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Sherlock Holmes - The Speckled Band (Chapter 3)

Đăng vào lúc 02:56 04/08/2015 bởi Đỗ Thị Hải Yến

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Chapter 3: Death in the Night

 

That night we went back to the house. When we saw Helen Stoner's light, Holmes and I got in quietly through the window. Then we waited silently in the middle bedroom in the dark. We waited for three hours and did not move. Suddenly we saw a light and heard a sound from Dr Roylott's room. But nothing happened, and again we waited in the dark. Then there was another sound, a very quiet sound ... Immediately Holmes jumped up and hit the bell-rope hard.

'Can you see it, Watson?' he shouted. But I saw nothing. There was a quiet whistle. We both looked up at the air-vent, and suddenly we heard a terrible cry in the next room. Then the house was silent again.

'What does it mean?' I asked. My voice was shaking.

'It's finished,' answered Holmes. 'Let's go and see.'

We went into Dr Roylott's room. The metal box was open. Roylott was sitting on a chair, and his eyes were fixed on the air-vent. Round his head was a strange, yellow speckled band. He was dead.

'The band! The speckled band!' said Holmes very quietly. The band moved and began to turn its head. 'Be careful, Watson! It's a snake, an Indian snake - and its poison can kill very quickly.' Holmes cried. 'Roylott died immediately. We must put the snake back in its box.' Very, very carefully, Holmes took the snake and threw it into the metal box. 

'But how did you know about the snake, Holmes?' I asked.

'At first, Watson, I thought that it was the gipsies. But then I understood. I thought that perhaps some¬thing came through the air-vent, down the bell-rope and on to the bed. Then there was the milk - and of course, snakes drink milk. It was easy for the Doctor to get Indian animals. And because he was a doctor, he knew that this snake's poison is difficult to find in a dead body. So every night he put the snake through the air-vent, and it went down the bell-rope on to the bed. Of course, nobody must see the snake, so every night he whistled to call it back. The sound of metal falling was the door of the metal box, which was the snake's home. Perhaps the snake came through the air-vent many times before it killed Julia. But in the end it killed her. And Helen, too, nearly died because of this snake.

'But tonight, when I hit the snake on the rope, it was angry and went back through the air-vent. And so it killed the Doctor. I'm not sorry about that.'

Soon after this Helen Stoner married her young man and tried to forget the terrible deaths of her sister and stepfather. But she never really forgot the speckled band. 

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