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J. Neil Gibson was a wealthy mining magnate and former United States senator who was Sherlock Holmes' client in "The Problem of Thor Bridge". He asks Holmes to investigate the death of his wife, Maria Gibson, and prove that their governess, Grace Dunbar is not guilty of her murder.

History[]

Neil Gibson owned one of the most important and influential gold-mining empires in the world, earning him the nickname the "Gold King". His success brought him wealth and influence, and at some point he served as senator for an undisclosed western state.

About twenty years before his acquaintance with Holmes, Gibson met and fell passionately in love with Maria Pinto while prospecting in the Brazilian Amazon. The couple were soon married and had two children. However, over time Gibson's love faded, and he grew resentful of his wife, who remained stubbornly devoted to him. He began to treat her increasingly badly, with the aim of driving her away from him.

Five years before Maria's death, Gibson moved his family to England, where he had bought a large property near Winchester called Thor Place. He hired an Englishwoman named Grace Dunbar as was governess to his children, for whom he soon developed a powerful attraction. Though Miss Dunbar never physically returned his advances, they began an emotional relationship which made her the object of Mrs Gibson's hatred.

When Maria Gibson is found dead, and Grace Dunbar is accused of her murder, Neil Gibson seeks Holmes' assistance to clear her name. Holmes discovers that Maria actually committed suicide and framed Grace for her death out of jealousy for Grace stealing her husband's affections.

Appearance and personality[]

Neil Gibson was a hard and callous man, ruthless in business and single-mindedly determined to get what he wanted. Over the course of his business career, he claimed to have ruined entire nations for his benefit. Gibson's estate manager, Marlow Bates, describes him as an "infernal villain" for his cruel treatment of his wife.

Physically, Watson describes how his "tall, gaunt, craggy figure had a suggestion of hunger and rapacity. An Abraham Lincoln keyed to base uses instead of high ones would give some idea of the man. His face might have been chiselled in granite, hard-set, craggy, remorseless, with deep lines upon it, the scars of many a crisis, {with} Cold gray eyes, looking shrewdly out from under bristling brows..."

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