As I finished reading A Study in Scarlet, a vague and distant recollection hit me about having read a bit of Doyle’s fine detective when I was in school.
Intrigued as I was, I went through the titles of his works and found the one I was looking for!
The Speckled Band
I found an apt description about the story on this post A summary and analysis of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Speckled Band
When I first read the story, I remember that for most part I kept thinking the gypsies we’re somehow in the act. Only towards the end is the truth revealed.
As Sherlock and Watson waited in the middle of the night, observing intently and looking for any deviation from the ordinary,
I found a parallel in the British TV Series Sherlock when they wait for the abominable bride at Carmichael house.
How shall I ever forget that dreadful vigil? I could not hear a sound, not even the drawing of a breath, and yet I knew that my companion sat open-eyed, within a few feet of me, in the same state of nervous tension in which I was myself. The shutters cut off the least ray of light, and we waited in absolute darkness.
When you see Martin Freeman acting the part of a nervous Watson, one could very well believe this excerpt from The Speckled Band be an explanation of how he was to express himself and his fright as the two waited!
‘Have you ever nurtured a dream for so long that it begins to imply nothing but meaninglessness?’ She asked him, sliding her arm in his, as they sat overlooking the sunset over a distant horizon.
‘Elaborate, dear’, he replied nonchalantly.
A cool breeze brushed past the young couple. She tucked away curly locks behind her ear and smiled faintly.
‘Like holding on to memories until that remind of nothing. Like humming a familiar tune until you lose track of it. Like walking down a road you’ve trodden on so many times that all of a sudden you realize that you’re lost.’
He shook his head.
‘How can you be intrigued by things that don’t matter?’
She sighed. How deeply she wished he would see things and feel emotions the way she did.’ What matters then?’
He slipped his fingers into hers and said, ‘Ambitions, achievements, comfort, your love for me; these matter.’ She wondered if the order of the priorities in his life was reflected in the aforesaid sentence.
‘What about your love for me?’ She looked at her hand which he held firmly and tried to feel the touch but failed.
‘Don’t be silly. You know I love you.’ At this confirmation she lifted her head and looked at him. To her utter dismay, she now was looking at a complete stranger. Her words came mocking at her. . .
Like holding on to memories until that remind of nothing.
Like humming a familiar tune until you lose track of it.
Like walking down a road you’ve trodden on so many times that all of a sudden you realize that you’re lost.
Gently, she pulled herself from him and stood up.
‘Are you leaving already?’ he said.
She gazed at the crimson sky veiled in her heart’s disappointment.
‘It has been a long time coming. I must leave.’ She walked away, leaving him to his own thoughts.
The breeze blew past them yet again.
To him, comforting and mystical; to her, cold and ruthless.