The Sign Of Four
"I assure you that the most winning
woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning
three little children for their insurance money,
and the most repellant man of my acquaintance
is a philanthropist who has spent
nearly a quarter of a million upon the London
"He had prospered in India, and brought back
with him a considerable sum of money, a large
collection of valuable curiosities, and a staff
of native servants."
"We had plenty of money ourselves. I desired no more."
"They had evidently paid him well, for he was very flush of money, chucking
shillings about to the men."
But it does seem a queer thing,” he
added, with a bitter smile, “that I who have a
fair claim to nigh upon half a million of money
should spend the first half of my life building a
breakwater in the Andamans, and am like to
spend the other half digging drains at Dartmoor.
“Where there is no money there is no pay. This
night’s work would have been worth a tenner
each to Sam Brown and me if the treasure had
"That was how I earned the
Agra treasure; and you talk to me of justice
because I cannot bear to feel that I have paid
this price only that another may enjoy it!"
"I would rather swing a score of times, or have
one of Tonga’s darts in my hide, than live in
a convict’s cell and feel that another man is
at his ease in a palace with the money that
should be mine.”
"Thus, if the rebels won he would have his money, but if the Company conquered his jewels would be saved to him."
"‘Yet, as you say, the money would save our commissions handsomely.’"
"There is a rajah in the northern provinces
who has much wealth, though his lands are
small. Much has come to him from his father,
and more still he has set by himself,
for he is of a low nature and hoards his gold
rather than spend it."
The richest and glossiest of curtains
and tapestries draped the walls, looped back
here and there to expose some richly-mounted
painting or Oriental vase.
"We could judge the splendor of the missing riches by the chaplet which he had taken out."
"Miss Morstan, could we secure her rights, would
change from a needy governess to the richest
heiress in England."
"She was weak and helpless, shaken in mind and nerve. It was to take her at a disadvantage to obtrude love upon her at such a time. Worse still, she was rich."
“Why, Mary, your fortune depends upon
the issue of this search. I don’t think that you
are nearly excited enough. Just imagine what
it must be to be so rich, and to have the world
at your feet!”
You will have a couple of hundred thousand
each. Think of that! An annuity of ten thousand
pounds. There will be few richer young
ladies in England. Is it not glorious?”
“Because I love you, Mary, as truly as ever
a man loved a woman. Because this treasure,
158 The Sign of the Four these riches, sealed my lips. Now that they are gone I can tell you how I love you. That is why I said, ‘Thank God.”
“Mr. Thaddeus Sholto is a rich man,” I said.
“He will see that you are rewarded, treasure
"It was not to make them rich that we did for Achmet. You’ll find the treasure where the key is, and where little Tonga is. When I saw that your launch must catch us, I put the loot away in a safe place. There are no rupees for you this journey.”
"We ask you to be rich. If you will be one of us this night, we will swear to you upon the naked knife, and by the threefold oath which no Sikh was ever known to break, that you shall have your fair share of the loot. A quarter of the treasure shall be yours."
“But what is the treasure, then?’ I asked.
‘I am as ready to be rich as you can be, if you
will but show me how it can be done."
There will be enough to make every one of us rich men and great chiefs.