The Sign of Four: Chapters 11-12

Chapters 11-12: “The Great Agra Treasure” and “The Strange Story of Jonathan Small”

Summary: When they opened the treasure box they found with the wooden legged man (Jon Small) it was empty–Small had dumped the jewels into the sea. Watson’s girlfriend didn’t care, and they got engaged. Then Sherlock had Small tell his story. He lived in India and was fighting against the rebellion when he found out about a man with jewels and some natives’ plan to kill him for them. They were all arrested for the murder, and one of the guards was going to help free them to get a cut in the money, but instead he took the money for himself. From then on Small was bent for revenge. Sherlock was satisfied with his job well done.

Reaction: I forgot to do Monday’s post, which is the post I tend to be most likely to forget, so I’m doing yesterday’s and today’s together. Anyway, I was surprised Sherlock enjoyed Small’s story, because I was utterly bored by it. Because of endings like this with huge info dumps, I tried really hard to make my mystery end where the main character and readers along with her found out everything but one critical detail before the end so it doesn’t get so boring. I hope I was more successful than Sir Arthur. And I’m really uncomfortable with Sherlock’s free use of cocaine. Probably because I like his character so much that I hate to see him do something so damaging.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Info dumps. I know lots of books still have them, but anymore they are criticized for them. I feel like it was more of a convention in classic literature, accepted and expected.

Detective Convention: World traveling adventure. I think this is more like an action movie convention, a category which the Sherlock movies tend to fall in instead of mystery. So far both stories I’ve read, though, have a back story somewhere other than London.

That’s it for that one, but since I am watching the BBC miniseries of Sherlock right now I’m really excited to read more–and I’m curious what format the next ones will take, since these first two were set aside while the rest are grouped together. And the next one is about “the woman,” which is the episode I just watched!


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