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福尔摩斯探案全集--血字的研究  

2011-09-07 20:41:33|  分类: 原著欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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A STUDY IN SCARLET.

By A. Conan Doyle

 

The sight of a friendly face in the grea t wilderness of London is a pleasant thing indeed to a lonely man.

 

"What are you up to now?"

"Looking for lodgings." I answered. "Trying to solve the problem as to whether it is possible to get comfortable rooms at a reasonable price."

 

As the weeks went by, my interest in him and my curiosity as to his aims in life, gradually deepened and increased. His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer.

 

Desultory readers are seldom remarkable for the exactness of their learning. No man burdens his mind with small matters unless he has some very good reason for doing so.

 

"From a drop of water," said the writer, "a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. So all life is a great chain, the nature of which is known whenever we are shown a single link of it. Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to attain the highest possible perfection in it.

 

"I'm not sure about whether I shall go. I am the most incurably lazy devil that ever stood in shoe leather--that is, when the fit is on me, for I can be spry enough at times."

 

"No data yet," he answered. "It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment."

 

It was simply a ruse to divert inquiry into a wrong channel. I'm not going to tell you much more of the case, Doctor. You know a conjuror gets no credit when once he has explained his trick, and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all."

 

"I shall never do that," I answered; "you have brought detection as near an exact science as it ever will be brought in this world."

My companion flushed up with pleasure at my words, and the earnest way in which I uttered them. I had already observed that he was as sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty.

 

There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.

 

"It was magnificent," he said, as he took his seat. "Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood."

"That's rather a broad idea," I remarked.

"One's ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature," he answered.

Half-confidences are worse than none.

Sherlock Holmes drew a long breath, and wiped the perspiration from his forehead. "I should have more faith," he said; "I ought to know by this time that when a fact appears to be opposed to a long train of deductions, it invariably proves to be capable of bearing some other interpretation.

 

It is a mistake to confound strangeness with mystery. The most commonplace crime is often the most mysterious because it presents no new or special features from which deductions may be drawn.

 

They all preserve, however, the common characteristics of barrenness, inhospitality, and misery.

 

There is no bird in the steel-blue heaven, no movement upon the dull, grey earth--above all, there is absolute silence. Listen as one may, there is no shadow of a sound in all that mighty wilderness; nothing but silence--complete and heart-subduing silence.

 

That mysterious change is too subtle and too gradual to be measured by dates.

 

These tales and rumours took substance and shape, and were corroborated and re-corroborated, until they resolved themselves into a definite name.

 

Any known danger he could face with a firm lip, but this suspense was unnerving.

 

It was a bewildering route for anyone who was not accustomed to face Nature in her wildest moods.

 

There is no satisfaction in vengeance unless the offender has time to realize who it is that strikes him, and why retribution has come upon him.

 

I had always known that vengeance would be sweet, but I had never hoped for the contentment of soul which now possessed me.

 

Now, at last your wanderings have come to an end, for either you or I shall never see to-morrow's sun rise.'

 

'Punishment has been slow in coming, but it has overtaken you at last.'

 

'Let the high God judge between us. Choose and eat. There is death in one and life in the other. I shall take what you leave. Let us see if there is justice upon the earth, or if we are ruled by chance.'

 

What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence," returned my companion, bitterly. "The question is, what can you make people believe that you have done.

 

"I have already explained to you that what is out of the common is usually a guide rather than a hindrance. In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practise it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically."

 

 

 

 

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