The Edalji Case (letter 22 january 1907)
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Below is reproduced the Conan Doyle letter only.
The Edalji Case
Sir — With your permission I will continue to deal with points as they arise.
In answer to "A Devon Rector" :
1. The outrages had no connection at all with Edalji, either in their origin or their end. Three occurred after his conviction. As to why they stopped, that is a point which may be cleared when the miscreants are brought to justice.
2. Mr. Edalji's legal talents are not under discussion. It is certain that he took a high place in his examinations.
3. The difficulty in Mr. Edalji doing what the maimer actually did do is that the former was very limited in time in the evening, was certainly in his house all night, and was so short-sighted that he could not possibly get about after dusk if you took him of a well-marked, lighted road.
Two of your correspondents speak as if there were some conflict of evidence as to whether, with high astigmatic myopia and without glasses. Mr. Edalji could have crossed such a tract of country in the time at his disposal. There is no such conflict. Dr. Kenneth Scott's opinion is printed in your issue to-day. I have appealed to the profession on the subject, and all answers which have reached me up to date have been to the effect that it was not possible. Mr. Stephenson, in giving a guarded opinion, was not aware of the all-important fact that Mr. Edalji wore no glasses, nor of the difficult nature of the country crossed. His opinion has been again asked for now that these facts are in his possession. Therefore I repeat that there is no difference of opinion among qualified practising oculists, or none at least has been disclosed up to date. I consider Mr. Edalji's case to be overpoweringly strong without the optical argument at all, but the latter appears to me to be conclusive. — Yours faithfully,
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE.