The Adventure of the Speckled Band

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Helen Stoner is the twin sister of Julia Stoner, who died under mysterious circumstances two years prior. Helen enters into the story when she comes to London to seek Holmes’s help in solving this case. The Stoner twins lived in adjacent bedrooms in the crumbling Stoke Moran Manor in rural Surrey, both of them in the care of their villainous stepfather, Dr. Roylott. Helen, still living there, is engaged to be married to a longtime acquaintance and is eager to leave the confines of the strange mansion. However, since her sister died just before her own wedding under mysterious circumstances, and since her physically abusive stepfather is so sinister and unhinged, Helen has begun to fear for her life. The night before she decides to visit Holmes and Watson, she hears the same low whistling sound that her sister claimed to have heard in the room shortly before she died, which is the catalyst for Helen deciding to seek the detectives’ help.

Helen Stoner Quotes in The Adventure of the Speckled Band

The The Adventure of the Speckled Band quotes below are all either spoken by Helen Stoner or refer to Helen Stoner. 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

The family was at one time among the richest in England, and the estates extended over the borders into Berkshire in the north, and Hampshire in the west. In the last century, however, four successive heirs were of a dissolute and wasteful disposition, and the family ruin was eventually completed by a gambler in the days of the Regency. Nothing was left save a few acres of ground, and the two-hundred-year-old house, which is itself crushed under a heavy mortgage.

Related Characters: Helen Stoner (speaker), Dr. Grimesby Roylott
Related Symbols: Stoke Moran Manor
Page Number: 400
Explanation and Analysis:

Instead of making friends and exchanging visits with our neighbours, who had at first been overjoyed to see a Roylott of Stoke Moran back in the old family seat, he shut himself up in his house and seldom came out save to indulge in ferocious quarrels with whoever might cross his path. Violence of temper approaching to mania has been hereditary in the men of the family, and in my stepfather’s case it had, I believe, been intensified by his long residence in the tropics.

Related Characters: Helen Stoner (speaker), Dr. Grimesby Roylott
Related Symbols: Stoke Moran Manor
Page Number: 401
Explanation and Analysis:

“Tell me, Helen,” said she, “have you ever heard anyone whistle in the dead of the night?”

Related Characters: Julia Stoner (speaker), Helen Stoner
Related Symbols: Swamp Adder
Page Number: 402
Explanation and Analysis:

At first I thought that she had not recognised me, but as I bent over her she suddenly shrieked out in a voice which I shall never forget, “Oh, my God! Helen! It was the band! The speckled band!”

Related Characters: Helen Stoner (speaker), Julia Stoner
Related Symbols: Swamp Adder
Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Adventure of the Speckled Band PDF

Helen Stoner Character Timeline in The Adventure of the Speckled Band

The timeline below shows where the character Helen Stoner 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
Isolation and Powerlessness Theme Icon
...a late riser, standing over him to let him know that they have a distressed young lady waiting for them in their sitting room. (full context)
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A few moments later, they head down to the sitting-room, where a young woman , clad in black and wearing a veil, is sitting near the window. Holmes notes... (full context)
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...of mud, indicating that she traveled partially by dog-cart), and the woman introduces herself as Helen Stoner. (full context)
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Helen tells Holmes that he was recommended by an acquaintance who had used the detective’s services... (full context)
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Helen then recounts the incidents that led her to seek Holmes’s help. She lives with her... (full context)
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Not long after, Helen’s mother died in a train accident, leaving a sizable inheritance to Roylott, with a stipulation... (full context)
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...medical practice in London but gave up after some time and moved back, along with Helen and Julia, to the decaying Stoke Moran Manor. (full context)
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...Roylott became reclusive and got furiously angry with anyone who crossed his path. This temper, Helen believes, was aggravated by living for years in India. (full context)
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Helen tells Holmes and Watson that Roylott has no friends aside from the group of wandering... (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,... (full context)
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Helen then tells the detectives about the incidents leading up to Julia’s strange death. She describes... (full context)
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...disturbed by the smell of Roylott’s Indian cigar smoke in her room, Julia went to Helen’s room to chat about her approaching wedding. As she left, Julia asked if Helen had... (full context)
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Helen and Julia always locked themselves in at night, and the sisters’ bedroom windows, which open... (full context)
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One night shortly before Julia’s wedding, Helen heard a scream coming from her sister’s bedroom. As she entered the corridor, Helen seemed... (full context)
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...fact that the windows and door were locked up, Julia’s death is a mystery to Helen. She tells Holmes that she assumed the “speckled band” had something to do with the... (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 on... (full context)
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Not long after switching rooms, Helen began to hear the same low whistling sound that Julia had described. Thoroughly disturbed, she... (full context)
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Holmes notices that Helen has five bruised marks on her wrist, which she says came from Roylott. She brushes... (full context)
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Not long after Helen leaves their apartment, a large man with a threatening demeanor enters the room. He announces... (full context)
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...from London to Surrey, first by train and then by dog-cart. They cross paths with Helen and tell her that Roylott had been following her, which causes her some alarm. (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 in a state of great decline, yet the... (full context)
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...onto a hook in the ceiling. Both the bell-pull and the ventilator were recently installed, Helen tells them. They then go into Roylott’s room, where Holmes notices a safe with a... (full context)
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...a room on the second floor of the inn across the lane from the manor. Helen will tell her stepfather that she will be confining herself to her room due a... (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 room, their signal to enter the manor. They set... (full context)
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...ends the investigation. Watson quickly summarizes for the reader how they conveyed the news to Helen, who then moves in with her aunt. A slow official inquiry gets underway. The story... (full context)