illustration of Sherlock Holmes in profile surrounded by various items from his many mysteries

The Best of Sherlock Holmes

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Student Question

Why were the KKK chasing Elias in "The Five Orange Pips" from The Best of Sherlock Holmes?

Expert Answers

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The Ku Klux Klan was a real group that did spring up after the Civil War in the United States.  At the time that it began it was dedicated to ending the Northern rule of the South during Reconstruction.  The group was made illegal soon after it was created.

The KKK are chasing after him because he has run away from America with some of their important papers in his possession.  They are worried because the papers he is carrying will implicate some of the more important men in the South -- it will show that they are members of this group.

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