The Adventure of the Copper Beeches 銅山毛櫸案(7)
文章來源:未知 文章作者:enread 發布時間:2020-05-19 06:53 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
We were as good as our word, for it was just seven when we
reached the Copper1 Beeches2, having put up our trap at a wayside
public-house. The group of trees, with their dark leaves shining
like burnished3 metal in the light of the setting sun, were
sufficient to mark the house even had Miss Hunter not been
standing4 smiling on the door-step.
"Have you managed it?" asked Holmes.
A loud thudding noise came from somewhere downstairs. "That is
Mrs. Toller in the cellar," said she. "Her husband lies snoring
on the kitchen rug. Here are his keys, which are the duplicates
of Mr. Rucastle's."
"You have done well indeed!" cried Holmes with enthusiasm. "Now
lead the way, and we shall soon see the end of this black
We passed up the stair, unlocked the door, followed on down a
passage, and found ourselves in front of the barricade5 which Miss
Hunter had described. Holmes cut the cord and removed the
transverse bar. Then he tried the various keys in the lock, but
without success. No sound came from within, and at the silence
Holmes's face clouded over.
"I trust that we are not too late," said he. "I think, Miss
Hunter, that we had better go in without you. Now, Watson, put
your shoulder to it, and we shall see whether we cannot make our
way in."
It was an old rickety door and gave at once before our united
strength. Together we rushed into the room. It was empty. There
was no furniture save a little pallet bed, a small table, and a
basketful of linen6. The skylight above was open, and the prisoner
"There has been some villainy here," said Holmes; "this beauty
has guessed Miss Hunter's intentions and has carried his victim
"But how?"
"Through the skylight. We shall soon see how he managed it." He
swung himself up onto the roof. "Ah, yes," he cried, "here's the
end of a long light ladder against the eaves. That is how he did
"But it is impossible," said Miss Hunter; "the ladder was not
there when the Rucastles went away."
"He has come back and done it. I tell you that he is a clever and
dangerous man. I should not be very much surprised if this were
he whose step I hear now upon the stair. I think, Watson, that it
would be as well for you to have your pistol ready."
The words were hardly out of his mouth before a man appeared at
the door of the room, a very fat and burly man, with a heavy
stick in his hand. Miss Hunter screamed and shrunk against the
wall at the sight of him, but Sherlock Holmes sprang forward and
confronted him.
"You villain7!" said he, "where's your daughter?"
The fat man cast his eyes round, and then up at the open
"It is for me to ask you that," he shrieked8, "you thieves! Spies
and thieves! I have caught you, have I? You are in my power. I'll
serve you!" He turned and clattered9 down the stairs as hard as he
could go.
"He's gone for the dog!" cried Miss Hunter.
"I have my revolver," said I.
"Better close the front door," cried Holmes, and we all rushed
down the stairs together. We had hardly reached the hall when we
heard the baying of a hound, and then a scream of agony, with a
horrible worrying sound which it was dreadful to listen to. An
elderly man with a red face and shaking limbs came staggering out
at a side door.
"My God!" he cried. "Someone has loosed the dog. It's not been
fed for two days. Quick, quick, or it'll be too late!"
Holmes and I rushed out and round the angle of the house, with
Toller hurrying behind us. There was the huge famished10 brute11, its
black muzzle12 buried in Rucastle's throat, while he writhed13 and
screamed upon the ground. Running up, I blew its brains out, and
it fell over with its keen white teeth still meeting in the great
creases14 of his neck. With much labour we separated them and
carried him, living but horribly mangled15, into the house. We laid
him upon the drawing-room sofa, and having dispatched the sobered
Toller to bear the news to his wife, I did what I could to
relieve his pain. We were all assembled round him when the door
opened, and a tall, gaunt woman entered the room.
"Mrs. Toller!" cried Miss Hunter.
"Yes, miss. Mr. Rucastle let me out when he came back before he
went up to you. Ah, miss, it is a pity you didn't let me know
what you were planning, for I would have told you that your pains
were wasted."
"Ha!" said Holmes, looking keenly at her. "It is clear that Mrs.
Toller knows more about this matter than anyone else."
"Yes, sir, I do, and I am ready enough to tell what I know."
"Then, pray, sit down, and let us hear it for there are several
points on which I must confess that I am still in the dark."
"I will soon make it clear to you," said she; "and I'd have done
so before now if I could ha' got out from the cellar. If there's
police-court business over this, you'll remember that I was the
one that stood your friend, and that I was Miss Alice's friend
"She was never happy at home, Miss Alice wasn't, from the time
that her father married again. She was slighted like and had no
say in anything, but it never really became bad for her until
after she met Mr. Fowler at a friend's house. As well as I could
learn, Miss Alice had rights of her own by will, but she was so
quiet and patient, she was, that she never said a word about them
but just left everything in Mr. Rucastle's hands. He knew he was
safe with her; but when there was a chance of a husband coming
forward, who would ask for all that the law would give him, then
her father thought it time to put a stop on it. He wanted her to
sign a paper, so that whether she married or not, he could use
her money. When she wouldn't do it, he kept on worrying her until
she got brain-fever, and for six weeks was at death's door. Then
she got better at last, all worn to a shadow, and with her
beautiful hair cut off; but that didn't make no change in her
young man, and he stuck to her as true as man could be."
"Ah," said Holmes, "I think that what you have been good enough
to tell us makes the matter fairly clear, and that I can deduce
all that remains16. Mr. Rucastle then, I presume, took to this
system of imprisonment17?"
"Yes, sir."
"And brought Miss Hunter down from London in order to get rid of
the disagreeable persistence18 of Mr. Fowler."
"That was it, sir."
"But Mr. Fowler being a persevering19 man, as a good seaman20 should
be, blockaded the house, and having met you succeeded by certain
arguments, metallic21 or otherwise, in convincing you that your
interests were the same as his."
"Mr. Fowler was a very kind-spoken, free-handed gentleman," said
Mrs. Toller serenely22.
"And in this way he managed that your good man should have no
want of drink, and that a ladder should be ready at the moment
when your master had gone out."
"You have it, sir, just as it happened."
"I am sure we owe you an apology, Mrs. Toller," said Holmes, "for
you have certainly cleared up everything which puzzled us. And
here comes the country surgeon and Mrs. Rucastle, so I think.
Watson, that we had best escort Miss Hunter back to Winchester,
as it seems to me that our locus23 standi now is rather a
And thus was solved the mystery of the sinister25 house with the
copper beeches in front of the door. Mr. Rucastle survived, but
was always a broken man, kept alive solely26 through the care of
his devoted27 wife. They still live with their old servants, who
probably know so much of Rucastle's past life that he finds it
difficult to part from them. Mr. Fowler and Miss Rucastle were
married, by special license28, in Southampton the day after their
flight, and he is now the holder29 of a government appointment in
the island of Mauritius. As to Miss Violet Hunter, my friend
Holmes, rather to my disappointment, manifested no further
interest in her when once she had ceased to be the centre of one
of his problems, and she is now the head of a private school at
Walsall, where I believe that she has met with considerable success.


1 copper HZXyU     
  • The students are asked to prove the purity of copper.要求學生們檢驗銅的純度。
  • Copper is a good medium for the conduction of heat and electricity.銅是熱和電的良導體。
2 beeches 7e2b71bc19a0de701aebe6f40b036385     
n.山毛櫸( beech的名詞復數 );山毛櫸木材
  • The beeches, oaks and chestnuts all belong to the same family. 山毛櫸樹、橡樹和栗子樹屬于同科樹種。 來自互聯網
  • There are many beeches in this wood. 這片樹林里有許多山毛櫸。 來自互聯網
3 burnished fd53130f8c1e282780d281f960e0b9ad     
adj.拋光的,光亮的v.擦亮(金屬等),磨光( burnish的過去式和過去分詞 );被擦亮,磨光
  • The floor was spotless; the grate and fire-irons were burnished bright. 地板上沒有污跡;爐柵和火爐用具擦得發亮。 來自辭典例句
  • The woods today are burnished bronze. 今天的樹林是一片發亮的青銅色。 來自辭典例句
4 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震過后只有幾幢房屋還立著。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他們堅決反對對法律做任何修改。
5 barricade NufzI     
  • The soldiers make a barricade across the road.士兵在路上設路障。
  • It is difficult to break through a steel barricade.沖破鋼鐵障礙很難。
6 linen W3LyK     
  • The worker is starching the linen.這名工人正在給亞麻布上漿。
  • Fine linen and cotton fabrics were known as well as wool.精細的亞麻織品和棉織品像羊毛一樣聞名遐邇。
7 villain ZL1zA     
  • He was cast as the villain in the play.他在戲里扮演反面角色。
  • The man who played the villain acted very well.扮演惡棍的那個男演員演得很好。
8 shrieked dc12d0d25b0f5d980f524cd70c1de8fe     
v.尖叫( shriek的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • She shrieked in fright. 她嚇得尖叫起來。
  • Li Mei-t'ing gave a shout, and Lu Tzu-hsiao shrieked, "Tell what? 李梅亭大聲叫,陸子瀟尖聲叫:“告訴什么? 來自漢英文學 - 圍城
9 clattered 84556c54ff175194afe62f5473519d5a     
  • He dropped the knife and it clattered on the stone floor. 他一失手,刀子當啷一聲掉到石頭地面上。
  • His hand went limp and the knife clattered to the ground. 他的手一軟,刀子當啷一聲掉到地上。
10 famished 0laxB     
  • When's lunch?I'm famished!什么時候吃午飯?我餓得要死了!
  • My feet are now killing me and I'm absolutely famished.我的腳現在筋疲力盡,我絕對是極餓了。
11 brute GSjya     
  • The aggressor troops are not many degrees removed from the brute.侵略軍簡直象一群野獸。
  • That dog is a dangerous brute.It bites people.那條狗是危險的畜牲,它咬人。
12 muzzle i11yN     
  • He placed the muzzle of the pistol between his teeth.他把手槍的槍口放在牙齒中間。
  • The President wanted to muzzle the press.總統企圖遏制新聞自由。
13 writhed 7985cffe92f87216940f2d01877abcf6     
(因極度痛苦而)扭動或翻滾( writhe的過去式和過去分詞 )
  • He writhed at the memory, revolted with himself for that temporary weakness. 他一想起來就痛悔不已,只恨自己當一時糊涂。
  • The insect, writhed, and lay prostrate again. 昆蟲折騰了幾下,重又直挺挺地倒了下去。
14 creases adfbf37b33b2c1e375b9697e49eb1ec1     
(使…)起折痕,弄皺( crease的第三人稱單數 ); (皮膚)皺起,使起皺紋
  • She smoothed the creases out of her skirt. 她把裙子上的皺褶弄平。
  • She ironed out all the creases in the shirt. 她熨平了襯衣上的所有皺褶。
15 mangled c6ddad2d2b989a3ee0c19033d9ef021b     
  • His hand was mangled in the machine. 他的手卷到機器里軋爛了。
  • He was off work because he'd mangled his hand in a machine. 他沒上班,因為他的手給機器嚴重壓傷了。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
16 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.殘羹剩飯喂狗了。
17 imprisonment I9Uxk     
  • His sentence was commuted from death to life imprisonment.他的判決由死刑減為無期徒刑。
  • He was sentenced to one year's imprisonment for committing bigamy.他因為犯重婚罪被判入獄一年。
18 persistence hSLzh     
  • The persistence of a cough in his daughter puzzled him.他女兒持續的咳嗽把他難住了。
  • He achieved success through dogged persistence.他靠著堅持不懈取得了成功。
19 persevering AltztR     
  • They will only triumph by persevering in their struggle against natural calamities. 他們只有堅持與自然災害搏斗,才能取得勝利。
  • Success belongs to the persevering. 勝利屬于不屈不撓的人。
20 seaman vDGzA     
  • That young man is a experienced seaman.那個年輕人是一個經驗豐富的水手。
  • The Greek seaman went to the hospital five times.這位希臘海員到該醫院去過五次。
21 metallic LCuxO     
  • A sharp metallic note coming from the outside frightened me.外面傳來尖銳鏗鏘的聲音嚇了我一跳。
  • He picked up a metallic ring last night.昨夜他撿了一個金屬戒指。
22 serenely Bi5zpo     
  • The boat sailed serenely on towards the horizon.小船平穩地向著天水交接處駛去。
  • It was a serenely beautiful night.那是一個寧靜美麗的夜晚。
23 locus L0zxF     
  • Barcelona is the locus of Spanish industry.巴塞羅那是西班牙工業中心。
  • Thereafter,the military remained the locus of real power.自此之后,軍方一直掌握著實權。
24 questionable oScxK     
  • There are still a few questionable points in the case.這個案件還有幾個疑點。
  • Your argument is based on a set of questionable assumptions.你的論證建立在一套有問題的假設上。
25 sinister 6ETz6     
  • There is something sinister at the back of that series of crimes.在這一系列罪行背后有險惡的陰謀。
  • Their proposals are all worthless and designed out of sinister motives.他們的建議不僅一錢不值,而且包藏禍心。
26 solely FwGwe     
  • Success should not be measured solely by educational achievement.成功與否不應只用學業成績來衡量。
  • The town depends almost solely on the tourist trade.這座城市幾乎完全靠旅游業維持。
27 devoted xu9zka     
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他為祖國的教育事業貢獻了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我們對這個題目進行了長時間的充分討論。
28 license B9TzU     
  • The foreign guest has a license on the person.這個外國客人隨身攜帶執照。
  • The driver was arrested for having false license plates on his car.司機由于使用假車牌而被捕。
29 holder wc4xq     
  • The holder of the office of chairman is reponsible for arranging meetings.擔任主席職位的人負責安排會議。
  • That runner is the holder of the world record for the hundred-yard dash.那位運動員是一百碼賽跑世界紀錄的保持者。
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