”By the table, in a wooden arm-chair, the master of the house was seated all in a heap, with his head sunk upon his left shoulder, and that ghastly, inscrutable smile upon his face. He was stiff and cold, and had clearly been dead many hours. It seemed to me that not only his features but all his limbs were twisted and turned in the most fantastic fashion. By his hand upon the table there lay a peculiar instrument,—a brown, close-grained stick, with a stone head like a hammer, rudely lashed on with coarse twine. Beside it was a torn sheet of note-paper with some words scrawled upon it. Holmes glanced at it, and then handed it to me.
“You see,” he said, with a significant raising of the eyebrows.
In the light of the lantern I read, with a thrill of horror, “The sign of the four.”
“In God’s name, what does it all mean?” I asked.
“It means murder,” said he, stooping over the dead man.”
Published in 1890 in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, the Sign of the Four or The Problem of the Sholtos is the second of the Sherlock Holmes stories penned by Arthur Conan Doyle. Presenting Sherlock and Watson with a case of a mysterious murder in a seemingly locked room, with the theft of over half a million pounds in jewels seemingly as the motive. Can even Sherlock Holmes track down the criminals before they escape the country?
Narrated by Michael Ward.