The Adventure of the Speckled Band

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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The longtime sidekick on Sherlock Holmes’s crime-solving adventures, Dr. John Watson is the narrator of these detective stories. Like with Holmes, Doyle gives very few biographical details about Watson, since Doyle assumes the reader is familiar with the previous stories in the series. In “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” the reader learns that Watson and Holmes are “sharing rooms as bachelors in Baker Street” and that they have solved over seventy cases together as a working duo.

Dr. Watson Quotes in The Adventure of the Speckled Band

The The Adventure of the Speckled Band quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Watson or refer to Dr. Watson. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Exoticism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Trade Editions edition of The Adventure of the Speckled Band published in 1986.
The Adventure of the Speckled Band Quotes

…working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, and even the fantastic.

Related Characters: Dr. Watson (speaker), Sherlock Holmes
Page Number: 396-397
Explanation and Analysis:

So tall was he that his hat actually brushed the cross bar of the doorway, and his breadth seemed to span it across from side to side. A large face, seared with a thousand wrinkles, burned yellow with the sun, and marked with every evil passion, was turned from one to the other of us, while his deep-set, bile-shot eyes, and his high, thin, fleshless nose, gave him somewhat the resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey.

Related Characters: Dr. Watson (speaker), Dr. Grimesby Roylott
Related Symbols: Stoke Moran Manor
Page Number: 408
Explanation and Analysis:

The building was of grey, lichen-blotched stone, with a high central portion and two curving wings, like the claws of a crab, thrown out on each side. In one of these wings the windows were broken and blocked with wooden boards, while the roof was partly caved in, a picture of ruin.

Related Characters: Dr. Watson (speaker)
Related Symbols: Stoke Moran Manor
Page Number: 411
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. Watson Character Timeline in The Adventure of the Speckled Band

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Watson appears in The Adventure of the Speckled Band. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Adventure of the Speckled Band
Fate and Justice Theme Icon
“The Adventure of the Speckled Band” begins with Watson, the story’s narrator, noting that, of the nearly seventy cases that he and Sherlock Holmes... (full context)
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Watson says that he would have told these events sooner, but he was sworn to secrecy... (full context)
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The events that Watson recounts start early one morning in April of 1883, when he and Holmes were living... (full context)
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...an hour if there were a pressing need, so her case must be important. As Watson loves nothing more than watching Holmes use his exceptional deductive skills, he is excited to... (full context)
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Greed, Desperation, and Decline Theme Icon
Helen tells Holmes and Watson that Roylott has no friends aside from the group of wandering gypsies who have set... (full context)
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Two years ago, Helen tells Holmes and Watson, her sister got engaged. Roylott had no objection to the marriage, but Julia died under... (full context)
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...said, “It was the band! The speckled band!” and then died. Helen tells Holmes and Watson that she saw a charred match and a match box in her sister’s hand, indicating... (full context)
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By the time she comes to visit Holmes and Watson, Helen herself has become engaged. Soon after she made the announcement to Roylott, renovations began... (full context)
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...is merely unaware of his strength, but Holmes stares pensively into the fire. Holmes and Watson make plans to meet Helen at the Stoke Moran Manor later that day so they... (full context)
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...enters the room. He announces himself as Dr. Roylott, Helen’s stepfather. He tells Holmes and Watson that he’s been tracing Helen’s movements, knows that she has just paid them a visit,... (full context)
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Holmes and Watson begin their journey from London to Surrey, first by train and then by dog-cart. They... (full context)
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Holmes and Watson then begin to inspect the manor with Helen’s help. Watson notes how the building is... (full context)
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Back outside, the three hatch a plan for the evening. Holmes and Watson will take a room on the second floor of the inn across the lane from... (full context)
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At eleven, Holmes and Watson see from their room at the inn that Helen has lit the lamp in her... (full context)
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Holmes instructs Watson to sit silently in the dark and not fall asleep. With a cane in his... (full context)
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...and they smell oil, telling them that Roylott is stirring about next door. Holmes and Watson continue to sit in silence until they hear a hiss come into their room. Suddenly,... (full context)
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Greed, Desperation, and Decline Theme Icon
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Right when Watson lights a lantern in the room, he hears the low whistling sound. The glare of... (full context)
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Thus ends the investigation. Watson quickly summarizes for the reader how they conveyed the news to Helen, who then moves... (full context)
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At the conclusion of the story, Holmes tells Watson that he knows he is at least partly responsible for Roylott’s death, but that the... (full context)