The following are my most exiting sequences in the Canon in The Sign of Four:
“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.
And this one:
“See here,” said Holmes, pointing to the wooden hatchway. “We were hardly quick enough with our pistols.” There, sure enough, just behind where we had been standing, stuck one of those murderous darts which we knew so well. It must have whizzed between us just at the instant we fired. Holmes smiled at it and shrugged his shoulders in his easy fashion, but I confess it turned me sick to think of the horrible death which had passed so close to us that night.”
Anyone have a favorite you would care to share?
“Chips” aka Ron
3 Replies to “Excitement!”
Nice picks. I’ve always thought that the night-time boat chase on the Thames was one of the most exciting passages in the Canon.
My first encounter with Sherlockian excitement was SPEC. The snake scene was very exciting for an eight year-old!
Also, HOUN stands out as a first-rate tingler: fog, spectral, eerie, night, leaping, dripping jaws, the whole nine yards!
I’ve always treasured and adored Watson’s description of the Hound as he and Holmes finally confronted it in the flesh. It is both spooky and poetic…Doyle’s genius at its flesh-crawling finest.
“A hound it was, an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen. Fire burst from its open mouth, its eyes glowed with a smoldering glare, its muzzle and hackles and dewlap were outlined in flickering flame. Never in the delirious dream of a disordered brain could anything more savage, more appalling, more hellish be conceived than that dark form and savage face whih broke upon us out of the wall of fog.
Comments are closed.