The Sign of the Four

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Bartholomew Sholto Character Analysis

Bartholomew Sholto is one of Major Sholto’s sons and lives at the family home, Pondicherry Lodge. Thaddeus Sholto, Bartholomew’s brother, takes Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson and Miss Morstan to Bartholomew with the intention of dividing up the Agra treasure. It transpires, however, that Bartholomew has been killed by a poisonous blow dart. His face is locked in a frozen grimace when he is discovered. Bartholomew differs from Thaddeus in that he disagreed with his brother’s intentions to honor Miss Morstan’s share of the treasure—he would have preferred them to greedily keep it for themselves.

Bartholomew Sholto Quotes in The Sign of the Four

The The Sign of the Four quotes below are all either spoken by Bartholomew Sholto or refer to Bartholomew Sholto. 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:
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Spencer Blackett edition of The Sign of the Four published in 1890.
Chapter 4 Quotes

"'I have only one thing,” he said, “which weighs upon my mind at this supreme moment. It is my treatment of poor Morstan's orphan. The cursed greed which has been my besetting sin through life has withheld from her the treasure, half at least of which should have been hers. And yet I have made no use of it myself, so blind and foolish a thing is avarice. The mere feeling of possession has been so dear to me that I could not bear to share it with another. See that chaplet dipped with pearls beside the quinine-bottle. Even that I could not bear to part with, although I had got it out with the design of sending it to her. You, my sons, will give her a fair share of the Agra treasure. But send her nothing—not even the chaplet—until I am gone. After all, men have been as bad as this and have recovered.”

Related Symbols: The Agra Treasure
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Inside, a gravel path wound through desolate grounds to a huge clump of a house, square and prosaic, all plunged in shadow save where a moonbeam struck one corner and glimmered in a garret window. The vast size of the building, with its gloom and its deathly silence, struck a chill to the heart. Even Thaddeus Sholto seemed ill at ease, and the lantern quivered and rattled in his hand.

Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:

I stooped to the hole, and recoiled in horror. Moonlight was streaming into the room, and it was bright with a vague and shifty radiance. Looking straight at me, and suspended, as it were, in the air, for all beneath was in shadow, there hung a face,—the very face of our companion Thaddeus. There was the same high, shining head, the same circular bristle of red hair, the same bloodless countenance. The features were set, however, in a horrible smile, a fixed and unnatural grin, which in that still and moonlit room was more jarring to the nerves than any scowl or contortion. So like was the face to that of our little friend that I looked round at him to make sure that he was indeed with us. Then I recalled to mind that he had mentioned to us that his brother and he were twins.

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Thaddeus Sholto, Bartholomew Sholto
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bartholomew Sholto Character Timeline in The Sign of the Four

The timeline below shows where the character Bartholomew Sholto appears in The Sign of the Four. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4 — The Story of the Bald-Headed Man
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
...a hookah pipe as he explains that he has had a disagreement with his brother, Bartholomew. They will need to visit him later, he says. Thaddeus talks about his father, Major... (full context)
Wealth Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
Thaddeus and Bartholomew searched for the strange man; looking in the flower-bed, they could see only a single... (full context)
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Thaddeus recounts how he and his brother searched high and low for the treasure. Bartholomew didn’t want to send the pearls to Miss Morstan, but Thaddeus insisted, seeing himself as... (full context)
Chapter 5 — The Tragedy of Pondicherry Lodge
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
...in an amateur boxing match. McMurdo now happily lets them inside. The doorman explains that Bartholomew has not left his room all day. (full context)
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
Thaddeus comes rushing out, shouting that something is wrong with Bartholomew. Mrs. Bernstone expresses relief at seeing them, explaining that she saw a terrifying sight when... (full context)
Wealth Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
They go upstairs. Holmes tries to open the door to Bartholomew’s room, but it is locked. He and Watson look through the keyhole, surprised to see... (full context)
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
Bartholomew’s room looks like a “chemical laboratory.” They notice a set of steps leading up to... (full context)
Chapter 6 — Sherlock Holmes Gives a Demonstration
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
...to have stepped in creosote. They hear the police arrive and quickly examine the body. Bartholomew’s muscles are in a state of extreme contraction, suggesting poisoning by “some strychnine-like substance.” Holmes... (full context)
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...him “the theorist.” Jones has already made up his mind that Thaddeus is guilty of Bartholomew’s murder. Despite Holmes’ attempt to get Jones to see the holes in his theory, Jones... (full context)
Chapter 7 — The Episode of the Barrel
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Holmes reasons that Small probably didn’t want Bartholomew dead, but that this was the result of his accomplice’s actions. Holmes thinks he has... (full context)
Chapter 11 — The Great Agra Treasure
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
...heads back, Holmes talks with Jonathan Small, who denies having anything to do with killing Bartholomew—that was all Tonga, “that little hell-hound,” he says. Holmes says that, if Small gives him... (full context)
Chapter 12 — The Strange Story of Jonathan Small
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
...round his waist so that Small could climb up. Unbeknownst to Small, Tonga instinctively killed Bartholomew with a blow-dart when he reached the attic room. Tonga was surprised that Small was... (full context)