The Sign of the Four

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Thaddeus Sholto Character Analysis

Thaddeus Sholto is one of Major Sholto’s sons, brother to Bartholomew Sholto. He is an eccentric character with an anxious manner. Thaddeus is the one who decides to contact Miss Morstan, feeling that she has been treated unfairly and deserves her share of the Agra treasure (a view also expressed by Major Sholto on his deathbed). Thaddeus has been sending pearls each year to Miss Morstan and it is him who contacts her to try and reunite her with her share of the riches. According to Thaddeus, his brother would have preferred to cut out Miss Morstan altogether.

Thaddeus Sholto Quotes in The Sign of the Four

The The Sign of the Four quotes below are all either spoken by Thaddeus Sholto or refer to Thaddeus 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

"Your servant, Miss Morstan," he kept repeating, in a thin, high voice. "Your servant, gentlemen. Pray step into my little sanctum. A small place, miss, but furnished to my own liking. An oasis of art in the howling desert of South London."

We were all astonished by the appearance of the apartment into which he invited us. In that sorry house it looked as out of place as a diamond of the first water in a setting of brass. The richest and glossiest of curtains and tapestries draped the walls, looped back here and there to expose some richly-mounted painting or Oriental vase. The carpet was of amber-and-black, so soft and so thick that the foot sank pleasantly into it, as into a bed of moss. Two great tiger-skins thrown athwart it increased the suggestion of Eastern luxury, as did a huge hookah which stood upon a mat in the corner. A lamp in the fashion of a silver dove was hung from an almost invisible golden wire in the centre of the room. As it burned it filled the air with a subtle and aromatic odor.

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Thaddeus Sholto (speaker), Sherlock Holmes , Miss Mary Morstan
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

"'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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Thaddeus Sholto Character Timeline in The Sign of the Four

The timeline below shows where the character Thaddeus 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
The servant leads Holmes, Watson and Miss Morstan to Thaddeus Sholto. He is an odd-looking 30-year-old man with a jerky manner. The house is decked... (full context)
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
Thaddeus smokes a hookah pipe as he explains that he has had a disagreement with his... (full context)
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
In early 1882, Thaddeus explains, Major Sholto received a letter from India that caused a great shock from which... (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... (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... (full context)
Wealth Theme Icon
The group gets into a cab outside. Thaddeus explains that the value of the treasure is around “half a million sterling.” Watson thinks... (full context)
Chapter 5 — The Tragedy of Pondicherry Lodge
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
...heavy iron door for entry. The doorman, McMurdo, is reluctant to let in anyone but Thaddeus. Holmes realizes that he knows McMurdo, whom he has previously fought against in an amateur... (full context)
Wealth Theme Icon
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
They walk up a dimly lit path to the house. Thaddeus goes in meets the house keeper, Mrs. Bernstone, who has been crying. Miss Morstan and... (full context)
The Victorian Gothic Theme Icon
Thaddeus comes rushing out, shouting that something is wrong with Bartholomew. Mrs. Bernstone expresses relief at... (full context)
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...Holmes says he only needs “a few missing links to have an entirely connected case.” Thaddeus remarks anxiously that the treasure has gone. Holmes instructs him to go the police and... (full context)
Chapter 6 — Sherlock Holmes Gives a Demonstration
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...addresses Holmes patronizingly, calling 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... (full context)
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Holmes tells Thaddeus he will be freed soon enough. He also names the real suspect, Jonathan Small; he... (full context)
Chapter 7 — The Episode of the Barrel
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...had wronged, now free to come for his treasure. Holmes reminds Watson that, according to Thaddeus, Sholto once shot at a white man with a wooden leg; and as there was... (full context)
Chapter 9 — A Break in the Chain
Empire and Imperialism Theme Icon
Wealth Theme Icon
...unconcerned Miss Morstan seems with her potential fortune; she says her only concern is for Thaddeus’s freedom. (full context)
Rationality vs. Emotion Theme Icon
...behind to receive any notes and telegrams. At breakfast, Watson reads in the paper that Thaddeus has been set free, exonerated from any involvement in the crime. He also notices an... (full context)