April 15, 1888: Tonga killed Bartholomew Sholto with a poison dart. [SIGN]
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.
The Sign of Four – my favorite of the long stories.
I enjoyed the story because it incorporated every thing that would take me from my daily life on the plains of Kansas to the fog covered streets of London and then into the warmth of my new home, 221B Baker Street, with my two favorite companions. A pretty female who needed our help. A mysterious mystery which before it was over involved a revenge plot and a stolen missing treasure of incredible fortune.
And then the Villains! A one-legged man and a murderous pygmy with a blow gun and poison darts. Coupled with a chase down a fog-covered river and these words:
“Fire if he raises his hand,” said Holmes, quietly.
We were within a boat’s-length by this time, and almost within touch of our quarry. I can see the two men now as they stood: the white man with his legs far apart, shrieking out curses, and the unhallowed dwarf with his hideous face and his strong, yellow teeth gnashing at us in the light of our lantern.
It was well that we had so clear a view of him. Even as we looked he plucked out from under his covering a short, round piece of wood, like a school-ruler, and clapped it to his lips. Our pistols rang out together. He whirled round, threw his arms in the air, and, with a kind of choking cough, fell sideways into the stream. I caught one glimpse of his venomous, menacing eyes amid the white swirl of the waters.
Then, as an after action, the treasure disappears, but Watson and Mary Morstan declared their love for each other.
Years later, I met my wife – Mary, as fate would have it. And another quote from the story ends my piece:
“Because I love you, Mary, as truly as ever a man loved a woman. Because this treasure, these riches, sealed my lips. Now that they are gone I can tell you how I love you. That is why I said, `Thank God’.”
“Then I say `Thank God,’ too,” she whispered, as I drew her to my side.
Whoever had lost a treasure, I knew that night that I had gained one.
And that describes my wife who is my life for 45 years and going strong forever.
-Ron, aka The Sign of Four