I was horrified for I had not heard about his illness before. I rushed for my hat and coat. As we drove back, I asked her about the details.
“There is little I can tell you, sir. He has been working on a case down at Rotherhithe, near the river, and has brought this illness back with him. He took to bed on Wednesday afternoon and has never moved since. For three days neither food nor drink has passed his lips.” “Why did you not call a doctor?” I asked.
“He wouldn’t have it, sir. I didn’t dare to disobey him.
He was indeed a sad sight. In the dim light of a foggy November day, the sick-room was a gloomy spot, but it was the gaunt face staring form the bed that brought chill to my heart. His eyes had the brightness of fever, his cheeks were flushed, and his hand twitched all the time. He lay listless.
It is terrible news to hear that our loved ones have fallen sick or are having trying times. Holmes was more like a mentor to Dr. Watson, and he had accompanied the detective in most of his cases. He had always been mesmerized by the smartness, and the way Homes solved cases within a short span of time. He was even more shocked as he was not expecting such a great detective to fall sick to the extent of being on death bed. Rather than being shocked, he says that he was horrified. He does not wait for any further conversation with Mrs. Hudson, as he immediately wants to meet up with Holmes. He reaches out for his hat and coat as it is mostly cold in London, and one cannot walk in the snow without these. Rather than wasting time asking Mrs Hudson about more details at his home, he asks her what exactly the situation is.
Mrs. Hudson reveals that there is not much that she can tell him, as she only has a vague idea of Holmes' situation. She was here only due to concern that something might happen to him. But she tells him whatever information that she has. Sherlock had gone to solve one of his cases, where he had contracted a deadly disease that is non-curable. She also tells him that it was at a place called Rotherhithe, situated near the river. Usually, diseases spread around river areas, as large water bodies can bring in dangerous insects which reside in wet areas. It was also a port area in London. Holmes fell sick on a Wednesday afternoon, and it had become severe from that very moment. He had not been able to move since then, nor has he eaten anything at all. When we are sick, it is common that we lose taste and appetite. But it can also complicate health conditions. It had been three days since Holmes fell sick, and Watson wonders why they had not called a doctor in the beginning stage.
Watson enquires about Holmes in the car
Mrs. Hudson informs that Holmes had specifically instructed her not to call for a doctor. She could not do anything disobeying him, as he would get angrier, which might make things worse. Watson finally visits Holmes and narrates that he was indeed a sad sight to see, as it was visibly clear that he was so unwell. It was November which made the room have a foggy feel. Holmes was in his sick room, which had a gloomy atmosphere. It was painful for Watson to see Holmes with his meek and thin figure with eyes reflecting his bad health, his cheeks flushing and hands twitching. He lay in his bed like a lifeless person.
Holmes looked very sick
Meaning of difficult words:
|Horrified||Scared to see or feel something|
|Passed his lips||The act of eating|
|Foggy||Covered with mist|
|Gloomy||To appear sad or depressed|
|Gaunt||Looking frail and thin|
|Brought the chills||Scared or the feeling of sudden emotions|
|Flushed||Appearing red or hot due to illness|
|Twitched||Give a sudden jerking movement|
|Listless||Lacking energy or enthusiasm|
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.