Monday, 17 February 2014

The Adventure of Discussion -- Chapters 7-12 Sign of Four Week 2

Discussion Questions from "Sign of Four"
By Jarod

In the way that questions go, these chapters gave more answers than provided cause for more. However, a few were raised in my mind while I read, so here is some food for thought.

1.) At the end of chapter 7, Holmes is telling Watson his deduction and reasoning for the case, but when Watson asks of the associate, Holmes simply shrugs the question off, and changes the subject although he already knows. Why do you think he does this, when he later gives Watson the answer in chapter 8?

2.) In chapter 10, Holmes reveals that he had been searching boat repair sheds and yards earlier, in chapter 9. Why would he spend all day doing this himself, possibly giving Small a chance to escape, instead of using the "Baker Street irregulars" to help him search to get the job done more quickly?

3.) Then, in chapter 11, Smith claims that the Aurora is one of the fastest ships on the river, and with another man to help with the engines, they wouldn't  have been caught, and Small no doubt would have mentioned that they chose the Aurora for her speed, why did Smith not mention he may need help, so that another man could be hired and Small could have gotten away?

4.) Later, at the end of chapter 11, Watson delivers the iron chest to Mrs. Morstan, and confesses his love when it is found to be empty. Why is he so relieved when "the golden barrier was gone", when she expressed no interest in the treasure time and time again? I realize that he doesn't want to look like a "vulgar fortune-seeker" but if she clearly doesn't care for money all that much, why does he insist on making such a big deal of it?



  1. 1. DRAMA. holmes is all about drama, remember? http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/35/93/7f/35937f614885f33d7a96539d7e738045.jpg he keeps it to himself, a) because he needs more concrete evidence and b) because he's a drama queen.

    2. Because the Baker street irregulars didn't really know where to look, and in case he was wrong (not probable, but possible), then he would need someone to keep looking on the banks of the Thames while he was looking through shipyards

    3. No, ships back then burned coal, meaning you have to shovel the coal into the engine manually. More people means you can put more coal in at one time, means you can go faster. Thus another man on the ship would have made it much faster and Small could've gotten away.

    4. Because she never outright said that she didn't really want the money, and even if she got the money, he might still come off as a vulgar fortune seeker. He makes a big deal out of it because he's a gentleman of his time, which means he is much more genteel than the gentlemen of our time. Now days, money isn't so much of an issue and for men to marry up a social class isn't looked down upon as much.

  2. 1) I totally agree with Claire. Sherlock is notorious for being something of a suspense hunter and a dramatist. He's one for show, even if he likes to deny it.
    2) Holmes definitely likes to collect evidence for himself, to see the crime scene. When he sends out the Irregulars, it's because he already knows what he's looking for and just needs to concrete it. When he goes out on his own, it's because he's still learning, still adapting.
    3) Smith didn't want help. He needed it, but involving more people just leads to trouble. Plus, we know he's greedy as the dickens, and involving another person in the heist means that he'd have to pay them or tell them about his cache of all things of monetary worth, and that puts him and the loot at risk.
    4) Because if he'd said anything AFTER she got the money it would look like he was after her because she's rich. Now that she is as she was before, he knows his sentiment won't be muddled by the appearance of someone looking to cash in on her fortune. It was actually a fairly common practice back in Holmes' time for men and women to marry for money and if someone came into a fortune, suddenly they were "very attractive" indeed. -Katie