How boiling water helped solve a crime

The most famous detective in the world is considered the hero of the works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Indeed, isn't it a miracle when Sherlock Holmes could solve a crime based on facts that would not tell an ordinary person absolutely anything? As Mr. Holmes said: "One drop of water, a person who knows how to think logically, can draw a conclusion about the existence of the Atlantic Ocean or Niagara Falls, even if he has not seen either one or the other ..."

But let's not envy the British, in Russia there was a detective no worse than the fictional Holmes, and he was a real person, and he lived much earlier than the detective from Baker Street.

In the second half of the 18th century, the Moscow chief of police was Nikolai Petrovich Arkharov, who gained fame as an unusually talented and dexterous detective. One crime solved by Arkharov was remembered for a long time in Moscow. It all started when one of the butchers lost his wallet. The butcher said that shortly before he discovered the loss, a clerk came into the shop. Suspicions of a crime fell on him.

The suspect was soon arrested and taken to the police station. Despite the fact that a purse with money was found during the search, the clerk insisted that it was his money, and he did not steal anything. But Nikolai Petrovich Arkharov himself got down to business. He arranged a confrontation between the butcher and the clerk. After listening to the victim and the suspect, Arkharov unexpectedly demanded to bring a cauldron of boiling water.

As soon as the boiling water was brought, Arkharov shook coins out of his wallet into it, and after a few seconds he declared with confidence that the money belonged to the butcher, and the clerk was a thief. The frightened clerk decided that Arkharov was a sorcerer and immediately confessed to the theft. However, there was no mysticism here. It's just that Arkharov noticed that particles of fat floated to the surface of the water, which means that the butcher had previously held these coins in his hands.

Interestingly, Arkharov was popular not only in Moscow. The French ambassador to Russia has repeatedly noted in his reports that the Moscow police chief is capable of solving any crime. The head of the French police, Monsieur de Sartin, who was considered an unsurpassed detective, regularly sent letters to Moscow in which he expressed admiration for Arkharov's talent. By the way, Arkharov himself was often called the "Russian de Sartin", which was the highest recognition. But history is silent about whether or not de Sartine was called "the French Arkharov".