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and materialism… he was a thinking man and a plain man at the same time. All his wonderful successes, that looked like conjuring, had been gained by plodding logic, by clear and commonplace French thought… exactly because Valentin understood reason, he understood the limits of reason. Only a man who knows nothing of motors talks of motoring without petrol; only a man who knows nothing of reason talks of reasoning without strong, undisputed principles”.
The “Blue Cross” bears almost no suspense which is traditional for the stories that exploit the deductive method as the way of solving a problem. At the same time, the story fills a reader with gripping curiosity and wish to read on until the end. Why?
The task of the detective here is, on the one hand, almost primitive, and, on the other hand, almost impossible to solve. Valentin needs to find a certain person (the world-famous criminal Flambeau) in the huge city of London, with the population of several millions and of unknown to Valentin arrangement of streets, blocks and districts. There is no not only the exact information on where Flambeau could be in London but if he was there in principle – this is just a conjecture.
And literally everything that is done by Valentin to find the criminal is based upon his conjectures too. The most amazing thing is that it works! Here is how G.
K. Chesterton describes the investigation method of Valentin:”…in such cases he reckoned on the unforeseen. In such cases when he could not follow the train of the reasonable, he coldly and carefully followed the train of the unreasonable.
Instead of going to the right places – banks, police-stations, rendezvous – he systematically went to the wrong places; knocked at every empty house, turned down every cul de sac, went up every lane blocked with rubbish, went round every crescent that led him uselessly out of the way”. Valentine defended his crazy course quite logically:”…if one had a clue this was the worst way; but if one had no clue at all it was the best, because there was just the chance that any oddity that caught the eye of the pursuer might be the same that had caught the eye of the pursued”.Скачать