The Sign of Four
1 A Visitor for Sherlock Holmes
For many years, I shared an apartment in London with my friend, Sherlock Holmes. My name is Doctor Watson. I worked as a doctor in the British Army for several years. While I was in the army, I travelled to many strange and interesting places. I had many exciting adventures. Then one day, in Afghanistan, I was shot in the shoulder. My wound was deep and took many months to heal. I nearly died from pain and fever. At last I got better, but I could not work in the army any more. I retired from the army and came back to England.
That is why I was living in London with Sherlock Holmes. I had known my friend for many years. Our address was 221B Baker Street, in the centre of the city. I enjoyed sharing an apartment with Holmes. My friend was a very clever man. He was the most famous private detective in London. He helped to solve crimes and catch criminals.
When people were in trouble or needed help, they came to Holmes. Sometimes the police came to Holmes and asked for help in catching a criminal. Sherlock Holmes did not care if his clients were rich or poor. He enjoyed solving their interesting problems. He was very happy when he was working. It was the most important thing in his life.
One afternoon, I was reading a book and Holmes was standing by the window in our sitting-room. Usually he was very busy and active. But this afternoon he did not seem very happy. I was worried about my friend.
'What's the matter with you today, Holmes?' I asked.
'Come and stand at the window, Watson,' Holmes said. Look out into the street. See how uninteresting London is today.'
It was winter. The street outside was almost empty. Everyone was at home in front of their warm fires.
'I need some work, Watson,' said Holmes impatiently. 'I cannot live without interesting problems and mysteries. That's why I became a private detective. I love my work. It keeps my brain active. But when there are no crimes and no mysteries to solve - ah, then life becomes very boring for me.'
He turned sadly away from the window. At that moment, there was a knock at the door. Our housekeeper came into the room. She was carrying a small white card on a silver tray. Holmes picked up the card.
'Miss Mary Morstan,' he read aloud. 'I don't know anyone of that name. Please ask the lady to come in. Perhaps it is a new client.' A few moments later, Miss Morstan entered the room. She was young and not very tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Her clothes were not fashionable, but they were clean and tidy. She had a lovely face. I noticed at once that she looked worried and unhappy.
'Please sit down, Miss Morstan,' said Holmes kindly. 'I am Sherlock Holmes and this is my good friend, Doctor Watson. Doctor Watson and I have worked together many times.'
'I'm very pleased to meet you both,' said the young lady. Then she turned to Holmes and looked at him with her lovely blue eyes.
'Mr Holmes, I've heard that you give people good advice. I'm not a rich woman but I hope you can help me too. Something very strange has happened. Mr Holmes, I need your help!'
|sign [saɪn] / 1. 1) знак; символ share [ʃeə] делить, распределять; разделять while [(h)waɪl] / 1. 1) пока, в то время как heal [hiːl] / 1) вылечивать, исцелять shoot [ʃuːt] / 1. ; , shot 1) а) стрелять shoulder ['ʃəuldə] / 1. 1) а) плечо; get better поправиться retire [rɪ'taɪə] / 1. 1) а) уходить в отставку, на пенсию solve [sɔlv] / 1) решать, разрешать be in trouble иметь неприятности care [keə] беспокоиться, тревожиться, волноваться Who cares? — Не всё ли равно? I don't care what they say. — Мне всё равно, что они скажут. He doesn't care a bit. — Ему наплевать. What do I care? — Мне-то что? seem [siːm] / 1) казаться, представляться impatient [ɪm'peɪʃ(ə)nt] / 1) ожидающий (чего-л. / кого-л.) с нетерпением mystery ['mɪst(ə)rɪ] / 1) тайна, загадка, головоломка boring ['bɔːrɪŋ] скучный turn away отвернуться knock [nɔk] стук (в дверь) housekeeper ['hausˌkiːpə] / 1) а) домашняя работница б) экономка; домоправительница silver ['sɪlvə] / 1. 1) серебро tray [treɪ] / 1) а) поднос|
2 Miss Morstan's Story
Holmes rubbed his hands together excitedly. His eyes shone and he leant forward in his chair.
'Tell us your story,' he said. Miss Morstan began her story and we listened.
'My father,' she began, 'was a captain in the army. When I was very young, he was sent to India. My mother was dead and I had no other relatives in England. So, while my father was away, I was sent to school. When I was seventeen, I received a letter from my father. He said that he was leaving India and coming back to England. He gave me the address of a hotel in London. He asked me to meet him there. I was very happy and excited about seeing my dear father again. I went to London and arrived at the hotel. I asked for Captain Morstan, my father. But I was told by the hotel manager that my father was not there. He had gone out the night before and not returned. I waited all day and all night, but my father didn't come back to the hotel. Finally, I went to the police. They advertised for Captain Morstan in all the newspapers, but without success. I never saw my dear father again.
Miss Morstan began to cry. Holmes opened his notebook. 'What was the date that your father disappeared?' he asked.
'It was 3rd December 1878 - nearly ten years ago.'
'What happened to his luggage?'
'It was still at the hotel,' replied Miss Morstan. 'The cases contained some books and clothes, and some paintings and ornaments from the Andaman Islands.'
'The Andaman Islands. What are they?' I asked.
'A small group of islands near the coast of India,' said Miss Morstan. 'There is a prison on one of the islands. My father was one of the officers in charge of the prisoners. He worked there for many years.'
'Did your father have any friends in London?' asked Holmes.
'Only one - Major Sholto. He was also in charge of the prisoners in the Andaman Islands. The Major had retired from the army some time before my father disappeared. He was living in London and, of course, I went to see him. But he didn't know that my father had arrived in England.'
'Your story is very interesting,' said Holmes, rubbing his hands together once more. 'Please, go on.'
'Four years after my father disappeared,' continued Miss Morstan, 'I saw an advertisement in the newspaper. The date was 4th May 1882. To my surprise, the advertisement asked for the address of Miss Mary Morstan. It said that if I advertised my address, I would receive some very good news.'
'What did you do?' asked Holmes.
'I advertised my address in the same newspaper. The next day, I received a small cardboard box. Inside the box was a lovely pearl. And I have received another five pearls since that day. They arrive every year on the same day. Look.'
She opened a flat box and showed us six beautiful pearls.
'There was no letter with the pearls?' asked Holmes.
'Nothing at all,' replied Miss Morstan. Then she continued. 'But the strangest thing of all happened this morning. That is why I came to see you. This morning, I received a letter. Please read it.'
'Thank you,' said Holmes He took the letter and studied it carefully. Then he handed it to me.
London 17th November 1887
Dear Miss Morstan, Go to the Lyceum Theatre tonight at seven o'clock. Stand outside the entrance, on the left. If you are afraid, bring two friends. Do not bring the police. You have been deceived, but you will learn the truth tonight.
Your Unknown Friend
'What can this letter mean?' asked Miss Morstan. 'I am afraid. What should I do, Mr Holmes? You are a clever man and can give me good advice.'
Holmes jumped up excitedly. 'We shall go tonight to the Lyceum Theatre - the three of us you and me and Doctor Watson. The letter asks you to bring two friends with you. You will come with us, won't you, Watson?'
'Of course,' I said. 'I'll be very happy to come.'
I was speaking the truth. I wanted to help Miss Morstan. 'You are both very kind,' said Miss Morstan. 'Since my father disappeared, I have been alone in the world. I have no friends whom I can ask for help. What time shall we meet this evening?'
Holmes looked at his watch. 'It's now half past three,' he said. 'Come back at six o'clock. Don't be afraid, Miss Morstan. This evening we'll come with you to the Lyceum Theatre. We'll meet your unknown friend. And we'll try to solve the mystery.'
'Thank you,' said Miss Morstan. She smiled at us and left the room.
'What a lovely woman,' I remarked.
'I'm going out now,' said Holmes. 'I'll be back in about an hour.'
When Holmes had gone I sat down by the window and tried to read a book. But I could stop thinking about Miss Morstan. I hoped that we would be able to help her.
|rub [rʌb] / 1. 1) а) тереться excited [ɪk'saɪtɪd, ek-] 1) взволнованный, возбуждённый shine [ʃaɪn] / 1. ; , shone 1) а) светить, сиять, озарять lean [liːn] наклонять, нагибать forward ['fɔːwəd] / 1. 1) а) передний б) направленный вперёд relative ['relətɪv] / 1. 1) родственник; while [(h)waɪl] / 1. 1) пока, в то время как advertise ['ædvətaɪz] / ; = advertize 1) рекламировать, давать объявление luggage ['lʌgɪʤ] / багаж reply [rɪ'plaɪ] / 1. 1) отвечать case [keɪs] коробка, ящик; contain [kən'teɪn] / 1) содержать в себе, включать ornament 1. ['ɔːnəmənt] / 1) украшение coast [kəust] / 1. 1) морское побережье prison ['prɪz(ə)n] / 1. тюрьма, in charge of ответственный за go on 1) продолжать continue [kən'tɪnjuː] / 1) а) продолжать cardboard ['kɑːdbɔːd] / 1. картон 2. 1) картонный lovely ['lʌvlɪ] / 1. 1) красивый, pearl [pɜːl] / 1. 1) а) жемчуг careful ['keəf(ə)l, -ful] / 1) заботливый, внимательный hand [hænd] передавать lyceum [laɪ'siːəm] 1) а) лекторий лицей tonight [tə'naɪt] / 1. сегодня вечером entrance I ['entrən(t)s] / 1) вход, bring [brɪŋ] / , , brought 1) приносить, привозить; приводить deceive [dɪ'siːv] / 1) а) обманывать; truth [truːθ] / 1) правда; advice [əd'vaɪs] / 1) только совет, kind [kaɪnd] добрый remark [rɪ'mɑːk] / I 1. 1) замечание; высказывание|
3 A Strange Meeting
At half past five, Holmes returned. He was very pleased about something.
'I have had great success, Watson,' he said, as I gave him a cup of tea.
'What, Holmes ! Have you solved the mystery already?' I asked in surprise.
'No, no. But I have discovered something very interesting. Miss Morstan said that her father had a very good friend in India. His name was Major Sholto.'
'Yes,' I said. 'Major Sholto had retired from the army. He was living in London when Captain Morstan disappeared. But he did not know that Morstan was in England.'
'Well,' said Holmes. 'I have just been to the offices of The Times newspaper. I looked through the old copies of the newspaper and I discovered that Major Sholto died on 28th April 1882.
'Perhaps I am very stupid, Holmes, but I don't see why this discovery is interesting.'
'Listen,' Holmes said. 'Captain Morstan disappeared. He had one friend in London - Major Sholto. But Major Sholto said that he didn't know that Captain Morstan was in London. Four years later, on 28th April 1882, Sholto died. A few days later, on 4th May 1882, Captain Morstan's daughter saw the advertisement in a newspaper. Then, she received a valuable present. These presents came every year. Why do the presents arrive on that day? They must have something to do with Sholto's death.'
I was still puzzled. 'But Sholto died six years ago,' I said. 'Why did Miss Morstan receive that letter today - six years later? The letter speaks of telling her the truth. What can it mean?'
'I hope that we'll find the answers to these questions tonight, Watson,' said Holmes seriously. 'Are you ready? It's six o'clock and here is Miss Morstan.'
Miss Morstan entered the room. She was wearing a dark cloak and hat. She did not seem afraid, but her beautiful face was very pale. I picked up my hat and my heaviest stick. I noticed that Holmes took his gun from his drawer and put it into his pocket. We got into a cab and were soon on our way to the Lyceum Theatre. In the cab, Miss Morstan took a piece of paper out of her bag.
'Mr Holmes, I forgot to show you this. This note was found in my father's luggage. It is very strange. I don't know what it means. Perhaps it isn't very important, but I wanted you to see it.'
Holmes unfolded the note carefully and spread it on his knee. He took a magnifying glass out of his pocket and examined the paper. 'This paper was made in India,' he remarked. 'Have a look at it, Watson.'
I took the note and studied it carefully. The paper was thin and old. There was a drawing on the paper.
'It looks like the plan of a large building,' I said. 'Somebody has made a mark to show a certain place in the building. But what are these names at the bottom? And what is the meaning of - "The Sign of Four"?'
'I don't understand what this note means,' said Holmes. 'But it might be important. I will keep it.'
He sat back in the cab. Miss Morstan and I talked quietly together. But Holmes did not say anything. I knew he was thinking hard. It was getting dark and the people in the streets were hurrying home from work. I was feeling a little afraid. I wondered what kind of person we would meet at the Lyceum Theatre.
There were many people outside the theatre. Everyone was meeting friends and going in to see the play. The letter had told us to stand outside on the left. We waited. Suddenly a small dark man appeared.
'Are you Miss Morstan and her friends?' he asked.
'Yes,' she said.
'You must promise me that these men are not policemen,' said the stranger.
'They are not policemen,' replied Miss Morstan.
'Then come with me,' said the man.
He led us quickly across the street to another cab and opened the door. We went inside. The man closed the door and jumped up onto the driver's seat of the cab. The horse moved off quickly. We passed through so many streets that I was very soon lost. I had no idea where we were going. I was feeling nervous and Miss Morstan's face looked white. Sherlock Holmes was calm. Our strange driver did not turn round or speak to us. The only sound was the noise of the horse's hooves.
At last we stopped. We were outside a house in a dark quiet street. It had only one small light in the kitchen window. There were no lights in any of the other houses in the street. We knocked at the door. It was opened immediately by an Indian servant. The Indian was wearing a bright yellow turban on his head. He had white clothes and a yellow belt. It was very strange to see such brightly coloured clothes in this quiet street in London.
'My master is waiting for you,' said the servant.
As he spoke, we heard a man's voice. It came from one of the rooms inside the house.
'Bring them in to me,' the voice called. 'Bring them straight in to me.'
|success [sək'ses] / 1) а) удача, успех solve [sɔlv] / 1) решать discover [dɪ'skʌvə] / 1) обнаруживать, находить retire [rɪ'taɪə] / 1. 1) а) уходить в отставку, на пенсию disappear [ˌdɪsə'pɪə] / 1) исчезать look through 1) просматривать, пролистывать (что-л.) copy ['kɔpɪ] / 1. 1) экземпляр, stupid ['stjuːpɪd] / 1. 1) глупый, тупой discovery [dɪ'skʌv(ə)rɪ] / 1) открытие; обнаружение; находка valuable ['væljuəbl] / 1. 1) ценный; дорогой arrive [ə'raɪv] / 1) прибывать, приезжать puzzled ['pʌzld] озадаченный cloak [kləuk] / 1. 1) плащ; мантия pale [peɪl] / I 1. 1) бледный pick up брать heavy ['hevɪ] / 1. 1) тяжёлый, тяжеловесный stick [stɪk] / 1. 1) а) палка; прут notice ['nəutɪs] замечать drawer I ['drɔːə] ящик cab [kæb] / I 1. 1)карета, такси unfold ['ʌn'fəuld] / 1) а) развёртывать; раскрывать carefully ['keəf(ə)lɪ, -fulɪ] / осмотрительно, осторожно spread [spred] расстилать knee [niː] / 1. 1) колено magnify ['mægnɪfaɪ] / 1) а) увеличивать magnifying glass увеличительное стекло examine [ɪg'zæmɪn, eg-] тщательно осматривать б) исследовать thin [θɪn] / 1. 1) тонкий drawing ['drɔːɪŋ] рисунок certain ['sɜːt(ə)n] / 1) точный, определённый sit back расслабляться quietly ['kwaɪətlɪ] / 1) спокойно, тихо hurry ['hʌrɪ] спешить I wonder мне интересно знать promise ['prɔmɪs] / 1. 1) обещать lead [liːd] вести hoof [huːf] / 1. ; hooves , hoofs 1) копыто immediately [ɪ'miːdɪətlɪ] сразу же turban ['tɜːbən] 1) тюрбан, чалма belt [belt] / 1. 1) а) пояс|
4 The Death of Major Sholto
We followed the Indian servant into the house. He stopped in front of an open door.
'Come in, come in,' said the voice.
We entered - Holmes, Miss Morstan and myself - and were astonished11. The room in which we were standing was full of Indian paintings and ornaments. The carpet was soft and very thick. There were two large tiger-skins on the walls. In the centre of the room stood a strange little man with a bald head. He was smiling, but he seemed very nervous.
'My name,' said the bald-headed man, 'is Thaddeus Sholto. You are Miss Morstan, of course. And these two gentlemen . . . ?'
'This is Mr Sherlock Holmes and this is Doctor Watson.'
'A doctor!' cried Thaddeus Sholto excitedly. 'Oh, please could you listen to my heart? I am very worried about my heart.'
I listened to his heart beating. But I could hear nothing wrong with it.
'There is nothing wrong with your heart,' I told him.
'I'm so glad,' said Thaddeus Sholto. 'Miss Morstan, your father had a very weak heart. If his heart had been stronger, he would have been alive today.' Miss Morstan sat down and her face turned very white.
'I knew that he was dead,' she said. There were tears in her eyes.
I was very angry with Thaddeus Sholto. He did not notice how much he had upset Miss Morstan.
'Please tell us why we have been brought here,' said Miss Morstan. So Thaddeus Sholto began his strange story and we listened.
'My father,' Sholto said, 'was Major Sholto of the Indian Army. He retired from the army about eleven years ago. He bought a house in North London. He called the house Pondicherry Lodge. My brother, Bartholomew, and I were his only children. We knew that Captain Morstan - Miss Morstan's father - and our father had been very good friends in India. When we heard that Captain Morstan had disappeared, we were very upset. My brother, Bartholomew, and I also knew that our father was afraid of something. He never went out alone. He often spoke about a man with a wooden leg who followed him. He seemed very afraid of this man.'
'Did he tell you why he was afraid?' asked Holmes.
'No, he didn't,' Thaddeus Sholto replied. Then he continued with his story.
'One day in 1882, our father received a letter from India. This letter upset him very much. He became ill. Every day he grew weaker. At last, he was dying. He asked to see me and my brother, Bartholomew. We went to his room. He told us to lock the door and come over to the bed. Then he held our hands and spoke to us. He said that he wanted to tell us the truth about Captain Morstan's death. He was the only person who knew this terrible secret.
'When Father was in India with Captain Morstan, they found a great treasure. It was called the Great Agra Treasure. The jewels in this treasure were worth more than a million pounds. Father brought the Agra Treasure back to England. Morstan followed him and came at once to the house to ask for his share12. But the treasure had made Father greedy. He did not want to give any of it to Morstan. He wanted to keep it all for himself. Morstan became very angry. They had a terrible argument. Father knew that Morstan's heart was weak. Suddenly, the colour of Morstan's face changed. Father saw at once that Morstan was dead. He did not know what to do. He had not killed Morstan. But he was afraid that people would believe that he had killed Morstan. He decided to say nothing. He hid the body and he also hid the Great Agra Treasure.
'Soon the news of Morstan's disappearance spread through London. Only our father knew the terrible truth. He told us as he was dying that he had been a wicked and greedy man. He said that he had acted very wrongly. But that he had paid for his crime. The Agra Treasure never brought him happiness - only fear and guilt13. Then he told us that Captain Morstan had a daughter called Mary. He asked us to listen carefully. Then he began to tell us where he had hidden the treasure. At that moment a terrible change came over our father's face. He pointed at the window and cried out in a voice full of fear, "Keep him out! Keep him out!"
'My brother and I stared at the window. We saw a horrid face looking in through the window. It was wild and had a black beard and cruel eyes. We rushed to the window but the man had gone. When we went back to the bed, Father was dead.'
'What did you do then?' asked Holmes.
'We ran out into the garden,' replied Sholto. 'We looked everywhere, but we found nothing. In the morning, we went to our father's room. We found that someone had been in the room during the night. There was a piece of paper on the bed beside my father's body. And on this paper some words were written. These words were "The Sign of Four".'
|follow ['fɔləu] / 1) а) следовать, идти за astonish [ə'stɔnɪʃ] / изумлять, поражать, удивлять ornament 1. ['ɔːnəmənt] / 1) украшение, орнамент; декорирующий аксессуар thick [θɪk] / 1. 1) а) толстый skin [skɪn] шкура bald [bɔːld] лысый excited [ɪk'saɪtɪd, ek-] 1) взволнованный, возбуждённый (вследствие положительных эмоций) heart [hɑːt] / 1. 1) сердце weak [wiːk] / 1) (физически) слабый turn white белеть tear I [teə] слеза notice ['nəutɪs] замечать upset 1. [ʌp'set] расстраивать, огорчать, причинять огорчения bring [brɪŋ] / , , brought 1) приносить, привозить; приводить major ['meɪʤə] майор (офицерское воинское звание во многих армиях мира) Pondicherry Puduchcheri Пондичерри (Индия lodge [lɔʤ] / 1. 1) домик; сторожка, приют only ['əunlɪ] едиственный disappear [ˌdɪsə'pɪə] / 1) исчезать (из поля зрения) ; пропадать go out бывать в обществе wooden ['wud(ə)n] / 1) деревянный leg [leg] / 1. 1) а) нога reply [rɪ'plaɪ] отвечать die dying [daɪ] / I 1. 1) умирать lock [lɔk] запирать come over to подойти hоld our hands держать за руки terrible ['terəbl] / 1) внушающий страх, ужас 2) страшный, ужасный treasure ['treʒə] / 1. 1) сокровище jewel ['ʤuːəl] / 1. 1) а) драгоценный камень be worth [wɜːθ] стоить share [ʃeə] / I 1. 1) доля greedy ['griːdɪ] / 1) жадный argument ['ɑːgjəmənt] ссора kill [kɪl] / I 1. 1) а) убивать hide [haɪd] / I 1. ; hid ; hidden а) = hide out прятать disappearance [ˌdɪsə'pɪər(ə)n(t)s] / исчезновение spread [spred] / 1. 1) а) распространяться through [θruː] / 1. 1) через, сквозь wicked ['wɪkɪd] / 1. 1) злой, злобный act [ækt] действовать, поступать; вести себя crime [kraɪm] / 1. 1) преступление fear [fɪə] / 1. 1) боязнь, страх; испуг guilt [gɪlt] / 1) вина; cry out ['kraɪ'aut] выкрикивать, вскрикивать point (at, to) казывать на Keep him out! Не впускай(те) его! Не разрешай(те) ему входить! horrid ['hɔrɪd] 1) страшный, ужасный, внушающий ужас wild [waɪld] / 1. 1) а) дикий beard [bɪəd] / 1. 1) борода cruel ['kruːəl, kruəl] / 1) а) жестокий rush to броситься к go уходить beside [bɪ'saɪd] / 1) рядом|