The Speckled Band and Other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (MacMillan Readers, Intermediate)

The Speckled Band and Other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (MacMillan Readers, Intermediate)This book contains three stories:

  1. The Speckled Band
  2. The dancing men
  3. The red-headed league

The Speckled Band

For many years, I was a good friend of Sherlock Holmes, the famous private detective.

During this time, Holmes solved many unusual mysteries. But perhaps one of the most unusual was the mysteryof the Speckled Band.

The story began in April, 1883. At that time, Holmes and I were sharing an apartment in Baker Street, in London.

One morning, I woke up very early. To my surprise, Holmes was standing beside my bed. He was already dressed.

‘What’s happened, Holmes?’ I asked. ‘Is there a fire?’

‘No, Watson,’ replied Holmes. ‘A client has just arrived. A young lady is waiting downstairs. She seems very worried and upset. I think she has something important to tell me. This could be an interesting case-*, Watson. That’s why I woke you up.’

‘I’ll come at once,’ I said.

I was very interested in Holmes’ cases. My friend was a very clever detective. I very much admired his work.

The dancing men

One morning, Sherlock Holmes handed me a sheet of paper. Look, Watson,’ he said. ‘Can you explain this problem?’

I looked at the paper. To my surprise, it was covered with a line of strange pictures. These pictures looked like little dancing men.

A child must have drawn these,’ I said. ‘Where did you get this piece of paper, Holmes?’

It arrived by post this morning,’ answered Holmes. man called Hilton Cubitt, of Ridling Thorpe Manor in Norfolk, sent it to me. Mr Cubitt is coming to see me today.

There’s a ring at the doorbell, Watson. Perhaps that’s Mr Cubitt now.’

A moment later, a tall gentleman entered the room. He had a handsome face with clear blue eyes and looked very strong and healthy.

This gentleman shook hands with both of us. Suddenly he caught sight of the strange drawings.

The red-headed league

After my marriage, I lived with my wife in another part of London. My friend, Sherlock Holmes, continued to live in his apartment in Baker Street.

One day, in the autumn of 1890, I decided to visit my friend.

But when I arrived at his apartment, I found he already had a visitor.

This visitor was an old man. He was fat, with a red face. But the most unusual thing about him was his hair. The colour of the old man’s hair was bright red.

I am sorry, Holmes,’ I said. ‘I didn’t know you were busy. I’ll wait in the next room.’

But Holmes didn’t want me to leave. He pulled me into the room and closed the door.

This is my friend, Dr Watson,’ he said to the old man. ‘Dr Watson has helped me with many cases. Perhaps he can also help me with yours.’

I’m very interested in your cases, Holmes,’ I said.

Total words: 12655
Unique words: 988
Vocabulary  (txt, UTF-8)
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