus reminds the General that they are acquaintances and asks to be his gardener.
Chapter VIII: “Statement of Israel Stakes”
A Presbyterian minister gives an authentic account to Jack the narrator.
Chapter IX: “Narrative of John Easterling, F.R.C.P.Edin.”
Dr. Easterling is called to attend to the General’s high fever and illness.
Chapter X: “Of the Letter Which Came from the Hall”
Mordaunt Heatherstone sends a note to Jack telling him that they have promised their father that they will not leave the house until after October 5th.
Chapter XI: “Of the Casting Away of the Barque ‘Belinda’”
Jack and his father help a ship in trouble.
Chapter XII: “Of the Three Foreign Men Upon the Coast”
Jack talks with the captain and the crew. He meets Buddhist priests.
Chapter XIII: “In Which I See that Which Has Been Seen by Few”
Esther confesses that she’s still worried about their friends Gabriel and Mordaunt. The General comes clean.
Chapter XIV: “Of the Visitor Who Ran Down the Road in the Night-Time”
The General and Rufus are gone and Mordaunt refuses to tell anyone where they are or what has happened to them.
Chapter XV: “The Day-Book of John Berthier Heatherstone”
Jack reads a note (written by the General) to Gabriel and Esther.
Chapter XVI: “At the Hole of Cree”
The reader gets an explanation to the General’s strange habits and fears.
  • Year Published: 1889
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.5
  • Word Count: 51,752
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, british literature, mystery, sir arthur conan doyle, the mystery of cloomber
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