Sherlock Holmes - Chapter I - The Curse of the Baskervilles.
Mr Sherlock Holmes with his deer hunter
Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings,
those not infrequent
occasions when he was up all night, was
the breakfast table. I stood upon the
and picked up the
which our visitor had left behind him the night before.
It was a fine, thick piece of wood, bulbous-headed,
of the sort which is known as a "
Just under the head was a
nearly an inch across. "To James Mortimer,
from his friends of the C.C.H.
," was engraved upon
it, with the date "1884." It was just such a stick as the old-fashioned family
used to carry -
solid, and reassuring.
- M.R.C.S. : Member of the Royal College of Surgeons
- C.C.H. : Charing Cross Hospital
Now You Read
"Really, Watson, you
," said Holmes, pushing back his chair and lighting a cigarette. "I am
to say that in all the
which you have been so good as to give of my own small
you have habitually
your own abilities. It may be that you are not yourself
but you are a conductor of light.
Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of
it. I confess
my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt
"Has been in the habit of carrying this stick behind his
Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle,
and the marks of his teeth are very plainly visible.
The dog's jaw, as shown in the space between these marks,
is too broad in my opinion for a terrier
and not broad enough for a mastiff
It may have been - yes, by Jove
it is a curly-haired spaniel
He had risen and paced
the room as he spoke. Now he halted
in the recess of the window. There was such a ring of
in his voice that I glanced up
"My dear fellow, how can you possibly be so sure of that?"
"For the very simple reason that I see the dog himself on our very
and there is the ring of its owner. Don't move, I beg you, Watson. He is a
of yours, and your presence may be of assistance
Now is the dramatic moment of fate
Watson, when you hear a step upon the stair which is walking into your life,
and you know not whether for good or ill
What does Dr. James Mortimer, the man of science, ask of Sherlock Holmes, the
? Come in!"
The appearance of our visitor was a surprise to me,
since I had expected a typical country practitioner.
He was a very tall, thin man, with a long nose like a
which jutted out
between two keen
set closely together and sparkling
brightly from behind a pair of gold-rimmed
glasses. He was clad
in a professional but rather slovenly
fashion, for his frock-coat
and his trousers frayed
Though young, his long back was already bowed, and he walked with a forward
of his head and a general air of peering
As he entered his eyes fell upon the stick in Holmes' hand,
and he ran towards it with an
of joy. "I am so very glad
" said he. "I was not sure whether I had left it here or in the
I would not lose that stick for the world."
1 - Questions
- What is the meaning of 'not infrequent'? Can you give me another word for it?
- What is the grammatical term for expressions like 'not infrequent'`?
- Give me another word for 'hearth'.
- Do you know the difference between 'to carry' and 'to wear'?
- What do you do when you excel yourself? e.g. in an exam.
- Which word ( s ) could you use instead of 'habitually in this sentence?
"I am bound to say that in all the accounts which you have been so good
as to give of my own achievements you have
HABITUALLY underrated your own abilities."
- Is this sentence a compliment or a slight insult?
"It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light."
- This is what Sherlock Holmes said to Dr Watson.
Does it mean Sherlock Holmes owes money to Dr Watson?
"I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt."
What is the meaning of 'conviction' in this sentence?
There was such a ring of conviction in his voice that I glanced up in surprise.
(Paragraph 3 and 4)
- a strong opinion or belief
- someone who is officially found to be guilty of a particular crime
- the feeling or state of being annoyed
Was the man's nose very noticable?
He was a very tall, thin man, with a long nose like a beak,
which jutted out between two keen,
grey eyes, set closely together and sparking brightly
from behind a pair of gold-rimmed glasses.
Can you give me another word for "clad"? Was he clad in fashionable clothes?
He was clad in a professional but rather slovenly fashion, because his
frock-coat was dingy and his trousers frayed.
Can you describe the man's appearance with your own words?
Though young, his long back was already bowed,
and he walked with a forward thrust
of his head and a general air of peering benevolence.
Was Holmes' head round or rather long?
"Mr. Holmes. I had hardly expected so dolichocephalic
a skull or such well-marked supra-orbital development"
What comes closest in meaning to "running a finger along"?
Would you have any objection
to my running my finger along your parietal fissure?
- What is the meaning of 'cast' in that sentence?
A cast of your skull, sir, until the original available,
would be an ornament to any anthropological museum.
- an actor in a film
- Did Mr Mortimer admire Sherlock Holmes for his skull?
If so, which words tells you that?
It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.
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