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福尔摩斯探案全集--最后的致意  

2013-03-23 16:16:35|  分类: 原著欣赏 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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       His Last Bow

福尔摩斯探案全集--最后的致意 - 兔灰灰 - 兔灰灰的小窝  

Life is commonplace; the papers are sterile; audacity and romance seem to have passed forever from the criminal world. Can you ask me, then, whether I am ready to look into any new problem, however trivial it may prove? 

His life history was written in his heavy features and pompous manner. From his spats to his gold-rimmed spectacles he was a Conservative, a churchman, a good citizen, orthodox and conventional to the last degree. But some amazing experience had disturbed his native composure and left its traces in his bristling hair, his flushed, angry cheeks, and his flurried, excited manner. 

My only desire is to help the law in every possible way. 

Now, my dear Watson, is it beyond the limits of human ingenuity to furnish an explanation which would cover both these big facts?

If the fresh facts which come to our knowledge all fit themselves into the scheme, then our hypothesis may gradually become a solution. 

“I am glad you have come, sir. It has been a long evening, and I don’t think my nerve is as good as it was.”
      “Your nerve, Walters? I should not have thought you had a nerve in your body.” 

After his habit he said nothing, and after mine I asked no questions. 

“What is the meaning of it, Watson?” said Holmes solemnly as he laid down the paper. “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear?

It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end? There is the great standing perennial problem to which human reason is as far from an answer as ever.” 

Holmes was accessible upon the side of flattery, and also, to do him justice, upon the side of kindliness. The two forces made him lay down his gum-brush with a sigh of resignation and push back his chair.

 “Education never ends, Watson. It is a series of lessons with the  greatest for the last. This is an instructive case. There is neither money nor credit in it, and yet one would wish to tidy it up. When dusk comes we should find ourselves one stage advanced in our investigation.”

 Mrs. Hudson, the landlady of Sherlock Holmes, was a long-suffering woman. Not only was her first-floor flat invaded at all hours by throngs of singular and often undesirable characters but her remarkable lodger showed an eccentricity and irregularity in his life which must have sorely tried her patience. His incredible untidiness, his addiction to music at strange hours, his occasional revolver practice within doors, his weird and often malodorous scientific experiments, and the atmosphere of violence and danger which hung around him made him the very worst tenant in London. 

She was fond of him, too, for he had a remarkable gentleness and courtesy in his dealings with women. He disliked and distrusted the sex, but he was always a chivalrous opponent. 

I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor? 

All my instincts tell me that she is in London, but as we have at present no possible means of telling where, we can only take the obvious steps, eat our dinner, and possess our souls in patience. 

“Where is your warrant?”

Holmes half drew a revolver from his pocket. “This will have to serve till a better one comes.” 

And then, at last, with artificial respiration, with injected ether, with every device that science could suggest, some flutter of life, some quiver of the eyelids, some dimming of a mirror, spoke of the slowly returning life. 

Then, suddenly, in the gray of the morning, the words came back to me. 

“Upon my word, Watson!” said Holmes at last with an unsteady voice, “I owe you both my thanks and an apology. It was an unjustifiable experiment even for one’s self, and doubly so for a friend. I am really very sorry.”

“You know,” I answered with some emotion, for I had never seen so much of Holmes’s heart before, “that it is my greatest joy and privilege to help you.” 

 It was nine o’clock at night upon the second of August–the most terrible August in the history of the world. One might have thought already that God’s curse hung heavy over a degenerate world, for there was an awesome hush and a feeling of vague expectancy in the sultry and stagnant air. 

Things were going wrong, and no one could understand why they were going wrong.

 “Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.

 

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