The Valley of Fear By Arthur Conan Doyle (Scene 7-9)

The Valley of Fear


Summary: Scene 7

Background Information:

McMurdo is staying at Shafter’s lodgings. He has been offered a few minor jobs by Shafter but he is not satisfied with them. 


McMurdo is displeased with the jobs, he has been offered at Shafter’s lodgings. Shafter wants McMurdo to sing for the guests, who are actually innocent people of the valley. Shafter informs McMurdo that Baldwin (a vicious scowrer) already wants to marry Ettie. He would be mad if anybody else tried to get closer to Ettie. McMurdo tells Shafter that he himself is a member of the Ancient Order of Freemen and is planning to join the organisation in Vermissa Valley. Shafter is shocked to hear this. He loathes the scowrers who have sabotaged the peace of Vermissa valley. He asks McMurdo To leave the lodge instantly. Ettie is depressed to hear that McMurdo is leaving. She has started to like him due to his courageous personality. McMurdo tells her that it’s difficult for him to leave her. Ettie pleads with him to take her away from this horrid place full of bloodshed. McMurdo promises that he would protect her against all harm but he would not run like cowards. Meanwhile, Baldwin enters and he becomes furious to see both of them together. He challenges McMurdo to fight with him if he dares to. Ettie requests both of them to stay calm. Baldwin leaves threatening Ettie that he will take revenge. McMurdo tells Ettie that he is a Freeman himself. Ettie is in a state of shock. She can’t believe, the man she loves the most is a gangster. McMurdo leaves the lodge.

Scene: 8

Background information

Mason, Barker, Ames and Sergeant Wilson continue their investigation at Birlstone. 


There are many things at the crime scene that surprise the detectives and the police. The murderer managed to escape even when the draw bridge was raised. Wilson assumes that Mr Douglas must have shot himself. Barker brings their attention to the bookmarks smudged in blood on the window sill. Mason found a hammer at the crime scene. Ames informs that Mr Douglas was altering a picture a day before. They noticed a visiting card with someone’s initial V.V 341 near the dead body. Barker claims he has no idea about the card. Suddenly Ames notices that Douglas’s wedding ring is missing. Douglas always wore his wedding ring below the twisted snake ring. There is the snake ring but the wedding ring has gone. This is another mystery added to the murder case.

Scene: 9

Background information:

McMurdo comes to meet McGinty at Union House Saloon. The bar is filled with the miners and scowrers. He straight approaches McGinty and greets him confidently. McGinty takes him to a quiet corner. Suddenly he takes out his gun and points it at McMurdo. He threatens McMurdo to try not to play any games. He asks McMurdo a series of questions in a flow to test him. He answers all the questions confidently. This gives McGinty an assurance that he is not lying. McGinty informs McGinty that he left Chicago after shooting Jonas Pinto. He has come to Vermissa Valley with the hope that he would be safe here. McGinty is impressed with McMurdo’s courage and confidence. Meanwhile, Baldwin enters the bar. He is extremely displeased to see McMurdo. Baldwin complains that McMurdo has come between him and Ettie. McGinty suggests that Ettie should be free to choose her life partner. This infuriates Baldwin as he feels betrayed. He yells at McGinty threatening him. McGinty answers back in the same fury and tells him not to raise his voice against his commands. Captain Marvin comes into the bar and recognises McGinty and McMurdo. He offers McGinty to help the law enforcement agencies maintain the law and order situation in the valley but McGinty answers back coldly. Marvin gives a verbal warning to McMurdo not to indulge in any objectionable activities in the valley or the police will take immediate action.

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