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The adventure of the speckled band

Sherlock Holmes did a lot of work in eight years from 1880 to 1890. When I look at what I
wrote about his work, I can see that he did many investigations.Some were very sad. Some
were funny, and many were very strange. There were noordinary investigations. Sherlock
Holmes worked because he liked it, not for money. He most liked to do investigations which
were very strange.
A very strange investigation was about a Surrey family, the Roylotts of Stoke Warren.
This happened when Sherlock and I lived in the same house in Baker Street. When it
happened, I promised not to tell anyone about it. But now the person I promised is dead, and
there are a lot of stories about the death of Dr Grimsby Roylott. Some of the stories are as bad
as the truth.
It was early in April, 1883. One morning I opened my eyes and saw Sherlock Holmes by the
side of my bed. He usually got out of bed very late, but today the clock on the wall said that it
was only a quarter past seven. I was surprised. I was also a little angry, because I don't like
to begin the day at a quarter past seven.
"I'm very sorry, Watson, " said Holmes "but everyone is out of bed early today. Mrs Hudson
was first, she came to me, and I came to you."
"Is it a fire?"
"No, an investigation. A young lady is here. She is very upset, and she wants to see me. She is
in the sitting room. Now, when young ladies come here early in the morning, and
get sleepy people out of their beds, I think that they want to tell me something important.
Perhaps it is an interesting investigation. Do you want to do the investigation with me?
I decided to come to you and ask you."
"My dear Holmes, I am very happy that you asked me."
I quickly put my clothes on and went with my friend down to the sitting room. A lady who
was wearing black clothes was sitting near the window. She stood upwhen we came into the
"Good morning, Madam," said Holmes "my name is Sherlock Holmes. This is my friend, Dr
Watson, and he will not tell anyone what you say to me. Ah! I am happy to see that we have
a fire in the room. Please come close to it and I will bring you a cup of hot coffee because you
are very cold."

"There is dirt on the left arm of your jacket." "I will do everything I can. "I amscared . but you can pay me any money I must spend to help you.except one friend." The lady was amazed. She sat near the fire. I think it happened when you were going to the station. ." "You are exactly right. "Oh dear!" said our visitor." said the woman with a soft voice. I am very frightened."I am not cold." said Holmes. I am very upset and unhappy. "the terrible thing is that I to do not know why I am afraid. Mr Holmes you must tell me what to do. but there was a long journey before you came to the train station." said Holmes with a smile. I know that he thinks this." Her face and body showed that she was a 30 year old woman. I worry about small things. I will go mad if my problems do not stop. but I will be married very soon. who I want to ask for help and advice thinks that my problem is not important. " said Holmes. cannot help." ""My dear lady. so I know that you went on the train. I have no one to ask for help . I have heard about you Mr Holmes. He does not say that. I can also see a part of a ticket in your glove. Mr Holmes. The young lady was happy because Holmes wanted to help her. Sir. "I left home before six. "I see that you came on the train this morning. "You started early. Even my special friend. I can see that it came there this morning. and looked in surprise at my friend. "said Sherlock Holmes" I work because I like to work. Sherlock Holmes looked at her. and came to Waterloo on the first train. "Do not be scared. "There is nothing strange. so I came to you. But now please tell us everything". and I will pay you. Now she told us why she wanted to see us that morning." she said. but he. poor man. and then I will have money. and I do not think that other people will think they are very important. but some of her hair was grey. and she was tired and frightened. but you can pay me when you want to to. do you think you can help me?" "I can't pay you now. Our visitor began her story." he said.

but two weeks before the wedding. He likes Indian animals very much. because we did not want any trouble. We weretwins. She was quite rich. and he had terrible fights with everyone he met. we would have some of the money every year. he was in a bad temper. But Julia once went to visit an aunt for Christmas. I live with my stepfather. They were my sister Julia and I. When my mother died.’ . Last week he threw a man into the river. We went back to England. and she had two daughters. That is why I have come to talk to you. He did not make friends with our neighbours. But he was not a happy person. ‘ She died two years ago. He went to prison for a long time. and their children did too. He borrowed some money andbecame a doctor. Because my step-fatherscared away all the servants. My sister was thirty when she died. and because he worked very hard. My sister and I did not often meet other people. So we went to the old house of his family in the village of Stoke Moran. all the family’s money was gone. and her money all went to our stepfather. When Dr Roylott was in India he married my mother. It owned many houses and farms. and I told my sister "we will be very happy". and he was very poor." Holmes said "I know that name. we did all the work in the house. But he had a very bad temper. My mother was married before. If we were married. But our stepfather changed. But then some of the children wasted the money. but already her hair was becoming white. Our step-father did not say no. We had enough money for everything. and he did not visit them. He has a cheetah and a baboon. He went to India. They are allowed to go where they want to. After many years he came back to England." "The family was once very rich. a terrible thing happened. My step-father often has trouble with the police. he was successful. The money was for us too. He has no friends. and he was often angry and upset. died. Eight years ago my mother died. I gave the man a lot of money. In one hundred years. and the people of the village are very scaredof them. because he thought the servant was a thief. But he stayed in the house and did not come out often. my stepfather did not want to be a doctor in London. This happens all the time."I am Helen Steiner. Dr Roylott. Nothing was left except some land and the old house. Because he was a good doctor. lived in the old house. You can see that I and my sister Julia were not happy. just like mine is. and sometimes he goes away for many weeks. my stepfather’s father. When he did come out. and we were two years old when my mother married again. who was my only friend. My stepfather decided to change. The last squire.’ ‘Is your sister dead?’ Holmes asked. She met a soldier and he wanted to marry her. One day he killed a servant. the Roylotts. My sister. He is the last of a very old family.

Do you whistle when you sleep?" "I’m sure I don’t. and the third is my bedroom. "Yes.. I didn’t. Instead hesmoked one of his Indian cigars. The wind was blowing outside. Suddenly.. it’s not important anyway" My sister went away. His head was on a cushion. in the middle of the storm. You can see the garden from the bedroom windows. . I remember every second of that horrible time. and ran out of my room. My sister did not like the smell of the smoke. Then I heard a sound like some metal falling on to the ground. The house is very old. and twins are very close in a strange way. The bedrooms are on the ground floor. and I could hear the rain against the windows. Later I heard her key turning in the lock. but I don’t know if it came from the next room or from the garden. I heard the scream of a woman. Then I went to bed. All the bedrooms are together. As I ran. She said: "Did you hear anyone whistling in the middle of the night?" I said: "No. You know that my sister and I were twins." he said "That is easy to do. the second is my sister's. I jumped up. with his eyes closed. When we had finished talking.. It was a stormy night.Sherlock Holmes was sitting back in his chair. I heard a whistle. and the other rooms are in the middle. I felt that some disaster was going to happen. I remember it. why?" She answered: "On the last three nights I’ve always heard a whistle at about 3a. At the door she stopped and looked at me. but he did not go to bed.." "Do you understand that?" "Yes. Now he opened his eyes and looked at the woman. my sister stood up and went to the door. The first is doctor Roylott's. because it was like the whistle my sister told me about. and we live in only one part of it. and I’ve never heard a whistle" ." " That night Dr Roylott went to his room early. because we were a bit afraid of the big animals around the house. put on my dressing gown. I could not sleep that night. It was my sister.m. "Please tell me everything. I thought the best thing was to ask you. We used to lock the doors of our rooms during the night.

The chimney is wide. "are you sure that you heard a whistle and of the sound of something metal ? Are you quite sure that you heard these sounds?" "That was what the police asked me afterward. She pointed her finger in the direction of the doctor's room. That is the story of the terrible death of my sister. and lit the match to look around.I ran to my sister's door. But they couldn't find out what killed her. and it opened slowly. Wait a moment" said Holmes. She wanted to say something more. She was frightened by something. and I met him as he was coming from his room. and we asked for a doctor to come from the village. I may be wrong. but no-one can come down it. but there was the noise of the storm and the sounds of the house. and she fell down. . But she couldn't speak. she suddenly screamed "Oh. Also. But it was no good. So I am sure that my sister was completely alone when she died. I didn't know what was going to come from her room. That is important. it did not look as if anyone tried to hurt her. By the light in the passage I saw my sister. In her right hand she held a used match." I will never forget the horror in her voice. My sister was in terrible pain. I really think that I heard it." "So she had light from the match. I thought that she did not recognise me. I ran. but they could not find any". My sister did not speak to anyone again before she died." "Was your sister dressed?" "No. because no-one trusted doctor Roylott. my God! Helen! It was the band! The speckled band. When he reached my sister we tried to help her. The windows were closed and my sister locked them at night. "How about poison?" asked Holmes "The doctors thought about that. They checked the floor too. she was in her night dress. I ran to her and put my arms around her. but there was nothing there to help them. I called for my step-father. Her face was white because she was frightened. Then. and in her left hand she had a matchbox. I told them that my sister's room was locked on the inside. I was scared. The police looked at all the walls carefully but they could not find any doors or holes for the killer to come in by. And what did the police decide?" "The police tried to find out everything about my sister's death.

Some of them have spotted handkerchiefs. "He is a strong man" she said. My stepfather does not mind. Or two years I have been very lonely. Holmes took her sleeve. "Please go on with your story". Last night something terrible happened. "Sometimes he's stronger than he thinks. I need to know thousands of very many things before I decide what to do." Holmes put his chin on his hands. so now I sleep in my sister’s room. I want to go to your house today. and she put her other hand on her wrist. She may have seen the spotted handkerchiefs and that is why she said those words. but there was nothing in the room." "Holmes shook his head. I turned on the light. "This is a very strange case". But now an old friend says he is in love with me. They wear them on their heads. They were the marks of four fingers and a thumb. some builders repaired a part of the house." "You did the right thing" said Holmes. "My sister died two years ago. and came to ask you for help. I was in bed thinking about my sister’s death when I heard a whistle. Nobody spoke. I went to the train station. At other times I think she was talking about a band."What do think killed your sister?" "I think she died from fear but I cannot imagine what frightened her so much. "But that is not all the story. he said. He was not satisfied. As soon as the morning came. and lifted it. They broke the wall of my bedroom. Our visitor told us some more of her story. the gypsies are in the woods almost all the time. But there is no time. Can we look at your room? I do not want your stepfather to know we are there. I am in the same bed too." The hand of our visitor was on her knee. The lady went red." "When she died. The room where she died. Sometimes I think that she was not thinking properly. I was very frightened and got out of bed." "Why do you think she said the words "The speckled band?"" "I don't know. It was the same whistle that my sister asked me about before she died. . and we are going to be married in the spring. "Did he hurt you? " asked Holmes. were there any gypsies in the woods?" "Yes. or a group of people. In the end Holmes said "this is very serious. Maybe she was talking about those gypsies in the woods. and he wants to marry me. Two days ago. For a long time he looked into the fire. On her wrist we could see five red marks.

They won't be any one at the house except for a servant. There are some things I must do in town first."Well." "If the woman is right. Watson?" he asked. Holmes sat back in his chair. "But what do you think the gypsies did?" "I don't know" "I am not sure that you are right. Finally there was a sound like metal hitting something." . "It all seems very strange. Will you come with us Watson?" "Yes of course. It's very strange. So the sister was alone when she died. I think he will be away all day." "Yes. He said he had some important business. I must go now. Also we must think about the gypsies who are very friendly with this doctor. no-one could come through the walls or floor. I will see you again this afternoon"." said the lady. But at 12 o'clock I will take the train to my home. Maybe it was the window being closed? If we think about these things. Also what do you think about the sister's strange words before she died? "I really don't know". I am in town now. She stood up and walked out of the room. I am sure I will be there when you come." "And what do you think of the whistles at night. "What do you think about the woman's story. And we know that the doctor will lose quite a lot of money "Then" said Holmes "the sister talked about a band. "he is also coming into town today. and nothing could go through the chimney. So there are some things I would like to do before I go home." "Very good. But I am happy that I have told you about my problem. "We must think about the whistles at night." "We will come in the first part of the afternoon. it is very strange indeed. we will find the answer to the mystery. What will you do this morning Miss Stonor?" "Well. When she had gone. I will make sure she doesn't worry you. Would you like to eat breakfast with us?" "No. The door and windows were locked.

I followed her! I am a dangerous man when I am angry. He laughed. What did she say to you?" "The weather is quite cold now" said Holmes." He picked up the poker. His yellow eyes and his high nose made him look like an eagle. Some of his clothes were a doctor's and some of his clothes were a farmer's. I know your name. and bent it into a circle with his big brown hands." "No I won't! My stepdaughter was here. "He is a very friendly person" said Holmes. My friend smiled. but I am not weaker than he is ". "You are very amusing. please close the door. A very big man stood there. Then he laughed. I know that Miss Stonor was here. He was calm. When you go out. "I am not as big as he is. "But I think that the flowers will be very pretty" said Holmes. or if we have to start again. "Please sit down."I am not sure either. "I know you. That is why we are going to Stoke Moran today. I want to see if there is an answer to the problem. a long coat. and a stick in his hand. His shoulders were very wide too. . He looked at us. Look. "I am Dr Grimsby Roylott of Stoke Moran" "Well. Holmes the busybody! Holmes smiled even more. "Which of you is Holmes?" asked this man "That is my name sir. my dear sir. Keep away from me. Then he made it straight again.. Doctor" said Holmes. I followed her. He came forward. which was yellow from the sun. But what on earth!" Holmes was surprised because the door was opened suddenly. He was very angry. "You do not want to say?" said our new visitor. "Keep out of my way" he shouted. "I want to say something to you before I go. You are Holmes who goes where people don't want him to. "What did she say?" shouted the old man. He was so tall that his hat touched the top of the door. He threw the poker down and went out of the room. but I don't know yours" said Holmes quietly. He had a large face. He had an expensive black hat. He picked up the steel poker.

that is the house of Dr. he sat up and pointed over the fields. His hat was over his eyes. My work this morning was important. There were lots of trees on a small hill. Please put your gun into your pocket." said Holmes. we shall eat breakfast. he said. we will call a taxi and go to Waterloo station. sir. I hope I will get some information which will help us. It was a perfect day. Watson. After that I shall go to look at some documents." . Holmes returned just after one o'clock. this is very dangerous and important. this makes our investigation much more interesting. The trees on the side of the road had their first green leaves. and his chin was on his chest."Well. I hope that our visitor will not have any problems because Dr Royston followed her here. "To understand what it means. And now. Suddenly. He had a page of blue paper. A pistol is very useful for people who can bend a steelpoker. My friend sat in the front of the carriage. There were more trees on the top of the hill. We found a train for Leatherhead. He was thinking. "Someone is building there." said the driver. and the air smelled fresh." "At first there was a lot of money. "That is Stoke Moran. To me it was strange to be investigating such a dark business on such a lovely day. But now there is not as much as was before. Now we know that Dr Royston really does not want his step-daughter to get married. if both girls got married. Grimesby Roylott. We must hurry. because the old man knows that we are investigating". We were lucky at Waterloo station. But each daughter was supposed to get quite a lot of money when she got married". The sun was bright and there were one or two white clouds in the sky. "If you are ready. If even one girl gets married he will lose a lot of money. I have found out how much money there is. A gun and a toothbrush are everything that we need". there would not be a lot of money for Dr Royston. "So you see. with lots of writing and numbers on it. Through the branches you could see the high grey roof of a very big old house. And now. "Look there!" he said. Watson. When we arrived we took a carriage from the station and went for four or five miles through the lovely Surrey countryside." "Yes. "that is where we are going. "I read thewill of the dead wife".

" The building was made of stone. You must stay in your room to-night. She looked very happy "I have been waiting for you. I think." ""He is so clever. We paid the driver. Now." said Holmes. I think we had better do as you say. Some work had been done by builders on the end wall." she said. it is quicker to go over this fence. "Everything is fine." We got off. Holmes walked slowly on the grass." "I am sure it was not. On one side the windows were broken and the roof had fallen down. and the carriage went back to Leatherhead. Maybe he will find that someone is more clever than he is. Please take us to the rooms which we need to look at. we do not have a lot of time. Roylott went to London. There were curtains in the windows." . He pointed to some roofs on the left." said Holmes. Roylott's bedroom. "he followed me!" "Yes. I think so. and the next window is Dr. and the smoke from the chimneys showed that the family lived here. But the right-hand part was modern. and to the foot-pathover the fields. The middle part was high and there were two other parts on each side. shaking hands with us. "Yes. "Good heavens!" she said. is Miss Stoner. and he looked at the windows for a long time. Miss Stoner looked very frightened. But I do not think that the building work was necessary." "We have already met the doctor. and I don't think that he will come back here before evening. but they were not there when we came." "And the lady. He told her what had happened. looking carefully." "Until the building work is finished. What will he say when he comes back?" "He must be careful. Nobody lived in the middle part either. I think I will never be safe from him. The middle window is your sister's room. But now I am sleeping in the middle room."There's the village." said the driver. If he frightens you. where the lady is walking. There it is. and it did not look very good. "I think this is the window of the room where you used to sleep. I think that Dr Roylott wanted me to move from my room. I understand. "But if you want to go to the house. we shall take you away to your aunt. Dr. Miss Stonor came to meet us." "That's right.

It was a friendly little room. Then Holmes tried everything he could think of to open the window. Now. We always used to get what we wanted for ourselves." "Yes. "Hum!" said Holmes. He pointed to a thick bell-rope which hung down by the bed. of course?" ""Because you and your sister locked your doors at night. "It rings a bell in the housekeeper's room. The wood on the walls was brown and very old. It was put there a few years ago. There was a brown chest of drawers in one corner. Excuse me for a few minutes while I look at this floor."Ah! that is interesting." . "I do not understand. This was where Miss Stoner was now sleeping . "Where does that bell ring?" he asked at last. These things and two small chairs were all the furniture in the room except for a square of carpet in the centre." Holmes got down to the floor and went backward and forward." "Yes. looking at the floor very carefully. There are windows in the corridor. a small bed and adressing-table next to the window. His eyes travelled round and round and up and down. with a low ceiling and a widefireplace. Did your sister ask for it?" "No. she never used it. This is very interesting. Then he looked at the wall too. but he couldn't. Holmes didn't want to look in the third bedroom. and then he looked up and down the wall. no-one could get into your rooms from the corridor. He even tried to open the wondow with a knife. "Won't it ring the bell in the housekeeper's room?" "No. Finally he took the bell-rope in his hand and gave it a hard pull. He looked at everything in the room. It doesn't go anywhere. Now. please go into your room and close the window" Miss Stoner closed the window in her room. Well. so we went to the second room. He looked at the windows with a magnifying glass. Holmes sat on one of the chairs in a corner. it looks new. You can see that it is just hanging near that little opening for ventilator in the wall. No one can get in through these windows if they are closed." We opened a small door and we went into the house. it doesn't seem necessary to put it there. He looked at it for a long time. Finally he walked over to the the room where her sister had died. we shall see what we can find if we go inside. it doesn't do anything. The end hung over the pillow. Inside there were doors for three bedrooms. on the other side of the bedrooms is the corridor. but they were built right into the big stones of the wall.

"There are some very interesting things about this room. a plain wooden chair against the wall. Grimesby Roylott's room was larger than his step-daughter's room." . we don't have a cat. Why didn't he make the same hole in the other wall. It was hanging on one corner of the bed. a bit of milk will not be much good." "Very unusual!" said Holmes to himself. "What do you think that is. an armchair beside the bed." he said. a cheetah is a big cat. They were all made at the samet time. "Yes. "My stepfather's papers about his business. a round table. He looked at it very carefully for a long time. No. "Was it done about the same time as the bell-rope was put in?" asked Holmes. if you agree. He pulled the rope. But this room also did not have a lot of furniture. we will look at Dr Royston's room. All we could see were a small bed. But there is a cheetah and a baboon. once. Watson?" "Well." "Ah." "They were very interesting changes -bell-ropes that don't work and ventilatorswhich do not ventilate. He has made the hole for a ventilator into another room. of course! Well. He stood up "Hello! Here is something interesting!" He was looking at a small dog whip. I am now sure about that." Dr. For example. "What's in here?" he asked. and a large iron safe. some books on a bookshelf. Holmes walked slowly round and examined everything with very great interest. several years ago. I remember that it was full of papers. Now. the builder must have been a fool. looking at the safe. I saw inside."How very strange! I never noticed before that it doesn't work. But I don't know why it should have that knot." said Miss Stonor. yes. there were lots of small changes. "What a strange idea. you can find lots of those whips. Miss Stoner. "Thank you. where the ventilator can bring in fresh air?" "That work was done not long ago." He went to the wooden chair. I also want to check something. But if it is hungry." "Do you think that there is a cat in it? Look at this!" Holmes picked up some milk which was on the top of the safe. There was a strange knot on the end like a lasso.

maybe you will be killed. tell me why my sister died. I need to know more."Yes. Miss Stoner. If you do not do what I tell you." "I will trust you and do what you want. I think that you know already". Roylott comes back and sees us we will not be able to do anything. but Holmes said "Yes. I am sure that we can see your bedroom window from the hotel. Good-bye." "No. Let's have a walk on the lawn." Holmes told Miss Stonor "You must stay in your room." "Very good. I will tell you why. you do not find the knot very often. . And when a clever man becomes a criminal. I think that I have seen enough now. He looked very angry. We could see that Sherlock Holmes was thinking hard about something. tell him that you have a headache. She put her hand on Holmes' sleeve." " Mr. I can stay there easily. said Miss Stoner. I am sure that you can stay there for one night. You must not hesitate. and we did not want to interrupt him until he finished. that is what we must do. that is worst of all. I think that there was something more real. the hotel is called the Crown. Oh dear! The world is a bad place. When your stepfather comes back. and go very quietly to your old bedroom. I think she died because she was very afraid of something. Holmes. ""It is very important for you to do exactly what I tell you. when you hear him go to bed. We shall find out what is making this noise which is upsetting you. we must go." "What will you do?" "We shall spend the night in your room." "We will do everything else. Please. and put a light there so that we know the window is open. yes." "I can't tell you yet." "Oh." My friend's face was very serious." "Then tell me if I am right. Then. And now. If Dr. I think that that is the village hotel over there?" "Yes. Holmes said to Miss Stonor. We walked up and down the lawn. Miss Stoner. Finally." "The first thing is that my friend and I must spend the night in your room." We were very surprised to hear this. you must open your window. I do not think so. Then take everything that you need for the night.

Do what I have told you. It couldn't be a big opening. they went to the house. The boy had a problem when he tried to open the heavy iron gates. It must always be next to the ventilator and to the rope." Sherlock Holmes and I went to the Crown Inn. Miss Stonor told us that her sister could smell Dr." "Did you see the ventilator?" "Yes. I promise that soon the danger will go away." said Holmes as we sat together in the dark "I feel really bad about taking you with me tonight. I really do not understand why Dr Roylott put that bell-rope there. He was in a carriage. Don't you think that is a bit strange?" "Did you see something very strange about that bed?" Holmes asked." "No. I decided it was a ventilator. "It could not be moved. Grimesby Roylott. In the evening we saw Dr. I think that you saw everything that I saw. He looked very big next to the boy who was driving the horses. But maybe I understood a little bit more. They were near the top of the building. You must have seen more in the rooms than I did. We can call it a rope." "You say it is not safe. We took some rooms for the night. We heard the doctor shout at the boy. since it was clearly never meant to be a bell-pull. It may not be safe. A few minutes later we saw a light between the trees as a lamp went on in one of the sitting-rooms. Roylott's cigar. When the gate was open. the gate." "The lady could not move her bed. because it was fixed to the floor. of course this means that there is aconnection between the two rooms. and a lady who sleeps in the bed dies. Watson. a bell-rope is hung. and you will be safe." "I knew that there a ventilator even before we came here. A ventilator is made. The ventilator was so small that only a mouse could get through. There is something a bit strange about when things happened." . From our window we could see the road to the house.and be brave. Now." "There was nothing interesting except the bell-rope. and the part of Stoke Moran Manor House where people lived. or the people who tried to find out how the sister died would have looked at it. "Do you know. Did you ever see a bed like that before?" "I cannot say that I have. He seemed to be very angry indeed. but I do not think that it is very unusual to have a small opening between two rooms. But it is important that you are with me.

He also had a cheetah. to show us where to go. We went through the trees to the lawn. Holmes very quietly closed the shutters. If the cheetah was in the garden. He is brave and he knows what to do. I felt happier and safe from the cheetah. Holmes and I took off our shoes and we climbed into the bedroom.he was holding my wrist very tightly." We left the hotel. and we had just one light."Holmes. It jumped on the grass and then ran quickly across the lawn into the dark. where Miss Stonor is. We crossed it. "My God!" I said quietly. it might attack us at any moment. But now let's relax and talk for a few hours about something more happy. I felt his hand . suddenly. and we were going to go into the house through the window. Then he looked around the room. We said that we might spend the night with our friend. far away." said Holmes. Everything was same as we had seen it in the daytime. or the Doctor will see it through the ventilator. that we shall be more clever than he is. He spoke so softly that it very hard to understand what he said: "We can't make even a little sound. I know two doctors who were very bad men. At about nine o'clock in the evening the light among the trees went out." I nodded so that Holmes could see that I had heard him. and the Manor House was dark. We must sit without light. Then he laughed quietly and put his lips near my ear. but I think. "That is for us. Dr Roylott may be even worse. The wind was cold. "did you see it?" For a moment Holmes was just as surprised as I was. Watson. Suddenly what looked like a horrible child ran from the bushes. Then. Two hours went slowly past. at eleven o'clock. "it comes from the middle window. We told the owner of the hotel that we were going to visit a friend. We are only just in time to stop some clever and horrible crime. When I was inside the room. When a doctor becomes bad he is a very bad criminal. It was easy enough to enter the gardens of Manor House. "Isn't this a lovely house?" he whispered to me. "That is the baboon. jumping up. We shall see many horrible things this evening." I said. Then we were out on the dark road. There were many holesin the old wall. Holmes came up to me and put his hands to my ear. we saw a single bright light coming from the old house. "I am beginning to understand what you are telling me. and moved the lamp onto the table. ." "Clever enough and horrible enough." I had forgotten that the doctor had a baboon.

and then everything was quiet again. I will never forget that terrible night. Keep your pistol ready . We could hear the bell of the church clock.clear whistle. As soon as we heard it. How long those quarters of an hour seemed to be! Twelve o'clock came. in the silence of the night I heard the most horrible scream which I have ever heard in my life. but I couldn't. I heard something moving quietly. Watson?" he shouted. "And perhaps. "Do you see it. "Do you see it?" But I saw nothing. Holmes jumped up from the bed. far away. You sit in that chair. We will go to Dr. if you sleep. I sat for half an hour. and even further away than that. Then he turned off the lamp. outside our window. and one o'clock and two o'clock and three o'clock. There was pain and fear and anger all mixed up in it. maybe you will die. and looked up at the ventilator. and we couldn't see anything. Someone in the next room had lit a lamp. and Holmes looked at me. It was a very gentle sound. Suddenly I saw a light for a second. Nest to the stick he put a box of matches and part of a candle. but I knew that Holmes sat very close to me. and we knew the cheetah was in the garden. Then it went away at once. It was very dark. So it was impossible for me to see what my friend was hitting so hard. Roylott's room."Do not go to sleep. I did hear something. But I couldn't see anything because the light was so unexpected and my eyes were tired. There was no light in the room. and a little bit scared. The scream was so loud that it woke up people in the village. I knew that he was like me .excited. Take your pistol. and hit as hard as he could with his stick at the bell-pull. The small of oil grew stronger. thin stick with him. Holmes had brought a long. I tried hard to hear anything. I could not hear breathing. And we sat waiting quietly for something to happen. It rang every fifteen minutes. It was up in the direction of the ventilator." I took out my revolver and put it on the corner of the table. like a small kettle. Once.I think we may need it. From outside we sometimes heard a night-bird. When Holmes lit the light I heard a low. He put it on the bed. The horrible scream left a cold feeling in our hearts. I stood looking at Holmes. until there was silence again. Suddenly." Holmes answered. I could not hear anything. Then suddenly I heard another sound. But I could see that his face was very white and he looked very angry and upset. it is the best thing that could have happened. we heard a sound like a cat. he lit the light. It grew louder and louder. Then was a strong smell of burning oil and a smell of hot metal. Then he stopped hitting." . "What can that scream be for?" I asked. "It means that it is finished. I will sit on the side of the bed.

I remembered that we had seen the same whip during the day.But Holmes did not look happy. I am sure that she was describing the snake. or it will be too long. "The band! The speckled band!" whispered Holmes. Dr Roylott's head was turned up. Later the police decided that the doctor had died because he had beenaccidentally bitten by his dangerous pet. I quickly changed my mind about the gypsies when I saw that nobody could get into the room through the door and the window. So did the word 'band. I had my pistol and I was ready to shoot." As he spoke he quickly took the whip from the dead man.' which was used by the first girl who died. and pulled the snake off Dr Roylott's head. Grimesby Roylott. and that the bed could not be moved. "It is a swamp adder!" said Holmes. Round his head he had a strange yellow band. I went in after him. Then we can take Miss Stoner to some safe place and tell the police what has happened. Dr Roylott died ten seconds after the snake bit him. He was holding the short stick with the whip. So you can see. On it there were brown marks. So then I looked carefully at the ventilator. In the light from the lamp we could see that the door of the safe was open. I found that this was not a real bell rope. He put it around the snake's neck. There was only a little part of the story that I did not know. and Holmes told me that when we went home the next day. I took a step forward. and at the bell-rope which next to the bed. of Stoke Moran. He carried the snake very carefully across the rThis is the true story of the death of Dr. and Dr Roylott has been killed by his own clever plan. my dear Watson. Anything dangerous in the room had to come in by another way. So I thought that the rope was there so that something could come from the ventilator down to the bed. Now I must finish the story. He said "I started with the wrong idea. The band seemed to be tied tightly to his head. He lit the lamp and went down the corridor to Dr Roylott's room. Dr Roylott did not did not move or speak when we came into the room. We told Miss Stonor what had happened. Suddenly the strange thing on Dr Roylott's head began to move. that you cannot solve a crime if you do not know all the facts. He was wearing a grey dressing-gown. In the room we saw something very strange. Let's put the snake back into the safe. He knocked on the door twice but there was no reply. and I saw the diamond-shaped head and neck of a snake in Dr Roylott's hair. People who do dangerous things to other people are often in danger. Dr Roylott was sitting next to the table on the wooden chair. and his eyes did not move. Then and we took her by the morning train to her good aunt in the town of Harrow. There was a lamp on the table. So he went into the room. "a very dangerous snake from India. Then I . He was looking at the corner of the ceiling. But she only saw it very quickly when she lit a match. and we could see his feet underneath it. The gypsies confused me.

Dr Roylott was a clever and dangerous man. When I looked at his chair I saw that he had been standing on it a lot. I was completely sure that I was right. The noise of something made of metal that Miss Stoner heard when her sister died was because her stepfather quickly closed the door of his safe to lock the snake inside. Perhaps it would bite the person in the bed. When I heard the snake I "So you chased the snake back through the ventilator. Of course he had to do that to reach the ventilator. perhaps it would not. and the loop which he used to hold the snake. you know what I did next. Grimesby Roylott. I must have hit the snake several times with my stick and made it very angry. Then I thought of the whistle. Once I had seen that my idea was right. the saucer of milk." "And that made it attack Dr Roylott who was waiting on the other side. and this also helped him. and when I found out that the doctor had other animals from India." The End . It was so angry that it bit the first person it saw. So in fact you can say that I am the man who killed Dr. The bite of the snake left only two little marks in the skin of the person that the snake bit. He was sure that it would come down the rope to the bed. So he knew that some Indian snakes had poison that could not be found in a dead person's body. He knew India well. When I saw the safe. Of course Dr Roylott had to call back the snake before the morning. but in the end she must be bitten. He also knew that the poison was very quick. so that it returned to him when he whistled for it to come. by giving it milk. "I had decided this before I entered his room. and the police did not see them. He put the snake through the ventilator late at night. She might escape every night for a week. I knew that I was right. I cannot say that I am going to worry about that very much.thought of a snake. He had trained it.