“Well, he is the man who has the knowledge of this disease but he is not a medical man. He is a planter. He lives in Sumatra, now visiting London. I didn’t want you to go before six, because you wouldn’t have found him in his study. I hope you will be able to persuade him to come. You will tell him exactly how you have left me.” He said, “You must tell him that I’m dying – plead with him, Watson.”
“I’ll bring him in a cab,’’ I said.
“No. You will persuade him to come and return before him. Make any excuse. Remember this, Watson.”
I saw Mrs. Hudson was waiting outside, trembling and crying. Below, as I waited for the cab, I met Inspector Morton of the Scotland Yard. He was not in his uniform.
“How is he?” asked Inspector Morton.
“He is very ill,” I answered.
Holmes asks Watson to wait until six in the evening until he gets a doctor. When it was six, he instructed Watson to bring a person named Mr. Culverton Smith. The readers assume that it is the name of the doctor. But being a doctor himself, Watson has never heard the name previously. He still agrees to bring the person. Holmes explains why he thinks Mr. Smith is the person he wants to meet. He surprises Watson by saying that he is not a doctor, rather a planter. Mr. Smith is a planter who generally lives in Sumatra but is visiting London. Since Holmes believes that he contracted the disease from Sumatra, he believes that Mr. Smith's insights might be useful, as he has a knowledge of the disease.
Holmes also explains that he wanted Watson to go after six as he would only be found in the study at that time. Holmes seems to be having an underlying thought to this, as he seems to have more information about the schedule of the planter. Holmes is also very keen on Watson bringing home Mr. Smith, making it look strange. He says that Watson has to go to the extent of pleading with him and somehow bring Mr. Smith home. He also makes sure that Mr. Smith knows exactly that Holmes is very sick and is in dying condition. Watson understands that it is very important for Holmes that he brings Mr. Smith and says that he will bring him in a cab and come along with him. But Homes immediately rejects this plan and says that his job is only to persuade him to come and meet Holmes. He asks him to make some excuse and come back home after convincing Smith.
When Watson goes out to Mr. Smith's house, he sees Mrs. Hudson waiting and crying. She is so worried about the condition of Holmes that she is nearly trembling. He also meets Inspector Morton, who is a character in most Sherlock Holmes stories. He is the inspector who always seeks help from Holmes in most cases that happen in Scotland Yard. He is also concerned about Holmes' health. Watson tells him that Holmes is very ill, as they are waiting to hear about his health.
Mrs. Hudson trembles and cries
Meaning of difficult words:
|Planter||Someone who owns and manages a plantation|
|Persuade||To convince someone|
|Plead||To request or make an emotional appeal|
|Trembling||Body visibly shaking|
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.