“It would be robbing you of the credit of the case if I was to presume to help you,” remarked my friend. “You are doing so well now that it would be a pity for anyone to interfere.” There was a world of sarcasm in his voice as he spoke. “If you will let me know how your investigations go,” he continued, “I shall be happy to give you any help I can. In the meantime I should like to speak to the constable who found the body. Can you give me his name and address?”
Lestrade glanced at 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 shall go and look him up. I’ll tell you one thing which may help you in the case,” he continued, turning to the two detectives. “There has been murder done, and the murderer was a man. He was more than six feet high, was in the prime of life, had small feet for his height, wore coarse, square-toed boots and smoked a Trichinopoly cigar. He came here with his victim in a four-wheeled cab, which was drawn by a horse with three old shoes and one new one on his off fore leg. In all probability the murderer had a florid face, and the finger-nails of his right hand were remarkably long. These are only a few indications, but they may assist you.”
Lestrade and Gregson glanced at each other with an incredulous smile.
“If this man was murdered, how was it done?” asked the former.
“Poison,” said Sherlock Holmes curtly, and strode off. “One other thing, Lestrade,” he added, turning round at the door: “`Rache,’ is the German for `revenge;’ so don’t lose your time looking for Miss Rachel.”
With which Parthian shot he walked away, leaving the two rivals open-mouthed behind him.
What I love most about the Sherlock Holmes stories are the deductions. His capacity for perception is incredible, and hearing him list off his answers is always such a rush. I find myself trying to analyze the scene through the narrator’s (Watson’s) eyes to try to beat Sherlock to the solutions. When that proves impossible, I simply try to keep up! (via elizabethkate)
Oh, I agree! I love the deductions. I’m afraid, however, that I fall more at the “simply try to keep up” end of the spectrum, but that is a big part of why I like them so much. It’s a skill that I don’t have, that I’ll never have. It’s fascinating to watch. Part of the reason that I love these stories so much is that I (usually) have no idea how they’ll turn out, and that I actually sort of don’t want to figure it out for myself. I like watching Holmes play the game, and knowing that he is roughly eleven thousand times better at it than I would be. I sort of like being baffled. That is not a usual feeling for me, I’m continually impressed that Conan Doyle manages to change the way I like to read mysteries.