Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band Johnny Knight - Picture found at

Sherlocke Holmes and his companion, Dr. Watson wake up early one morning to a woman named Hellen Stoner who is in fear that her stepfather plans to kill her. Her stepfather is a man named Grimesby Roylott, a doctor who spent years practicing medicine in India and married Hellen's widowed mother there as well. He is a very violent but also wealthy and powerful man who had a fit of rage and ended up murdering his Indian servant while in it. Hellen's twin also died almost two years ago, right before she was to be married. Her dying words were "The speckled band!" and Hellen has not been able to make any sense of it, fearing that her life will end in the same way as her late sister after she is engaged and begins to hear strange nosies on her and her stepfather's estate. She comes to Holmes for help in solving her sister's murder.

  • List of characters
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Dr. Watson
  • Grimesby Roylott
  • Hellen Stoner
  • Julia Stoner

After being threatened by Roylott directly, Holmes investigates the late mother's will and proceeds to investigate their estate. Holmes finds a strange bed that is anchored to the floor, a ventilator hole between Helen and Roylott's rooms, and a bell chord that does not work. Holmes and Watson spend the night in her room and suddenly, in the darkness they hear a strange noise and light a candle, finding on the bell cord the "speckled band"—a venomous snake in which Holmes strikes with a stick, making it go back through the ventilator hole. In the snakes confusion and anger it attacks Roylott in the next room. Holmes then reveals the motive to Watson, stating that the Hellen's mothers will had provided a yearly income of 750 GBP, of which each daughter could claim one third upon her marriage. That is why Roylott killed her sister upon hearing the news she was to be married and attempted to murder Hellen as well.

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"But I have heard, Mr. Holmes, that you can see deeply into the manifold wickedness of the human heart. You may advise me how to walk amid the dangers which encompass me." -Hellen Stoner. This quote is taken directly from when Hellen asks Holmes for his assistance. I believed it was important because it shows how comforting the presence of Holmes on a case as threatening as this one can be. It shows that he is the best of the best and that a woman in fear of her life can come to him and be assured that he will solve the case. It also shows just how much of an expert Holmes really is with her saying he can see deeply into the manifold wickedness of the human heart.

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"Some of the blows of my cane came home, and roused its snakish temper, so that it flew upon the first person it saw. In this way I am no doubt indirectly responsible for Dr. Grimesby Roylott's death, and I cannot say that it is likely to weigh very heavily upon my conscience." -Sherlock Holmes. This quotation is from the section where Holmes is explaining the motive and notices that he is somewhat responsible for Roylott's death. It shows Holmes' moral compass greatly because even though he did not directly kill him and he was attempting to murder another innnocent woman, Holmes is no murderer and the fact that he is somewhat responsible is troubling him. It is truly an insight into the character showing that is not just some emotionless super computer built to solve mysteries, but a man who's talent and job take a tole on him as a person.

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Allegory - I believe that this story is an allegory saying that even though you may not have committed a murder directly, if you were involved in one it is just the same as have doing it directly.

Emotional Appeal - I feel as though this story is an integral piece in establishing the character of Sherlock Holmes with its emotional appeal towards the end. The fact that Holmes indirectly killing Roylott took a toll on his conscience shows that Holmes is human just like the rest of us and makes him very relate-able.

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