The Speckled Band (The story from the point of Sherlock Holmes view)
It was early in the morning - only a quarter past seven, when a young lady visited me. She was shivering and wanted to talk with me immediately. I led her to sitting room and asked her to sit down and wait for a moment. I went to wake my friend Dr. Watson. He was surprised, but got dressed quickly and went with me downstairs to the lady.
As we met with the lady, I asked her, why had she been shivering. She told that it had been fear. Lady introduced herself as Miss Helen Stoner and then told us her story. First she described us her stepfather - Mr. Roylott, who worked in India as a doctor. He earned a lot of money and happened to kill a servant. He was put into prison and there became silent, bad-tempered man. Then he returned to England. At that time died Miss Stoner's mother, who gave a great deal of money to Dr. Roylott to keep as long as Helen and her sister Julia lived. Miss Stoner's stepfather was interested in Indian animals. He had a cheetah and a baboon.
Then the lady told us, that her sister died at the age of only thirty, two years ago. And we got to know that it was the reason of Miss Stoner's visit. She continued recounting. Julia died two weeks before the day when she was going to get married. I asked the lady to tell us more about it. She described her house. I was listening carefully. She told, that three bedrooms (the lady's, Julia's and doctor's ones) are lying side by side (with Julia's room in the middle). And than Miss Stoner narrated about what happened at the Julia's death night. Dr. Roylott was sitting in his room and smoking a cigar. Smoke came into Julia's room, so she went to sister. They were talking about the wedding and at the end Miss Stoner's sister asked, if Helen had ever heard anyone whistle at night. But she hadn't. Then the lady told us, that she and her sister always turn the key in door because of doctor's animals.
I asked Miss Stoner to go on with her story, and she told that she couldn't sleep that night and suddenly heard screaming of her sister. The lady seemed to hear a low whistle and a sound of a piece of metal falling, then she ran to Julia and saw her in the corridor. Miss Stoner's sister told something about speckled band, pointed at doctor's room's door, and died.
I asked the lady a few questions. She didn't know, why had her sister died. But she suspected that the reason was fear. Miss Stoner was afraid, because she was going to be married soon. She moved to her sister's room, because of rapairs in her room. At the night before visiting me, she heard whistle again. And as soon as it was daylight, she left the house and came to me.
I was thinking about what she had told us for a minute and then told Dr. Watson and Miss Stoner, what were we going to do. We had to see house of Dr. Roylott. I agreed with the lady for afternoon and she left. I was talking with Dr. Watson, when suddenly somebody came into our room. It was a big man with a hut. He introduced himself as- Dr. Roylott and told that he know that Miss Stoner had been there. He was really angry and he said to me not to put my nose into other people's affairs.
Then we started to work. I went to town and saw the will off Dr. Roylott's wife. It said, that both daughters would get 250 pounds, when they get married and Dr. Roylott will receive the rest of money. And it wouldn't actually be much. I came back home, showed Dr. Watson my notes about the will. Then we quickly went to Stoke Moran, where was the lady's house.
We met her walking in front of the house. And we told her about Dr. Roylott at once. Then Miss Stoner showed us the house. I looked at the windows and guessed which one are from which room. I checked the shutters and hinges. Then we came into the building. I went to Julia's room and watched it carefully. I noticed that bell ring, which was new (as the lady said), was going nowhere - it was just hanging on a hook over the ventilator and over the bed. I checked the floor too. Bed was nailed to the floor. But I didn't tell about it to anyone. Then I noticed, that ventilator goes into the other room, so- it is not really a ventilator. It was suspect. I thought that the rope is a bridge for something coming through the hole to the bed.
Then we went to Dr. Roylott's room. There were some furniture and a big safe. Miss Stoner didn't know what was in it. I noticed a saucer lying on the safe and a small whip. I also saw marks left by doctor's feet at the chair. It was clear, that he used this chair to stand on it while putting the animal (the only animal, that could go throw the ventilator was a snake and it had to be a snake) throw the ventilator. So I recognised that this whistling sound was made to call the snake back before the morning. We set out to leave the house immediately, because Dr. Roylott couldn't see us. We made a plan. Miss Stoners was to put the lamp into her window, when doctor would came into his room and we were to do the rest. I invented that Dr. Watson and me would spend the night in Julia's room trying to find out where the whistling was coming from. And then we two went to village inn.
We set off for this inn and observed Miss Stoner's room from our rooms, which we were given. At nine o'clock we saw our signal. We went to the house, got into Julia's room and wait there in silence. I had brought a long cane, which I put on the bed, near me. Dr. Watson sat in the chair in front of me. Nothing had been changing for few hours. At three o'clock we suddenly saw a light in a ventilator. Somebody was moving in next room. Then there was a silence. For half an hour we were looking up at the top of the bell-rope. Then suddenly we heard another sound - a low hiss. I sprang from the bed, struck a match, and began beating hard at the bell-rope with my cane, because I suspected what could it be.
We were looking at the ventilator and suddenly heard a terrible cry, cry of great fear. I said: "It means that it is all over." And we went to Dr. Roylott's room. He was sitting on a chair and holding a whip in his hands. His face was turned upwards to the ventilator. Round his head we saw a speckled band! The man did not move, when we came in. But the band began to move. It was a snake! Dr. Roylott was dead. He died of biting by the snake. I took the whip and using it I carried the animal to the safe. Then we notified Miss Stoner about everything.
After all I explained some things to my friend. I told that the snake bit the first person it saw after returning throw the ventilator. And this person was Dr. Roylott. It was because of what I did that this man was killed, but I cannot say that I am sorry.