Father Ellen served in India as a major artillery major. He died, leaving a decent state. When the girl and her twin sister Julia were two years old, the mother married Dr. Grimsby Roylott, the offspring of one of England’s richest families. One of his relatives lost all his fortune, and Roylott had to earn his living. The mother of the girls died in a railway accident. According to her will all the money passed to her husband, but if the daughters get married, each should be allocated a certain part. The family returned to England and settled near London in the Roylott family estate.
Roylott is a very cruel and quick-tempered man with enormous physical strength. He does not communicate with neighbors, but is friends with gypsies who have spread their camp in the estate. From India he brought the animals, and the baboon and cheetah are walking around the estate.
Two years ago, Julia made a proposal for a retired major. My stepfather did not object to the marriage
of the stepdaughter. Two weeks before the wedding, Julia came to her room before going to bed. Julia’s bedroom was between the bedroom of her sister and stepfather, and the windows of all three rooms overlooked the lawn, where the gypsy camp was located. Julia complained that someone whistles at night, she hears an iron clang, and it prevents sleep of the smell of strong cigars that his stepfather smokes.
At night, the girls always locked the door with a key, as they were afraid of animals. That night there was a terrible scream. Escaping into the corridor, Ellen saw her sister in a nightgown, white with terror. Julia wobbled like a drunk, then fell, writhing with pain and convulsions. She tried to show something, shouting at the same time: “Motley ribbon”. The arrived doctor could not save her, Julia passed away. After examining the circumstances of the death, the police came to the conclusion that the girl died from a nervous shock, since no one could penetrate into her locked room with closed windows. They did not find any poison either.
Now Ellen met a man who had proposed to her. The
stepfather does not object to marriage, but he started repairs in the house, and Ellen had to move to the room of her late sister. At night, the girl heard a strange whistle and an iron clang, which were a harbinger of the death of Julia. She asks for help from the great detective. Sherlock Holmes promises to arrive in the evening on the estate of Roylott and study the situation.
Shortly after the departure of the visitor, an apartment on Baker Street is visited by Grimsby Roylott himself. He tracked down his stepdaughter and threatened a great detective.
Sherlock Holmes makes inquiries and finds out that the marriage of girls is very unprofitable for Roylott: his income will decrease significantly.
After inspecting the estate, Sherlock Holmes comes to the conclusion that the repair was not needed. He started to make Ellen move to his sister’s room. In the room of Julia, he is interested in a long cord from a faulty bell hanging over the bed, and the bed itself, screwed to the floor. The cord is tied to a small vent, which does not go out, but to the next room where Roylott lives. In the doctor’s room, Holmes finds an iron fireproof cabinet, in which, according to Ellen, business papers are stored, a whip looped with a loop, and a small saucer with milk.
The night the great detective intends to spend in Ellen’s room, removing the girl to a safe place. He is going to prevent the refined and terrible crime committed by a doctor, a man with steel nerves.
In the middle of the night a gentle whistle is heard, and Holmes starts furiously beating the cord with his cane. Immediately there is a terrible scream. Holmes and Watson rush into Roylott’s room. The door of the fireproof cupboard is open, Roylott is sitting in a chair in his dressing gown, he has a lash in his lap, and his head is wrapped around a motley ribbon. The doctor is dead. Suddenly, the tape moves and shows the head of a poisonous snake, a swamp Indian viper. Holmes throws a whip on her and locks it in the closet.
Discovering the false call and screwed bed, the great detective understood that the cord serves as a bridge connecting the fan with the bed. And at the sight of a whip and saucer with milk, Holmes came to the idea of a snake. Having lived in India for many years, Roylott found a poison that can not be found, and the investigator must have very sharp eyesight to see tiny tracks from the teeth of the viper.
Spreading the snake with the cane, Holmes forced her to attack the master. The great detective is indirectly guilty of the death of Grimsby Roylott, but it can not be said that this death laid a heavy burden on his conscience.