The mystery of
Ravensdene Park, which I will now
affair, as it involved the assassination of Mr. Cyril Hastings at his
country house a short distance from London.
On February 17th,
at 11 p.m., there was a heavy
fall of snow,
it lasted only half an hour, the ground was covered to a depth of
Mr. Hastings had been spending the evening at the house of a
neighbour, and left at midnight to walk home, taking the short route
lay through Ravensdene Park—that is, from D to A in the
in the early morning he was found dead, at the point indicated by the
star in our diagram, stabbed to the heart.
All the seven gates were
promptly closed, and the footprints in the snow examined.
fortunately very distinct, and the police obtained the following
The footprints of
Mr. Hastings were very clear,
D to the
spot where he was found.
There were the footprints of the Ravensdene
butler—who retired to bed five minutes before
midnight—from E to EE.
There were the footprints of the gamekeeper from A to his lodge at
Other footprints showed that
one individual had come in at gate B and
left at gate BB, while another had entered by gate C and left at gate
Only these five
persons had entered the park since
the fall of
it was a very foggy night, and some of these pedestrians had
taken circuitous routes, but it was particularly noticed that no track
ever crossed another track.
Of this the police were absolutely certain,
but they stupidly omitted to make a sketch of the various routes before
the snow had melted and utterly effaced them.
The mystery was
brought before the members of the
once set themselves the task of solving it.
Was it possible to discover
who committed the crime?
Was it the butler?
Or the gamekeeper?
who came in at B and went out at BB?
Or the man who went in at C and
They provided themselves with diagrams—sketch-plans,
like the one
we have reproduced, which simplified the real form of Ravensdene Park
without destroying the necessary conditions of the problem.
Our friends then
proceeded to trace out the route
accordance with the positive statements of the police that we have
It was soon evident that, as no path ever crossed another,some
pedestrians must have lost their way considerably in the fog. But when
the tracks were recorded in all possible ways, they had no difficulty
deciding on the assassin's route; and as the police luckily knew whose
footprints this route represented, an arrest was made that led to the
Can our readers
discover whether A, B, C, or E
trace out the route of each of the four persons, and the key to the
mystery will reveal itself.