The Reverend James Appley asks Holmes to investigate the sudden and unexpected death of Squire Trelawney of his parish in Somerset. Rev. Appley. is concerned because the suspect is his nephew, Dr. Paul Griffin, the attending physician. Trewlaney recently named Griffin his sole beneficiary, disinheriting the previous beneficiary, his niece, Miss Dolores Dale. Miss Dale's fiancé, Jeffrey Ainsworth, claims that he saw Trewlaney alive and well until late in the night.
The problem is that no one can determine the cause of death, not even the famous pathologist Sir Leopold Harper, who conducted an autopsy. A clue might lie in the gold hunter, a popular pocket watch, owned by the deceased gentleman. Holmes once more solves the puzzle to the chagrin of Inspector Lestrade.