simon tarr
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Hey everyone, I've just completed the first case of the Asmodee edition of SHCD. I got the majority of the questions correct and it was good fun (if frustrating at times) but I'm really struggling with Holmes' explanation of the notes during his parlour speech.

Holmes says (emphasis mine):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
From the cryptic wire sent to Egan and the note concerning Spaniard's by Allen, which by the way explains why a note signed 'A.M.' was in Allen's handwriting. Allen must have made a copy of the note he left for Ragland and kept it in his notebook.


What note did he leave? Is it the bit about Spaniard's and A.M.? If so, why would be leave this for Ragland to see? Wouldn't that provide him a heads-up that trouble was on its way? I thought the point was Courtney was going to 'pounce' with Captain Egan?

EDIT: So I think it has finally clicked. I think the wording is poor, which has confused me. Courtney didn't leave the message, as the above implies. He just happened to be in Ragland's office when A.M. left the message. Courtney simply passed it on. Is this correct?

Later he says:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I believe Mr Allen went to the plant that morning to confront Lord Ragland with that evidence. When he intercepted the note he saw a chance to catch Ragland and 'A.M.'



I really don't understand this at all. I suspect I'm being really thick here. What note did Courtney Allen intercept? The above wording makes it sounds like he (Allen) intercepted his own note, which is clearly ridiculous.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Is it possible that this is poorly worded? Is it actually the Case that Courtney Allen already knew? He went to Ragland's office, saw he was meeting with A.M. at Spaniard's at 10p.m. and saw an opportunity to catch them both red handed?


Could someone please explain to be the significance here?
 
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Marc Raps
Netherlands
Vlijmen
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If I remember correctly, it went something like this:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
At some point, A.M. either called Ragland at his office and made an appointment to meet at Spaniard's, which Ragland wrote this down on a piece of paper somewhere in his office or A.M. sent Ragland a note, telling him where to meet. Either way, the original message was from A.M. to Ragland.

On the morning of the murder, Allen visited Ragland at his office to confront him. He did not find Ragland there, but he did have a look around the office. Doing so, he stumbled upon the original note.

Realizing this meeting would produce even more concrete evidence than his planned confrontation, Allen copied the details Ragland had written down onto a piece of paper for himself. Allen took this copy (in his own handwriting) with him and contacted his government buddy to set up a sting operation. It is this note that was found on his person after his death.

Ragland, later hearing of Allen's visit to the factory, must have realized (somehow) that Allen saw the original note and he decided to kill Allen to cover himself.

It's a rather convoluted plot, though. It would have been much easier if Allen had just taken the original note. The handwriting thing is an added complication to make the puzzle harder to solve.
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simon tarr
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Thanks for the reply - that has cleared things up nicely. I agree it's a little contrived but not impossible on the whole.

Cheers!
 
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Jim Alexander
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The handwriting on the note is not the same as the notebook (look at the "S's" and "T's"). I noticed that, then when I read the explanation I was like, "Huh?"


As such, Holmes' explanation baffled me, too, but now that I see your explanation, it suddenly makes sense and my initial observation was correct. The wording in the explanation is poor.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Courtney Allen was at Ragland's office, saw A.M.'s note to Ragland and copied it, sticking the copy he made into his notebook.
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Brian Putnam
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JimABassPlayer wrote:

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Courtney Allen was at Ragland's office, saw A.M.'s note to Ragland and copied it, sticking the copy he made into his notebook.


That still doesn't make sense to me. If that were the case, the handwriting in the notebook and on the note RE spaniard's would be the same - but as you point out, they're clearly not the same.
 
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