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|"I came to London to sight-see. I will be heading to see Crystal Tower after this."|
Vilen Borshevik was an infamous Russian revolutionary whose identity was misattributed to a few individuals by Herlock Sholmes during the investigation into the murder of Kazuma Asogi. He appeared in person as a juror during the trial of Gina Lestrade.
|I am ballistics expert. I have seen many shootings. There is nothing I do not know about guns.|
According to news reports, Borshevik was a fearsome revolutionary in Russia who was said to have assassinated sixteen people and taken part in a destructive war in Afghanistan. At some point in his past, Borshevik was running through a steep, narrow mountain trail at night. The trail itself was buried under layers of snow while a blizzard reduced temperatures to below zero degrees. Suddenly, he was attacked by a sniper on a dog sled. Although the bullet fired by the sniper missed him, it hit a nearby block of ice that shattered, causing an ice shard to fly into his back that badly wounded him and caused him to collapse into the snow. Although initially puzzled as to where the bullet had gone, as the ice that caused the deep wound had melted, Borshevik was eventually able to figure out what had happened.
Another incident in his life had him encounter a hungry young man. However, when Borshevik tried to offer him pirozhki, the man ran away crying.
- Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
At the time that Ryunosuke Naruhodo was travelling from Japan to England, a newspaper article stated that Borshevik was traveling to England via Shanghai, with the intent of bombing the Crystal Tower.
Aboard the SS Burya bound for England, Herlock Sholmes erroneously deduced that Naruhodo was Borshevik, since Kazuma Asogi had apparently written something in Russian before being killed and the ship had briefly stopped in Shanghai. Naruhodo protested that he looked nothing like the revolutionary. Although Sholmes retorted that he might have "revolutionized" (disguised) his appearance, he eventually gave up on his theory.
Later, Sholmes accused a man called Grimesby Roylott of being Borshevik, and that he had kidnapped a ballerina called Nikolina Pavlova. Although Naruhodo once again protested the detective's line of reasoning, Susato Mikotoba pointed out that Roylott at least looked more like the revolutionary than Naruhodo. Naruhodo subsequently pointed out the errors in Sholmes's deduction, thereby allowing them to work out that Roylott was actually Pavlova herself, who was running away from her ballet company. When she looked at the newspaper, even Pavlova said that "Roylott" looked like Borshevik, much to Naruhodo's dismay.
- Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story
|(Who?! Who's responsible for choosing this man as a juror...?)|
Borshevik appeared in person as a juror in the trial of Gina Lestrade for the murder of Pop Windibank and non-fatal shooting of Herlock Sholmes. He claimed that he was just a tourist who had come to London to sight-see, and was planning on visiting the Crystal Tower after the trial, though Naruhodo and another juror were a little skeptical. Although initially sympathetic to the suspicious-looking Skulkin brothers, who were witnesses in the case, he turned against them once he realized that they were lying. A fellow juror, who was the doctor who had performed surgery on Sholmes after he was shot, wanted the opinion of a firearms expert during the trial, which Borshevik claimed to be. When the Russian referenced his incident from the mountain trail in which he was wounded by an ice shard, Naruhodo, Lestrade's defense attorney, realized that Sholmes was wounded in a very similar way.
The Crystal Tower would later prove to be an important part of one of Naruhodo's later cases. However, contrary to newspaper reports, it appeared to have not suffered any sort of bombing attempt by Borshevik.
|It is not good to judge based on what you see. Those brothers did no wrong.|
According to newspaper articles of the time, Vilen Borshevik was said to be a terrible, heartless revolutionary. However, during his stint as a juror he came across as a calm, quiet man who sympathized with people judged solely on their appearance, but despised liars. Although he seemed to be quite the expert in firearms, he was relatively unskilled with the English language, as he would often have to consult a Russian-English dictionary during his appearance as a juror. He also carries a mouse that he seems fond of, it reads his dictionary with him.
- His Japanese given name "Dmitri" is a stereotypical Russian name.
- His Japanese surname "Demiglaski" comes from demi-glace, a type of sauce.
- His English given name "Vilen" is likely a play on "villain". "Vilen" was also a somewhat popular Soviet-era Russian masculine given name, being a contraction of Vladimir Ilyich LENin's initials.
- His English surname "Borshevik" is a reference to the Bolsheviks, a radical, far-left, and revolutionary Marxist faction in Russia that, after forming their own party in 1912, took power during the October Revolution in the Russian Republic in November 1917. The literal meaning of the word in Russian is "hogweed".
- "Borshevik" may also be a play on borscht, a type of soup that traditionally contained a form of hogweed, in line with the other food-themed names in the episode. It may also be a reference to hogweed itself, called "борщевик/borschevik" in Russian.