The Sign of Four

Synopsis: A young lady, Miss Mary Morstan, contact Sherlock Holmes for his help regarding her father, captain Morstan, who disappeared 10 years ago. Since his disappearance she annually receives a valuable pearl by post from an unknown person. The mystery leads Holmes and doctor Watson into an intricate plot regarding a lost treasure belonging to four convicts on the Andaman Islands.
103 min

There's a very

pretty young woman

crossing the street

and I think she

may be coming here.

Incidentally, I

have glanced over

your latest

account of my work.

Oh yes.

Honestly I cannot

congratulate you upon it.

Detection is, or ought

to be, an exact science.

Observation deduction

a cold and

unemotional subject.

You have attempted to

tinge it with romanticism,

which has much

the same effect

as if you worked a

love-story or an

elopement into the fifth

proposition of Euclid.

Who can match that?

There's a young lady

to see you Mr. Holmes.

It's Mary Morstan.

I have no recollection

of the name.

Don't go Doctor,

I may need you.

I was right.

Thank you.

Miss Morstan.

Good afternoon.

I have come to

you Mr. Holmes

because you once

enabled my employer,

Mrs. Cecil Forrester,

to unravel a minor

domestic complication.

She was much impressed

with your kindness

and skill.

Thank you.

I can hardly imagine

anything more strange,

more utterly


than the situation in

which I find myself.

State your case.

You will, I am

sure, excuse me.

If your friend would be

good enough to remain,

he might be of

inestimable service to me.

Of course.

Briefly the

facts are these.

My father was an officer

in an Indian regiment.

My mother died when I

was still quite a child

and he was forced

to send me home,

despite the fact that I

had no relatives here.

I was placed in a

comfortable boarding


at Edinburgh, and

I remained there

until I was 17

years of age.

In that same

year my father,

who was a senior

captain of his regiment,

obtained 12 months'

leave and returned home.

He telegraphed to me

from London to say

that he had

arrived all safe

and directed me to

come down at once,

giving the Langham

Hotel as his address.

His message,

as I remember,

was full of love

and kindness.

On reaching London

I drove straight to

the Langham Hotel

and was informed

that Captain Morstan

was staying there,

but that he had gone

out the night before

and had not returned.

So I waited

all day

without news of him.

And that night,

on the advice of the

manager of the hotel,

I communicated

with the police,

the next day

we advertised

in all the newspapers.

Our inquiries

led to no result

from that day to this

no word has

ever been heard

of my unfortunate


He came home with his

heart so full of hope

to find some peace,

some comfort,

and instead

The date?

The 3rd of December

exactly 10 years ago.

His luggage?

Remained at the hotel.

Oh there was nothing in

it to suggest a clue -

some clothes, some books,

and a considerable

number of curiosities

from the

Andaman Islands.

My father had been

one of the officers

in charge of the

convict-guard there.

Watson this

place is a mess.

Had he any

friends in town?

Only one that

we know of

Major Sholto, of

his old regiment,

the 34th Bombay


We communicated with

the Major, of course,

but he did not

seem to know

that his brother

officer was in England.

It's a singular case.

I have not yet

communicated to you

the most singular part.

4 years later

an advertisement had

appeared in the Times

asking for the address

of Miss Mary Morstan,

and stating that it

would be to her advantage

to come forward.

There was no

name appended.

I had at the time

just entered the family

of Mrs. Cecil Forrester

in the capacity

of governess

and on her advice I

published my address

in the advertisement


That same day there

appeared through the post

a small cardboard

box addressed to me,

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Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was a prolific writer; his non-Sherlockian works include fantasy and science fiction stories about Professor Challenger and humorous stories about the Napoleonic soldier Brigadier Gerard, as well as plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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