We start our narrative by witnessing Sherlock Holmes, reclined comfortably in 221B Baker Street, injecting himself with cocaine. Dr Watson remarks that he should stop, as he has been injecting himself three times a day for a few months. Watson then begins to ponder, and then ask Holmes himself, about his reasons for taking such drugs. Sherlock replies that his mind rebels at stagnation.
The pair then go on to discuss Dr Watson‘s newest publication, with Sherlock criticising its writing for being too romantic. Sherlock then introduces the subject of an intrigued Frenchman, a detective.
The two then go on to discuss the distinction between observation and deduction, with Sherlock swiftly mentioning that he has observed that Dr Watson has visited the post office, from a mark upon his shoe. He then delineates that a deduction is his conclusion that Dr Watson must have sent a telegram, as he has not witnessed Dr Watson writing a letter despite the fact that they have been together all day.
Watson then feels intrigued to test the limits of Sherlock’s capabilities, giving him a watch. Sherlock quickly deduces that the watch must’ve been in the possession of Watson‘s brother, who he then identifies to have been a heavy drinker.
Watson is simultaneously angered and amazed, but Sherlock manages to temper the angered side by explaining the process. The noticing of scratches upon the surface denote a careless man. Sherlock then begins to lament about his state of boredom before Miss Mary Morstan enters the apartment.
The Sign of Four
The Sign of the Four is the second of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels. In it the detective and his companion Dr Watson unravel a mystery of hidden treasure and murder.
Miss Mary Morstan arrives at 221B, Baker Street to request help with the mystery of her missing father, her mysterious gifts of pearls and a letter requesting her to meet an unknown person that evening. Holmes takes on the case and the story begins.
Watson narrates the tale that sees the detective tracking down hidden treasure and murderers. By the end, the criminals are either dead or arrested, and Miss Mary Morstan and Watson are engaged to be married.