A Study in Scarlet

A Study in Scarlet Summary and Analysis of Part II, Chapter II: The Flower of Utah


The Mormons finally reach their promised land, Utah, after many trials and travails that included "the savage man, and the savage beast, hunger, thirst fatigue, and disease –every impediment which nature could place in the way..." Young was a capable administrator as well as a religious leader, and the settlement began to grow in an organized fashion. A large temple was erected in the center of the town.

John Ferrier prospered as well; he had shown himself to be a talented hunter and guide during the journey and rose in the esteem of his companions. He was nearly at the same level as the Elders themselves –Stangerson, Kemball, Johnston, and Drebber. He built himself a home and soon enlarged it as his material wealth grew. He was richer than all his neighbors and much admired. He never took a wife, which puzzled some members of the community.

Lucy blossomed into a beautiful and charming young woman and began garnering looks of approbation amongst the men. She was "as fair a specimen of American girlhood as could be found in the whole Pacific slope."

The Mormon settlement of Utah experienced much growth as hordes of travelers headed west to California for the 1848 gold rush. Trains of immigrants and horses poured into the city of the Elect, and many glimpsed the lovely Lucy Ferrier riding her horse one day as she headed to complete an errand for her father.

When she reached the outskirts of the city she came upon a massive herd of cattle that blocked her path. She decided to try and get through a small opening in the herd rather than wait for it to pass, and eased her horse in. once she was amid the cattle, however, she saw how dangerous her choice was. The beasts closed her in and there was the possibility of falling and be trampled to death at any moment. She could barely hold on to the saddle and was choked by dust and fear.

All of a sudden a strong arm guided her scared horse out of the horde and brought her to safety. A young man was her rescuer; he was tall, "savage-looking," wearing the garb of a hunter, and dark-skinned. His name was Jefferson Hope and he knew of John Ferrier from St. Louis. Lucy thanked him for her rescue and invited him to come speak with John Ferrier himself, as Hope had asked her to pass along his regards.

Hope was in Salt Lake City with his companions after spending time in the Nevada mountains looking for silver, but although he had planned to spend his time doing only this, the sight of Lucy had stirred something new within him and he fell into the deep love that is a "wild, fierce passion of a man of strong will and imperious temper." He began frequenting the Ferrier home and enjoyed the relationships he cultivated with both Ferrier and his daughter.

One evening he rode up to the house and told Lucy he was off for a period of time but hoped that when he returned she would go with him the next time. He said he would only be gone a few months, and that he had asked her father for consent and received it. Lucy was extremely happy, for she had grown to love Jefferson Hope as well. The two pledged their troth and Hope rode away, Lucy watching him gallop across the plains.


The Mormons arrived in present-day Utah; Young established Salt Lake City on July 24th, 1847 after claiming he saw it in a vision. He chose a site for the Temple and it began to be divided up amongst professional men and business men, as well as farmers. In 1861 it had nearly 10,000 inhabitants, and was at 45,000 by 1890. The Mormons benefitted from the influx of travelers heading toward California for the Gold Rush. Young told them not to become involved in the quest for gold itself, but to benefit from selling miners goods and fittings. This resulted in a growth of wealth for the Mormons.

Utah was initially named Deseret and was established in 1849 by Young with himself as governor. "Deseret" means "honey-bee" according to the Book of Mormon, and the tabernacle architecture was like a hive. The claimed territory of Utah ranged from Carson City to San Diego to Santa Fe, but was finally organized as a territory that included modern-day Utah and Nevada. Nevada was admitted into the Union in 1864, but Utah had to wait until 1896.

John and Lucy Ferrier's lives in the Mormon community are accounted for; John Ferrier grew rich and Lucy Ferrier grew beautiful. Ferrier never engaged in polygamous practices, preferring to remain celibate and unmarried. This minor act of rebellion garnered disapprobation, but nothing more at the time. Lucy is a typical 19th century heroine; she is pure, moral, and lovely. She is devoted to her father and is a beguiling mixture of femininity and adventurousness.

Readers are also introduced to the murderer of Drebber and Holmes in a completely different context. Here Jefferson Hope is young, strong, handsome, reticent, and wild. He is moral, ambitious, and persevering as well, and avowedly not a Mormon. His outdoor exploits had never yet received a challenge such as the charming Lucy Ferrier presented, and he committed himself to winning her love. This love story is clearly the motivation for the murders Holmes and Watson investigated.

He explains that he is from the Jefferson Hopes of St. Louis; Doyle most likely came up with this name by thinking of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, and the Hope, the Greenland whaler upon which Doyle served seven months on as a doctor. St. Louis was known as being a tough city in the 1850s. The reading public would recall the assassination of Jesse James, a famous St. Louis denizen. As Owen Dudley Edwards writes, "Mark Twain was another Missouri product whose less humorous aspects would contribute to the portrait." This chapter leaves readers wondering in suspense how this Jefferson Hope turned into a calculating killer.