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Sherlock Holmes - The Speckled Band (Chapter 2)

Đăng vào lúc 02:50 04/08/2015 bởi Đỗ Thị Hải Yến

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Chapter 2: Holmes and Watson Visit the House

 

Holmes went out for the morning, but he came back at lunch-time. We then went by train into the country, and took a taxi to Dr Roylott's house. 'You see,' said Holmes to me, 'our dangerous friend Roylott needs the girls' money, because he only has £750 a year from his dead wife. I found that out this morning. But the gipsies, the whistle, the band - they are more difficult to understand, but I think I have an answer.' 

When we arrived, Helen Stoner showed us the three bedrooms. We saw her room first.

'Why are they mending your bedroom wall?' asked Holmes. 'There's nothing wrong with it.'

'You're right,' she said. 'I think it was a plan to move me into my sister's room.'

'Yes,' said Holmes. We went into Julia's room, and Holmes looked at the windows carefully.

'Nobody could come in from outside,' he said. Then he looked round the room. 'Why is that bell-rope there, just over the bed?'

'My stepfather put it there two years ago. It's for calling a servant, but Julia and I never used it because we didn't have any servants. He also put in that air- vent on the wall between his room and this one.'

Holmes pulled the rope. 'But it doesn't work,' he said. 'How strange! And it's just over the air-vent. That also is interesting. Why have an air-vent on an inside wall9 Air-vents are usually on outside walls.'

Then we went into Dr Roylott's room. Holmes saw a large metal box near the wall.

'My stepfather keeps business papers in there,' said Helen.

'Does he keep a cat in there too9' asked Holmes. 'Look!' There was some milk on a plate on top of the box. 'Now, Miss Stoner,' he said, 'I think your life is in danger. Tonight my friend Watson and I must spend the night in your sister's room, where you are sleeping at the moment.'

Helen Stoner and I looked at him in surprise.

'Yes, we must,' he went on. 'We'll take a room in a hotel in the village. When your stepfather goes to bed, put a light in your sister's bedroom window and leave it open. Then go into your old room and we'll get into your sister's room through the window. We'll wait for the sound of the whistle and the falling metal.'

Please tell me!' said Helen. She put her hand on Sherlock Holmes's arm.

'I must find out more before I tell you, Miss Stoner. Now goodbye, and don't be afraid,' replied Sherlock Holmes.

We walked to the village, and Holmes said to me, Tonight will be dangerous, Watson. Roylott is a very violent man.'

'But if I can help, Holmes, I shall come with you,' I said.

'Thank you, Watson. I'll need your help. Did you see the bell-rope, and the air-vent? I knew about the air- vent before we came. Of course there is a hole between the two rooms. That explains why Helen's sister could smell Dr Roylott's cigarette.'

'My dear Holmes! How clever of you!' I cried.

'And did you see the bed? It's fixed to the floor. She can't move it. It must stay under the rope, which is near the air-vent.'

'Holmes!' I cried. 'I begin to understand! What a terrible crime!'

'Yes, this doctor is a very clever man. But we can stop him, I think, Watson.' 

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