In the year 1878, I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine in the University of London,
and proceeded to(继续) Netley to go through(完成) the course arranged(准备) for doctors in the army.
My regiment(（军队的）团) was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out.
So I was sent to Afghanistan, and we advanced(行进) deep into the enemy’s country.
There I was struck on the shoulder by a bullet(子弹), which shattered(使碎裂) the bone(骨头).
I was shipped home, and landed a month later at Portsmouth harbor(港口), with my health permanently(永久地) ruined(损伤).
With permission(许可) from a caring government, I spent the next nine months in attempting to improve(改善) my health.
I naturally settled(安顿) in London.
So alarming(令人担忧的) did the state of my finances(财产) become that I soon realized that I must either leave the city and move to the country, or make a complete change in my style of living.
On the very day that I had come to this conclusion(结论), I was standing at the Criterion Bar(酒吧), when someone tapped(轻拍) me on the shoulder.
After turning round, I recognized(认出) young Stamford, an old friend of mine.
The sight of a friendly face in the great wilderness(茫茫人海) of London is a pleasant thing indeed to a lonely man.
I felt so relieved(宽慰的) and happy that I asked him to lunch with me at the Holborn, and we started off together in a cab(出租马车).
During our lunch, Stamford asked, “What are you up to now?”
“Looking for somewhere to live,” I answered.
“Trying to solve the problem of whether it is possible to get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price.”
“That’s a strange thing,” remarked(说) my companion(同伴), “you are the second man today that has used that expression to me.”
“And who was the first?” I asked.
“A fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory up at the hospital.
He was complaining(抱怨) this morning because he could not get someone to share some nice rooms which he had found, and which were too expensive to rent(租) on his own.”
“Really!” I cried, “If he really wants someone to share the rooms and the expense, I am the very man for him.
I should prefer(更喜欢) having a partner(伙伴) to being alone.”
Young Stamford looked rather strangely at me over his wine-glass.
“You don’t know Sherlock Holmes yet,” he said, “perhaps you would not care for him as a constant(长期的) companion(同伴).”
“Why, what is there against him?”
“Oh, I didn’t say there was anything against him.
He is a little odd(古怪的) in some of his ideas—an enthusiast(爱好者) in some branches(分支) of science.
As far as I know he is a decent(正派的) enough fellow.”
“A medical student, I suppose?” said I.
“No—I have no idea what he intends(打算) to do as a career(职业).
I believe he knows a lot about anatomy(解剖学), and he is a first-class chemist.
But, as far as I know, he has never taken any regular(正规的) medical classes.
His studies are very strange, but he has collected a lot of unusual knowledge which would astonish(使吃惊) his professors(教授们).”
“Did you never ask him what his planned career(职业) was?” I asked.
“No. It’s not easy to get him talking, though he can communicate very well when he wants to.”
“I should like to meet him,” I said.
“If I am to share rooms with anyone, I should prefer(更喜欢) a man who likes to study and has quiet habits.
I am not strong enough yet to stand much noise or excitement.
I had enough of both in Afghanistan to last me for the rest of my life.
How could I meet this friend of yours?”
“He is sure to be at the laboratory,” returned my companion(同伴).
“If you like, we can drive round together after lunch.”
“Certainly,” I answered, and the conversation drifted away(转移) to other subjects.
As we went to the hospital after leaving the Holborn, Stamford gave me a few more details(细节) about the gentleman with whom I might be sharing rooms.
“You mustn’t blame(责怪) me if you don’t get on with(与...相处融洽) him,” he said, “I know nothing more of him than I have learned from meeting him occasionally in the laboratory.
You suggested this arrangement(安排), so you must not hold me responsible.”
“If we don’t get on, it will be easy to separate,” I answered.
“It seems to me, Stamford,” I added, looking hard at my companion(同伴), “that you have some reason for washing your hands of the matter.
Is this fellow’s temper(脾气) so formidable(可怕的), or what is it? Please tell me frankly.”
“It’s not so easy to put into words,” he answered with a laugh.
“Holmes is a little too scientific for my tastes—almost cold-blooded.
I could imagine his giving your friend a little pinch(一撮) of some drug(药品) he had discovered, not out of ill-will, you understand, but simply out of a spirit of inquiry(研究)—
in order to have an accurate(准确的) idea of the effects.
To be fair, I think that he would be equally prepared to take it himself.
He appears to have a passion(热情) for definite(确切的) and exact knowledge.”
“Very right too.”
“Yes, but it may be pushed to excess(过分).
When it comes to beating the bodies in the dissecting-rooms(解剖室) with a stick, it is certainly taking rather a strange shape.”
“Beating the bodies!”
“Yes, to find out to what extent(程度) bruises(瘀伤) may be produced after death.
I saw him doing it with my own eyes.”
“And yet you say he is not a medical student?”
“No. I have no idea what he is studying.
But here we are, and you must form your own impressions(印象) about him.”
As he spoke, we turned down a narrow(狭窄的) lane(小巷) and passed through a small side-door, which opened into a wing of the great hospital.
It was familiar(熟悉的) ground to me, and I needed no guiding as we climbed the bleak(昏暗的) stone staircase(楼梯) and made our way down the long corridor(走廊) with its view of whitewashed(用石灰水粉刷的) walls and brownish doors.
Near the far end, a low passage branched(分岔) away from it and led to the chemical laboratory.
There was only one student in the room, who was bending over(俯身) a table, intensely focused(聚精会神) on his work.
At the sound of our steps, he glanced(瞥一眼) round and sprang to his feet with a cry of pleasure.
“I’ve found it! I’ve found it,” he shouted to my companion(同伴), running towards us with a test-tube(试管) in his hand.
“I have found a reagent(试剂) which is precipitated(被沉淀) by hemoglobin(血红蛋白), and by nothing else.”
He could not have been more delighted(高兴的) if he had discovered a gold mine.
“Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford, introducing us.
“How are you?” he said kindly, shaking my hand with unbelievable strength.
“You have been in Afghanistan, I observe(注意到).”
“How on earth did you know that?” I asked in shock(震惊).
“Never mind,” said he, laughing to himself.
“The question now is about hemoglobin(血红素，血红蛋白). No doubt you see the significance(意义) of this discovery of mine?”
“It is interesting, chemically, no doubt,” I answered, “but practically—”
“Well, man, it is the most practical medico-legal(法医学的) discovery for years.
Don’t you see that it gives us an infallible(万无一失的) test for blood stains(血迹). Come over here now!”
He seized(抓住) me by the coat-sleeve(衣袖) in his eagerness(热切), and drew me over to the table at which he had been working.
“Let us have some fresh blood,” he said, sticking a long needle(针) into his finger.
“Now, I add this small quantity(量) of blood to a litre(升（容量单位）) of water.
You can see that the resulting mixture looks like pure(纯净的) water.
The proportion(比例) of blood cannot be more than one in a million. But look now!”
As he spoke, he threw into the water a few white crystals(晶体), and then added some drops of a transparent(透明的) liquid(液体).
In an instant(瞬间) the contents(内容物) turned a reddish-brown color, and a brownish dust(尘) was precipitated(沉淀) to the bottom of the glass jar(罐子).
“Ha! ha!” he cried, clapping(拍) his hands, and looking as delighted(高兴的) as a child with a new toy.
“What do you think of that?”
“It seems to be a very sensitive(灵敏的) test,” I remarked(说).
“Beautiful! Beautiful! The old guaiacum test was very clumsy(笨拙的) and uncertain.
So is the microscopic(显微镜) examination for blood cells(细胞).
The latter(后者) is also useless if the stains(污渍) are even a few hours old.
Now, this appears to act as well whether the blood is old or new.
If this test had been invented, there are hundreds of men now walking the earth who would long ago have paid the penalty(处罚) of their crimes(罪行).”
“Indeed!” I murmured(低声道).
“Criminal(犯罪的) cases often depend upon(取决于) that one point.
A man is suspected(被怀疑) of a crime(罪案) months perhaps after it has been committed.
His clothes are examined, and brownish stains(污渍) discovered upon them.
Are they blood stains(血渍), or mud stains(泥渍), or rust stains(锈渍), or fruit stains(果渍), or what are they?
That is a question which has puzzled(困扰) many an(许多) expert(专家), and why?
Because there was no reliable(可靠的) test.
Now we have the Sherlock Holmes’ test, and there will no longer be any difficulty.”
His eyes fairly glittered(闪光) as he spoke, and he put his hand over his heart and bowed(鞠躬) as if to some applauding(鼓掌) crowd(人群) created by his imagination.
“You are to be congratulated(祝贺),” I remarked(说), considerably surprised at his enthusiasm(热情).
“There was the case of Von Bischoff at Frankfort last year.
He would certainly have been hung if this test had been in existence.
Then there was Mason of Bradford, and the notorious(臭名昭著的) Muller, and Lefevre of Montpellier, and Samson of New Orleans.
I could name twenty cases, or more, in which this test would have decided the result.”
“You seem to be a walking calendar of crime(犯罪),” said Stamford with a laugh.
“You might start a paper on those lines. Call it the ‘Police News of the Past.’ ”
“It might make very interesting reading, too,” remarked(说) Sherlock Holmes, sticking a small bandage(绷带) over the place where his finger was bleeding.
“I have to be careful,” he continued, turning to me with a smile, “for I experiment(做试验) with poisons(有毒物质) a good deal.”
He held out his hand as he spoke, and I noticed that it was covered with similar bandages(绷带).
“We came here on business,” said Stamford, turning to Sherlock Holmes.
“My friend here is looking for somewhere to live, and as you were complaining(抱怨) that you could get no one to share rooms with you,
I thought that I had better bring you together.”
Sherlock Holmes seemed delighted(高兴) at the idea of sharing his rooms with me.
“I have my eye on an apartment(公寓) in Baker Street,” he said, “which would suit(适合) us perfectly.
You don’t mind the smell of strong tobacco(烟草), I hope?”
“I’m a pipe(烟斗) smoker myself,” I answered.
“That’s good enough. I generally have chemicals everywhere, and occasionally do experiments(实验). Would that bother(打扰) you?”
“Not at all.”
“Let me see—what my other faults(缺点) are.
I get very withdrawn(沉默寡言的) at times, and don’t open my mouth for days.
You must not think I am angry at you when I do that.
Just leave me alone, and I’ll soon be all right.
What have you to confess(坦白) now? It’s just as well for two people to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together.”
I laughed at this cross-examination(盘问).
“I keep a small dog,” I said, “and I object to noise because my nerves(神经) are shaken, and I get up at all sorts of strange hours, and I am extremely lazy.
I have another set of faults(缺点) when I’m well, but those are the main ones at present.”
“Do you include violin-playing in your category(范畴) of noise?” he asked, anxiously.
“It depends on(取决于) the player,” I answered.
“A well-played violin is a treat for the gods—a badly-played one—”
“Oh, that’s all right,” he cried, with a happy laugh.
“I think we may consider the thing as settled(谈妥了)—that is, if the rooms are acceptable to you.”
“When shall we see them?”
“Call for me here at noon tomorrow, and we’ll go together and settle(安排好) everything,” he answered.
“All right—noon exactly,” said I, shaking his hand.
We left him working among his chemicals, and we walked together towards my hotel.
“By the way,” I asked suddenly, stopping and turning upon Stamford, “how did he know that I had come from Afghanistan?”
My companion(同伴) smiled. “That’s just his special little talent(才能),” he said.
“Many people have wanted to know how he finds things out.”
“Oh! A mystery(谜) is it?” I cried, rubbing(搓着) my hands. “This is very interesting.
I am very grateful(感激的) to you for bringing us together. Good-bye.”
I said, and walked into my hotel, considerably interested in my new acquaintance(相识之人).
We met next day as he had arranged(安排), and inspected(查看) the rooms of No. 221B, Baker Street.
We were both satisfied with the rooms, and agreed to take them there and then.
We gradually began to settle down(安顿下来) and get used to our new surroundings(环境).
Holmes was certainly not a difficult man to live with.
He was quiet in his ways, and his habits were regular(有规律的).
It was rare(少见的) for him to be up after ten at night, and he had breakfast and was gone before I rose in the morning.
Sometimes he went to the laboratory, sometimes to the rooms where students would dissect(解剖) corpses(尸体), sometimes to the most dangerous and criminal(犯罪频发的) areas of the city.
I have never seen anyone so energetic as he was when he was hard at work,
but now and again a reaction would take him, and for days on end he would lie upon the sofa in the sitting-room,
hardly saying a word or moving a muscle(肌肉) from morning to night.
His appearance was such as to strike the attention(注意力) of anyone who saw him.
In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively thin that he seemed to be considerably taller.
His eyes were sharp(敏锐的) and intense(洞悉一切的), and his thin nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision.
I must confess(承认) that I was extremely curious(好奇的) about this man, and tried very hard to get him to tell me something about himself—
which he seemed very reluctant(不情愿的) to do.
I had no friends and my health prevented(不允许) me from going out, so I welcomed this mystery(谜) and tried my best to solve it.
He was not studying medicine, nor did he appear to have followed any course of reading which might fit him for a degree in science.
Yet his enthusiasm(热情) for certain studies was remarkable(不寻常的),
and his knowledge of certain unusual subjects was so extremely full and detailed(详尽的) that his observations(观察力) sometimes astonished(使吃惊) me.
His ignorance(无知) was as remarkable(不寻常的) as his knowledge.
He appeared to know next to nothing of contemporary(当代的) literature(文学), philosophy(哲学) and politics.
Upon my quoting(引用) Thomas Carlyle, he asked the simplest questions such as who he might be and what he had done.
And my surprise reached a peak(顶点) when I found that he was unaware of the Copernican Theory and of the composition(构成) of the Solar System(太阳系) .
“You appear to be astonished(惊讶的),” he said, smiling at my expression of surprise.
“Now that I do know it, I will do my best to forget it.”
“To forget it!”
“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty room, and you have to stock(摆放) it with such furniture(家具) as you choose.
A fool(蠢货) takes in all the junk(垃圾) he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out(被挤出),
or at best is mixed up(混合起来) with a lot of other things so that he has difficulty in finding it.
Now the expert(老练的) worker is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain.
He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, and he has a large collection of these tools, but all in the most perfect order.
The ‘room’ in one’s brain is of fixed and limited(有限的) size, so there comes a time when, for every addition of knowledge, you forget something that you knew before.
It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts pushing out(挤出) the useful ones.”
“But the Solar System(太阳系)!” I protested(抗议).
“What is it to me?” he said impatiently(不耐烦地), “you say that we go round the sun.
If we went round the moon, it would make no difference to me or to my work.”
I was on the point of asking him what that work might be, but something in his manner showed me that the question would be an unwelcome one.
During the first week or so we had no visitors, and I had begun to think that my companion(同伴) was as friendless a man as I was myself.
Presently, however, I found that he had many acquaintances(熟人), and those in the most different classes of society.
There was one little pale rat-faced(獐头鼠目的), dark eyed fellow who was introduced to me as Mr. Lestrade, and who came three or four times in a single week.
One morning a young girl called, fashionably dressed, and stayed for half an hour or more—closely followed by an elderly woman in dirty clothes.
On another occasion an old white-haired gentleman had an interview with my companion(同伴), and another time, a railway(铁路) porter(车站服务员) in his uniform(制服).
At such times Sherlock Holmes used to beg(请求) for the use of the sitting-room, and I would go back to my bed-room.
He always apologized(道歉) to me for putting me to this inconvenience(不便).
“I have to use this room as a place of business,” he said, “and these people are my clients(客户).”
Again I had an opportunity of asking him a point-blank(直截了当的) question,
and again my delicacy(审慎) prevented(阻止) me from forcing another man to confide(吐露秘密) in me.
However, he soon told me himself.
As I remember, it was on the 4th of March.
I rose somewhat earlier than usual, and found that Sherlock Holmes had not yet finished his breakfast.
I picked up a magazine from the table and attempted to pass the time with it, while my companion(同伴) ate silently.
One of the articles had a pencil mark at the heading, and I naturally began to run my eye over it.
Its somewhat ambitious(野心勃勃的) title(标题) was “The Book of Life,”
and it attempted to show how much an observant(善于观察的) man might learn by an accurate(正确无误的) and careful examination of all that came in his way.
The reasoning was close and intense(深刻的), but the conclusions(结论) appeared to me to be far-fetched(牵强的) and exaggerated(夸张的).
The writer claimed by a temporary(短暂的) expression, a twitch(抽动) of a muscle(肌肉) or a glance(一瞥) of an eye, to find out a man’s inner(内心的) thoughts.
According to(根据) him, it was impossible to fool(愚弄) a man who has been trained in such observation(观察) and analysis(分析).
His conclusions(结论) were very definite(肯定的).
To the untrained, his results would appear very surprising.
“From a drop of water,” said the writer, “a logician could gather(推测) the possibility of an Atlantic(大西洋) or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other.
So all life is a great chain(链条), the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link(环节) of it.
By a man’s finger nails(手指甲), by his coat-sleeve(衣袖), by his shoes, by his clothes, by his expression—by each of these things a man’s work is plainly revealed(揭示).”
“What nonsense(胡说八道)!” I cried, throwing the magazine down on the table, “I never read such rubbish in my life.”
“What is it?” asked Sherlock Holmes.
“This article,” I said, pointing at it with my egg spoon as I sat down to my breakfast.
“I see that you have read it, since you have marked it.
I don’t deny(否认) that it is cleverly written. It bothers(惹恼) me though. It is not practical.
I should like to see him sit down in a third class carriage on the Underground, and figure out the profession(职业) of all the travelers.
I would lay a thousand to one against him.”
“You would lose your money,” Sherlock Holmes remarked(说) calmly.
“As for the article, I wrote it myself.”
“Yes, I have a natural talent(天赋) both for observation(观察) and for deduction(推理). The theories which I have expressed there, and which appear to you to be so absurd(荒谬的), are extremely practical—
so practical that I depend upon(依靠) them for my bread and cheese(生计).”
“And how?” I asked.
“Well, I have a trade of my own.
I suppose I am the only one in the world.
I’m a consulting(顾问) detective(侦探), if you can understand what that is.
Here in London we have lots of Government detectives(警探) and lots of private ones.
When these men are at fault(迷惑的) they come to me, and I manage to put them on the right scent(轨道).
They lay all the evidence before me, and I am generally able to give them the right idea, with the help of my knowledge of the history of crime(罪案).
Lestrade is a well-known detective(警探).
He got himself into a mess recently over a case. That’s what brought him here.”
“But do you mean to say,” I said, “that without leaving your room you can undo(解开) some knots(结) which other men cannot figure out,
although they have seen every detail(细节) for themselves?”
“Quite so. I have a kind of instinct(直觉) about those things.
Sometimes a case turns up which is a little more complex(复杂的).
Then I have to move about and see things with my own eyes.
You see I have a lot of special knowledge which I apply(应用) to the problem, and which aids(有助于) matters wonderfully.
Those rules of deduction(推理) laid down in that article, which stirred(激起) your contempt(轻视), are precious(宝贵的) to me in practical work.
To me, observation(观察) is second nature.
On our first meeting, you appeared to be surprised when I told you that you had come from Afghanistan.”
“You were told, no doubt.”
“Nothing of the sort. I knew you came from Afghanistan.
From long habit the sequence(一系列) of thoughts ran so swiftly through my mind that I arrived at the conclusion(结论) without being aware of the intermediate(中间的) steps.
There were such steps, however.
My thoughts went like this, ‘Here is a gentleman of a medical type, but with the air of a military man.
Clearly an army doctor, then.
He has just come from the tropics(热带地区), for his face is dark, and that is not the natural color of his skin, for his wrists(手腕) are fair.
He has experienced suffering(痛苦) and sickness, as his worn face says clearly.
His left arm has been wounded(受伤).
He holds it in a stiff(僵硬的) and unnatural manner.
Where in the tropics(热带地区) could an English army doctor have seen much suffering(痛苦) and got his arm wounded(受伤)? Clearly in Afghanistan.’
The whole train of thought did not take a second.
I then remarked(说) that you came from Afghanistan, and you were shocked(震惊的).”
“It is simple enough when you explain it,” I said, smiling.
“No man lives, or has ever lived, who has brought the same amount of study and of natural talent(才能) to the detection(侦察) of crime(罪案) as I have done.
And what is the result? There is no crime(罪案) to detect(侦察), or, at most, some stupid crimes(罪案) with a motive(动机) so obvious that even a Scotland Yard official can see through it.”
I was annoyed(惹恼) at his arrogant(自大的) style of conversation.
I thought it best to change the topic(话题).
“I wonder what that fellow is looking for.”I asked, pointing to a plainly-dressed man who was walking slowly down the other side of the street, looking anxiously at the numbers.
He had a large blue envelope(信封) in his hand, and was evidently carrying a message to someone.
“You mean the retired(退役的) sergeant(中士) of Marines(海军),” said Sherlock Holmes.
“Nonsense(胡说八道)!” I thought to myself.
“He knows that I cannot verify(证实) his guess.”
The thought had hardly passed through my mind when the man whom we were watching caught sight of(看见) the number on our door, and ran rapidly across the road.
We heard a loud knock, a deep voice below, and heavy steps climbing the stair(楼梯).
“For Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” he said, stepping into the room and handing my friend the letter.
Here was an opportunity of taking the pride out of him.
He little thought of this when he made that random(随意的) guess.
“May I ask, my man,” I said, “what your job may be?”
“Messenger(信使), sir,” he said. “My uniform(制服) is away to be mended(缝补).”
“And you were?” I asked.
“A sergeant(中士), sir, Royal Marine(海军) Light Infantry, sir. No answer? Right, sir.”
He clicked(使鞋跟发出喀哒声) his heels(脚跟) together, raised his hand in a salute(敬礼), and was gone.
I confess(承认) that I was considerably shocked(震惊的) by this fresh proof(证明) of my companion(同伴)’s theories.
My respect for his powers of analysis(分析) increased greatly.
However, there still remained some suspicion(疑惑) in my mind that the whole thing was pre-arranged(事先安排好的), intended(打算) to dazzle(使折服) me.
When I looked at him, he had finished reading the note.
“How in the world did you figure that out?” I asked.
“Figure what out?” said he.
“That he was a retired(退役的) sergeant(中士) of Marines(海军).”
“I have no time for such simple games,” he answered.
Then with a smile he said, “Excuse my rudeness.You broke the line of thought, but perhaps it is as well.
So you actually were not able to see that that man was a sergeant(中士) of Marines(海军)?”
“It was easier to know it than to explain why I knew it.
If you were asked to prove(证明) that two and two made four, you might find some difficulty, and yet you are quite sure of the fact.
Even across the street I could see a great blue anchor(锚) tattooed on the back of the fellow’s hand.
That smelled of the sea.
He had a military carriage, however, and a regulation(符合规定的) military haircut(发型).
There we have the marine(海军).
He was a man with some amount of self-importance(自负的) and a certain air of command(发号施令).
You must have observed(注意到) the way in which he held his head.
His face also showed that he was a steady(沉稳的), respectable, middle-aged man—all facts which led me to believe that he had been a sergeant(中士).”
“Wonderful!” I said.
“No—very ordinary,” said Holmes, though I thought from his expression that he was pleased at my evident surprise and admiration(钦佩).
“I said just now that there were no criminals.
It appears that I am wrong—look at this!”
He threw me over the note which the gentleman had brought.
“Oh,” I cried, as I cast my eye over(迅速地看) it, “this is terrible!”
“It does seem to be a little out of the common,” he remarked(说), calmly.
“Would you mind reading it to me aloud?”
This is the letter which I read to him—
“My dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes:
“There has been a bad business during the night at 3, Lauriston Gardens, off the Brixton Road.
Our man on the beat saw a light there about two in the morning, and as the house was an empty one, he thought that something was wrong.
He found the door open, and in the front room he discovered the body of a gentleman.
The gentleman was well-dressed, and had cards in his pocket bearing the name of ‘Enoch J. Drebber, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.’
There had been no robbery(抢劫), nor is there any evidence as to how the man met his death.
There are marks of blood in the room, but there is no wound upon his body.
Indeed, the whole affair(事情) is a mystery(谜).
If you can come round to the house any time before twelve, you will find me there.
I have left everything as it is until I hear from you.
If you are unable to come I will give you fuller details(细节), and would be grateful(感激的) if you would do this favor for me.
“Yours faithfully, TOBIAS GREGSON.”
“Get your hat,” Holmes said.
“You wish me to come?”
“Yes, if you have nothing better to do.”
A minute later we were both in a cab(出租马车), driving for the Brixton Road.
When Holmes insisted(坚持) upon stopping and finishing our journey upon foot, we were still a hundred yards or so from the house.
Number 3, Lauriston Gardens wore an unlucky and threatening look.
It was one of four houses which stood back some little way from the street, two being occupied(已居住的) and two empty.
The latter(后者) looked out with three levels of windows, all blank(空荡的) and dull(昏暗的), except here and there a “For Rent(出租)” card was placed on the glass.
The whole place was very muddy(泥泞的) from the rain which had fallen through the night.
The garden was surrounded(被环绕) by a three-foot brick(砖) wall with wood railings upon the top.
I had imagined that Sherlock Holmes would at once have hurried into(匆忙进入) the house and rushed into(冲进) a study of the mystery(谜).
But it appeared that that was not his intention(打算).
He acted very calmly; he walked up and down the pavement(路面), and gazed(注视) vacantly at the ground, the sky, the opposite(对面的) houses and the line of fence(栅栏) railings.
Having finished his observation(观察), he proceeded(继续) slowly down the path(小路) keeping his eyes focused upon(集中（注意力）于) the ground.
Twice he stopped, and once I saw him smile, and heard him utter(发出) a sound of satisfaction.
There were many marks of footsteps upon the wet soil(泥土), but since the police had been coming and going over it, I was unable to see how my companion(同伴) could hope to learn anything from it.
But I had no doubt that he could see a great deal which was hidden from me, as I had seen his amazing power before.
At the door of the house, we were met by a tall, white-faced, blonde-haired(金发的) man, with a notebook in his hand.
He rushed forward and shook my companion(同伴)’s hand.
“It is indeed kind of you to come,” he said, “I have had everything left untouched.”
“Except that!” my friend answered, pointing at the path(小路).
“If a herd(一群) of buffaloes had passed through there could not be a greater mess.
No doubt, however, you had drawn your own conclusions(结论), Gregson, before you permitted(允许) this.”
“I have had so much to do inside the house,” the detective(警探) said.
“My coworker, Mr. Lestrade, is here. I had depended upon(依靠) him to look after this.”
Holmes glanced at(瞥一眼) me and raised his eyebrows(眉毛).
“With two such men as yourself and Lestrade upon the ground, there will not be much for a third party to find out,” he said.
Gregson rubbed(搓) his hands in a self-satisfied way.
“I think we have done all that can be done,” he answered, “it’s an unusual case though, and I knew your taste for such things.”
“You did not come here in a cab(马车)?” asked Sherlock Holmes.
“No, sir.” “Nor Lestrade?” “No, sir.”
“Then let us go and look at the room.”
With this irrelevant(毫无关联的) remark(话), he walked into the house, followed by Gregson.
A short passage led to the kitchen and offices.
There were two doors which led to the left and to the right.
One of these had obviously been closed for many weeks.
The other led to the dining-room(餐厅), where the crime(罪案) had happened.
Holmes walked in, and I followed him with that subdued(压抑的) feeling in my heart which the presence of death inspired(激发).
It was a large square room, looking all the larger from the absence of all furniture(家具).
The wallpaper was blotched(弄脏) with damp(潮湿的) patches(斑点), and here and there great strips(片) had peeled(剥落) off, showing the yellow plaster(灰泥) beneath(在下面).
Opposite(在对面) the door was a fireplace.
On one corner of the mantelpiece(壁炉台) was a red candle.
The only window was so dirty that the light was dim(昏暗的), and a thick layer(层) of dust(灰尘) coated the whole apartment(房间).
All these details(细节) I observed(注意到的) afterwards(后来).
At present my attention(注意力) was focused upon(集中到) the single grim(可怕的) still(静止不动的) figure which lay stretched(平躺) upon the boards.
It was a man about forty-three or forty-four years old, middle-sized, wide-shouldered(宽肩的), with curly(卷曲的) black hair and a short beard(胡须).
A top hat, well brushed, was placed upon the floor beside him.
His hands were closed and his arms spread out, while his legs were crossed as if his death had been a painful one.
On his rigid(僵硬的) face there stood an expression of horror(恐惧) and hatred.
I have seen death in many forms, but never has it appeared to me in a more terrifying(可怕的) shape than in that dark apartment(房间).
Lestrade was standing by the doorway, and welcomed my companion(同伴) and myself.
“This case will make a stir(轰动), sir,” he remarked(说). “It beats anything I have seen, and I’ve seen a lot in my time.”
“There is no clue(线索)?” said Gregson.
“None at all,” said Lestrade.
Sherlock Holmes approached the body, and, kneeling down(跪下), examined it carefully.
“You are sure that there is no wound?” he asked, pointing to numerous(大量的) splashes(（溅上的）斑点) of blood which lay all round.
“Positive(肯定的)!” cried both detectives(警探).
“Then, of course, this blood belongs(属于) to a second individual—probably the murderer(凶手), if murder(谋杀) has been committed.”
As he spoke, his fingers were flying here, there, and everywhere, feeling, pressing, examining.
His eyes wore an expression of deep thought.
So quickly was the examination made that one would hardly have guessed the small details(细节) with which it was conducted(进行).
Finally, he smelled the dead man’s lips(嘴唇), and then glanced(瞥一眼) at his leather(皮质的) boots(靴子).
“He has not been moved at all?” he asked.
“Only what was needed for the purpose of our examination.”
“You can take him to the morgue(停尸房) now,” he said.
“There is nothing more to be learned.”
Gregson had a stretcher(担架) and four men at hand.
At his call, they entered the room, and the dead man was lifted and carried out.
As they raised him, a ring fell, making a tinkling(叮叮当当的) sound as it hit the ground, and rolled(滚动) across the floor.
Lestrade took it up and stared(盯着) at it with a puzzled(困惑的) expression.
“There’s been a woman here,” he cried. “It’s a woman’s wedding-ring.”
As he spoke, he held it out upon the palm(手掌) of his hand.
We all gathered(聚拢) round him and gazed(盯着) at it.
There could be no doubt that the ring had once been on the finger of a bride(新娘).
“This complicates(使复杂) matters,” said Gregson.
“Heaven(天) knows, they were complicated(复杂的) enough before.”
“You’re sure it doesn’t make things simpler?” said Holmes.
“There’s nothing to be learned by staring(盯着) at it. What did you find in his pockets?”
“We have it all here,” said Gregson, pointing to a few of the items(物件) upon the bottom steps of the stairs(楼梯).
“A gold watch by Barraud of London. A gold Albert chain(表链), very heavy and solid(纯金的).
A gold pin(胸针)—bull-dog’s(斗牛犬) head, with rubies(红宝石) as eyes.
Russian leather(皮质的) card-case, with cards of Enoch J. Drebber of Cleveland, which matches the E. J. D. marked on his clothes.
No wallet, but change in the amount of seven pounds.
Two letters—one addressed to E. J. Drebber and one to Joseph Stangerson.”
“At what address?”
“American Exchange(交易所), Strand—to be left till called for.
They are both from the Guion Steamship Company, and are about the sailing(启航) times of their boats from Liverpool.
It is clear that this unfortunate(不幸的) man was about to return to New York.”
“Have you made any inquiries(调查) about this man, Stangerson?”
“I did so at once, sir,” said Gregson.
“I have had advertisements(启事) sent to all the newspapers, and one of my men has gone to the American Exchange(交易所), but he has not returned yet.”
“Have you contacted Cleveland?”
“Yes, this morning.”
“What did you say?”
“We simply explained the situation, and said that we should be glad of any information which could help us.”
“You did not ask for any details(细节) which appeared to you to be crucial(关键的)?”
“I asked about Stangerson.”
“Nothing else? Are there details(细节) which seem to you to be important? Will you contact them again?”
“I have said all I have to say,” said Gregson, in an unhappy voice.
Sherlock Holmes laughed to himself, and appeared to be about to make some remark(评论),
when Lestrade, who had been in the front room while we were having this conversation in the hall, returned to the scene.
He rubbed(搓) his hands in a proud and self-satisfied manner.
“Mr. Gregson,” he said, “I have just made a discovery of the highest importance, and one which would have been missed if I had not made a careful examination of the walls.”
“Come here,” he said, rushing back into the room.
The atmosphere(空气) of the room felt clearer since the removal(移走) of the dead man.
“Now, stand there!”
He struck a match on his boot(靴子) and held it up against the wall.
“Look at that!” he said, proudly.
I have remarked(注意到) that the wallpaper had fallen away in parts.
In one corner of the room, a large piece had peeled off(剥落), leaving a yellow square of rough(粗糙的) plaster(灰泥).
Across this bare(空的) space there was blood-red letters, a single word—
“What do you think of that?” cried Lestrade, “this was missed because it was in the darkest corner of the room, and no one thought of looking there.
The murderer(凶手) has written it with his or her own blood.
See this smear(血迹) where it has trickled down(滴下) the wall!
That eliminates(排除) the idea of suicide(自杀).
Why was that corner chosen to write it on? I will tell you.
See that candle on the mantelpiece(壁炉台).
It was lit at the time, and if it was lit this corner would be the brightest instead of the darkest part of the room.”
“And what does it mean now that you have found it?” asked Gregson in a critical(挑剔的) voice.
“Mean? It means that the writer was going to put the female name Rachel, but was disturbed(打断) before he or she had time to finish.
Remember my words, when this case comes to be cleared up you will find that a woman named Rachel has something to do with it.
It’s all very well for you to laugh, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
You may be very smart and clever, but the old dog is the best, when all is said and done.”
“I really beg(请求) your pardon!” said my companion(同伴), who had irritated(激怒) the little man by bursting into(爆发) laughter.
“You do have the credit(功劳) of being the first of us to find this out.
As you say, it bears every mark of having been written by the murderer(凶手) in last night’s mystery(谜案).
I have not had time to examine this room yet, but with your permission(许可), I will do so now.”
As he spoke, he took a tape measure(卷尺) and a large round magnifying glass(放大镜) from his pocket.
With these two tools he walked noiselessly about the room, sometimes stopping, occasionally kneeling(跪下), and once lying flat upon his face.
So focused(聚精会神) was he upon his task that he appeared to have forgotten our presence.
As I watched him, I was reminded(想起) of a pure-blooded(纯种的) well-trained foxhound(猎狐犬) as it ran backwards(向后) and forwards, being hidden, until it comes across the lost scent(气味).
For twenty minutes or more he continued his researches.
In one place he gathered up(收拢) very carefully a little pile(堆) of grey dust(灰) from the floor, and packed(装) it away in an envelope(信封).
Finally, he examined with his glass the word upon the wall, going over every letter carefully.
This done, he appeared to be satisfied, for he replaced(放回) his tape and his glass in his pocket.
“They say that genius(天才) is an infinite(无尽的) capacity(能力) for taking pains,” he remarked(说) with a smile.
“It’s a very bad definition(定义), but it does apply(适用于) to detective(侦探) work.”
Gregson and Lestrade had watched the movements of their amateur(业余的) companion(同行) with considerable curiosity(好奇) and some contempt(轻蔑).
They failed to appreciate(领会) the fact that Sherlock Holmes’ smallest actions were all directed towards some definite(明确的) and practical end.
“What do you think of it, sir?” they both asked.
“It would be taking your credit(功劳) for the case if I was to help you,” remarked(说) my friend.
“You are doing so well now that it would be a pity for anyone to interfere(介入).”
There was a world of contempt(轻蔑) in his voice as he spoke.
“If you will let me know how your investigations(调查) go,” he continued, “I will be happy to give you any help I can.
In the meantime(同时), I should like to speak to the officer who found the body. Can you give me his name and address?”
Lestrade glanced at(浏览) his note-book. “John Rance,” he said.
“He is off duty now. You will find him at 46, Audley Court, Kennington Park Gate.”
Holmes took a note of the address.
“Come along, Doctor,” he said, “we should go and call on him.
I’ll tell you one thing which may help you in the case,” he continued, turning to the two detectives(警探).
“There has been murder(谋杀) done, and the murderer(凶手) was a man.
He was more than six feet high, was in the prime of life.
He had small feet for his height, wore rough(粗糙的), square-toed boots(靴子) and smoked a Trichinopoly cigar(雪茄).
He came here with his victim(受害者) in a four-wheeled cab(马车).
The murderer(凶手) was likely to have a reddish face, and the finger-nails(手指甲) of his right hand were remarkably long.
These are only a few indications(迹象), but they may help you.”
Lestrade and Gregson glanced(盯着) at each other with a doubtful smile.
“If this man was murdered(杀害), how was it done?” asked the former.
“Poison(毒药),” said Sherlock Holmes, and walked off.
“One other thing, Lestrade,” he added, turning round at the door
“ ‘Rache’ is the German for ‘revenge(复仇)’, so don’t lose your time looking for Miss Rachel.”
Then he walked away, leaving the two rivals(对手) open-mouthed behind him.
It was one o’clock when we left No. 3, Lauriston Gardens.
Sherlock Holmes led me to the nearest telegraph(电报) office, where he left a long telegram(电报).
He then called a cab(马车), and ordered the driver to take us to the address given by Lestrade.
“There is nothing like first-hand evidence,” he remarked(说), “as a matter of fact, my mind is entirely made up upon the case, but still we may as well learn all that is to be learned.”
“You surprise me, Holmes,” said I.
“Surely you are not as sure as you pretend(假装) to be of all those details(细节) which you gave.”
“There’s no room for a mistake,” he answered.
“The very first thing which I observed(注意到) on arriving there was that a cab(马车) had made two grooves(车槽) with its wheels close to the curb(路边).
Now, up to last night, we have had no rain for a week, so that those wheels which left such a deep impression(印迹) must have been there during the night.
Since the cab(马车) was there after the rain began, and was not there at any time during the morning—
I have Gregson’s word for that—it follows that it must have been there during the night.
Therefore, the cab(马车) brought those two individuals to the house.”
“That seems simple enough,” said I, “but how about the other man’s height?”
“Well, the height of a man, in nine cases out of ten, can be told from the length of his step.
It is a simple calculation(计算).
I had this fellow’s footprints both on the clay(粘土) outside and on the dust(灰尘) within.
Then I had a way of checking my calculation(计算).
When a man writes on a wall, his instinct(本能) leads him to write about the level of his own eyes.
Now that writing was just over six feet from the ground. It was child’s play.”
“And his age?” I asked.
“If a man can step four and a half feet without the smallest effort, he can’t be that old.
That was the range of a puddle(水坑) on the garden path(小路) which he had obviously walked across.
Leather(皮质的) boots(靴子) had gone round, and square-toes(穿方头鞋的人) had jumped over.
There is no mystery(谜) about it at all.
I am simply applying(应用) to ordinary life a few of those methods of observation(观察) and deduction(推理) which I recommended(介绍) in that article.
Is there anything else that puzzles(困扰) you?”
“The finger-nails(手指甲) and the Trichinopoly,” I suggested.
“The writing on the wall was done with a man’s forefinger(食指) dipped(蘸) in blood.
My glass allowed me to observe(观察) that the plaster(灰泥) was slightly scratched(划掉) in doing it, which would not have been the case if the man’s nail(指甲) had been cut.
I gathered(收集) up some scattered(散落的) ash(灰) from the floor.
It was dark in color and flaky(薄片状的)—such an ash(灰) as is only made by a Trichinopoly.
I have made a special study of cigar(雪茄) ashes(灰), so I can distinguish(辨别) at a glance(看一眼) the ash(灰) of any known brand(品牌).
It is just in such details(细节) that the skilled detective(侦探) differs from the Gregson and Lestrade type.”
“And the reddish face?” I asked.
“Ah, that was a more daring(大胆的) guess, though I have no doubt that I was right.
You must not ask me that at the present state of the affair(事情).”
I passed my hand over my forehead(额头).
“My head is in a spin(眩晕),” I remarked(说), “the more one thinks of it the more mysterious(神秘的) it grows.
How did these two men—if there were two men—come into an empty house?
What has become of the cabman(马车夫) who drove them? How could one man compel(强迫) another to take poison(毒药)?
Where did the blood come from? What was the aim(目的) of the murderer(凶手), since robbery(抢劫) had no part in it?
How did the woman’s ring come there?
Above all, why should the second man write up the German word RACHE before leaving?
I confess(承认) that I cannot see any possible way of connecting all these facts.”
My companion(同伴) smiled.
“You sum(总结) up the problems of the situation briefly and well,” he said.
“There is much that is still obscure(模糊的), though I have quite made up my mind on the main facts.
As to poor Lestrade’s discovery, it was simply a criminal(罪犯) intended(意图) to put the police upon a wrong track(轨道).
It was not done by a German.
The A, if you noticed, was printed somewhat after the German fashion(样式).
Now, a real German invariably prints in the Latin(拉丁语的) character, so that we may safely say that this was not written by a German, but by an awkward(拙劣的) imitator.
It was simply a trick(花招) to distract(转移) inquiry(调查) into a wrong direction.
I’m not going to tell you much more of the case, Doctor.
You know a performer(表演者) gets no credit(赞扬) when once he has explained his trick(花招),
and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion(结论) that I am a very ordinary individual after all.”
“I will never do that,” I answered.
“I’ll tell you one other thing,” he continued, smiling.
“Leathers(穿皮靴的人) and Square-toes(穿方头鞋的人) came in the same cab(马车), and they walked down the pathway(小路) together as friendly as possible—arm-in-arm.
When they got inside, they walked up and down the room—or rather, Leathers(穿皮靴的人) stood still while Square-toes(穿方头鞋的人) walked up and down.
I could read all that in the dust(灰尘), and I could also read that as he walked Square-toes(穿方头鞋的人) grew more and more excited.
That is shown by the large steps.
He was talking all the while, and becoming more and more upset(沮丧).
Then the tragedy(悲剧) occurred(发生).
I’ve told you all I know myself now, and the rest remains to be revealed(揭示).
However, we have a good working basis to start on.”
Then the cab(马车) stopped, and we had arrived at Audley Court, which was not an attractive(吸引人的) place.
The narrow(狭窄的) passage led us into a courtyard(庭院) covered with flagstones(石板) and lined by sordid(破烂的) houses.
We picked our way among groups of dirty children, and through washing-lines(晾衣绳) of stained(满是污痕的) clothes, until we came to Number 46,
whose door had a small slip(片) of brass(铜制品) on which the name Rance was written.
The officer appeared, looking a little irritable(烦躁的) at being disturbed(打扰) in his sleep.
“I made my report at the office,” he said.
Holmes took a gold coin from his pocket and played with it.
“We thought that we should like to hear it all from your own lips(嘴唇),” Holmes said.
“I will be most happy to tell you anything I can,” Rance answered with his eyes upon the little gold coin.
“Just let us hear it all in your own way as it happened.”
Rance sat down on the sofa.
“I’ll tell it to you from the beginning,” he said.
“My time is from ten at night to six in the morning.
At eleven there was a fight at the ‘White Hart’, but except for the fight, everything else was quiet.
At one o’clock it began to rain, and I met Harry Murcher and we stood together at the corner of Henrietta Street talking.
Maybe about two or a little after—I thought I would take a look round and see that all was right down the Brixton Road.
It was dirty and lonely.
Not a soul(人) did I meet all the way down, though a cab(马车) or two went past me.
I was walking down when suddenly a light caught my eye in the window of that same house where the murder(谋杀) happened.”
“There was no one in the street?”
“Not a living soul(人), sir, nor as much as a dog.
Then I pushed the door open.
All was quiet inside, so I went into the room where the light was burning.
There was a candle on the mantelpiece(壁炉台)—a red one—and by its light I saw—”
“Yes, I know all that you saw.
You walked round the room several times, and you knelt(跪下) down by the body, and then you walked through and tried the kitchen door, and then—”
John Rance sprang to his feet with a frightened(受惊吓的) face and suspicion(疑惑) in his eyes.
“Where were you hidden to see all that?” he cried. “It seems to me that you know much more than you should.”
Holmes laughed and threw his card across the table to the officer.
“Don’t arrest(逮捕) me for the murder(谋杀案),” he said.
“I am one of the hunters(猎人) and not the wolf(狼).
Mr. Gregson or Mr. Lestrade will answer for that.”
“Go on, though. What did you do next?”
Rance sat back on the sofa, and continued.
“I went back to the gate and blew my whistle(哨子).
That brought Murcher and two more to the spot(案发地点).”
“Was the street empty then?”
“Well, it was, as far as anybody that could be of any use goes.”
“What do you mean?”
The officer began to smile.
“I’ve seen many a drunken(喝醉的) chap(家伙) in my time,” he said, “but never anyone so drunk as that man.
He was at the gate when I came out, leaning(倚靠) up against the fence(栅栏), and singing at the top of his voice.
He couldn’t stand, far less help us.”
“What sort of a man was he?” asked Sherlock Holmes.
John Rance appeared to be somewhat irritated(被激怒) at this question.
“He was an unusually drunk sort of man,” he said.
“We would have taken him to the police station if we hadn’t been so busy.”
“His face—his dress—didn’t you notice them?” Holmes broke in impatiently(不耐烦地).
“I should think I did notice them, seeing that I had to stand him up between me and Murcher.
He was a tall chap(家伙), with a red face.”
“That will do,” cried Holmes. “What became of him?”
“We had enough to do without looking after him,” the policeman said, in an indignant(愤慨的) voice.
“I’ll bet(打赌) he found his way home all right.”
“How was he dressed?”
“A brown coat.”
“You didn’t happen to see or hear a cab(马车) after that?”
“There’s a gold coin for you,” my companion(同伴) said, standing up and taking his hat. “I am afraid, Rance, that you will never rise in the force.
The man whom you held in your hands is the man who holds the clue(线索) of this mystery(谜题), and whom we are seeking(寻找).
Come along, Doctor.”
We started off for the cab(马车) together, leaving the officer confused(困惑的).
“The fool(蠢货),” Holmes said, bitterly, as we drove back to our home.
“I am rather in the dark still.
It is true that the description of this man is consistent(一致的) with your idea of the murderer(凶手) in this mystery(谜题).
But why should he come back to the house after leaving it? That is not the way of criminals.”
“The ring, man, the ring. That was what he came back for.
If we have no other way of catching him, we can always bait(引诱) our line with the ring.
I will have him, Doctor—I’ll bet(打赌) you two to one that I have him.
This is the finest study I ever came across: a study in scarlet(猩红色).
That’s what we should call it.
There’s the scarlet(猩红色) thread(线) of murder(谋杀案) running through the colorless skein(纠葛) of life, and our duty is to unravel(解开) it, and isolate(理清楚) it, and expose(暴露) every inch(英寸) of it.”
“What’s the matter? You’re not looking quite yourself.
This Brixton Road affair(案件) has upset(使心神不宁) you.” Holmes asked me after we arrived home.
“To tell the truth, it has,” I said.
“I ought to be less sensitive(敏感的) after my Afghan experiences.
I saw my own friends chopped(砍杀) to pieces at Maiwand without losing my nerve(理智).”
“I can understand. There is a mystery(谜案) about this which stimulates(刺激) the imagination.
Where there is no imagination, there is no horror(恐惧).
Have you seen the evening paper?”
“It gives a fairly good account of the affair(案件).
It does not mention the fact that when the man was lifted up, a woman’s wedding(结婚) ring fell upon the floor.”
“Look at this advertisement(告示),” he answered.
“I had one sent to every paper this morning immediately after the affair(案件).”
He threw the paper across to me and I glanced(瞥一眼) at the place he indicated(提到的).
It was the first announcement(告示) in the “Found” column(专栏).
“In Brixton Road, this morning,” it ran,
“a plain(纯的) gold wedding(结婚) ring, found in the roadway between the ‘White Hart’ Tavern and Holland Grove.
Apply(接洽) Dr. Watson, 221B, Baker(贝克，地名) Street, between eight and nine this evening.”
“Excuse my using your name,” he said.
“If I used my own, some of these stupid detectives(侦探) would recognize(认出) it, and want to interfere(介入) with the affair(案件).”
“That is all right,” I answered. “But, supposing anyone responds(回应), I have no ring.”
“Oh yes, you have,” said he, handing me one.
“This will do very well. It is almost a perfect copy.”
“And who do you expect will answer this advertisement(告示).”
“Well, the man in the brown coat—our red-faced friend with the square toes(方头鞋).
If he does not come himself, he will send an accomplice(同伙).”
“Would he not think it too dangerous?”
“Not at all. If my view of the case is correct, this man would rather risk anything than lose the ring.
According to my theory, he dropped it while bending over Drebber’s body, and did not notice it at the time.
After leaving the house he discovered his loss and hurried back, but found the police already in possession(控制), owing to(由于) his own foolishness in leaving the candle burning.
He had to pretend(假装) to be drunk in order to trick(欺骗) the officer.
Now put yourself in that man’s place.
On thinking the matter over, it must have occurred(想到) to him that it was possible that he had lost the ring in the road after leaving the house.
What would he do, then? He would eagerly look out for the evening papers in the hope of seeing it among the list of things lost and found.
His eye, of course, would light upon this.
He would be thrilled(兴奋的).
Why should he fear a trap(陷阱)? There would be no reason in his eyes why the finding of the ring should be linked(联系) with the murder(谋杀案).
He would come. He will come. You will see him within an hour.
I have just had an answer to my American message that I sent.
My view of the case is the correct one.”
“And that is?” I asked eagerly.
“Put your pistol(手枪) in your pocket. When the fellow comes, speak to him in an ordinary way.
Leave the rest to me. Don’t frighten(惊吓) him by looking at him too hard.” he remarked(说).
“It is eight o’clock now,” I said, glancing(瞥一眼) at my watch.
“Yes. He will probably be here in a few minutes.
Open the door slightly. That will do.
Now put the key on the inside. Thank you!”
As he spoke there was a sharp(尖锐的) ring at the bell.
Sherlock Holmes rose softly and moved his chair in the direction of the door.
We heard the servant pass along the hall, and the sound of the door as she opened it.
“Does Dr. Watson live here?” asked a clear but rather harsh(刺耳的) voice.
We could not hear the servant’s reply, but the door closed, and someone began to climb the stairs(楼梯).
The steps were uncertain and shuffling(慢悠悠的).
A look of surprise passed over the face of my companion(同伴) as he listened to it.
It came slowly along the passage, and there was a quiet tap(敲门声) at the door.
“Come in,” I cried.
Instead of the man of violence(暴力的) whom we expected, a very old woman walked into the apartment(房间).
She appeared to be dazzled(目眩的) by the sudden glow(光亮) of light, and after curtseying(行屈膝礼) to us, she stood blinking(眨眼) at us with her eyes and searching in her pocket with nervous, shaky(颤抖的) fingers.
I glanced(瞥一眼) at my companion(同伴), and his face had such an unhappy expression that it was all I could do to keep myself from laughing.
The old lady pulled out an evening paper, and pointed at our advertisement(告示).
“It’s this that has brought me here, good gentlemen,” she said,curtseying to us again, “a gold wedding(结婚) ring in the Brixton Road.
It belongs(属于) to my girl Sally, who was married last year.
Her husband is an agent(代理人) aboard(在船上) a Union boat, and what he’d say if he came home and found her without her ring is more than I can think.
He can be an angry drunk. She went to the circus(马戏团) last night along with—”
“Is that her ring?” I asked.
“Thank Lord!” cried the old woman, “Sally will be a happy woman this night.
That’s the ring.”
“And what may your address be?” I asked, taking up a pencil.
“13, Duncan Street, Houndsditch. A long, tiring way from here.”
“The Brixton Road does not lie between any circus(马戏团) and Houndsditch,” said Sherlock Holmes sharply.
The old woman turned around and looked keenly(热切地) at him from her little red eyes. “The gentleman asked me for my address,” she said.
“Sally lives at 3, Mayfield Place, Peckham.”
“And your name is—?”
“My name is Sawyer—hers is Dennis, which she took when Tom Dennis married her—”
“Here is your ring, Mrs. Sawyer,” I said, interrupting(打断) her, responding(遵照) to a sign from my companion(同伴),
“it obviously belongs(属于) to your daughter, and I am glad to be able to return it to the correct owner.”
With many blessings and much gratitude(感激), the old lady put it away in her pocket, and shuffled(慢悠悠地) off down the stairs(楼梯).
Sherlock Holmes sprang to his feet the moment that she was gone and rushed into his room.
He returned in a few seconds wearing a coat and a scarf.
“I’ll follow her,” he said, hurriedly, “she must be an accomplice(同伙), and will lead me to him. Wait up for me.”
The hall door had hardly closed behind our visitor before Holmes had walked down the stair(楼梯).
Looking through the window I could see her walking along the other side, while her pursuer followed her some little distance behind.
It was almost twelve o’clock before I heard the sharp(尖锐的) sound of Holmes opening the door.
The instant(瞬间) he entered I saw by his face that he had not been successful.
“I wouldn’t have the Scotland(苏格兰场，伦敦警察局) Yarders know it,” he cried, dropping into his chair,
“I have mocked(嘲笑) them so much that they would never have let me hear the end of it.”
“What is it then?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t mind telling a story against myself.
That lady had gone a little way when she began to limp(跛行) and show every sign of being tired.
Presently she called a cab(马车) which was passing, and said loudly ‘Drive to 13, Duncan Street, Houndsditch.’
Having seen her safely inside, I hung on the back.
I jumped off before we came to the door, and walked down the street.
I saw the cab(马车) pull up.
The driver jumped down, and I saw him open the door and stand in shock(震惊).
No one came out. There was no sign or trace(痕迹) of his passenger.
On inquiring(调查) at Number 13, we found that no one of the name either of Sawyer or Dennis had ever been heard of there.”
“You don’t mean to say,” I cried, in shock(震惊), “that that old woman was able to get out of the cab(马车) while it was in motion(行驶中的), without either you or the driver seeing her?”
“Old woman be damned!” said Sherlock Holmes, sharply.
“We were fooled(愚弄) by the old woman.
It must have been a young man, and a smart one, too, and he must also have been a good actor.
He saw that he was followed, no doubt, and used this means of escaping(逃脱) me.
It shows that the man we are after is not as lonely as I imagined he was.
He has friends who are ready to risk something for him.
Now, Doctor, you are looking tired. Take my advice and go to bed.” Holmes said to me.
I was certainly feeling very weary(疲倦的), so I obeyed(遵从) his advice.
I left Holmes seated in front of the fire, and knew that he was still thinking over the strange problem which he had set himself to solve.
“Every effort should be made to find the secretary, Stangerson, and to find out some details(细节) of the habits of the dead man.
A great step had been gained(取得) by the discovery of the address of the house at which he had stayed—
a result which was entirely due to efforts and energy of Mr. Gregson of Scotland Yard.”
Sherlock Holmes and I read this notice from The Daily News together at breakfast, and it appeared to afford him considerable enjoyment.
“Whatever happened, Lestrade and Gregson will be sure to get some credit(功劳).”
“That depends on(取决于) how it turns out.”
“Oh, it doesn’t matter in the least. If the man is caught, it will be because of their efforts;
if he escapes(逃离), the detectives(侦探) will also get praise for trying.
It’s heads I win and tails you lose.
Whatever they do, they will have followers.
They say that ‘a stupid person can always find an even more stupid person to admire(崇拜) him.’ ”
“What on earth is this?” I cried,
for at this moment there was a sound of many steps in the hall and on the stairs(楼梯), accompanied(伴随着) by the disgusted(厌烦的) voice of our landlady(房东太太).
“It’s the Baker(贝克，地名) Street division of the detective(侦探) police force,” said my companion(同伴),
and as he spoke, there rushed into the room half a dozen(一打) of the dirtiest street Arabs that I had ever put eyes on.
“Attention(立正)!” cried Holmes, in a sharp(尖锐的) tone(音调), and the six dirty little Arabs stood in a line.
“In future you should send up Wiggins alone to report, and the rest must wait in the street. Have you found it, Wiggins?”
“No, sir, we haven’t,” said one of the youths.
“I hardly expected you would. You must continue until you do. Here are your wages(工资).” He handed each of them a coin.
“Now, off you go, and come back with a better report next time.”
He waved(挥着) his hand, and they ran away downstairs like so many rats(老鼠), and we heard their loud voices next moment in the street.
“Those children are more useful than all the detectives(侦探) put together,” Holmes remarked(说).
“The mere sight of an official-looking person closes men’s lips(嘴唇).
These children, however, go everywhere and hear everything.
They are smart, too, and all you need is to organize them.”
“Is it on this Brixton case that you are employing(雇佣) them?” I asked.
“Yes. There is more I want to learn.
It is merely a matter of time.
Hello! We are going to hear some news now!
Here is Gregson coming down the road with happiness written upon every feature(五官) of his face. Bound for us, I know.
Yes, he is stopping. There he is!”
There was a violent(剧烈的) ring of the bell, and in a few seconds the detective(侦探) came up the stairs(楼梯), three steps at a time, and burst(闯) into our sitting-room.
“My dear fellow,” he cried, “congratulate(恭喜) me!
I have made the whole thing as clear as day.”
A shade(阴影) of anxiety(焦虑) seemed to cross my companion(同伴)’s face.
“Do you mean that you are on the right track(轨道)?” he asked.
“The right track(轨道)! Oh, sir, we have the man under lock and key.”
“And his name is?”
“Arthur Charpentier, sub-lieutenant in Her Majesty’s navy(海军),” cried Gregson, rubbing(搓) his fat hands and puffing out his chest(昂首挺胸).
Sherlock Holmes gave a sigh(叹气) of relief(如释重负), and relaxed into a smile.
“Take a seat, and try one of these cigars(雪茄),” he said.
“We are anxious(焦急) to know how you managed it.
Will you have some whiskey(威士忌) and water? Let us hear how you arrived at this most satisfying result.” said Holmes.
“The fun of it is,” the officer cried, “that that fool(蠢货) Lestrade, who thinks himself so smart, has gone off upon the wrong track(轨道) altogether(完全地).
He is after the secretary Stangerson, who had no more to do with the crime(罪案) than an unborn baby.
I have no doubt that he has caught him by this time.”
The idea excited Gregson so much that he laughed until he started coughing.
“And how did you get your clue(线索)?”
“Ah, I’ll tell you all about it.
The first difficulty which we had to struggle(克服) with was finding out this American’s previous history.
Some people would have waited until their advertisements(告示) were answered, or until someone came forward and gave information.
That is not Tobias Gregson’s way of going to work.
You remember the hat beside the dead man?”
“Yes,” said Holmes, “by John Underwood and Sons, 129, Camberwell Road.”
“I had no idea that you noticed that,” Gregson said, looking quite upset(沮丧).
“Have you been there?”
“Ha!” cried Gregson, in a relieved(如释重负) voice, “you should never neglect(忽略) a chance, however small it may seem.”
“To a great mind, nothing is little,” remarked(说) Holmes.
“Well, I went to Underwood, and asked him if he had sold a hat of that size and description.
He looked over his books, and found it at once.
He had sold the hat to a Mr. Drebber, living at Charpentier’s Boarding Establishment(住宅), Torquay Terrace.
Thus I got at his address.”
“Smart—very smart!” said Sherlock Holmes.
“I next called upon Madame Charpentier,” continued the detective(侦探).
“I found her very pale and distressed(紧张的).
Her daughter was in the room, too—a very fine girl she is, too.
She was looking red about the eyes and her lips(嘴唇) shook as I spoke to her.
That didn’t escape(逃脱) my notice.
I sensed that something was wrong.
You know the feeling, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, when you come upon the right scent(线索)—a kind of excitement in your nerves(精神).
‘Have you heard of the mysterious(神秘的) death of your late tenant(租户) Mr. Enoch J. Drebber, of Cleveland?’ I asked.
The mother nodded. She didn’t seem able to get out a word.
The daughter burst(爆发) into tears(眼泪). I felt more than ever that these people knew something of the matter.
‘When did Mr. Drebber leave your house for the train?’ I asked.
‘At eight o’clock,’ the mother said.
‘His secretary, Mr. Stangerson, said that there were two trains—one at 9.15 and one at 11. He was to catch the first.’
‘And was that the last time you saw him?’
A terrible change came over the woman’s face as I asked the question.
It was some seconds before she could get out the single word ‘Yes’—and when it did come, it was in a deep unnatural tone(语调).
There was silence for a moment, and then the daughter spoke in a calm(镇定的) clear voice.
‘No good can ever come of lies, mother,’ she said.
‘Let us be honest with this gentleman. We did see Mr. Drebber again.’
‘God forgive(原谅) you!’ cried Madame Charpentier, throwing up her hands and sinking(瘫坐) back in her chair. ‘You have murdered(害死) your brother.’
‘Arthur would rather that we spoke the truth,’ the girl answered firmly.
‘You had best tell me all about it now,’ I said.
‘Besides, you do not know how much we know of it.’
‘Alice!’ cried her mother, and then, turning to me, ‘I will tell you everything, sir.
Do not think that my fear comes from me thinking that he has committed the crime(罪行).
He is utterly innocent(清白) of it.
My fear is, however, that in your eyes and in the eyes of others he may appear to be under suspicion(嫌疑).
However, that is surely impossible.
His high character, his profession(职业), his whole life history would all make it impossible.’
‘Your best plan is to tell me everything that happened,’ I answered.
‘If your son is innocent(清白的), he will be none the worse.’
‘Mr. Drebber has been with us for nearly three weeks.
He and his secretary, Mr. Stangerson, had been travelling on the Continent(大陆).
I noticed a ‘Copenhagen’ label(标签) upon each of their trunks(行李箱), showing that that had been their last stopping place.
Stangerson was a quiet, shy man, but his employer(雇主) was very different.
He was rude(粗鲁) and cruel(残忍).
Even on the night of his arrival, he got very drunk.
After noon, he could hardly ever be said to be sober(清醒的).
His behavior(举止) towards the maid-servants(侍女) was horribly rude(粗鲁的).
Worst of all, he quickly assumed(采取) the same attitude towards my daughter and spoke to her in an insulting(无礼的) way.
On one occasion he actually grabbed(抓住) her in his arms and embraced(抱住) her—an outrage(暴行) which caused his own secretary to rebuke(指责) him for his disgusting(恶心的) conduct(行为).’
‘But why did you stand all this,’ I asked.
‘I suppose that you can get rid(摆脱) of your tenants(租户) when you wish.’
Mrs. Charpentier blushed(脸红).
‘How I wish I had! But I was tempted(被诱惑).
They were paying a pound a day each—fourteen pounds a week, and this is the slack(萧条的) season.
I am a widow(寡妇), and my boy in the Navy(海军) has cost me a lot of money.
I didn’t want to lose the income.
However, insulting(羞辱) my daughter was too much, and I asked him to leave on account of it.
That was the reason for his going.’
‘My heart grew light when I saw him drive away.
My son is on leave just now, but I did not tell him anything of all this, for his temper(脾气) is violent(暴躁), and he is fond(爱护) of his sister.
When I closed the door behind them, a load(重担) seemed to be lifted from my mind.
But, in less than an hour, there was a ring at the bell, and I learned that Mr. Drebber had returned.
He was very excited, and drunk.
He forced his way into the room, where I was sitting with my daughter, and made some remark(说辞) about having missed his train.
He then turned to Alice, and proposed(提议) to her that she should run away with him. ‘You are old enough,’ he said, ‘and there is no law to stop you.
I have enough money to spare. Never mind the old lady here, but come along with me now. You will live like a princess(公主).’
Poor Alice was so frightened(受惊的) that she ran away from him, but he caught her by the wrist(手腕) and tried to pull her towards the door.
I shouted, and at that moment my son Arthur came into the room.
I do not know what happened then.
I was too scared(害怕) to raise my head.
When I did look up, I saw Arthur standing in the doorway laughing, with a stick in his hand.
‘I don’t think that fellow will trouble us again,’ he said.
‘I will just go after him and see what he does with himself.’
With those words he took his hat and started off down the street.
The next morning we heard of Mr. Drebber’s mysterious(神秘的) death.’ ”
“It’s quite exciting,” said Sherlock Holmes, with a yawn(呵欠). “What happened next?”
“Of course after that there was nothing more to be done.
I found out where Lieutenant Charpentier was, took two officers with me, and arrested(逮捕) him.
When I touched him on the shoulder and told him to come quietly with us, he answered us boldly,
‘I suppose you are arresting(逮捕) me for being concerned in the death of Drebber,’ he said.
We had said nothing to him about it, so that his referring(提到) to it had a most suspicious(可疑的) aspect(方面).”
“Very,” said Holmes.
“He still carried the heavy stick which his mother said he had when he followed Drebber.
It was a thick, heavy oak(橡木) stick.”
“What is your theory, then?”
“Well, my theory is that he followed Drebber as far as the Brixton Road.
There, a fresh argument started between them.
Drebber was then hit by the stick, in the area of the stomach, which killed him without leaving any mark.
The night was so wet that no one was around, so Charpentier dragged(拖) the body of his victim(受害者) into the empty house.
As to the candle, and the blood, and the writing on the wall, and the ring, they may all be tricks(诡计) to throw the police on to the wrong scent(轨道).”
“Well done!” said Holmes in an encouraging voice.
“Really, Gregson, you are getting along.”
“I flatter myself that I have managed it rather cleverly,” the detective(侦探) answered proudly.
“The young man gave a statement, in which he said that after following Drebber for some time, Drebber took a cab(马车) in order to get away from him.
On his way home, he met an old friend, and took a long walk with him.
On being asked where this old friend lived, he was unable to give any satisfactory reply.
I think the whole case fits together well.
What pleases me is to think of Lestrade, who had started off upon the wrong scent(轨道).
I am afraid he won’t be able to work it out. Oh, here’s the very man himself!”
It was indeed Lestrade, who had climbed the stairs(楼梯) while we were talking, and who now entered the room.
However, the assurance(确信) and cheerfulness which generally marked his conduct(举止) and the clothes he wore were gone.
His face was disturbed(烦躁的) and troubled, while his clothes were untidy.
He had evidently come with the intention(意图) of consulting(咨询) with Sherlock Holmes, so, on seeing his colleague(同事), he appeared to be embarrassed(尴尬的).
He stood in the center of the room, playing nervously with his hat and uncertain what to do.
“This is a most extraordinary(非同一般的) case,” he said at last—“an affair(案件) completely beyond my understanding.”
“Ah, you find it so, Mr. Lestrade!” cried Gregson.
“I thought you would come to that conclusion(结论).
Have you managed to find the Secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson?”
“The Secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson,” said Lestrade,
“was murdered(杀害) at Halliday’s Private Hotel about six o’clock this morning.”
The news with which Lestrade greeted(告知) us was so important and so unexpected that we were all astonished(震惊).
Gregson sprang out of his chair and spilled(洒出) his whiskey(威士忌) and water.
I stared(盯着) in silence at Sherlock Holmes, whose lips(嘴唇) were closed and eyebrows(眉毛) were drawn down over his eyes.
“Stangerson too!” he said. “The plot(情节) thickens.”
“It was quite thick enough before,” said Lestrade, taking a chair.
“I seem to have dropped into a sort of council of war.”
“Are you—are you sure of this piece of news?” said Gregson.
“I have just come from his room,” said Lestrade.
“I was the first to discover what had happened.”
“We have been hearing Gregson’s view of the matter,” Holmes said.
“Would you mind letting us know what you have seen and done?”
“I have no objection,” Lestrade answered, as he seated.
“I confess(承认) that I was of the opinion that Stangerson was concerned in the death of Drebber.
This fresh development has shown me that I was completely mistaken.
Full of the one idea, I set myself to find out what had become of the Secretary.
They had been seen together at Euston Station about half-past eight on the evening of the third.
At two in the morning Drebber was found in the Brixton Road.
The question which faced me was to find out what Stangerson had been doing between 8.30 and the time of the crime(罪案), and what had happened to him afterward(后来).
I telegraphed(发电报给) to Liverpool, giving a description of the man, and warning them to keep a watch upon the American boats.
I then set to work calling upon all the hotels and lodging-houses in the area of Euston.
You see, I reasoned that if Drebber and his companion(同伴) had become separated, the natural plan for the latter(后者) would be to find somewhere to stay in the area for the night, and then to go to the station again next morning.”
“They would be likely to agree on some meeting-place before,” remarked(说) Holmes.
“So they did.
I spent the whole of yesterday evening in making requests(询问) for information, entirely without success.
This morning I began very early, and at eight o’clock I reached Halliday’s Private Hotel, in Little George Street.
On my question as to whether a Mr. Stangerson was living there, they at once gave me a positive(肯定的) answer.
‘No doubt you are the gentleman whom he was expecting,’ they said.
‘He has been waiting for a gentleman for two days.’
‘Where is he now?’ I asked.
‘He is upstairs in bed. He wished to be called at nine.’
‘I will go up and see him at once,’ I said.
It seemed to me that my sudden appearance might shake Stangerson’s nerves(神经) and lead him to say something carelessly.
The worker offered to show me the room.
It was on the second floor, and there was a small corridor(过道) leading up to it.
The worker showed me the door, and was about to go downstairs again when I saw something that made me feel sick.
From under the door there was a little red line of blood, which had flowed(流) across the passage and formed a little pool along the skirting at the other side.
I gave a cry, which brought the worker back.
He nearly fainted(晕倒) when he saw it.
The door was locked on the inside, but we put our shoulders to it, and pushed it in.
The window of the room was open, and beside the window, lay the body of a man in his nightwear(睡衣).
He was quite dead, and had been for some time, for his legs and arms were rigid(僵硬的) and cold.
When we turned him over, the worker recognized(辨认出) him at once as being the same gentleman who had purchased(入住) the room under the name of Joseph Stangerson.
The cause of death was a deep stab(刺) in the left side, which must have wounded(使受伤) the heart.
And now comes the strangest part of the affair(案件).
What do you suppose was above the murdered(被杀害的) man?”
“The word RACHE, written in letters of blood,” Holmes said.
“That was it,” said Lestrade, in a shocked(震惊的) voice, and we were all silent for a while.
“The man was seen,” continued Lestrade.
“A milk boy happened to walk down the lane(小巷) which leads to the back of the hotel.
He noticed that a ladder(梯子), which usually lay there, was raised against one of the windows of the second floor.
The window was wide(完全地) open. After passing, he looked back and saw a man climbing down the ladder(梯子).
He came down so quietly and openly that the boy thought he was a worker in the hotel.
He took no particular notice of him, beyond thinking in his own mind that it was early for him to be at work.
He has an impression(印象) that the man was tall, had a reddish face, and was dressed in a long, brown coat.
He must have stayed in the room some little time after the murder(凶杀案), for we found blood-stained(有血渍的) water in the basin(脸盆), where he had washed his hands, and marks on the sheets(床单) where he had deliberately(从容不迫地) wiped(擦拭) his knife.”
I glanced(瞥) at Holmes on hearing the description of the murderer(凶手), which matched so exactly with his own description.
There was, however, no trace(迹象) of happiness or satisfaction upon his face.
“Did you find nothing in the room which could give a clue(线索) to the murderer(凶手)?” he asked.
“Nothing. Stangerson had Drebber’s wallet in his pocket, but it seems that this was usual, as he did all the paying.
There was eighty pounds in it, but nothing had been taken.
Whatever the motives(动机) of these extraordinary(非同寻常的) crimes(罪案), robbery(抢劫) is certainly not one of them.
There were no papers or letters in the murdered(被杀害的) man’s pocket, except a single telegram(电报), dated from Cleveland about a month ago, and containing(写着) the words, ‘J. H. is in Europe.’
There was no name added to this message.”
“And there was nothing else?” Holmes asked.
“Nothing of any importance.
The novel(小说) that the man had been reading was lying on the bed, and his pipe(烟斗) was on a chair beside him.
There was a glass of water on the table, and on the window-sill(窗台) a small box containing(装着) a couple of pills(药片).”
Sherlock Holmes sprang(跳起) from his chair with a cry of delight(高兴).
“The last link(环节),” he cried. “My case is complete.”
The two detectives(侦探) stared(盯着) at him in surprise.
“I have now in my hands,” my companion(同伴) said, confidently, “all the links(环节) which have formed such a tangle(混乱) up to now.
There are, of course, details(细节) to be filled in, but I am certain of all the main facts, from the time that Drebber parted from Stangerson at the station, up to the discovery of the body of the latter(后者).
I feel like I had seen them with my own eyes.
I will give you a proof(证据) of my knowledge.
Could you lay your hand upon those pills(药片)?”
“I have them,” said Lestrade, showing a small white box, “I took them and the wallet and the telegram(电报) in order to have them put in a place of safety at the Police Station.
It was only by chance that I took these pills(药片), for I must say that I do not give any importance to them.”
“Give them here,” said Holmes.
“Now, Doctor,” turning to me, “are those ordinary pills(药片)?”
They certainly were not.
They were of a grey color, small, round, and almost transparent(透明的) against the light.
“From their lightness and transparency(透明度), I should imagine that they are soluble(可溶解的) in water,” I remarked(说).
“Precisely so,” answered Holmes.
“Now would you mind going down and fetching(抱来) that poor little dog which has been ill so long, and which the landlady(房东太太) wanted you to put out of its pain yesterday.”
I went downstairs and carried the dog upstairs in my arms.
Its hard breathing(呼吸) and grey eye showed that it was not far from its end.
I placed it upon a pillow(枕头) on the carpet(地毯).
“I will now cut one of these pills(药片) in two,” said Holmes, and drawing a knife he suited(相应) the action to the word.
“One half we return into the box for future purposes.
The other half I will place in this wine glass, in which is some water.
You see that Dr. Watson is right and that it readily dissolves(溶解).”
“This may be very interesting,” said Lestrade, “However, I cannot see what it has to do with the death of Mr. Joseph Stangerson.”
“Patience, my friend, patience!
You will find in time that it has everything to do with it.
I will now add a little milk to make the mixture tasty, and on giving it to the dog we find that he drinks it up readily enough.”
As he spoke he put the water of the wine glass into a little dish and placed it in front of the dog, who quickly licked(舔) it dry.
Sherlock Holmes’ serious manner had so far convinced us that we all sat in silence, watching the animal closely, and expecting some amazing effect.
None such appeared, however.
The dog continued to lie stretched(躺) upon the pillow(枕头), breathing(呼吸) with difficulty.
Holmes had taken out his watch, and as minute followed minute without result, an expression of disappointment(失望) appeared upon his face.
He bit his lip(嘴唇), tapped(轻敲) his fingers upon the table, and showed every other sign of impatience(不耐烦).
So great was his emotion(表情) that I felt sorry for him, while the two detectives(侦探) smiled.
A man named John Ferrier and his daughter, Lucy Ferrier, were making a long journey across the Sierra Nevada desert(沙漠) in the United States.
They found themselves without water or food and about to die.
Before the creatures(动物) of the desert(沙漠) could get to them, a traveling group of Mormons found them, led by their famous leader, Brigham Young.
The Mormons agreed to rescue(解救) them, but only if they also agreed to become Mormons.
After leading them to safety, the Mormons told them, “You shall remain here. In a few days you will have recovered(康复) from your exhaustions(疲惫).
Remember that now and forever(永远) you are of our religion(宗教信仰). Brigham Young has said it, and he speaks with the voice of God.”
Finally they arrived in Utah, which Young told them was the Promised Land.
Young proved(证明) himself to be an expert(专业的) manager as well as a firm chief.
In the country there was draining(开沟浚壑), planting and clearing, until the next summer saw the whole country golden with the wheat(小麦) crop(农作物).
Everything thrived(繁荣) in the strange settlement(居住地).
Ferrier, having recovered(康复) from his hardships, distinguished(使出众) himself as a useful guide and a hunter(猎人), and was given a good farm.
He built himself a house in which Lucy grew up and helped her father in all his activities.
So the bud(花蕾) bloomed(绽放) into a flower: it was not the father, however, who first learned that the child had developed into the woman.
One morning she was riding her horse along a road when she ran into a herd(群) of cattle(牛), of which one suddenly turned and attacked her.
She would have fallen and been killed, if a stranger had not caught her wildly-moving horse and led it calmly away.
“You’re not hurt, I hope, miss,” said her savior(救星).
She looked up at his dark, fierce(粗犷的) face, and laughed.
“I’m frightened(受惊了),” she said, “whoever would have thought that my horse would have been so scared(惊吓) by a lot of cows?”
“Thank God you kept your seat,” the other said earnestly.
He was a tall, savage(粗犷的)-looking young fellow, seated on a powerful brown horse, and clothed in the rough(粗糙的) dress of a hunter(猎人), with a long rifle(步枪) over his shoulders.
“I guess you are the daughter of John Ferrier,” he remarked(说), “I saw you ride down from his house.
When you see him, ask him if he remembers the Jefferson Hopes of St. Louis.
If he’s the same Ferrier, my father and he were pretty friendly.”
“Hadn’t you better come and ask yourself?” she asked.
The young fellow seemed pleased at the suggestion. “I’ll do that,” he said.
“He has a good deal to thank you for, and so have I,” she answered.
“You must come and see us. I must leave now—Good-bye!”
“Good-bye,” he answered, raising his hat, and bending(弯腰鞠躬) over her little hand.
He called on John Ferrier that night, and many times again, until his face was a familiar(熟悉的) one at the farm-house.
He soon became a favorite with the old farmer.
Lucy’s red-faced cheeks(脸颊) and her bright, happy eyes showed clearly that she was in love.
Her father may not have noticed, but her visitor certainly did.
Jefferson Hope had to leave for two months on urgent(紧急的) business.
He asked Lucy to wait for him, which she agreed to do, and promised to marry her on his return.
Then she walked back into the house, the happiest girl in all Utah.
One fine morning, John Ferrier was about to set out to his wheat(小麦) fields, when he heard the click(咔哒声) of the latch(门闩) on his gate, and, looking through the window, saw a middle-aged man coming up the path(小路).
His heart jumped to his mouth, for this was none other than the great Brigham Young himself.
“Brother Ferrier,” Young said, taking a seat, and eyeing the farmer, “the true believers have been good friends to you.
We picked you up when you were starving(挨饿) in the desert(沙漠); we shared our food with you, led you safe to the Chosen Valley(山谷), gave you a good share of land, and allowed you to become rich under our protection. Is not this so?”
“It is so,” answered John Ferrier.
“Good then, it is of your daughter that I would speak to you,” said the leader of the Mormons.
“There are rumors(传言) that she is to marry a non-Mormon.
But you know the law: ‘Let every girl of the true faith(信仰) marry one of the chosen; for if she marries a Gentile, she commits a serious sin(罪孽).’ ”
John Ferrier made no answer, but he played nervously with his riding-whip(马鞭).
“We will give your daughter a choice.
Stangerson has a son, and Drebber has a son, and either of them would gladly welcome your daughter to their house.
Let her choose between them.
They are young and rich, and of the true faith(信仰). What do you say to that?”
Ferrier remained silent for some little time.
“You will give us time,” he said at last.
“My daughter is very young —she is not old enough to marry.”
“She will have a month to choose,” said Young, rising from his seat.
“At the end of that time she should give her answer.”
Some hours after Young had left, Ferrier was still sitting with his elbows(手肘) upon his knees, considering how he should explain the matter to his daughter, when a soft hand was laid upon his, and looking up, he saw her standing beside him.
One glance(看) at her pale, frightened(受惊吓的) face showed him that she had heard what had happened.
“There are some travelers starting for Nevada tomorrow, and I’ll ask them to carry a message to Jefferson Hope telling him the trouble we’re in.
Knowing him, he’ll be back sooner than anyone might expect.
In the meantime(同时), we have a clear month before us,” said the father, “and at the end of that, I guess we had better leave Utah.”
“That’s about the size of it(大概是这样吧).”
“But the farm?”
“We will raise as much as we can in money, and let the rest go.
To tell the truth, Lucy, it isn’t the first time I have thought of doing it.
I don’t like to follow any man, as these folk(居民) do their prophet(先知).
I’m a free-born American, and it’s all new to me. Guess I’m too old to learn.”
“But they won’t let us leave,” his daughter cried.
“Wait till Jefferson comes, and we’ll soon manage that.
In the meantime(同时), don’t you worry yourself.
There’s nothing to be afraid about, and there’s no danger at all.”
Mr. Ferrier was not nearly as confident(确信的) as he tried to sound, but he sent a message to Jefferson Hope telling the young man of the danger, and how necessary it was that he should return.
Having done that he felt easier in his mind, and returned home with a lighter heart
Young had told Ferrier that his daughter must marry either Mr. Drebber or Mr. Stangerson.
Drebber and Stangerson called on Ferrier, who told them that his daughter would never marry either of them.
The next day, he found painted on a door on his farm the number ‘28’—the number of days that he had left to decide whom his daughter should marry.
Each night a new and smaller number was painted somewhere on his farm.
Ferrier was powerless, and could see no way of avoiding the blow that was coming to himself and his daughter.
One night after the number ‘2’ had been painted on his house, Ferrier heard someone tapping(敲门声) very gently upon the door.
Was it some midnight killer? John Ferrier felt that instant(快速的) death would be better than the doubt.
Springing forward, he threw the door open.
It was Jefferson Hope.
“Good God!” cried John Ferrier. “How you scared(吓到) me!”
“Give me food,” Jefferson said. “I have had no time for food for forty-eight hours.”
He threw himself upon the cold meat and bread which were still lying upon the table from his host(主人)’s supper(晚餐), and ate it quickly.
“Is Lucy well?” he asked, when he had satisfied his hunger.
“Yes. She does not know the danger,” her father answered.
“That is well. The house is watched on every side.
They may be sharp(机警的), but they’re not quite sharp(机警的) enough to catch a hunter(猎人) such as I am.”
John Ferrier felt a different man now that he realized that he had help.
He grabbed(抓住) the young man’s hand and shook it warmly.
“You’re a man to be proud of,” he said. “What are we to do?”
“Tomorrow is your last day, and unless you act tonight you are lost.
I have three horses waiting in the Eagle(鹰) Ravine.
We must head for Carson City through the mountains.
You had better wake Lucy. It is just as well that the servants do not sleep in the house.”
The welcoming between the lovers was warm, but brief(短暂), for minutes were precious(宝贵的), and there was much to be done.
Opening the window very slowly and carefully, they waited until a dark cloud had somewhat obscured(模糊) the night, and then one by one passed through into the little garden.
Once on the high road they made rapid progress.
About the middle of the second day of their flight(逃离) their food began to run out.
This gave Jefferson a little uneasiness(担忧).
Choosing a sheltered(可藏身的) corner, he stacked(堆) together a few dried branches(树枝) and made a fire, at which his companions(同伴) might warm themselves.
And he set out in search of food.
He walked for a couple of miles without any luck.
At last, after two or three hours of searching, he managed to find and shoot a big-horn(角) antelope(羚羊).
The creature(动物) was too large to lift, so Jefferson cut away one thigh(大腿) and part of the side.
With this food over his shoulder, he hurried to return to the others, for it was already getting dark.
When he turned the corner, he saw the spot(地点) where the fire had been.
There was still a glowing(发光) pile(堆) of wood ashes(灰烬) there, but it had evidently not been touched since his departure(离开).
There was no living creature(生物) near the fire: animals, man, girl, all were gone.
It was only too clear that some sudden and terrible disaster(灾难) had occurred(发生) during his absence.
Then his eye fell upon an object which made his blood run cold.
It was a newly-dug grave(坟墓) with a cross over it. The writing on the cross was brief(简短的), but to the point:
FORMERLY OF SALT LAKE CITY,
Died August 4th, 1860.
Jefferson Hope looked wildly round to see if there was a second grave(坟墓), but there was no sign of one.
Lucy had been carried back by the Mormons to accomplish(履行) her original destiny(命运) as a wife of a member of the Church.
As the young fellow realized the certainty of her fate(命运), and his own inability to prevent(阻止) it, he wished that he, too, was lying with the old farmer.
However, his active spirit shook off the lethargy(倦怠) which sprang from despair(绝望).
If there was nothing else left to him, he could at least devote(奉献于) his life to revenge(复仇).
He heard from a Mormon acquaintance(熟人) that Lucy was now married to Drebber, but that she was so sick that no one expected her to survive(存活).
She died within a month.
Jefferson was just in time to attend(参加) the funeral(葬礼) preparations, and to take the wedding(结婚) ring so that she would not be buried(埋葬) with it.
Drebber and Stangerson had left Utah, and no one knew where they had gone.
With the small amount of money he had, plus(以及) whatever he could earn(赚取) along the way, Jefferson Hope travelled from town to town in search of his enemies.
Year passed into year, his black hair turned grey and his health failed, but still he searched on, a human bloodhound(猎犬), with his mind wholly set upon the one object of revenge(复仇) to which he had devoted(奉献) his life.
He almost caught up with Drebber in Cleveland, Ohio, but Drebber and Stangerson (who had become Drebber’s private secretary) had him arrested(逮捕).
By the time Jefferson Hope was free, his enemies had left for Europe.
Jefferson followed them there, and tracked(跟踪) his enemies from city to city.
When he reached St. Petersburg, they had left for Paris(巴黎); and when he followed them there, he learned that they had just set off for Copenhagen(哥本哈根).
At the Danish(丹麦的) capital he was again a few days late, for they had left for London, where he found them at last.
Our prisoner(犯人)’s furious(猛烈的) resistance(抵抗) did not apparently indicate(显示) any hatred towards ourselves, for on finding himself powerless, he smiled in a friendly manner.
“If there’s a vacant(空缺) place for a chief of the police, I think you are the man for it,” he said, gazing(盯着) with obvious admiration(钦佩) at my roommate.
After arriving at the police station, an inspector(探员) joined us in the interview.
“I’ve got a good deal to say,” Jefferson said slowly.
“I want to tell you gentlemen all about it.”
“Hadn’t you better save that for your trial(审讯)?” asked the inspector(探员).
“I may never be tried,” he answered. “You needn’t look surprised. It isn’t suicide(自杀) I am thinking of.
Are you a Doctor?”
He turned his fierce(粗犷的) dark eyes upon me as he asked this last question.
“Yes. I am,” I answered.
“Then put your hand here,” he said, with a smile, pointing with his handcuffed wrists(手腕) towards his chest(胸膛).
I did so, and became at once conscious(意识到) of what was going on inside.
“Oh,” I cried, “you have an aortic aneurysm(主动脉瘤)!”
“That’s what they call it,” he said.
The inspector(探员) and the two detectives(侦探) had a hurried discussion about allowing him to tell his story.
“Do you consider, Doctor, that there is any immediate danger?” the former asked.
“Most certainly there is,” I answered.
“In that case it is clearly our duty, in the interests of justice(正义), to take his statement,” said the inspector(探员).
“I’ll sit down, with your permission(许可),” the prisoner(犯人) said, suiting the action to the word(应声坐下).
“Every word I say is the absolute(绝对的) truth, and how you use it is a matter of no consequence(重要性) to me.”
With these words, Jefferson Hope leaned(倚靠着) back in his chair and began the following remarkable(惊人的) statement.
“It doesn’t much matter to you why I hated these men,” he said, “it’s enough that they were guilty(有罪的) of the death of two human beings—a father and a daughter.
Therefore, they had to pay for it with their own lives.
They were rich and I was poor, so that it was no easy matter for me to follow them.
When I got to London, my pockets were about empty, and I found that I must do something to earn(谋求) my living.
Driving and riding are as natural to me as walking, so I applied(申请) at a cab(马车) company office, and soon got employment(雇佣).
It was some time before I found out where my two gentlemen were living.
I asked and asked until at last I found them by chance.
They were at a boarding-house at Camberwell(坎伯威尔，地名).
When once I found them out, I knew that I had them at my mercy(控制).
I had grown my beard(胡须), and there was no chance of their recognizing(认出) me.
I was determined(下定决心的) that they should not escape(逃脱) me again.
They were very near doing it, even so.
They must have thought that there was some chance of their being followed, for they would never go out alone, and never go out after nightfall(傍晚).
During two weeks I drove behind them every day, and never once saw them separate.
At last, one evening I was driving up and down the street Torquay Terrace in which they stayed, when I saw a cab(马车) drive up to their door.
Presently(一会儿) some luggage(行李) was brought out, and after a time Drebber and Stangerson followed it, and drove off(驱车离去).
I drove my cab(马车) and kept within sight of them.
At Euston Station, they got out, and I followed them on to the platform(月台).
I heard them ask for the Liverpool train, and the guard answer that one had just gone and there would not be another for some hours.
Stangerson seemed to be upset(沮丧的) at that, but Drebber was rather pleased.
I got so close to them in the crowd(人群) that I could hear every word they said.
Drebber said that he had a little business of his own to take care of, and that if Stangerson would wait for him, he would soon return.
Then Stangerson said that if Drebber missed the last train, Drebber could find him at Halliday’s Private Hotel.
Drebber answered that he would be back on the platform(月台) before eleven, and made his way out of the station.
The moment for which I had waited so long had at last come. I had my enemies within my power.
“Some days ago, a gentleman who had been looking at some houses in the Brixton Road had dropped the key of one of them in my cab(马车).
So I had taken the chance to copy it.
By means of this I had access(进入) to one spot(地点) in this great city where I was free from interruption.
How to get Drebber to that house was the difficult problem which I had now to solve.
He walked down the road and went into one or two liquor(酒) shops, staying for nearly half-an-hour in them.
When he came out, he was pretty drunk.
There was a cab(马车) just in front of me, and he called it. I followed it.
To my surprise, we found ourselves back in the Terrace where he had stayed.
I could not imagine what his intention(意图) was in returning there, but I went on and stopped my cab(马车) a hundred yards or so from the house.
He entered it, and his cab(马车) drove away.
Well, I waited for a quarter of an hour when suddenly there came a noise like people struggling(搏斗) inside the house.
Next moment the door was opened and two men appeared, one of whom was Drebber, and the other was a young chap(小伙子).
This fellow had Drebber by the collar(衣领), and when they came to the top of the steps, he pushed him and gave a kick which sent Drebber half across the road.
‘You bastard(混蛋),’ the young man cried, shaking his stick at him, ‘I’ll beat you if you insult(侮辱) an honest girl again!’
So Drebber ran away down the road as fast as he could.
He ran as far as the corner, and saw my cab(马车), he called me and jumped in.
‘Drive me to Halliday’s Private Hotel,’ said he.
When I had him inside my cab(马车), my heart jumped so quickly with joy(欣喜) that I feared at this last moment my aneurysm might burst(爆裂).
When I was troubled how to get him to the empty house, he solved the problem for me.
He ordered me to pull up(靠边停) outside a liquor(酒) shop. He went in, saying that I should wait for him.
When he came out, he was so drunk that I knew the game was in my own hands.
It was nearly one o’clock and it was rainy.
After some time, I pulled up at the house in the Brixton Road.
There was not a soul(人) to be seen, nor a sound to be heard.
When I looked in at the window, I found Drebber was asleep.
I shook him by the arm, ‘It’s time to get out,’ I said.
‘All right, cabman(马车夫),’ said he.
I suppose he thought we had come to the hotel, for he got out without another word, and followed me down the garden.
I had to walk beside him to keep him steady(平稳).
When we came to the door, I opened it, and led him into the front room.
‘It’s dark,’ said he.
‘We’ll soon have a light,’ I said, striking a match and putting it to a red candle which I had brought with me.
‘Now, Enoch Drebber,’ I continued, turning to him, and holding the light to my own face, ‘who am I?’
He gazed(盯着) at me with drunken(醉醺醺的) eyes for a moment, and then I saw a horror(恐惧) spring up in them, and his whole face shook, which showed me that he knew me.
He staggered(蹒跚) back with a pale face, trembling(颤抖) all over.
At the sight, I leaned(倚靠) my back against the door and laughed loud and long.
I never dreamed that revenge(复仇) would be so sweet.
‘You dog!’ I said, ‘I have hunted(搜寻) you from Salt Lake City to St. Petersburg, and you have always escaped(逃离) me.
Now, at last your wanderings have come to an end, for either you or I shall never see tomorrow’s sun rise.’
He shrunk(退缩) still further away as I spoke, and I could see on his face that he thought I was mad. So I was, for a time.
I believed I would have had a fit of some sort if the blood had not gushed(喷出) from my nose and brought me to my senses.
‘What do you think of Lucy Ferrier now?’ I cried, locking the door, and shaking the key in his face.
‘Punishment has been slow in coming, but it has come at last.’ I saw his lips(嘴唇) tremble(抖动) as I spoke.
He would have begged(哀求) for his life, but he knew well that it was useless.
‘Would you murder(杀害) me?’ he stammered.
‘There is no murder(谋杀),’ I answered.
‘Who talks of murdering(谋杀) a mad dog?
What mercy(怜悯) had you upon my poor darling(亲爱的), when you dragged(拖) her from her slaughtered(遭屠戮的) father, and bore her away to your accursed(可恶的) and shameless harem(妻妾群).’
I had with me a box containing(装着) two pills(药片), one deadly poisonous(有毒的), one harmless, that I had obtained(获得) in America.
‘Let the high God judge(裁决) between us.’ I said, ‘Choose and eat.
There is death in one and life in the other.
I will take what you leave.
Let us see if there is justice(公平正义) upon the earth, or if we are ruled by chance.’”
“He cowered away(畏缩着) with wild cries and prayers(恳求) for mercy(怜悯), but I drew my knife and held it to his throat(喉咙) until he had obeyed(服从) me.
Then I swallowed(吞下) the other, and we stood facing one another in silence for a minute or more, waiting to see which was to live and which was to die.
I will never forget the look which came over his face when the first warning pangs(剧痛) told him that the poison(毒药) was in his system!
I laughed as I saw it, and held Lucy’s wedding(结婚) ring in front of his eyes.
It was just for a moment, for the action of the poison(毒药) is rapid.
A spasm(痉挛) of pain contorted(扭曲) his features(五官); he threw his hands out in front of him, staggered(蹒跚), and then, with a cry, fell heavily upon the floor.
I turned him over with my foot, and placed my hand upon his heart.
There was no movement. He was dead!
The blood had been streaming(涌出) from my nose, but I had taken no notice of it.
I don’t know why I wrote upon the wall with it.
Perhaps it was some idea of setting the police upon a wrong track(轨道).
I remembered a German being found in New York with RACHE written up above him, and it was argued at the time in the newspapers that the secret societies must have done it.
I guessed that what puzzled(困扰) the New Yorkers would puzzle(困扰) the Londoners, so I dipped(蘸) my finger in my own blood and printed it on the brightest place on the wall.
Then I walked down to my cab(马车) and drove away.
I had driven some distance when I put my hand into the pocket in which I usually kept Lucy’s ring, and found that it was not there.
I was shocked(吃惊) at this, for it was the only thing that I had of her.
Thinking that I might have dropped it when I bent(俯身) over Drebber’s body, I drove back, leaving my cab(马车) in a side street.
When I arrived there, I walked right into the arms of a police-officer who was coming out, and only managed to calm(打消) his suspicions(疑虑) by pretending(假装) to be drunk.
That was how Enoch Drebber came to his end.
All I had to do then was to do the same to Stangerson, and so pay off John Ferrier’s debt(血债).
I knew that he was staying at Halliday’s Private Hotel, and I hung about all day, but he never came out.
I guess he suspected(怀疑) something when Drebber failed to appear.
If he thought he could keep me away by staying indoors, he was very much mistaken.
I soon found out which was the window of his bedroom, and early next morning I took advantage of some ladders(梯子) which were lying in the lane(小巷) behind the hotel, and so made my way into his room.
I woke him up and told him that the hour had come when he was to answer for the life he had taken so long before.
I described Drebber’s death to him, and I gave him the same choice of the poisoned(有毒的) pills(药片).
Instead of taking the chance, he sprang from his bed and leapt(跃向) at my throat(喉咙).
In self(自我)-defense(防卫) I stabbed(刺) him to the heart.
It would have been the same in any case, for God would never have allowed his guilty(有罪的) hand to pick out anything but the poison(毒药).
I went on working with my cab(马车) for a day or so, intending(意图) to keep at it until I could save enough to take me back to America.
I was standing in the yard when a dirty young boy asked if there was a cabby(马车夫) there called Jefferson Hope, and said that his cab(马车) was wanted by a gentleman at 221B, Baker(贝克，地名) Street.
I went round and the next thing I knew was this young man here had the handcuffs(手铐) on my wrists(手腕).
That’s the whole of my story, gentlemen.
You may consider me to be a murderer(凶手), but I hold that I am just as much an officer of justice(正义) as you are.”
“There is only one point on which I should like a little more information,” Sherlock Holmes said.
“Who was your accomplice(同伙) who came for the ring?”
The prisoner(犯人) winked(眨眼) at my friend.
“I can tell my own secrets,” he said, “but I don’t get other people into trouble.
I saw your advertisement(告示), and I thought it might be a fake(假的), or it might be the ring which I wanted.
My friend offered to go and see. I think you’ll agree he did it smartly.”
“Not a doubt of that,” said Holmes.
Then Jefferson Hope was led off by a couple of prison(监狱) guards, while my friend and I left the Station and took a cab(马车) back to Baker(贝克，地名) Street.
On the very night after Jefferson Hope’s arrest(逮捕), the aneurysm burst(爆裂), and he was found in the morning on the floor of the cell(牢房).
Holmes and I were now at home resting when we heard the news.
We were speaking about the case and everything that had happened.
“I confess(坦白),” said I, “I still don’t know how you solved this case.”
“I hardly expected that you would.
Let me see if I can make it clearer and show you the different steps in my reasoning.
To begin at the beginning. I approached the house, as you know, on foot, and with my mind entirely free from all impressions(成见).
I naturally began by examining the road, and there, as I have already explained to you, I saw clearly the marks of a cab(马车).
I confirmed(证实) by inquiry(询问) that the marks must have been there during the night.
I was certain that it was a cab(马车) from a cab(马车) company and not a private cab(马车), by the narrow(狭窄的) tracks(轨迹) of the wheels.”
This was the first point gained(获悉).
I then walked slowly down the garden path(小路), which happened to be a clay soil(粘土), peculiarly suitable(合适的) for taking impressions(印迹).
To my trained eyes, every mark upon its surface had a meaning.
There is no branch(分支) of detective(侦探) science which is so important and so much neglected(被忽略的) as the art of tracing(追踪) footsteps.
I saw the heavy footsteps of the officers, but also I saw the track(足迹) of the two men who had first passed through the garden.
It was easy to tell that they had been before the others, because in places their footprints had been entirely covered by the others coming after them.
In this way, my second link(环节) was formed, which told me that the visitors were two in number.
One visitor was remarkable(引人注目的) for his height (as I deduced(推理出) from the length of his steps), and the other was well-dressed, as was shown by the small and elegant(优雅的) impression(痕迹) left by his boots(靴子).
On entering the house, this last assumption(假设) was confirmed(证实).
My well-booted(穿着靴子的) man lay before me. Then the tall one had done the murder(谋杀).
There was no wound upon the dead man’s body, but the expression upon his face assured(使确信) me that he had learned of his fate(命运) before it came upon him.
Men who die from heart disease(疾病), or any sudden natural cause, would not show fear upon their faces.
Having smelled the dead man’s lips(嘴唇), I sensed a slightly sour(酸) smell, and I came to the conclusion(结论) that he had had poison(毒药) forced upon him.
Again, I deduced(推理) that it had been forced upon him from the hatred and fear expressed upon his face.
And now came the great question as to the reason why.
Robbery(抢劫) had not been the object of the murder(谋杀), for nothing was taken.
Was it politics, then, or was it a woman?
That was the question which confronted(面临) me.
Political murderers(凶手) would leave as soon as possible.
On the contrary(相反地), this murder(谋杀) had been done most deliberately(从容不迫地), and the murderer(凶手) had left his tracks(足迹) all over the room, which showed that he had been there for a long time.
It must have been a private reason, and not a political one.
When the word was discovered upon the wall, I was even surer of my opinion.
When the ring was found, it settled(解决) the question.
Clearly the murderer(凶手) had used it to remind(使想起) his victim(受害者) of some dead or absent woman.
I then proceeded(继续) to make a careful examination of the room, which confirmed(证实) me in my opinion as to the murderer(凶手)’s height, and gave me the additional details(细节) as to the Trichinopoly cigar(雪茄) and the length of his nails(指甲).
Since there were no signs of a struggle(挣扎), I had already come to the conclusion(结论) that the blood which covered the floor had burst(涌出) from the murderer’s nose in his excitement.
It is seldom that any man, unless he is very full-blooded, breaks out in this way through emotion(情绪), so I assumed(推测) that the criminal(罪犯) was probably a strong man with a reddish face.
Events proved(证明) that I had judged(判断) correctly.
Having left the house, I proceeded(继续) to do what Gregson had neglected(忽略).
I contacted the head of the police at Cleveland, limiting(限定) my questions to the circumstances(情况) connected with the marriage of Enoch Drebber.
The answer told me that Drebber had already applied(申请) for protection against an old enemy in love, named Jefferson Hope, and that this same Hope was at present in Europe.
I knew now that I held the clue(线索) to the mystery(谜案) in my hand, and all that remained was to catch the murderer(凶手).
I had already determined in my own mind that the man who had walked into the house with Drebber was none other than the man who had driven the cab(马车).
The marks in the road showed me that the horse had wandered(漫步) on in a way which would have been impossible if there was anyone in charge of it.
Then where could the driver be? He must be inside the house.
Lastly, if one man wished to follow another through London, what better means could he adopt(采取) than to become a cab(马车) driver?
All these considerations led me to the conclusion(结论) that Jefferson Hope was to be found among the cab(马车) drivers of the London.
If he had been one, there was no reason to believe that he had stopped.
On the contrary(相反地), from his point of view, any sudden change would be likely to draw attention(注意) to himself.
He would continue to do his job for a time at least.
There was no reason to suppose that he was going under an assumed(假的) name.
Why should he change his name in a country where no one knew his original one?
I therefore organized my Street Arab(街头流浪儿) detective(侦探) corp(小分队), and sent them to every cab(马车) company in London.
How well they succeeded, and how quickly I took advantage of it, you know.
The murder(谋杀) of Stangerson was an incident(事件) which was entirely unexpected, but which could hardly have been prevented(阻止).
Through it, I came into possession(得到) of the pills(药片).
You see the whole thing is a chain(链条) of logical(逻辑的) sequences(序列) without a break or a flaw(差错).”
“It is wonderful!” I cried. “Your merits(功绩) should be publicly recognized(认可).”
“See here!” he continued, handing a paper over to me, “look at this!”
I read, “...It is an open secret that the credit(功劳) of this smart arrest(逮捕) belongs(属于) entirely to the well-known Scotland Yard officials, Mr. Lestrade and Mr. Gregson.
The man was arrested(逮捕) in the rooms of a man named Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself showed some talent(才能) in the detective(侦探) line.
With such teachers as Lestrade and Gregson, Mr. Holmes may learn some their skill...”
“Didn’t I tell you so?” cried Sherlock Holmes with a laugh.
“That’s the result of all our Study in Scarlet(猩红色): to get them more praise!”
“Never mind,” I answered, “I have all the facts in my journal(日记), and the public shall know them.
In the meantime(同时), you will have to be content(满足) with your own knowledge of your success.”