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Feedback Forum > English Adult > Audiobook > The Sign of Four (Excerpt) by Arthur Conan Doyle

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    The Sign of Four (Excerpt) by Arthur Conan Doyle

    By the time that I got out into the grounds Sherlock Holmes was on the roof, and I could see him like an enormous glow-worm crawling very slowly along the ridge. I lost sight of him behind a stack of chimneys, but he presently reappeared and then vanished once more upon the opposite side. When I made my way round there I found him seated at one of the corner eaves.

    "That you, Watson?" he cried.

    "Yes."

    "This is the place. What is that black thing down there?"

    "A water-barrel."

    "Top on it?"

    "Yes."

    "No sign of a ladder?"

    "No."

    "Confound the fellow! It's a most breakneck place. I ought to be able to come down where he could climb up. The water-pipe feels pretty firm. Here goes, anyhow."

    There was a scuffling of feet, and the lantern began to come steadily down the side of the wall. Then with a light spring he came on to the barrel, and from there to the earth.

    "It was easy to follow him," he said, drawing on his stockings and boots. "Tiles were loosened the whole way along, and in his hurry he dropped this. It confirms my diagnosis, as you doctors express it."

    The object which he held up to me was a small pocket or pouch woven out of coloured grasses and with a few tawdry beads strung round it. In shape and size it was not unlike a cigarette case. Inside were half a dozen spines of dark wood, sharp at one end and rounded at the other, like that which had struck Bartholomew Sholto.

    "They are hellish things," said he. "Look out that you don't prick yourself. I'm delighted to have them, for the chances are that they are all he has. There is the less fear of you or me finding one in our skin before long. I would sooner face a Martini bullet, myself. Are you game for a six-mile trudge, Watson?"

    "Certainly." I answered.

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