的author behind 的Aluminium Dagger, Richard Austin Freeman 要么 in some circles R. Austin Freeman, is 上e of the most celebrated crime writers of the early 20th century and the brain who created the character of Dr. John Thorndyke. Freeman (1862 –1946年）否认了他的创作是一名侦探的观念。相反，他相信“他是犯罪调查员…苏格兰场的技术既不适合[Thorndyke]，也不可行。 ”
的“urgent call”—the instant, peremptory summons to professional duty—is an experience that appertains to the medical rather than the legal practitioner, and I had supposed, when I abandoned the clinical side of my profession in favour of the forensic, that henceforth I should know it no more; that the interrupted meal, the broken leisure, and the jangle of the night-bell, were things of the past; but in practice it was otherwise. 的medical jurist is, so to speak, 上 the borderland of the two professions, and exposed to the vicissitudes of each calling, and so it happened from time to time that the professional services of my colleague 要么 myself were demanded at a moment’的通知。因此，在这种情况下，我将要联系。
的sacred rite of the “tub”已经被适当地表演了，当叙述者急忙地踏上楼梯，我们实验室助理波顿的声音出现在我面前时，本叙述者的刚干的人将被暗示着穿上了第一批衣服。同事’s door.
“My brother-in-law’的房间在二楼，” said Mr. Curtis. “我们可以乘电梯上去。”
的porter had hurried before us, and already stood with his hand upon the rope. We entered the lift, and in a few seconds were discharged 上 to the second floor, the porter, with furtive curiosity, following us down the corridor. At the end of the passage was a half-open door, considerably battered and bruised. Above the door, painted in white lettering, was the inscription, “Mr. Hartridge;”穿过门口，突显出Bad巡警的诡异面孔。
的words formed a complaint, but there was a certain geniality in the speaker’这种方式让我怀疑Bad检查员已经在偏僻的海岸航行他的手艺了。
We entered a small lobby 要么 hall, and from thence passed into the sitting-room, where we found Mr. Marchmont keeping his vigil, in company with a constable and a uniformed inspector. 的three rose softly as we entered, and greeted us in a whisper; and then, with 上e accord, we all looked towards the other end of the room, and so remained for a time without speaking.
“这是一个神秘的事情，”观察员Bad发现，彻底打破了沉默，“though it is clear enough up to a certain point. 的body tells its own story.”
We stepped across and looked down at the corpse. It was that of a somewhat elderly man, and lay, 上 an open space of floor before the fireplace, face downwards, with the arms extended. 的slender hilt of a dagger projected from the back below the left shoulder, and, with the exception of a trace of blood upon the lips, this was the 上ly indication of the mode of death. A little way from the body a clock-key lay 上 the carpet, and, glancing up at the clock 上 the mantelpiece, I perceived that the glass front was open.
“Then,” said Thorndyke, “我们不会打扰他的身体，直到他来，除了要去温和给匕首剑扫灰尘。”
He took from his bag a long, registering chemical thermometer and an insufflator 要么 powder-blower. 的former he introduced under the dead man’的衣服紧贴腹部，然后用后者在匕首的黑色皮革手柄上吹出细小的黄色粉末。检察官Badger急切地弯腰检查手柄，Thorndyke吹走了均匀沉积在表面的粉末。
的photographic operations being concluded, he next proceeded, with remarkable skill and rapidity, to lay out 上 the sketch-block a ground-plan of the room, showing the exact position of the various objects, 上 a scale of a quarter of an inch to the foot—a process that the inspector was inclined to view with some impatience.
“You don’麻烦一点，医生，” he remarked; “nor time either,”他补充说，非常看了一眼手表。
的police-surgeon greeted Thorndyke with respectful cordiality, and we proceeded at 上ce to the examination of the body. Drawing out the thermometer, my colleague noted the reading, and passed the instrument to Dr. Egerton.
“当然，它是单数” said Dr. Egerton, “though 我不’不知道这对我们有很大帮助。我们可以在移动身体之前抽出匕首吗？”
“Certainly,” replied Thorndyke, “否则可能会造成新的伤害。可是等等。” He took a piece of string from his pocket, and, having drawn the dagger out a couple of inches, stretched the string in a line parallel to the flat of the blade. 然后， giving me the ends to hold, he drew the weapon out completely. As the blade emerged, the twist in the clothing disappeared. “Observe,” said he, “绳子指示伤口的方向，衣服上的切口不再与伤口重合。存在相当大的角度，这是叶片旋转的量度。”
“Yes, it is odd,” said Dr. Egerton, “但是，正如我所说，我怀疑这对我们有帮助。”
“Well, gentlemen,”检查员说，“您已经检查了身体和伤口，已经测量了地板和家具，拍摄了照片并制定了计划，但是我们不’似乎更加向前。这里’s a man murdered in his rooms. 那里 is 上ly 上e entrance to the flat, and that was bolted 上 the inside at the time of the murder. 的windows are some forty feet from the ground; there is no rain-pipe near any of them; they are set flush in the wall, and there isn’t a foothold for a fly 上 any part of that wall. 的grates are modern, and there isn’这是一个适合大型猫爬任何烟囱的空间。现在的问题是，凶手是如何进入的，他又是如何出去的？”
“The circumstances,” said Thorndyke, “appear to have been these: 的deceased seems to have been alone; there is no trace of a second occupant of the room, and 上ly 上e half-emptied tumbler 上 the table. He was sitting reading when apparently he noticed that the clock had stopped—at ten minutes to twelve; he laid his book, face downwards, 上 the table, and rose to wind the clock, and as he was winding it he met his death.”
桑迪点点头。“好像是这样，” he said. “但是，现在让我们致电搬运工，听听他必须告诉我们的内容。”
的custodian was not difficult to find, being, in fact, engaged at that moment in a survey of the premises through the slit of the letter-box.
“很多人进出大楼，” was the answer, “but 我可以’不要说是否有人来到这个公寓。我看到柯蒂斯小姐大约九点过去了。”
“My daughter!”首先，柯蒂斯先生大叫。“I didn’t know that.”
“她离开了大约九点三十分，” the porter added.
“I can guess,” replied Mr. Curtis.
“Then don’t say,”马尔蒙蒙特先生打断了他。“Answer no questions.”
“About a week ago,” was the reply. “他是一个相貌平凡的人，看起来像个磨床的人，他把一张纸条带到了我的住所。它放在一个肮脏的信封里，已经解决了‘哈特里奇先生（布兰肯赫斯特大厦）’ in a very bad handwriting. 的man gave me the note and asked me to give it to 哈特里奇先生； then he went away, and I took the note up and dropped it into the letter-box.”
的inspector bustled out of the room, and returned a minute later with a letter-case in his hand. “这是在他的怀里”他说，将鼓起的箱子放在桌子上，然后草拟一把椅子。“现在，这里是三个字母绑在一起。啊!这将是一个。”他解开了磁带，伸出一个肮脏的信封，用乱蓬蓬的文盲信给他。‘Mr. Hartridge, Esq.’ “那是意大利人给你的钞票吗？”
的porter examined it critically. “Yes,” said he; “that is the 上e.”
的inspector drew the letter out of the envelope, and, as he opened it, his eyebrows went up.
“我本以为你可以用肉眼看到的，”检查员说，with a sly grin at me. “It’一个非常大胆的设计。”
“Yes,” replied Thorndyke; “一个非常有趣的作品。马尔蒙先生，您说什么？”
的solicitor took the note, and I looked over his shoulder. It was certainly a curious production. Written in red ink, 上 the commonest notepaper, and in the same sprawling hand as the address, was the following message: “你有六天的时间去做公正的事情。通过上面的标志，知道失败的后果。” 的sign referred to was a skull and crossbones, very neatly, but rather unskilfully, drawn at the top of the paper.
“This,”马尔蒙特先生说，handing the document to Mr. Curtis, “解释了他昨天写的单封信。我觉得你随身带着吗？”
“我从未见过这样的人！”狂热的侦探大叫。“他的座右铭应该是‘We magnify thee.’ I suppose he’ll measure it next.”
的inspector was not mistaken. Having made a rough sketch of the weapon 上 his block, Thorndyke produced from his bag a folding rule and a delicate calliper-gauge. With these instruments he proceeded, with extraordinary care and precision, to take the dimensions of the various parts of the dagger, entering each measurement in its place 上 the sketch, with a few brief, descriptive details.
“你问的问题”Marchmont先生开始好奇地抬头看着对面的高楼， “is very simply answered. 的only person immediately interested in the death of Alfred Hartridge is his executor and sole legatee, a man named Leonard Wolfe. He is no relation of the deceased, merely a friend, but he inherits the entire estate—about twenty thousand pounds. 的circumstances are these: Alfred Hartridge was the elder of two brothers, of whom the younger, Charles, died before his father, leaving a widow and three children. Fifteen years ago the father died, leaving the whole of his property to Alfred, with the understanding that he should support his brother’一家人，让孩子们成为他的继承人。”
“And the numbers? 那 open second-floor window, for instance?”
“By the way,” said he, “我刚才从窗户上掉了东西-一小块扁平的金属，就像这样。”他在名片的背面制作了一个圆盘的整齐草图，圆盘上有一个六角形的孔，然后将其交给搬运工。“I can’t say where it fell,” he continued; “这些扁平的东西大约是这样。但您可能会请园丁寻找。如果他把他带到我的房间，我会给他一个主权，因为，尽管这对其他人没有任何价值，但对我来说却具有相当的价值。”
的porter touched his hat briskly, and as we turned out at the gate, I looked back and saw him already wading among the shrubs.
的object of the porter’的追求给了我相当大的精神上的职业。我没见过桑迪克掉任何东西，这不是他不小心指任何有价值的物品的方式。我正要就此问题向他提出质疑，当时他急转弯转到科特曼街，他在第六号门口起身，开始专心阅读住户的名字。
“‘Third-floor,'” he read out, “‘委员会代理人托马斯·巴洛先生。’哼！我认为我们将研究巴洛先生。”
“Don’t go, inspector,” said Thorndyke; “我想和你谈谈。也许柯蒂斯先生会在一个小时内再来一次。你会？希望到那时我们能为您带来消息。”
“Yes,” replied Badger; “I haven’不要让草在我脚下长出来；和我’ve got a pretty strong case against Miss Curtis already. 你看， she was the last person seen in the company of the deceased; she had a grievance against him; she is left-handed, and you remember that the murder was committed by a left-handed person.”
“啊，你来了！那’目前是个谜，除非您能给我们解释。” 的inspector made this qualification with a faint grin, and added: “由于我们闯入该地方时没人在，所以凶手一定以某种方式逃脱了。您可以’t deny that.”
“尽管如此，我还是否认” said Thorndyke. “You look surprised,”他继续说（无疑是对的），“but yet the whole thing is exceedingly obvious. 的explanation struck me directly I looked at the body. 那里 was evidently no practicable exit from the flat, and there was certainly no 上e in it when you entered. Clearly, then, the murderer had never been in the place at all.”
“I don’至少不要跟着你” said the inspector.
“Well,” said Thorndyke, “as I have finished with the case, and am handing it over to you, I will put the evidence before you seriatim. Now, I think we are agreed that, at the moment when the blow was struck, the deceased was standing before the fireplace, winding the clock. 的dagger entered obliquely from the left, and, if you recall its position, you will remember that its hilt pointed directly towards an open window.”
He had placed his hand upon the knob of a drawer, when we were interrupted by a knock at the door. I sprang up, and, opening it, admitted no less a person than the porter of Brackenhurst Chambers. 的man looked somewhat surprised 上 recognizing our visitors, but advanced to Thorndyke, drawing a folded paper from his pocket.
“I’先生，您找到了您要查找的文章，” said he, “我为此做了一次难得的狩猎。它已经粘在其中一种灌木的叶子上。”
“We will see,” said Thorndyke. “这是Polton的临时装甲’的产品，其中装有八分之一的20口径无烟粉末。”
He fitted the washer 上 to the boss of the dagger in the open breech of the rifle, pushed it into the barrel, inserted the cartridge, and closed the breech. 然后， opening the office-door, he displayed a target of padded strawboard against the wall.
He opened the paper packet. In it lay a metal disc, perforated by a hexagonal hole. Stepping into the office, he picked up from the floor the washer that he had put 上 the dagger, and laid it 上 the paper beside the other. 的two discs were identical in size, and the margin of each was indented with identical markings, corresponding to the rifling of the barrel.
的inspector gazed at the two discs in silence for a while; then, looking up at Thorndyke, he said:
“我屈服，大夫。您’re right, beyond all doubt; but how you came to think of it beats me into fits. 的only question now is, Who fired the gun, and why wasn’t the report heard?”
“As to the latter,” said Thorndyke, “他可能使用了压缩空气附件，不仅可以减少噪音，还可以防止炸药的任何痕迹留在匕首上。至于前者，我想我可以给你杀人犯 ’的名字但是我们最好按顺序取证。您可能还记得，” he continued, “当杰维斯博士站起来好像在打钟时，我在他站着的地板上画了一个标记。现在，站在那个标记处，从敞开的窗户向外看，我可以看到一栋房屋的两个窗户几乎对面。它们是科特曼街6号的二楼和三楼窗户。二楼被一家建筑师事务所占据；委托代理人Thomas Barlow在三楼。我拜访了巴洛先生，但在描述我的访问之前，我将谈谈另一件事。你避风港’我想那些威胁你的信是吗？”
“Yes, I have,”检查员说；and he drew forth a wallet from his breast-pocket.
“让我们拿第一个，” said Thorndyke. “您会看到纸张和信封是最普通的，而文字却是文盲的。但是墨水与此不同。文盲通常会在便士瓶中购买墨水。现在，用Draper解决这个信封’二向色墨水（一种高级的办公墨水，仅以大瓶出售），书写笔记的红色墨水是未固定的猩红色墨水，如绘图员使用的墨水，如您所见，笔。但是，关于这封信的最有趣的事情是顶部绘制的设计。从艺术意义上讲，该人无法绘画，而且头骨的解剖学细节十分可笑。然而，图纸非常整洁。它具有机械制图的干净，线条清晰的线条，并且要用一只稳定，熟练的手来完成。它也是完全对称的。例如，头骨恰好在中心，当我们通过镜头检查头骨时，我们就知道为什么会这样，因为我们发现了铅笔状中心线和直角交叉线的痕迹。此外，镜头还显示出绘图员的微小颗粒’柔软的红色橡胶，用铅笔线剪掉；所有这些事实加在一起，就表明该图是由习惯于制作精确机械图的人绘制的。现在我们回到巴洛先生。我打来电话时他不在，但我还是随便看看办公室，这就是我所看到的。壁炉架上是十二英寸的平黄杨木尺，例如工程师使用的，一块柔软的红色橡胶和一瓶Draper石瓶’s二向色油墨。我通过一个简单的诡计就获得了办公室便条纸和墨水的样本。我们将立即对其进行检查。我发现Barlow先生是个新房客，他很矮，戴着假发和眼镜，左手总是戴手套。他今天早上8.30离开办公室，没人看到他到。他有一个方形的盒子，一个狭长的长方形盒子，长约五英尺。然后他坐出租车去了维多利亚，显然乘坐了8.51火车到查塔姆。”
“That’对我来说足够好”检查员说。“给我他的地址，我’马上把柯蒂斯小姐释放。” 的same night Leonard Wolfe was arrested at Eltham, in the very act of burying in his garden a large and powerful compressed-air rifle. He was never brought to trial, however, for he had in his pocket a more portable weapon—a large-bore Derringer pistol—with which he managed to terminate an exceedingly ill-spent life.
“And, after all,” was Thorndyke’的评论，当他听到事件时，“他有他的用途。他减轻了两个非常坏人的负担，并且给了我们一个最有启发性的案例。他向我们展示了一个聪明而机灵的罪犯可能会费尽无尽的努力来误导和欺骗警察，但由于疏忽琐碎的细节，可能会分散播报的线索。我们只能在两个方面对犯罪阶层说：‘你去做同样的事情。”