Sherlock Holmes: The Five Orange Pips
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"The Five Orange Pips," one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by the British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the fifth of the twelve stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in the Strand Magazine in 1891. John Openshaw tells Holmes about two strange deaths in his family. In 1883, his uncle died two months after receiving a letter from India, inscribed "K.K.K." with five orange pips enclosed. In 1885, Openshaw's father received a similar letter, and died three days afterwards. Openshaw recently received a similar letter and asks for advice. Holmes tells Openshaw to do as the letter asks and leave a diary page, which Holmes deduces is connected to the Ku Klux Klan, on the garden sundial. Openshaw is killed before he can do so, but Holmes discovers the killers have been travelling on a sailing ship, and sends the captain a letter with five orange pips. The ship is lost at sea.