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Come here, lad.
What are you doing on my property?
I've come to claim back
what's rightfully mine, sir.
That thieving young rascal
made off with some horseshoes
and a bag of nails from my smithy.
Where is your proof?
The proof is, I'll find them there.
Now, I don't want to be forced
to call the police.
These people are guests of mine,
but you are trespassing, Mr. Thorn.
I'm not afraid of you, Doctor.
Get off my land!
Please, come back soon.
My dear, there is nothing
whatever to worry about.
We should be married in a few weeks.
I'm just on my way back to London.
Goodbye, sir, and thank you
for a most pleasant weekend.
I mean to improve my game of chess
before my next visit.
Oh, yes, I see.
You weren't an unworthy opponent.
Thank you, sir.
I'm just seeing Percy down to the gates, Father.
Drive on and wait for me by the gate, will you.
The fellow was trespassing,
he had a dunking, and that is all.
Father, I cannot believe that Thorn would deliberate -
are you part of the conspiracy against me, too?
No, Father, I live here.
Not for much longer, eh,
once you marry that fellow Armitage.
Yes, what is it?
Father, what has happened to my room?
The builders found a fault in the structure,
better sleep in your sister's room
till they've finished working on it.
Julia's room, I can't sleep in there.
Why not, Pray?
What is the matter,
it's a perfectly good room.
I've instructed the housekeeper to prepare it for you.
Now run along, your baggage, and goodnight.
Hello there young beauty, good night, good night.
I'm very sorry, Watson,
but it seems to be the common lot this morning.
Mrs. Hudson has been roused,
she retorted on me, and I on you.
But it's only a quarter past seven,
what is it, a fire?
No, No, a client.
This will take a moment to draw, sir.
But only a moment, Mrs. Hudson is a mistress
of the art of fire lighting.
Ah, this is my intimate friend
and associate, Dr. Watson,
before whom you may speak as freely as before myself.
How do you do?
Mrs. Hudson, do you think you could
bring this young lady a hot cup of coffee,
for I observed you are shivering.
It is not cold which makes me shiver.
It is fear, Mr. Holmes.
It is terror.
You must not fear,
we shall set matters right,
have no doubt.
You have come by train, I see, this morning.
You know me, then?
No, but I observed the second half of a return ticket
in the palm of your left glove.
You started early, but you had a drive
in a dog-cart, along heavy roads,
before you reached the station.
There is no mystery, my dear lady,
the left arm of your jacket
is spattered with mud
in no less than seven places,
the marks are fresh.
There is no vehicle
save a dog-cart which throws up mud
in that particular way,
and then only when you sit on
the left-hand side of the driver.
You are perfectly correct.
Sir, I can stand the strain no longer;
I shall go mad if it continues.
I have heard of you from Mrs. Farintosh,
whom you helped in the hour of her sore need.
My dear Helen,
it is difficult for me to advise you
since you present so few facts,
but I know you to be a sensible girl,
not prone to hysterics.
I was one of your poor, dear mother's oldest friends.
I can only suggest that if your fears persist,
you should contact Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
221B Baker Street.
Farintosh, oh, yes, I do remember the case.
It concerned an opal tiara.
I think it was before your time, Watson.
Thank you, Mrs. Hudson.
Sir, do you not think you could help me, too?
At present it is out of my power to reward you,
but in a few weeks I should be married
with control of my own income.
I shall be happy to devote the same care
to your case as to that of your friend.
As to reward my profession
is its own reward;
but you are at liberty to defray
whatever expenses I may be put to at the time
which suits you best.
And now I beg you, lay everything before us
which may help us form an opinion upon this matter.
My name is Helen Stoner.
I live with my stepfather,
Dr. Grimesby Roylott,
who is the last survivor of one of the oldest
Saxon families in England.
The Roylotts of Stoke Moran,
the name is familiar to me.
He is a doctor by profession,
a skilled one.
For some years he had a large and flourishing practice
in India, in Calcutta.
Dr. Watson has also practiced medicine in India.
Yes, attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers.
Pray continue, Miss Stoner.
In Calcutta, he married my mother.
She was the young widow of Major mother's remarriage,
and my sister, Julia, was five years older.
Our mother had a considerable sum of money -
not less than a thousand a year -
and this she bequeathed to Dr. Roylott entirely
while we resided with him.
Forgive me, your mother has passed on?
Shortly after our return to England,
she was killed
in a railway accident near Crewe.
My stepfather then abandoned his attempts
to establish himself in practice in London
and took us to live in his ancestral house
at Stoke Moran.
But the money your mother left you
was enough for all your wants,
so that was no obstacle to your happiness?
A terrible change came over my stepfather,
instead of making friends and exchanging visits
with our neighbors,
who at first were overjoyed
to see a Roylott back in the family seat,
he shut himself up in the house
and indulged in ferocious quarrels.
At times it was and still is hard to keep him out
of the police courts.
He's become the terror of the village.
Does he permit any visitors?
No, except my fiancé and some wandering gypsies.
Vagabonds, whom he has given leave
to encamp on his land.
Sometimes he goes away with them for days at a time.
You can imagine from what I'm saying
that my poor sister Julia and I
had no great pleasure in our lives.
No servant would stay long
so we did all the work of the house.
She was but 30 when I lost her,
but already her hair had begun to whiten,
even as mine has.
Your sister is dead?
Just two years ago.
It is of that I wish to talk to you.
Living the life we did,
we were little likely to see anyone
of our own age and position,
but we were occasionally allowed short visits.
Two years ago,
Julia met a half-pay major of marines,
to whom she became engaged.
Your stepfather approved of the match?
He raised no objection at all.
A fortnight before the wedding,
a terrible event occurred
which deprived me of my only companion.
Pray- be precise as to details.
It is easy,
every event of that night is seared into my memory.
It was late, about 11:00,
Julia had come into my room.
He's smoking those awful cigars again.
Perhaps you should have this room until the wedding.
Oh, Helen, oh, I feel so happy.
And yet wretched that I'm leaving you here alone.
My turn will come.
I shall miss you.
No, you won't, I'll come and stay.
Besides, your major has promised to find me
a brother officer of equal rank,
and infinitely better looking.
My darling, what is the matter?
Helen, have you ever heard anyone whistle
in the dead of night?
I suppose you couldn't possibly whistle yourself, in your sleep?
Certainly not, why?
The last few nights,
always about 3:00 in the morning,
I've been woken by a low, clear whistle.
I can't tell where it's coming from.
I thought you might have heard it.
I sleep more heavily than you.
It was probably those wretched gypsies.
Well, never mind.
Was it your custom always
to lock yourself in at night?
Always, my stepfather has a passion
for Indian animals.
A leopard and baboon
wander freely over the grounds.
Julia and I had no feelings of security
unless our doors and windows were locked.
I couldn't sleep,
I had a vague feeling of misfortune.
Please help me.
Oh, my God, Helen, It was the band...
the speckled band.
I'll get father.
Go into your room child,
I'll deal with this.
I am sorry, gentlemen.
My sister and I were very close.
What a mournful experience.
And you've no idea what might have caused -
This whistle and metallic sound,
you can swear to it?
It is my strong impression,
I may possibly have been deceived.
Was your sister dressed?
No, she was in her night dress.
Uh, on the floor there was a candle
and the charred stump of a match.
Which means, something must have woken her up,
and she struck a light to see what the matter was.
What conclusions did the coroner come to?
He investigated the case with great care,
but he was unable to find any satisfactory cause of death.
And your evidence would have shown
that the door was fastened on the inner side,
the windows blocked by shutters, secured every night.
It is certain, therefore,
that your sister was alone
when she met her end?
Besides, there were no marks
of violence upon her.
What about poison?
The doctors examined her for it, without success.
What do you think this unfortunate lady died of, then?
It's my belief that she died
of pure fear and nervous shock,
though what it was which frightened her I cannot imagine.
What do you gather from the allusion to a band, a speckled band?
Or some band of people.
The gypsies at the plantation have spotted
handkerchiefs they wear around their necks.
These are very deep waters.
What happened after your sister's death?
My life was lonelier than ever
until a month ago,
when a dear friend of mine,
whom I have known for many years,
did me the honor to ask for my hand in marriage.
His name is Mr. Percy Armitage.
And you are to be married within a few weeks.
So what prompted you to come here
when your life seems set so fair?
Yesterday, some repairs were started
and my bedroom wall was pierced,
so that last night I was forced
to move into the chamber in which Julia died,
to sleep in the very bed
in which she slept.
Imagine my terror when I was woken by the same
low whistle which had been the herald of her own death.
You lit a lamp?
Yes, but nothing was to be seen.
I was too shaken to sleep.
I dressed and slipped out of the house.
I got a dog-cart at the Crown Inn,
and came to London with one objective,
asking your advice.
You did wisely.
But have you told me all?
You have not, Miss Stoner.
You are shielding your stepfather.
He is a hard man, but he's still
the only father I have known.
I'd say it was time for some breakfast.
There are a thousand details I desire to know
before I decide on a course of action.
If we were to come to Stoke Moran today,
could we see over these rooms
without the knowledge of your stepfather?
As it happens, he spoke of coming
to town today on some business.
And the workmen?
I have seen none.
We have a woman who comes to clean from the village,
but only in the morning.
There should be nothing to disturb you.
Watson, you are not averse to this trip?
By no means.
Then we will be with you in the early afternoon.
I shall be there for your arrival.
You'll stay for some breakfast, surely?
Thank you, no.
My heart is lightened already.
Ah, Mrs. Hudson, thank you.
When you combine the ideas of whistles at night,
the presence of a band of gypsies
on intimate terms with the doctor,
the dying allusion to a speckled band, well,
there's good ground to believe that the mystery
may be cleared along those lines.
Which one of you is Holmes?
My name, sir;
but you have the advantage of me.
I am Dr. Grimesby Roylott,
of Stoke Moran.
Indeed, Doctor, please take a seat.
I shall do nothing of the kind.
I know that my stepdaughter
has been here this morning.
What has she been saying to you?
It is a little cold for the time of the year.
What has she been saying to you?
But I have heard that the crops promise well.
Ah, you put me off, do you?
You scoundrel, sir.
I've heard of you before.
You are Holmes, the meddler,
Holmes the busybody,
Holmes, the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office.
Your conversation really is most entertaining,
if you would close the door,
on your way out, as there is a decided draft.
I will go when I have said my say.
Don't you dare to interfere in my affairs.
I know that Miss Stoner has been here.
I am a dangerous man to fall foul of.
Thank you, Mrs. Hudson, just another client.
What a very amiable person.
I may not be quite so bulky, but -
fancy his having the insolence
to confound me with the official detective force.
Ah, this incident gives zest to our investigation.
I only hope our friend won't suffer
from her imprudence in allowing that brute
to trace her here.
One thought keeps nagging at me, Watson,
Roylott's professional life in India,
if it was so successful,
why would he exchange it for a life
of aristocratic penury?
My friend Cooms would know.
Cooms was in Calcutta around that time.
Find your friend Cooms
and see what you can get from him.
I shall walk down to Doctors' Commons,
where I hope to get some data
which may help us in this matter.
Let us meet again at 1:00 under the clock at Waterloo Station.
That is, if you've finished your breakfast by then.
Oh, and your revolver,
I would be obliged if you would slip it into your pocket.
An Eley #2 is an excellent argument
against gentlemen who can twist steel pokers into knots.
That, and your toothbrush,
are I think all we need.
I've seen the will of the deceased wife.
Her annual income at the time of her death
was a little short of 1100 pounds,
but, due to the fall in agricultural prices,
there's now no more than 750 pounds.
Each girl in case of marriage,
could claim 250 pounds.
So, if both girls had married, ah, beauty,
Grimesby Roylott would have had a mere pittance.
And even one marriage would ruin him.
The strongest possible motive.
Oh, did you manage to find Cooms?
Yes, I did.
He proved rather hard to locate,
but I finally managed
to get him through Swanson at Bards.
He did know Roylott in Calcutta,
confirmed what the girl had said,
and added one intriguing fact.
Now, it seems that a series of robberies
had been perpetrated in his house,
and suspicion fell on his native butler.
Roylott promptly seized the man,
and in a fit of anger
beat the poor fellow to death,
narrowly escaped a capital sentence,
but suffered a long term of imprisonment,
and returned to this country
a morose and disappointed man.
Ah, Watson, it's a wicked world.
And when a clever man turns his brain to crime,
it's the worst of all.
On holiday, are you, gentlemen?
No, we're architects,
taking a look at some of the local houses.
Ah, that's why you're wanting Stoke Moran.
I didn't think it was for social reasons.
You'll be, doing business with Dr. Roylott then?
Yes, I believe that was the name.
If you don't mind a word of warning,
you want to take care with him, sir.
There are some round these parts
say he's not right in the head.
Only yesterday, Mr. Thorn, the blacksmith,
had a most nasty experience with the Doctor
because of those thieving gypsies
who are camped in the grounds.
Oh, yes, we've heard about the gypsies
and the leopard.
The story goes,
the Doctor threw Mr. Thorn in the stream
in a fit of uncontrollable temper.
And that Thorn, he's not a small man.
Good Lord, is he bringing a charge of assault?
He was going to, but Miss Stoner,
the Doctor's young stepdaughter,
paid him some of her own money to keep it quiet.
Well, that's what I heard.
Well, I never.
Did you hear that, Holmes,
the more I see and hear of that young lady,
the more my admiration increases,
young woman of commendable spirit.
You can pull up here, driver.
Who do you mean?
Well, Miss Stoner, of course,
Ah, Miss Stoner.
Everything worked splendidly.
Dr. Roylott has gone to London
and he won't be back before the evening.
But we have already had the pleasure
of Dr. Roylott's acquaintance.
Goodness, he followed me?
Yes, he turned up just after you left,
but Holmes sent him off with a flea in his ear.
He's so cunning, I never know
when I'm safe from him.
Well then, he must guard himself,
or he may find someone more cunning
than himself upon his track, shall we.
Holmes, don't you think we ought to get
Miss Stoner away from here tonight?
And arouse suspicion?
But if he's violent ...
We shall be here.
So this is Dr. Roylott's room,
this formerly your sister's,
and this your room?
Yes, I am now sleeping in this one.
Ah, pending the alterations.
Miss Stoner, may I ask something,
that's unusual, isn't it,
bedrooms on the ground floor?
The bedrooms were moved downstairs
when so much of the house fell into decay.
Oh, yes, of course, how sad.
There seems little need for repairs
to this end of the house.
There are none, I believe it
was an excuse to move me from my room.
Ah, that is suggestive.
Miss Stoner, would you be so kind
as to go into the room
in which you are now sleeping
and bolt the shutters.
What are you doing, Watson?
Well, I'm using your methods, Holmes,
seeing whether the ground has been disturbed.
And what have you come up with?
Your footprints, I believe,
and mine and Miss Stoner's,
No one could pass these if they were bolted.
Well, let's see if the inside throws any light on the matter.
Where does that bell communicate with?
It goes to the housekeeper's room.
It looks newer than the other things.
Yes, it was only put there a couple of years ago.
Ah, your sister asked for it?
I never heard of her using it.
We used to get what we wanted for ourselves.
Indeed, you will excuse me
while I satisfy myself as to this floor.
It doesn't ring.
That's very strange.
A ventilator into another room.
You mean, when it might have
communicated with the outside air?
That is also quite modern.
Miss Stoner, with your permission,
we will now carry our research
to Dr. Roylott's chamber.
What's in here?
My stepfather's business papers.
Ah, you've seen inside it, then?
Only once, some years ago.
I remember it was full of papers.
Is there a cat in there?
No, what a strange idea.
Well, look at this!
No, we don't keep a cat.
Ah, well, a leopard is a large cat, after all.
Yes, but a saucer of milk wouldn't go far
in satisfying a leopard.
The leopard is kept on a leash, is it?
This sort of leash, Watson?
What do you make of it?
Well, it's a common enough dog leash,
but I don't know why it should be tied.
We have no dog.
Thank you, Miss Stoner, I have seen enough.
I was going to ask if he'd like some tea.
Miss Stoner, it is very essential
that you absolutely follow my advice in every respect.
Your life may depend on it.
I assure you that I'm in your hands.
In the first place,
on the way here we passed a small cottage.
The shill house.
Will the windows of your sister's room
be visible from there?
You are sure?
Then we shall make it our base.
We shall have dine shalt we, Holmes?
Is there a village inn?
Thank you all the same.
Now, Miss Stoner,
when your stepfather returns,
you must confine yourself in your room
on pretense of a headache.
Then when you hear your stepfather
retire for the night,
you must go to the windows,
undo the hasp, open the shutters,
and leave your lamp on the window sill
as a signal to us.
Then withdraw with anything you may want
for the night to your old room.
I have no doubt that, in spite of the repairs,
you could manage there for one night.
Oh, yes, of course.
And now, we must leave.
If Dr. Roylott should return and find us here,
our journey would be in vain.
I believe, Mr. Holmes,
that you've already made up your mind.
For pity sake,
tell me the cause of my sister's death.
If you do as I have told you,
rest assured we shall soon drive away
the dangers that threaten you.
Yes, it is a clear view.
Are you expecting this to take all night, Holmes?
It's possible, anything's possible.
When a doctor goes wrong,
he is the first of criminals.
He has nerve, he has knowledge,
Palmer and Pritchard were among the heads of their profession,
this man strikes even deeper.
I really have some scruples taking you tonight.
There is a distinct element of danger.
If I can be of assistance?
That's very kind of you.
You evidently saw more in those rooms
than was visible to me, Holmes.
No, I probably deduced a little more.
Do you remember Miss Stoner said
that her sister could smell
Dr. Roylott's cigar?
The ventilator, a ventilator made,
a cord hung, and a woman who lies in the bed, dies.
I can't see any connection.
Did you notice anything peculiar about the bed?
It was clamped to the floor.
It could not be moved, had to remain in the same
relative position to the ventilator and the rope,
or so we may call it, since it was clearly
never made for a bell pull.
I begin to see dimly what you're driving at.
We're only just in time to prevent some
subtle and horrible crime.
Did you have a good day?
Not without interest.
Where did you get to this morning?
I decided to go to town, too.
I had some shopping to do for the wedding.
You knew I was going up,
we might have traveled together.
I left early.
Yes, I know you did.
So that I should be back by lunchtime,
I had some things to do here this afternoon.
My trip was a whim.
You always were a good little liar.
If you'll excuse me, I have a terrible headache.
Holmes, the meddler, Holmes, the busybody,
Holmes, the Scotland Yard Jack-in-office.
My God, what's that?
It's the baboon.
This is a nice household.
We must sit without light.
Do not fall asleep;
your very life may depend upon it.
You see it, Watson, you see it?
What can it mean?
It means it is over,
and perhaps, for the best.
Come Watson, bring your pistol.
It's the band, the speckled band,
it is a swamp adder,
the deadliest snake in India.
He has died within seconds of being bitten.
Violence does, in truth,
recoil upon the violent,
and the schemer falls into the pit
which he digs for another.
The idea of a snake occurred to me
when I coupled it with the knowledge
that the Doctor was furnished
with a supply of creatures from India.
A form of poison, rapid and lethal.
Which couldn't possibly be discovered
by any chemical test.
It might, or might not bite
the occupant of the bed.
She might escape every night for a week,
but sooner or later,
she must fall a victim.
Oh, my poor Julia.
The Doctor had trained the snake,
probably with the milk,
to return at the sound of a whistle,
the very whistle
which you and your late sister heard.
My inspection of the chair
in Dr. Roylott's room had shown that he
had been in the habit of standing upon it
to reach the ventilator.
Last night when I attacked the snake
and drove it back through the ventilator,
I roused its snakish temper,
causing it to turn upon
the next person that it saw.
Dr. Grimesby Roylott.
So you, Holmes,
were indirectly responsible
for his death.
I cannot say that it is likely
to weigh very heavily on my conscience.
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