Иллюстрации И. В. Кульбицкой
Артур Игнатиус Конан Дойл родился 22 мая 1859 года в Эдинбурге. Его отец, Чарльз Альтамонт Дойл, был художником и архитектором, а мать увлекалась литературой и, обладая ярким воображением, являлась великолепной рассказчицей.
Материальное положение семьи Дойлов было достаточно скромным, и родители не могли обеспечить способному мальчику хорошее образование, поэтому, увидев в ребенке потенциал, богатые родственники отправили Артура учиться в иезуитский колледж Стоунхерст. Обучение в колледже было предельно строгим, а учащиеся подвергались физическим наказаниям, но тем не менее это не помешало Дойлу стать популярной личностью среди сверстников и открыть в себе способности к сочинительству.
В дальнейшем Дойл получил медицинское образование в Эдинбургском университете, где познакомился с начинающими литераторами Джеймсом Барри, Робертом Льюисом Стивенсоном, а также одним из прототипов сыщика Шерлока Холмса – преподавателем Джозефом Беллом. Именно во время учебы в университете Дойл публикует свои первые рассказы.
По окончании университета Дойл занимается врачебной практикой, не забывая и о литературном творчестве. В 1887 году выходит первый роман Дойла о Шерлоке Холмсе – «Этюд в багровых тонах». Роман тепло принимается публикой, и на протяжении последующих нескольких лет Дойл создает другие произведения о Холмсе, среди которых «Знак четырех», «Собака Баскервилей» и несколько сборников рассказов.
С тех пор прошло немало лет, но произведения Артура Конан Дойла о Шерлоке Холмсе по-прежнему пользуются большой популярностью среди читателей самых разных возрастов. Они были переведены более чем на 70 языков, экранизированы бесчисленное количество раз, а сам Шерлок Холмс на сегодняшний день, пожалуй, является самым известным сыщиком в мире литературы.
The Adventure of Speckled Band
Адаптация текста, упражнения, комментарии и словарь Е. В. Глушенковой
On glancing over my notes of the cases in which I have studied the methods of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number strange, but no commonplace cases. He worked rather for the love of his art than for money and he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not have anything unusual and even fantastic in it. Of all these cases, however, I cannot recall any which was more unusual than that which was associated with the well-known family of the Roylotts of Stoke Moran  . The events occurred in the early days of my association with Holmes, when we were sharing rooms in Baker Street.
It was early in April in the year 1883 that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed. He was a late riser  , as a rule, and as the clock showed me that it was only a quarter-past seven, I looked up at him in some surprise.
“Very sorry to wake you up, Watson,” said he, “but Mrs. Hudson has been woken up, and she woke me up.”
“What is it, then – a fire?”
“No, a client. A young lady has arrived. She is waiting now in the sitting-room. When young ladies call on you at this hour of the morning, I think that it is something very pressing. If it is an interesting case, I am sure, you would like to follow it from the beginning.”
“My dear fellow, I shall be ready in a minute.”
I put on my clothes and was ready in a few minutes to accompany my friend down to the sitting-room. A lady dressed in black rose as we entered.
“Good-morning, madam,” said Holmes. “My name is Sherlock Holmes. This is my friend and associate, Dr. Watson, before whom you can speak as freely as before myself. I am glad to see that Mrs. Hudson has lighted the fire. Please sit near it, and I shall ask a cup of hot coffee for you, for I see that you are shivering.”
“It is not cold which makes me shiver  ,” said the woman in a low voice.
“It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror.” She looked up as she spoke, and we could see her pale face with frightened eyes. She must be a woman of thirty  , but her hair was turning gray.
“You must not fear,” said he. “We shall soon help you, I have no doubt. You have come to London by train this morning, I see.”
“You know me, then?”
“No, but I see your return ticket in your left glove. You must have started early  , and you had a long drive in a dog-cart, along heavy roads, before you reached the station.”
The lady looked in bewilderment at my companion.
“There is no mystery, my dear madam,” said he, smiling. “The left arm of your jacket is covered with mud. The marks are perfectly fresh. Only a dog-cart throws up mud in that way.”
“You are perfectly correct,” said she. “I started from home before six, and came in by the first train to Waterloo  . Sir, I can stand this strain no longer  ; I shall go mad if it continues. I have heard of you, Mr. Holmes; I have heard of you from Mrs. Farintosh, whom you helped. It was from her that I had your address. Oh, sir, do you not think that you could help me, too? At present I cannot reward you, but in a month or six weeks I shall be married and shall have my own income, and then you will not find me ungrateful.”
Holmes turned to his desk and took a small book, which he consulted.
“Farintosh,” said he. “Ah yes, I recall the case. I think it was before your time, Watson. I can only say, madam, that I shall be happy to investigate your case as I did for your friend. As to reward, my profession is its own reward; but you can pay me at the time which suits you best. And now I ask you to tell us everything that may help us in to form an opinion upon the matter.”
“Alas!” said our visitor, “the horror of my situation lies in the fact that my fears are so vague, that even the man who cares for me looks upon all that I tell him as the fancies of a nervous woman. He does not say so, but I can read it in his eyes.”
“I am all attention, madam.”
1. Answer the questions:
1. When did Sherlock Holmes investigate the case of the Roylotts of Stoke Moran?
2. Where did Sherlock Holmes live? Who did he share the rooms with?
3. Why did Sherlock Holmes wake up Dr.Watson very early one morning?
4. What did the client look like?
5. How did Sherlock Holmes surprise their visitor?
6. How did he learn all the information about the client?
7. Who did the client learn about the detective from?
8. Why did the client come to Holmes for help?
9. What did she tell Holmes about her financial position?
Think and say
1. What do you think is the role of Dr.Watson in Sherlock Holmes’ investigations?
2. What does Holmes’ behaviour at the beginning of the story tell us about his character?
2. Find the following words and phrases in the text and reproduce situations from the text with them. Give Russian equivalents.
1. rather… than
would rather do smth than do smth else
2. to occur
It occurred to smb
3. to share a room / flat
4. as a rule
5. to call on smb
6. to accompany smb to some place