The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter Summary

Instructor: Jennifer Carnevale

Jennifer has a dual master's in English literature/teaching and is currently a high school English teacher. She teaches college classes on the side.

What would you do if someone came to you in confidence and told you a chilling tale that could lead to your death? In this lesson, we will learn about the short story, 'The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, where Sherlock Holmes saves the day once again.

Blood Is Thicker than Water

What would you do for family? Would you take on a case that could get your killed? Would you avenge a family member's death after a kidnapping? Read on to learn about 'The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and decide if you would make the same choices as Detective Sherlock Holmes, his associate Dr. Watson, and a brother and sister that embody the definition of loyalty.

Brotherly Love

The narrator, Dr. Watson, opens this tale with an overview of our main character, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is described as an intelligent man, but a man without a heart. He has no interests in relationships of any kind, and never talks about his past. However, Watson shifts to the beginning of this tale by saying that one day, Holmes mentions his brother.

The conversation begins when the two are discussing genetics versus learned experiences. Holmes mentions his upbringing and says his brother Mycroft has the same abilities he does, except that his brother's power of observation exceeds that of Holmes. Watson wants more information, so Holmes agrees to take Watson to meet his brother at the Diogenes Club. Mycroft greets the men, and instantly Watson sees the similarities of behavior and observation between the two.

The Greek Interpreter

As the men chat, Mycroft tells Holmes that Mr. Melas, a Greek interpreter, has asked for his advice. Holmes agrees to help, and Mycroft leaves the men to converse. Melas states that two nights ago, a man named Mr. Harold Latimer came to his room and asked him to come to his home to interpret a conversation for a business deal.

On the way to the meeting, Latimer politely threatens Melas, reminding him that no one knows where he is, but if he does what is asked of him, he will be free to go. After the 2-hour trip, Melas was rushed into the house and greeted by another man, later known as Wilson Kemp. Kemp also threatened Melas, but assured him if he did his job, he'd be on his way. Next, an old, pale, emaciated gentlemen was brought in the room. Melas noticed he had plaster across his face and mouth. This man was given a slate to write the answers to the questions that Melas would ask.

During the translation, Melas began asking questions of his own mixed into the ordered line of questioning. He discovered the man was from Athens and named Paul Kratides. The other pieces of the conversation had to do with signing documentation and giving away a woman's hand in marriage. Kratides refused to do what the men were asking.

Mid-conversation, a woman named Sophy came through the door telling Harold she couldn't wait any longer. Kratides jumped up, tore the plaster off of his face, and ran to embrace her. Sophy was pushed out of the room, and Kratides was taken away.

Melas was paid, threatened again, then dropped off at a train station. Melas ends his tale, and Holmes agrees to take the case.

The Race to Beckenham

Watson thinks Paul and Sophy are brother and sister, and that Sophy came to London willingly to be with Latimer. However, Paul, arriving on his own accord after hearing of his sister's affairs, ends up being kidnapped and forced to sign over documentation of what could be Sophy's inheritance. Sophy had no idea any of this was happening until she walked in on the meeting. Holmes agrees, and they take action.

Mycroft meets Holmes and Watson at their place and explains that an ad he had placed in the paper regarding Paul and Sophy was answered just after they left the club. The note stated that Sophy is staying at The Myrtles in Beckenham. The men decide to phone the Inspector and send for Melas.

When they arrive at the club, a girl informs the men that Melas just left with a man fitting the description of Wilson Kemp. After an hour of getting legal papers together with the Inspector and more travel time, the men finally arrive at the house. Believing the house is empty, the men climb in through a window.

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