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     “My dear fellow!” I cried approaching him.
     “Stand back! Stand right back!” he cried.
     “But why? I want to help you,” I said.
     “Certainly, Watson, but it is for your own  sake.”
     “For my sake?” I was surprised.
     “I know what is the matter with me. It is the disease from Sumatra. It is deadly  and contagious, Watson – that’s it, by touch.”
     “Good heavens, Holmes! Do you think this can stop me?” I said advancing towards him.
     “If you will stand there, I will talk. If you don’t you must leave the room,” said my master.
     I have always given in to Holmes’ wishes. But now my feelings as a doctor were aroused. I was at least his master in the sick-room.
When Watson finds Holmes tired and exhausted, he is heartbroken. Holmes is not his usual self as he is lying on his bed, showing visible symptoms of being sick. Generally, he rarely sleeps and wanders around actively solving crimes. As soon as he sees Holmes, Watson cannot hold back his sadness and approaches him, crying out his name. Generally, people stay away from sick people even when it is a mild fever for fear of transmitting the disease. But Watson does not stop himself from going near Holmes to express his concern. But Holmes, also being a friend to Watson, does not allow him near. He is aware of his condition, and he does not want his friend to be affected because of him. The readers and the characters in the story guess that this might be the reason for Holmes' unusual reaction. Holmes asks Watson to stand back and not come any closer.
Watson is confused, and he asks why Holmes is avoiding him. He makes it clear that he wants to help Holmes. Since he is a doctor, there is a chance that he can diagnose the disease and prescribe medicines to cure him out of the sickness. But Holmes is equally worried about Watson and his safety. Holmes clarifies that it is not out of hatred that he is avoiding Watson, rather for his own sake. Watson was surprised as to what Holmes means that he is avoiding him for his own sake.
Holmes does not let Watson near his sick bed
Holmes says that he does not need a doctor to diagnose his illness; rather that he himself knows what he is suffering from. He says that an illness attacked him from Sumatra, a small island in Indonesia. Transmittable diseases travel from one place to another as many people move from one place to another. Holmes says that it can easily spread just by being in proximity. He also says that it is deadly and contagious. It can even spread to a healthy person just by touch. But Watson's loyalty does not stop him from coming closer to Sherlock. But Holmes was an even more stubborn person, and he very sternly says that he will talk to him only if he maintains distance. He asks him to leave if he is not willing to oblige. But Watson, who always obeys Holmes, is reluctant to do so this time, as he was a doctor, and it is his duty to save lives and try to cure the disease. He says that in this particular context, he is Holmes' master.
Holmes claims he has a contagious disease
Meaning of difficult words:
ApproachingComing nearer in distance and time
SumatraA small island in Indonesia
ExhaustedVery tired
ReluctantNot completely willing
StubbornNot accepting and being determined
ContagiousSpread from one person to other
State Council of Educational Research and Training 2019. Term 1 English Standard - 10. The Dying Detective - Arthur Conan Doyle (pp. 189 -201). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.