The Sleuths (Henry)

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The Sleuths
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man sought help from various detectives to find his missing sister, but only the last detective, using unconventional methods, was able to locate her by checking the records of a crayon portrait factory.

A man named Meeks came from the West to New York to find his sister, Mrs. Mary Snyder, a widow, who had been living in a tenement house in a crowded neighborhood. At her address, he was told that Mary had moved away more than a month before, and no one could tell him her new address. Meeks sought the help of the police and a city detective, but their methods proved unsuccessful in locating his sister.

Mr. Meeks — middle-aged man from the West; wealthy, determined to find his sister.

"New York is a big city, but we’ve got the detective business systematized," Detective Mullins said to Mr. Meeks when they first met at police headquarters, trying to assure him that they could find his sister in the big city.

New York is a big city, but we’ve got the detective business systematized.

Meeks then consulted Shamrock Jolnes, a famous private detective, who agreed to take on the case for a fee of $500 if successful.

Shamrock Jolnes — famous private detective; intellectual, proud of his induction skills.

Jolnes examined Mary's old room and collected a few seemingly unintelligible clues. After analyzing the clues, Jolnes concluded that Mary had found a valuable ring while working as a scrub woman in a theater, sold it, and moved to a more comfortable place with her newfound wealth. He believed she was living at No. 12 Avenue C, but when they went there, they found no trace of her.

Disappointed, Meeks was introduced to another detective named Juggins, who claimed he could find Mary's address within 15 minutes.

Juggins — leader of a new modern school of detectives; innovative, efficient.

"I think you would do well to consult Juggins," Shamrock Jolnes suggested to Mr. Meeks after failing to find his sister using his own methods, acknowledging that Juggins might have a different approach that could be successful.

I think you would do well to consult Juggins.

True to his word, Juggins provided Meeks with the correct address, and Meeks was reunited with his sister. When asked how he had found the address so quickly, Juggins explained that he had simply gone to a nearby factory that produced enlarged crayon portraits, a popular item among women fitting Mary's description, and looked up her address in their records.

"I went there and got her address off the books. That’s all," Juggins explained his simple yet effective method of finding Mr. Meeks's sister by checking the records of a crayon portrait factory, demonstrating his unconventional approach to detective work.