The Adventure of the Speckled Band Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does this book begin?

This book begins when a narrator reflects on the approximately seventy cases Sherlock Holmes has solved in the past eight years and advises us that the case he's about to chronicle for us is the most unusual of all.

2. Why has the narrator waited so long to write this story, and why is he writing it now?

The reason given for the delay in reporting the case publicly is a mysterious promise of secrecy, apparently made by the narrator to a lady who has recently passed away, thus releasing him from his vow. The narrator also feels it's important to come forward about the case to set to rest some of the uglier rumors about the death of one Dr. Grimesby Roylott.

3. How is the narrator wakened at the beginning of this story?

At the beginning of this case, Watson wakes to find Holmes, usually a late riser, standing over his bed. Holmes explains that he's been roused by an early morning visitor, a young lady in a state of agitation. Holmes figures she would not have come so early if it were not important and wants to give Watson a chance to sit in on the meeting.

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