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Silver Blaze

Silver Blaze - Reading Assignment Sheet

You are to read the selection below aloud during our next class. To prepare you need to:

  1. identify the words with which you are unfamiliar
  2. look up their meanings and pronunciation in your dictionary
  3. grasp the meaning of each sentence
  4. practice reading aloud until your delivery
  1. is smooth
  2. is clear
  3. is loud enough to be easily heard by the entire group
  4. conveys the punctuation as well as the words

If I must read your selection (either because you are absent or otherwise unable to do so), you will receive a 0 on this assignment.

Reading Selection

"How about Straker's knife?"

"We have quite come to the conclusion that he wounded himself in his fall."

"My friend Dr. Watson made that suggestion to me as we came down. If so, it would tell against this man Simpson."

"Undoubtedly. He has neither a knife nor any sign of a wound. The evidence against him is certainly very strong. He had a great interest in the disappearance of the favourite. He lies under suspicion of having poisoned the stable-boy; he was undoubtedly out in the storm; he was armed with a heavy stick, and his cravat was found in the dead man's hand. I really think we have enough to go before a jury."

Holmes shook his head. "A clever counsel would tear it all to rags," said he. "Why should he take the horse out of the stable? If he wished to injure it, why could he not do it there? Has a duplicate key been found in his possession? What chemist sold him the powdered opium? Above all, where could he, a stranger to the district, hide a horse, and such a horse as this? What is his own explanation as to the paper which he wished the maid to give to the stable-boy?"

"He says that it was a ten-pound note. One was found in his purse. But your other difficulties are not so formidable as they seem. He is not a stranger to the district. He has twice lodged at Tavistock in the summer. The opium was probably brought from London. The key, having served its purpose, would be hurled away. The horse may be at the bottom of one of the pits or old mines upon the moor."


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Text of the Arthur Conan Doyle short story Silver Blaze is in the public domain.
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original web posting: Sunday, June 10, 2001
last modified: Monday, November 22, 2004