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The Sign Of Four Questions And Answers | The sign of four pdf

The Sign Of Four Questions And Answers | The sign of four pdf

The Sign Of Four Questions And Answers | The sign of four pdf

CHARACTER:

[A1]

Question - [i] Read the extract again and complete the web by highlighting the qualities of the following characters:

  
Solutions :
  

Question - [ii] Describe the character of Mary Morstan from Dr. Watson’s point of view.

Solutions :
From Dr. Watson’s point of view: When I first saw Mary, she was dressed simply but tastefully. I could see that she was a person of limited means. Her expression was sweet and pleasant, and I could make out that her nature was refined and sensitive. My calculations told me that she was about 27 years old. She was agitated by the mystery surrounding her life. I found her attractive, though her face did not have regular features or a beautiful complexion. Her eyes showed that she was a sympathetic person. I was much impressed by her and attracted to her.

Question - [iii] Sherlock Holmes is the leading character in the extract. Explain.

Solutions :
It is Sherlock Holmes who is the detective and the leading character. Mary Morstan had come to ask his advice about a problem that she was facing. Holmes was the one who took the lead and found out about Major Sholto; it was Holmes who analysed the handwriting in the letter that Mary had received. Holmes was sharp, accurate, intelligent and methodical. He had an excellent record of solving cases, and his deductions were always correct. Watson was merely his friend who helped him and kept a record of his cases.

Question - [iv] Dr. Watson, the narrator, is one of the major characters in the novel. Illustrate.

Solutions :
Dr. Watson is the narrator. He was present when the case was brought to Holmes by Mary Morstan. He is generally always with Holmes, helping him to solve cases. He accompanied Holmes whenever necessary.

He also kept a record of all the cases that Holmes was a part of. In this extract, he is present when Mary recounts her case, and he accompanies Holmes and Mary to meet the writer of the anonymous letter. [He marries Mary in the end.]

Question - [v] Holmes is always one step ahead of Dr. Watson in solving cases. Elucidate.

Solutions :
Where Watson is emotional, simple and trustful, Holmes is sharp, objective and methodical. Holmes is also analytical and notices the little details which give him clues to solving a case. Watson does not, and hence is often on the wrong track. Holmes is the real detective, while Watson is merely his companion. Holmes is always ahead of Watson and solves cases which Watson is not even near to cracking.

PLOT:

[A2]

Question - [i] Arrange the sentences in correct sequence as per their occurrence in the extract.

Solutions :
Jumbled IncidentsCorrect Sequence
1. Holmes put a revolver in his pocket.(a) Mary Morstan was a well-dressed young lady.
2. Holmes gave Winwood’s book ‘Martyrdom of Man’ to Dr. Watson.(b) Mary’s father was an officer in an Indian regiment.
3. Mary received a large and lustrous pearl through the post.(c) Mary received a large and lustrous pearl through the post.
4. Mary’s father was an officer in an Indian regiment.(d) Holmes gave Winwood’s book ‘Martyrdom of Man’ to Dr. Watson.
5. Mary Morstan was a well-dressed young lady.(e) Holmes put a revolver in his pocket.
 

[ii] Discuss the importance of the following statements from the light of the extract.

Question - [a] The trio-Holmes, Dr. Watson and Mary decide to visit Lyceum Theatre.

Solutions :
Mary had received an anonymous letter asking her to be outside the Lyceum Theatre on a particular night at seven o’clock. The letter said that it would be to Mary’s advantage if she came. The letter also mentioned that she could bring two friends with her. However, she did not have any friends who could accompany her, and so she asked Holmes and Watson if they could do so. They agreed. Hence, Holmes, Dr. Watson and Mary decide to visit Lyceum Theatre. This was the first step to solving the case.

Question - [b] Mary received pearls every year on the same day.

Solutions :
Major Sholto, Mary’s father’s friend, had cheated Mary’s father of his share in the Agra treasure. When he died, Major Sholto informed his son Thaddeus of this. Though Thaddeus did not have the treasure, he tried to rectify the matter to a certain extent by sending Mary a rare and expensive pearl every year, on the same day as he sent the first one.

Question - [c] Holmes carefully examined the paper given by Mary.

Solutions :
Mary had found a curious paper in her father’s desk which no one could understand. Holmes deduced from the colour of the paper that it was an important document. He felt it was related in some way to the mystery on hand. Hence, he examined it carefully to get some clues which would help to solve the mystery.

SETTING:

[A3]

Question - [i] Cite various references [lines] from the extract that tell us about the time and period of the events:

Solutions :
LinesTime and period
1. He disappeared upon the 3rd of December, 1878. – nearly ten years ago.Mary’s father had disappeared about ten years before she met Holmes and Watson on a particular day.
2. About six years ago – to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882 – an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan. The same day there arrived through the post a small card-board box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl.Mary first received an expensive and rare pearl six years before she received an anonymous letter/before she came to meet Holmes.
3. This morning I received this letter, which you will perhaps read for yourself.Mary receives an anonymous letter on the morning of the day on which she consults Holmes.
4. Major Sholto, of Upper Norword, late of the 34th Bombay Infantry, died upon the 28th of April, 1882. Within a week of his death Captain Morstan’s daughter receives a valuable present, which is repeated from year to year.Mary begins to receive the pearls immediately after Major Sholto’s death.
5. At the Lyceum Theatre the crowds were already thick at the side-entrances. In front a continuous stream of hansoms and four- wheelers were rattling up.Holmes, Watson and Mary reach the Lyceum Theatre on the evening of the day Mary receives the anonymous letter, as instructed by the writer of the letter. This was in the year 1888.
6. We had hardly done so before the driver whipped up his horse, and we plunged away at a furious pace through the foggy streets.This happens when Holmes, Watson and Mary are taken by the driver to meet the writer of the anonymous letter, on the evening when Mary receives it.
7. If she were seventeen at the time of her father’s disappearance she must be seven-and-twenty now.Watson, who is attracted to Mary, calculates that Mary must be twenty -seven years old in 1888 when she meets him and Holmes.
8. In the year 1878 my father, who was senior captain of his regiment, obtained twelve months’ leave and came home.This was the time, ten years earlier, when Captain Morstan disappeared.

Question - [ii] Explain by citting references from the extract the ways the series of actions moves from London to India.

Solutions :
The extract begins when Mary Morstan meets Sherlock Holmes at his house in London. They then meet Thaddeus Sholto in a rundown neighbourhood of London. Thaddeus reveals that his father Major Sholto had mistakenly killed Captain Morstan in London. They then go to Bartholomew Sholto’s house to get the treasure; however, Bartholomew is found dead.

Holmes follows Jonathan Small and Tonga, who have escaped by a steam launch, over the river Thames in London. When Small is captured, he tells them about the time he spent in India, where he was an accomplice in stealing the Agra treasure. Thus, the narration goes to India. Major Sholto and Captain Morstan were also at one time stationed in India.

Question - [iii] The extract begins when Mary Morstan meets Sherlock Holmes at his house. After that Holmes, Dr.Watson and Mary visit some places in London. Explain in detail the various places mentioned in the extract.

Solutions :
Holmes, Dr.Watson and Mary were taken down the Strand, which was crowded, badly lit and humid. All kinds of people-sad, happy, old and young could be seen moving about in the dim light. Watson found it eerie and ghostlike, and he felt nervous and depressed. They then reached the Lyceum Theatre, where the crowds were pouring in.

A continuous stream of horse carriages could be seen, with stylish people getting out of them. Near the Lyceum Theatre they were met by a coachman who took them in his coach through Rochester Row and Vincent Square onto Vauxhall Bridge Road. They were on the Surrey side, on the bridge from where they got glimpses of the river Thames with lamps shining on the silent water.

The cab then took them through a maze of streets. Holmes could identify Wordsworth Road, Priory Road, Lark Hall Lane, Stockwell Place, Robert Street and Cold Harbor Lane. They were all rundown places. The cab took them further to a rather grim and shady neighbourhood with dull brick houses and cheap and showy public houses at the corner.

Holmes mentions that this was not a very fashionable or rich neighbourhood. This was followed by rows of two-storied villas each with a small front garden, and then again there were never-ending lines of new brick buildings, which were an extension of the city. The houses in the area were all dark and appeared uninhabited.

At last the cab drew up at the third house in a new terrace, which was also dark except for a light in the kitchen. However, when they knocked the door was opened instantly, and an Oriental figure of a servant clad in a yellow turban, white loose-fitting clothes, and a yellow sash stood there. It was strange to find an Oriental figure framed in the doorway of a cheap suburban house.

Question - [iv] Basically the setting of the extract is in London but it has some references of India, too. Explain how the settings of the extract contribute to the theme of the novel.

Solutions :
The setting of the extract is in London, where Mary meets Holmes and Watson to explain her problem. She talks about her father being an officer in an Indian regiment. When he returned to England on leave, he called Mary to meet him at a London hotel, but disappeared mysteriously before she could do so. His only friend in London was a Major Sholto. Holmes finds that Major Sholto was also from the 34th Bombay Infantry.

Mary shows Holmes a piece of paper belonging to her father. The paper was of Indian origin, and three of the names written on it were also Indian. Holmes, Watson and Mary go to meet the anonymous letter writer at a rundown suburban house in London. Later they chase Jonathan Small and Tonga, who were trying to escape by boat on the river Thames. When Jonathan Small was captured, he spoke of being an accomplice in stealing the Agra treasure.

He was sent to the Andaman Islands, where Major Sholto and Captain Morstan were prison guards. At the end of the extract, the door of the anonymous letter writer’s house was opened by an Indian servant. His master used an Indian name to call him. Thus, we have a mingling of incidents both in London as well as in India, where the case had its roots.

Question - [v] Describe in brief the importance of the following places in the extract.

[a] London
[b] Lyceum Theatre
[c] Edinburgh
[d] Agra
[e] Andaman Islands
Solutions :
[a] London: The case starts here with Mary Morstan meeting Holmes at his place in London. They go to meet Thaddeus Sholto in London. They also chase Jonathan Small and Tonga in London. Tonga is killed and Small captured. Small then narrates the entire story.

[b] Lyceum Theatre: This is the place near which the writer of the anonymous letter told Mary Morstan to reach if she wished to get justice.

[c] Edinburgh: Mary spent her childhood till she was seventeen at a boarding school in Edinburgh.

[d] Agra: When Jonathan Small was standing guard one night at the Agra fortress, he was overpowered by two Sikh troopers, who forced him to waylay a servant of a Rajah and steal a valuable fortune in pearls and jewels. This was called the ‘Agra treasure’.

[e] Andaman Islands: Jonathan Small was arrested and imprisoned on the Andaman Islands for the robbery of the Agra treasure. After 20 years, Small made a deal with John Sholto and Arthur Morstan, who were the prison guards. Sholto would recover the treasure and in return send a boat to pick up Small and the Sikhs. Sholto double-crossed both Morstan and Small and stole the treasure for himself. Small vowed vengeance and four years later escaped from the Andaman Islands with an islander named Tonga after they both killed a prison guard.

Question - [vi] Complete:

Name the places/cities in India and England which are mentioned/have appeared in the extract. Describe their importance.
Solutions :
IndiaImportanceLondonImportance
Andaman IslandsMajor Sholto and Captain Morstan were stationed here and in charge of the troops; Jonathan Small was also imprisoned here.Baker StreetThe residence of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. This was the place which Mary Morstan came to, to consult Holmes.
AgraJonathan Small was a gatekeeper at the Agra fortress when he was forced to be an accomplice in the theft of the Rajah’s jewels.Langham HotelThis was the place Mary’s father stayed at when he came to London. He invited Mary to the hotel to meet him; but disappeared before her arrival.
Bombay (Now Mumbai)Major Sholto, and Captain Morstan were both from the regiment ‘the 34th Bombay Infantry’.Lyceum TheatreMary was supposed to meet the writer of the anonymous letter or his messenger at the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theatre.
River ThamesJonathan Small, who tried to escape by boat along the river Thames, was captured. His accomplice Tonga was killed.
 

THEME:

[A4]

Question - [i] Write in brief the theme of the extract.

Solutions :
The theme of the extract revolves round the mystery of the disappearance of Mary Morstan’s father, the receipt of expensive pearls by Mary and the mysterious letter received by her. It also involves the journey of Holmes, Watson and Mary Morstan to a strange house to meet the writer of the mysterious letter. The theme of the novel revolves around the Agra treasure.

Question - [ii] Write 4-5 sentences about the meeting of Miss Morstan with Holmes.

Solutions :
Miss Morstan met Holmes and Watson at their house in Baker Street. She then discussed with them the mysterious disappearance of her father a few years earlier, the receipt of an expensive pearl every year for the past six years, and the receipt of a mysterious letter that morning asking her to meet the writer of the letter. Miss Morstan was intensely agitated and confused and did not know what to do. She showed Holmes the pearls, the boxes in which they had come and the letter. Then they planned to follow the instructions and meet the writer of the letter.

Question - [iii] Write the central idea of the given extract of the novel, “The Sign of Four”.

Solutions :
The central idea is the meeting of Mary Morstan with Holmes and Watson, and her explanation of her problems. It is also about the short trip made by the three to meet I the writer of the mysterious letter. This is Watson’s first meeting with Miss Morstan and his attraction towards her.

Question - [iv] Complete the following giving reasons:

Solutions :
[a] Miss Morstan plans to meet Sherlock Holmes to ask his advice about the disappearance of her father, the receipt of expensive pearls and the mysterious letter received by her.

[b] Miss Morstan gives the reference of Mrs. Cecil Forrester because Mrs. Cecil Forrester was her employer, whom Holmes had once helped to solve a domestic complication. Mrs. Forrester had been impressed by his kindness and skill.

[c] It’s a singular case because Miss Morstan’s father had come back to England and contacted her, and had seemed happy. After fixing a meeting ; with her at his hotel, he had suddenly ; disappeared and was never seen again, Even his only friend in town, Major Sholto, had not known either of his ; arrival or disappearance.

[d] Holmes needed some references to find out details about Major Sholto, who was the only friend Mary’s father had in England, and who had said that he did not know about his arrival in England.

[e] Miss Morstan received a pearl every year, when she replied to an advertisement asking for her address, adding that it would be to her advantage.

[f] The coachman confirmed that neither of Miss Morstan’s companion was a police officer because this was the condition made by the writer of the mysterious letter, whom they were going to meet.

LANGUAGE:

[A5]

[i] Elaborate the following lines in the light of the novel/extract, “The Sign of Four”:

Question - [a] “You really are an automaton – a calculating machine”.

Solutions :
These words are said by Watson to Holmes when Mary Morstan had left after discussing her case. Watson is attracted to her and full of admiration for her. When he voices his admiration, Holmes says that he had not noticed if she is attractive or not. Watson is indignant and calls him a calculating machine.

Question - [b] “The letter speaks of giving her justice.”

Discuss.
Solutions :
These are the words of Holmes to Watson, when they are discussing the letter that Mary Morstan has received from an unknown person. He wondered what was the ‘justice’ that the letter spoke of, and who had done ’ something wrong to Mary that she now needed justice.

Question - [c] “Our quest does not appear to take us to very fashionable regions.”

Solutions :
These words are said by Holmes to Watson and Mary Morstan, when they are being driven by the coachman to some strange place. They were going through narrow streets in an unfriendly and grim neighbourhood, which had dull brick rows of houses and cheap and showy public houses at the comer. Holmes mentions that this was not a very fashionable or rich neighbourhood. 

Question - [ii] Following are some dialogues of the major characters in the extract. Find out who the speaker is, his/her tone, style, significance, etc. of the dialogue.

Solutions :
DialogueSpeakerTo whom it is saidTone, Style, Significance etc.
1.  “… you have once enabled my employer, Mrs. Cecil Forrester, to unravel a little domestic omplication. She was much impressed by your kindness and skill.”Miss MorstanSherlock HolmesPolite, cultured. Mary proves her identity, and how she came to know about Sherlock Holmes.
2. “You will, I am sure, excuse me.”WatsonMiss Morstan and Sherlock HolmesPolite and courteous; Watson wants to make a good impression on Miss Morstan, and doesn’t want to poke his nose if he is not wanted.
3. “Your statement is most interesting. Has anything else occurred to you?”Sherlock HolmesMiss MorstanPolite tone, acknowledging the story told by Miss Morstan, and trying to get further information.
4. “Are you the parties who come with Miss Morstan?”A coachman/  messenger sent by the letter-writer.Sherlock Holmes and WatsonFirm but respectful; cautious and asking for affirmation; shows that the person who had invited Miss Morstan was being very cautious, and checking them out.
5. “The Sahib awaits you.”Khitmutgar (a male servant)Miss Morstan, Sherlock Holmes and WatsonRespectful, formal. Shows some connection with the east, especially India.

The Sign Of Four Questions And Answers | The sign of four pdf

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer, who created the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887, he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and more than fifty short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. 

Doyle was a prolific writer; other than Holmes stories, his works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. One of Doyle’s early short stories, ‘J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement’, helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. The Sign of Four is the second novel of Arthur Conan Doyle in which Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the mystery of the hidden treasure and murder

Outline of the Novel

The novel begins with Holmes and Dr. Watson engaged in a discussion when Mary Morstan, a young woman, who desires Holmes’ advice, soon visits the two at their place. During the meeting, Mary tells that after her father disappeared under mysterious circumstances some ten years ago; she began receiving a large pearl in the mail on the same day of every year. 

She tells that she has received a letter instructing her to go, with the accompaniment of two friends, to Lyceum Theatre. The letter gives a hint that some injustice has been done to her. Holmes and Watson agree to accompany Mary. Soon Watson and Mary are attracted to one another.

When the three are heading to the Lyceum Theatre, Holmes, Watson, and Mary, they are whisked away in a darkened carriage to a strange house. Within, they find an eccentric gentleman named Thaddeus Sholto. He reveals that not only has Mary’s father died, but also she is partial heir to a great hidden treasure. 

Thaddeus goes on to explain that his father always lived in fear of men with wooden legs, and on occasion struck out at perfect strangers who were so handicapped. On his deathbed, the elder Sholto revealed to his sons the existence of the treasure, but just before he could tell them where it was, the face of a bearded man appeared in the window, and the old man suffered a fatal heart attack. The next morning, a note was found affixed to the body: it read “Sign of Four”. Thaddeus proceeds to explain that after searching for years for the treasure, his brother Bartholomew discovered it in a hidden attack in the family house. On his deathbed, the brothers’ father made them swear they would share the treasure with Mary Morstan, who has some unknown claim in the fortune. Thaddeus concludes by entreating the three to accompany him to the family estate where they will divide up the fortune. When they arrived at the family estate, the three find a shaken housekeeper who claims that Bartholomew has not emerged from his locked room all day. 

Holmes and Watson peer through the keyhole of the room and find an unnatural grinning face leering at them. Breaking down the door, they find the body of Bartholomew, a poisoned thorn lodged in his neck. After investigating for some time, Holmes concludes that two persons, one of whom had a wooden leg, committed the crime. According to Holmes, the second person was an especially interesting individual. It also becomes apparent that the murderers have stolen the Agra treasure.
One of Holmes’ deductions reveals that the wooden-legged man stepped in creosote during his escape. Following up on this lead, Holmes and Watson borrow a dog to follow the scent. Their search leads them to the edge of the Thames

 where it is clear the two criminals hired a boat. Over the next few days, Holmes recruits his “Baker Street Irregulars,” a gang of street urchins, to search the river for the boat. When these efforts fail, Holmes, in disguise, makes a search himself, and discovers that the boat–the Aurora–has been camouflaged. That night, Holmes, Watson, and several officers pursue the Aurora in a police barge. They gradually overtake the boat, which contains a wooden-legged captain and a small pygmy native from the Andaman Islands. The native attempts to shoot Holmes with a blowpipe, and is consequently shot down by both Holmes and Watson. The Aurora runs a ground and the wooden-legged man becomes entrapped in the mud; subsequently, he is captured. 

The wooden-legged man, whose name is Jonathan Small, is brought back to Baker Street, along with an iron box, which was found on the boat. Captain Small proceeds to relay the story of the Agra treasure, which began when he was stationed as a fortress gatekeeper in India. Small explains that he was approached by three Arab guards and offered a share in a great fortune if he would help them murder the man who carried it. Small agreed. When the man, an emissary from a wealthy Sheik, arrived, the three 

Arabs murdered the man as Small blocked his escape. The four conspirators hid the treasure, but soon after, were arrested for the murder of the emissary. Small was sent to a penal colony on the Andaman Islands, where he managed to befriend a native, Tonga, who became his loyal companion. Small bribed two of the guards on the island, Sholto and Morstan

(Mary’s father), into helping him escape in exchange for a share in the fortune. The two agreed, and Sholto left to bring back the treasure. After some time, it became apparent to Small that Sholto had betrayed him, and he escaped from the island with Tonga. After many years, Small had tracked down Sholto, and arrived just in time to see him die. After the death, Small affixed the note that was found on the body, as a reference to himself and his three Arab companions. When he returned to the Sholto estate, 

Tonga murdered Bartholomew and the two stole the treasure. Small concludes his narrative by revealing that in the course of the chase on the Thames, he threw the treasure overboard. 

Small is taken to prison, and Watson, who has come to love Mary Morstan, proposes to her. Theme of the novel : The theme of the novel revolves around the Agra treasure. Throughout the story, the appearance of the treasure leads to a direct and often tragic change in the lives of the characters. Because of this, it is important that the removal of the treasure would cause the characters to return to their previous position. In the case of Small, a convict, the re-emergence of the treasure leads him down a path that ends in murder; with the removal of the treasure, he is a prisoner once again. 

Mary Morstan is a charming young woman whom Watson contemplates marrying. With the prospect of Mary becoming an heiress, however, this possibility is removed. When it is discovered that the Agra treasure is gone, Mary returns to a position in which Watson can comfortably propose marriage. The shallowness of wealth and the destruction that can come through it is also seen prevailing throughout the novel. As the Agra treasure directly and adversely affects almost everyone. In the course of the story, 

the Sheik’s emissary and Bartholomew are both murdered for the treasure, Tonga is killed while fleeing with it, and Small is sentenced to life imprisonment. Additionally, both Thaddeus and his father spent their lives constantly paranoid about wooden legged men, and about strangers in general. The Agra treasure even provides a “romantic conflict” for Dr. Watson, who feels that he cannot marry Miss Morstan for fear that he will appear to be after her money

Plot of the Novel (Mary’s father), into helping him escape in exchange for a share in the fortune. The two agreed, and Sholto left to bring back the treasure. After some time, it became apparent to Small that Sholto had betrayed him, and he escaped from the island with Tonga. After many years, Small had tracked down Sholto, and arrived just in time to see him die. After the death, Small affixed the note that was found on the body, as a reference to himself and his three Arab companions. When he returned to the Sholto estate, 

Tonga murdered Bartholomew and the two stole the treasure. Small concludes his narrative by revealing that in the course of the chase on the Thames, he threw the treasure overboard. Small is taken to prison, and Watson, who has come to love Mary Morstan, proposes to her. Theme of the novel : The theme of the novel revolves around the Agra treasure. Throughout the story, the appearance of the treasure leads to a direct and often tragic change in the lives of the characters. Because of this, it is important that the removal of the treasure would cause the characters to return to their previous position. 

In the case of Small, a convict, the re-emergence of the treasure leads him down a path that ends in murder; with the removal of the treasure, he is a prisoner once again. Mary Morstan is a charming young woman whom Watson contemplates marrying. With the prospect of Mary becoming an heiress, however, this possibility is removed. When it is discovered that the Agra treasure is gone, Mary returns to a position in which Watson can comfortably propose marriage. The shallowness of wealth and the destruction that can come through it is also seen prevailing throughout the novel. 

As the Agra treasure directly and adversely affects almost everyone. In the course of the story, the Sheik’s emissary and Bartholomew are both murdered for the treasure, Tonga is killed while fleeing with it, and Small is sentenced to life imprisonment. Additionally, both Thaddeus and his father spent their lives constantly paranoid about wooden legged men, and about strangers in general. The Agra treasure even provides a “romantic conflict” for Dr. Watson, who feels that he cannot marry Miss Morstan for fear that he will appear to be after her money. 

The novel has a complex plot involving service in India, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts (‘the Four’ of the title) and two corrupt prison guards. According to Mary, in December 1878, her father had telegraphed her upon his safe return from India and requested her to meet him at the Langham Hotel in London. When Mary arrived at the hotel, she was told that her father had gone out the previous night and not returned. Despite all efforts, no trace was ever found of him. 

Mary contacted her father’s only friend, Major John Sholto who was in the same regiment lived in England. But he denied knowing her father had returned. The second puzzle is that she has received six pearls in the mail from an anonymous benefactor, one per year since 1882 after answering an anonymous newspaper query inquiring for her. With the last pearl she received a letter remarking that she has been wronged and asking for a meeting. 

Holmes takes the case and soon discovers that Major Sholto had died in 1882 and that within a short span of time Mary began to receive the pearls, implying a connection. The only clue Mary can give Holmes is a map of a fortress found in her father’s desk with the names of Jonathan Small, Mahomet Singh, Abdullah Khan and Dost Akbar.

Holmes, Watson, and Mary meet Thaddeus Sholto, the son of the late Major Sholto and the anonymous sender of the pearls. Thaddeus confirms the Major had seen Mary’s father the night he died; they had arranged a meeting to divide a priceless treasure Sholto had brought home from India. While quarrelling over the treasure, Captain Morstan—long in weak health—suffered a heart attack. Not wanting to bring attention to the object of the quarrel—and also worried that circumstances would suggest that he had killed Morstan in an argument, particularly since

 Morstan’s head struck the corner of the chest as he fell—Sholto disposed of the body and hid the treasure. However, he himself suffered from poor health and an enlarged spleen (possibly due to malaria, as a quinine bottle stands by his bed). His own health became worse when he received a letter from India in early 1882. Dying, he called his two sons and confessed to Morstan’s death and was about to divulge the location of the treasure when he suddenly cried,

 “Keep him out!” before falling back and dying. The puzzled sons glimpsed a face in the window, but the only trace was a single footstep in the dirt. On their father’s body is a note reading “The Sign of the Four”. Both brothers quarrelled over whether a legacy should be left to Mary Morstan, and Thaddeus left his brother Bartholomew, taking a chaplet and sending its pearls to Mary. The reason he sent the letter is that Bartholomew has found the treasure and possibly Thaddeus and Mary might confront him for a division of it. 

Bartholomew is found dead in his home from a poison dart and the treasure is missing. While the police wrongly take Thaddeus in as a suspect, Holmes deduces that there are two persons involved in the murder: a one-legged man, Jonathan Small, as well as another “small” accomplice. He traces them to a boat landing where Small has hired a steam launch named the Aurora. 

With the help of dog Toby that he sends Watson to collect from Mr. Sherman, the Baker Street Irregulars and his own disguise, Holmes traces the steam launch. In a police steam launch Holmes and Watson chase the Aurora and capture it, but in the process end up killing the “small” companion after he attempts to kill Holmes with a poisoned dart shot from a blow-pipe. Small tries to escape but is captured. However, the iron treasure box is empty; 

Small claims to have dumped the treasure over the side during the chase. Small confesses that years before he was a soldier of the Third Buffs in India and lost his right leg in a swimming accident to a crocodile. After some time, when he was an overseer on a tea plantation, the Indian Rebellion of 1857 occurred and he was forced to flee for his life to the Agra fortress. 

While standing guard one night he was overpowered by two Sikh troopers, who gave him a choice of being killed or being an accomplice to waylaying a disguised servant of a Rajah who sent the servant with a valuable fortune in pearls and jewels to the British for safekeeping. The robbery and murder took place and the crime was discovered, although the jewels were not. Small got penal servitude on the Andaman Islands and, after 20 years, he overheard that John Sholto had lost much money gambling and cannot even sell his commission; therefore, he will have to resign. Small saw his chance and made a deal with Sholto and Arthur Morstan:

 Sholto would recover the treasure and in return send a boat to pick up Small and the Sikhs. Sholto double-crossed both Morstan and Small and stole the treasure for himself-after inheriting a fortune from his uncle. Small vowed vengeance and four years later escaped the Andaman Islands with an islander named Tonga after they both killed a prison guard. It was the news of his escape that shocked

Sholto into his fatal illness. Small arrived too late to hear of the treasure’s location, but left the note which referred to the name of the pact between himself and his three Sikh accomplices. When Bartholomew found the treasure, Small planned to only steal it, but claims a miscommunication led Tonga to kill Bartholomew as well. Small claims the Agra treasure brought nothing but bad luck to anyone who came in touch with it—the servant who was murdered; 

Sholto living with fear and guilt; and now he himself is trapped in slavery for life—half his life building a breakwater in the Andaman Islands and the rest of his life digging drains in Dartmoor Prison. Mary Morstan is left without the bulk of the Agra treasure, although she will apparently receive the rest of the chaplet. John Watson falls in love with Mary and it is revealed at the end that he proposed to her and she has accepted.

Synopsis of the Extract  

Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes were discussing on general issues when they were interrupted by the arrival of Ms. Mary Morstan, who has a case for Sherlock to solve. Mary tells about her father’s sudden disappearance on a trip many years ago. A few years later, an advertisement was published in a newspaper asking for her address, which she gave, and ever since then, on the same day of each year, she received a rare and expensive pearl. This continued for some more years but today, she received a letter asking to meet her.

 The letter warned Mary not to bring the police with her. Mary requests Holmes and Watson to accompany her to place so that they can figure out the secret behind it. Both agree to accompany her. Sherlock recommends Dr. Watson to read Winwood Reade’s book ‘Martyrdom of Man’ and leaves the room in search of some references and facts that are essential for the case. After returning from his investigation, Sherlock shares his findings with Watson. He believes that the death of Major Sholto, Mary’s father’s only friend in London, has something to do with the mysterious pearls she has been receiving every year. Sherlock believed that the Sholto’s heir knows that Mary has been wronged in some way, and may be seeking to rectify the problem.

 Later Mary arrives at Baker Street as planned. Both Sherlock and Watson accompany her to the appointment with the mysterious letter writer. Mary has brought a paper of her father’s with her which she wasn’t been able to decipher; she felt that the paper might be pertinent to the case in some way. It might help Holmes to decode the mystery and find the disappearance of her father. Sherlock examines the letter and puts it away for safe-keeping. 

He, Watson, and Mary go to the meeting; there, a person asks them any of them are police officers, which they deny. The person, who is apparently a servant of the person they are meeting, then drives them in carriage. The trio arrives in a ‘less fashionable’ part of London, aka a more rundown, working class neighbourhood. They are escorted inside a house by a servant.

The Sign of Four Chapter II The Statement of the Case Miss Morstan entered the room with a firm step and an outward composure of manner. She was a young lady, small, dainty, well gloved, and dressed in the most perfect taste. There was, however, a plainness and simplicity about her costume which bore with it a suggestion of limited means. The dress was a sombre grayish beige, untrimmed and unbraided, and she wore a small turban of the same dull hue, relieved only by a suspicion of white feather in the side. 

Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beauty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable, and her large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic. In an experience of women which extends over many nations and three separate continents, I have never looked upon a face which gave a clearer promise of a refined and sensitive nature. 

I could not but observe that as she took the seat which Sherlock Holmes placed for her, her lip trembled, her hand quivered, and she showed every sign of intense inward agitation. “I have come to you, Mr. Holmes,” she said, “because you once enabled my employer, Mrs. Cecil Forrester, to unravel a little domestic complication. She was much impressed by your kindness and skill.” 

“Mrs. Cecil Forrester,” he repeated thoughtfully. “I believe that I was of some slight service to her. The case, however, as I remember it, was a very simple one.” “She did not think so. But at least you cannot say the same of mine. I can hardly imagine anything more strange, more utterly inexplicable, than the situation in which I find myself.” Holmes rubbed his hands, and his eyes glistened. He leaned forward in his chair with an expression of extraordinary concentration upon his clear-cut, hawklike features. “State your case,” said he, in brisk, business tones. I felt that my position was an embarrassing one. “You will, I am sure, excuse me,” 

I said, rising from my chair. To my surprise, the young lady held up her gloved hand to detain me. “If your friend,” she said, “would be good enough to stop, he might be of inestimable service to me.” I relapsed into my chair. “Briefly,” she continued, “the facts are these. My father was an officer in an Indian regiment who sent me home when I was quite a child. My mother was dead, and I had no relative in England. 

I was placed, however, in a comfortable boarding establishment at Edinburgh, and there I remained until I was seventeen years of age. In the year 1878 my father, who was senior captain of his regiment, obtained twelve months’ leave and came home. He telegraphed to me from London that he had arrived all safe, and directed me to come down at once, giving the Langham Hotel as his address. His message, 

I remember, was full of kindness and love. On reaching London I drove to the Langham, and was informed that Captain Morstan was staying there, but that he had gone out the night before and had not yet returned. I waited all day without news of him. That night, on the advice of the manager of the hotel, I communicated with the police, and next morning we advertised in all the papers.

Our inquiries led to no result; and from that day to this no word has ever been heard of my unfortunate father. He came home with his heart full of hope, to find some peace, some comfort, and instead—” She put her hand to her throat, and a choking sob cut short the sentence.

 “The date?” asked Holmes, opening his note-book. “He disappeared upon the 3rd of December, 1878. —nearly ten years ago. “His luggage?” “Remained at the hotel. There was nothing in it to suggest a clue,-some clothes, some books, and a considerable number of curiosities from the Andaman Islands. He had been one of the officers in charge of the convictguard there.” “Had he any friends in town?” “Only one that we know of,—Major Sholto, of his own regiment, the 34th Bombay Infantry. The major had retired some little time before, and lived at Upper Norwood. 

We communicated with him, of course, but he did not even know that his brother officer was in England.” “A singular case,” remarked Holmes. “I have not yet described to you the most singular part. About six years ago— to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882— an advertisement appeared in the Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. There was no name or address appended. I had at that time just entered the family of Mrs. Cecil Forrester in the capacity of governess.

 By her advice I published my address in the advertisement column. The same day there arrived through the post a small card-board box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl. No word of writing was enclosed. Since then every year upon the same date there has always appeared a similar box, containing a similar pearl, without any clue as to the sender. They have been pronounced by an expert to be of a rare variety and of considerable value. You can see for yourselves that they are very handsome.”

 She opened a flat box as she spoke, and showed me six of the finest pearls that I had ever seen. “Your statement is most interesting,” said Sherlock Holmes. “Has anything else occurred to you?” “Yes and no later than to-day. That is why I have come to you. This morning I received this letter, which you will perhaps read for yourself.” “Thank you,” said Holmes. “The envelope too, please. Postmark, London, S.W. Date, July 7. Hum! Man’s thumbmark on corner—probably postman. Best quality paper. Envelopes at six pence a packet.Particular man in his stationery. No address. ‘Be at the third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum 

Theatre to-night at seven o’clock. If you are distrustful, bring two friends. You are a wronged woman, and shall have justice. Do not bring police. If you do, all will be in vain. Your unknown friend.’ Well, really, this is a very pretty little mystery. What do you intend to do, Miss Morstan?” “That is exactly what I want to ask you.” “Then we shall most certainly go. You and I and—yes, why,

 Dr. Watson is the very man. Your correspondent says two friends. He and I have worked together before.” “But would he come?” she asked, with something appealing in her voice and expression. “I should be proud and happy,” said I, fervently, “if I can be of  We had, indeed, reached a questionable and forbidding neighbourhood. Long lines of dull brick houses were only relieved by the coarse glare and tawdry brilliancy of public houses at the corner. 

Then came rows of two-storied villas each with a fronting of miniature garden, and then again interminable lines of new staring brick buildings,—the monster tentacles which the giant city was throwing out into the country. At last the cab drew up at the third house in a new terrace. None of the other houses were inhabited, and that at which we stopped was as dark as its neighbours, save for a single glimmer in the kitchen window. 

On our knocking however, the door was instantly thrown open by a servant clad in a yellow turban, white loose-fitting clothes, and a yellow sash. There was something strangely incongruous in this Oriental figure framed in the commonplace door-way of a thirdrate suburban dwelling-house. “The Sahib awaits you,” said he, and even as he spoke there came a high piping voice from some inner room. “Show them in to me, khitmutgar,” it cried. “Show them straight in to me.” - Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle 

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12th English Digest 2021-2022 Section 1 (Prose)

Chapter 1.1 An Astrologer’s Day
Chapter 1.2 On Saying “Please”
Chapter 1.3 The Cop and the Anthem
Chapter 1.4 Big Data-Big Insights
Chapter 1.5 The New Dress
Chapter 1.6 Into the Wild
Chapter 1.7 Why We Travel
Chapter 1.8 Voyaging Towards Excellence

English Yuvakbharati 12th Full Digest Section 2 (Poetry)

Chapter 2.1 Song of the Open Road
Chapter 2.2 Indian Weavers
Chapter 2.3 The Inchcape Rock
Chapter 2.4 Have you Earned Your Tomorrow
Chapter 2.5 Father Returning Home
Chapter 2.6 Money
Chapter 2.7 She Walks in Beauty
Chapter 2.8 Small Towns and Rivers

Yuvakbharati English 12th Digest Guide Section 3 (Writing Skills)

Chapter 3.1 Summary Writing
Chapter 3.2 Do Schools Really Kill Creativity? (Mind-Mapping)
Chapter 3.3 Note–Making
Chapter 3.4 Statement of Purpose
Chapter 3.5 Drafting a Virtual Message
Chapter 3.6 Group Discussion

Yuvakbharati English 12th Textbook Answers Solutions Section 4 (Genre-Drama)

Chapter 4.1 History of Novel
Chapter 4.2 To Sir, with Love
Chapter 4.3 Around the World in Eighty Days
Chapter 4.4 The Sign of Four

Appreciation Of Poem 12th Standard | 12th english all poem appreciation pdf
2.1 Song of the Open Road
2.2 Indian Weavers
2.3 The Inchcape Rock
2.4 Have you Earned your Tomorrow
2.5 Father Returning Home
2.6 Money
2.7 She Walks in Beauty
2.8 Small Towns and Rivers

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