The Sign of Four (1987) Movie Script

There's a very
pretty young woman
crossing the street
and I think she
may be coming here.
Incidentally, I
have glanced over
your latest
account of my work.
Oh yes.
Honestly I cannot
congratulate you upon it.
Detection is, or ought
to be, an exact science.
Observation deduction
a cold and
unemotional subject.
You have attempted to
tinge it with romanticism,
which has much
the same effect
as if you worked a
love-story or an
elopement into the fifth
proposition of Euclid.
Who can match that?
There's a young lady
to see you Mr. Holmes.
It's Mary Morstan.
I have no recollection
of the name.
Don't go Doctor,
I may need you.
I was right.
Thank you.
Miss Morstan.
Good afternoon.
I have come to
you Mr. Holmes
because you once
enabled my employer,
Mrs. Cecil Forrester,
to unravel a minor
domestic complication.
She was much impressed
with your kindness
and skill.
Thank you.
I can hardly imagine
anything more strange,
more utterly
than the situation in
which I find myself.
State your case.
You will, I am
sure, excuse me.
If your friend would be
good enough to remain,
he might be of
inestimable service to me.
Of course.
Briefly the
facts are these.
My father was an officer
in an Indian regiment.
My mother died when I
was still quite a child
and he was forced
to send me home,
despite the fact that I
had no relatives here.
I was placed in a
comfortable boarding
at Edinburgh, and
I remained there
until I was 17
years of age.
In that same
year my father,
who was a senior
captain of his regiment,
obtained 12 months'
leave and returned home.
He telegraphed to me
from London to say
that he had
arrived all safe
and directed me to
come down at once,
giving the Langham
Hotel as his address.
His message,
as I remember,
was full of love
and kindness.
On reaching London
I drove straight to
the Langham Hotel
and was informed
that Captain Morstan
was staying there,
but that he had gone
out the night before
and had not returned.
So I waited
all day
without news of him.
And that night,
on the advice of the
manager of the hotel,
I communicated
with the police,
the next day
we advertised
in all the newspapers.
Our inquiries
led to no result
from that day to this
no word has
ever been heard
of my unfortunate
He came home with his
heart so full of hope
to find some peace,
some comfort,
and instead
The date?
The 3rd of December
exactly 10 years ago.
His luggage?
Remained at the hotel.
Oh there was nothing in
it to suggest a clue -
some clothes, some books,
and a considerable
number of curiosities
from the
Andaman Islands.
My father had been
one of the officers
in charge of the
convict-guard there.
Watson this
place is a mess.
Had he any
friends in town?
Only one that
we know of
Major Sholto, of
his old regiment,
the 34th Bombay
We communicated with
the Major, of course,
but he did not
seem to know
that his brother
officer was in England.
It's a singular case.
I have not yet
communicated to you
the most singular part.
4 years later
an advertisement had
appeared in the Times
asking for the address
of Miss Mary Morstan,
and stating that it
would be to her advantage
to come forward.
There was no
name appended.
I had at the time
just entered the family
of Mrs. Cecil Forrester
in the capacity
of governess
and on her advice I
published my address
in the advertisement
That same day there
appeared through the post
a small cardboard
box addressed to me,
which I found to contain
a very large and
lustrous pearl.
No word of writing
was enclosed.
And since then every
year upon the same date
there has always
appeared a similar box,
containing a
similar pearl,
with no clue as
to the sender.
They have been
pronounced by an expert
to be of a rare variety
and of considerable value.
You can see for yourself
that they are
very handsome.
Your case is
most interesting.
Something else has
occurred to you?
Yes, and no
later than today.
That is why I
have come to you.
This letter arrived through
the post this morning,
which you will perhaps
read for yourself.
Envelope please.
London postmark,
October 7th.
Man's thumb
mark on corner
probably the postman.
Best quality paper.
Sixpence a packet.
Particular man in
his stationery.
Be at the third
pillar from the left
outside the
Lyceum Theatre
tonight at
seven o'clock.
If you are distrustful
bring 2 friends.
You are a wronged woman
and shall have justice.
Do not bring the police.
If you do, all
will be in vain.
Your unknown friend.
Well, really,
this is a very pretty
little problem.
What do you intend
to do, Miss Morstan?
Well that is exactly
what I want to ask you.
Well then you and I
shall go together.
Dr. Watson is
the very man.
Your correspondent
says 2 friends.
But would he come?
I shall be proud and happy
if I can be
of any service.
You are both very kind.
I have led a retired life
and have no friends
whom I could appeal to.
If I am here at 6 it
will do, I suppose?
Yes but you must
not be later.
Goodbye Miss Morstan.
Goodbye Mr. Holmes.
Au revoir.
Au revoir.
Buy a flower dearie.
Buy a flower.
Aw come on dearie.
Excuse me.
What a very
attractive woman
It is of the
first importance
not to allow your
judgment to be biased
by personal qualities.
A client to me
is a mere unit,
a factor in of
the problem.
Holmes, you are
a automaton
and a calculating
There's something positively
inhuman in you at times.
I assure you
the most winning
woman I ever knew
was hanged for poisoning
3 little children
for their
insurance money,
and the most repellent
man of my acquaintance
is a philanthropist
who has spent nearly
a quarter of a million
upon the London poor.
However, in this case,
I never make exceptions.
An exception
disproves the rule.
I'm going out. I'll
see you in an hour.
Had he any
friends in town?
Only one that
we know of,
Major Sholto of
his own regiment.
There is no great
mystery in this matter
the facts appear to admit
of only one explanation.
Oh so you've
solved it already?
I have found,
on consulting the back
files of the Times,
that Major Sholto,
of Upper Norwood,
late of the 34th
Bombay Infantry,
died just 6 years ago.
Mrs. Hudson you're
dreadfully under foot.
I may be very
obtuse, Holmes,
but I fail to see
what this suggests.
You surprise me.
Now look at it
this way, then.
Captain Morstan
The only person in London
whom he could have
visited is Major Sholto.
Major Sholto denies
having heard
that he was
even in London.
4 years later Sholto dies.
Within a week of his death
Captain Morstan's daughter
receives a
valuable present,
which is repeated
from year to year
and now culminates
in a letter,
which describes her
as a wronged woman.
Now what wrong can
it possibly refer to
except this deprivation
of her father?
Tape measure,
And why should
these presents
begin immediately
after Sholto's death
unless it is that
Sholto's heir
knows something
of the mystery
and desires to
make compensation?
Are you ready Watson?
And waiting.
Have you any
alternative theory
that will meet the facts?
But what a strange
And how strangely made!
What time is it?
It's a quarter
past the hour.
Evening Ellis.
Evening sir.
Why should somebody
write her a letter now,
rather than 6 years ago?
Again, the letter speaks
of giving her justice.
What justice can she have?
It is too much to suppose
that her father
is still alive
and there's no
other injustice
in her case that
you know of.
There are difficulties
but there are
always difficulties.
Good evening Mr Holmes.
I do hope I'm not...
Good evening.
By the way,
a curious paper was
found in Papa's desk,
which nobody
could understand.
I don't suppose it is of
the slightest importance,
but I thought you
might like to see it,
so I brought it with me.
The paper appears to be
of Indian manufacture.
At some point it's
been pinned to a board.
The diagram upon it
appears to be the plan
of part of a
large building
with numerous halls,
corridors, and passages.
There's a cross
in red ink,
and on the side is
written '3.37 from left. '
There is a curious
The sign of four
Kartar Singh,
Indigo Singh,
Jagodish Singh,
Jonathan Small.
It appears it has been kept
carefully in a pocketbook,
for the one side is
as clean as the other.
It was in his pocketbook
that we found it.
Preserve it carefully,
Miss Morstan.
I begin to suspect
that this case may be
much deeper
and more subtle
than I ever
first supposed.
Hey, are you the parties
who come with
Miss Morstan?
I'm Miss Morstan,
and these 2 gentlemen
are my companions.
I must ask you to
give me your word
that neither of
your companions
is a police officer.
I give you my word.
Sahib awaits you.
Show them in, Khitmutgar.
Show them
straight in to me.
Your servant,
Miss Morstan.
Your servant, gentlemen.
Come in.
Come in.
Come in.
Come in to my
little sanctum.
I trust you have
no objection
to tobacco smoke?
The balsamic odor
of Eastern tobacco?
I am a little nervous
and I find my hookah
to be an invaluable...
You will excuse
me Mr. Sholto
but I am here
at your request
to learn something,
which you desire
to tell me?
It is getting very
late and I should wish
the interview to be
as short as possible.
Well it must
take some time.
For we have to
go to Norwood
to see brother
We must all see
if we can get the better
of brother
He is angry with me for
taking the course that
has seemed right to me.
You cannot imagine
what a terrible
fellow he is
when he is angry.
If we are to
go to Norwood,
it would
perhaps be as well
if we were start at once.
No that would hardly do.
I don't know what
he would say
if we came upon him
in that sudden way.
No I must prepare you
by showing you
where we all stand
to each other.
I must lay the
facts before you,
as I know them myself.
My father, the late
Major John Sholto,
came to live at
Pondicherry Lodge
in Upper Norwood
some 11 years ago.
And he had
prospered in India
and brought back with him
a considerable
sum of money,
a collection of
valuable curiosities,
and a staff of
native servants.
With these advantages
he lived in great luxury.
My brother and I were at
university at the time.
We did know, however,
that some mystery,
some positive danger,
overhung our father.
He was very fearful
of going out alone,
and he employed
2 prizefighters
to guard him.
Williams, who drove
you here tonight,
was one of them.
For some reason,
he never told anyone,
my father had a
marked aversion
to men with wooden legs.
On one occasion
he actually fired
his revolver
at a one-legged man.
A harmless tradesman
as it turned out.
I remember we
have to pay
a considerable sum
to hush it up.
Then suddenly
my father
received a letter
It was a great
shock to him.
Out of the room!
Out of the room!
What was in the letter
we could never discover?
For years my father
had suffered
with an
enlarged spleen
and from that moment on
he became rapidly worse.
But one night the doctor
informed us there was no hope
and that he wished to make
a last communication to us.
My dear family,
when we were in India
my friend, Morstan and I,
came into possession
of a considerable
I brought it home
with me to this house,
where it's still alive.
On the day, Mr. Morstan,
had arrived home
from the East.
He came straight
to this house
to claim his share.
We gave our word Sholto.
A promise.
We gave our word
and our oath.
another time,
another life,
another world,
a solemn promise.
You tried to
betray me Morstan.
If you dare to
cross me...
My God.
The man is dead Altada.
You have nothing
to fear Sir.
I will arrange everything.
And soon it was
done Miss Morstan,
in secrecy of course
but with respect.
This is disgraceful
Mister Sholto.
Your father's behavior
was quite unforgivable.
Please Doctor.
I knew in my heart
that he was dead.
My father was
not alone then.
And I'm glad he
didn't suffer.
You're very brave
Miss Morstan.
What concerns me now
is the wishing
for this quarrel.
I cannot imagine
how my father
came to be involved
with that treasure.
I'm afraid that is
not clear Miss Morstan
I can only tell you
my father's instructions
concerning it.
The greed.
accursed greed
that has been
my besetting thing
throughout my life
has robbed her
of the treasure.
Half of which, at least,
should be hers.
You see that
chaplet there.
I had the design of
sending it to her
but could not bear
to part with it.
my sons
must see that
Miss Morstan
gets her share
of the treasure.
Get him away.
For Christ's sake
get him away.
We ran to the window
and out into the garden
but the intruder was gone.
My father was dead.
We soon had more striking
proof that there were
secret agencies that
work all around us.
The next day my father's
bedroom was broken into
and this was fixed
to his chest.
It is the Sikkh symbol
for the numeral 4.
What the paper means
and who our secret
visitor or visitors were
we never found out.
And my brother and
I were much excited
as you could imagine
of the treasure that
my father had spoken
but try as we might
we couldn't find it.
It was maddened to think
that the hiding place
was on his very
lips when he died.
We could judge the
splendor of the riches
by the chaplet, which
he had taken out.
The pearls were
evidently of great value,
and my brother was averse
to part with them,
for, between friends,
he was a little inclined
to my father's fault.
And it was all I could
do was to persuade him
to allow me to
send Miss Morstan
a detached pearl at
regular intervals
so that she would
not feel destitute.
It was a kindly thought.
No it was very
good of you.
We were your trustees
that was the way
I looked at it,
although my brother
did not altogether
see it in that light.
We had plenty of
money ourselves.
It would have been
in such bad taste
to have treated
a young lady
in so scurvy a fashion.
Yesterday an event
of extreme
importance occurred.
We, found of
the treasure.
Hence my instant communication
to you Miss Morstan.
Now all we have to do
is to drive to Norwood
and claim our share.
We shall be expected,
if not entirely
welcome, visitors.
You have done well from
first to last Mr. Sholto.
My health is
somewhat fragile.
I am compelled to
be a valetudinarian.
We dug up every
inch of the garden
without discovering
Brother Bartholomew is
such a clever fellow.
Do you know how
he found out
where the treasure was?
Tell me.
He made measurements
all along the top,
along the side, inside
and he found out
he was 4 foot
out at the top.
We found our father
made a false room
So he smashed through
the lath and the plaster
and there was the
treasure chest
lying across the rafters.
He has computed the
value of the treasure
to be more than one
half million sterling.
It's Mrs. Bernstone.
Mrs. Bernstone is the
only lady in the house
wait here.
Oh, Mr. Thaddeus I'm
so glad you've come!
I'm so glad
you've come, sir!
What a strange place!
It looks as if all
the moles in England
have been let
loose in it.
There's something
amiss with Bartholomew
Into the house!
bless your
sweet, calm face.
Oh, but I have been
sorely tried this day.
How Mrs. Bernstone?
Mr. Bartholomew shut
himself in his room
and I can't get a
word out of him.
His bed hasn't
been slept in
and he hasn't been
down for any food.
I dare not disturb
him at his work.
You know what he's like
when it's his work.
Look after her
Miss Morstan.
There, there do
try to calm down.
Look I'm sure everything
will be all right.
I do hope your right Miss.
Sit down over there.
Which is the door?
There's something
devilish in this, Watson.
The sign of
the four again.
What in God's name
does it all mean?
It means murder.
We brought the treasure
down there last night.
Now its gone.
What time is that?
I don't know.
I think six, or seven.
I heard him lock the
door after I left.
I must have been the last
person to see him alive.
And now he's dead
you think I did it?
I didn't,
why should I,
I wouldn't have
wanted you...
I wouldn't have
asked you to...
I'll go mad.
Gentle, gently,
gentle Mr. Sholto.
I suggest that you go
down to the police station
and tell them everything
that you know.
We shall wait here
until you return.
Holmes look at this.
Forgive me,
its poisoned.
Well Watson we
have a little time
let's make the
most of it.
Awe this is an
Insoluble mystery to me.
It grows darker
instead of clearer.
No, no, no, no it
clears every instant.
I only require a
few missing links
to have an entirely
connected case.
Simple as the
case seems now
there may be something
deeper underlying it.
How did these
people come
and how did they go?
Well it takes more than
one, perhaps more than 2
to remove a heavy
treasure chest
from a place like this.
The door hasn't been
opened since last night.
So how about
these windows?
Snibbed on the inside.
No hinges.
Roof quite out of reach.
No drainpipe near.
Yet someone has
entered this way look.
See that a scuff
on the sill.
Look at this Watson
and this and this.
This is a very
pretty demonstration.
But that's not a footmark.
Something much more
valuable to us.
This is mark of
a boot and this
this the mark of
the timber toe.
It is a
wooden-legged man.
And someone else.
A very able and
efficient ally.
Could you scale
that wall, Watson?
Absolutely impossible.
I aid it is so
but suppose you
had a friend
who lowered you
this good stout rope
securing it first
to this ring.
I think if you
were an active man,
you'd be able
to swarm up,
wooden leg and all.
You would depart,
of course,
in the same fashion,
and then your friend
would pull up the rope,
close the window,
snib it on the inside,
and depart in the manner
he originally came.
Well the thing grows more
unintelligible than ever.
How about this
mysterious ally?
How did he get
into the room?
Yes, this ally.
He lifts this case
from the regions of
the commonplace.
Well the door is locked;
the window inaccessible.
The grate's too small.
How then?
You will not
follow my precept.
How often have
I said to you
that once you have
eliminated the impossible,
whatever remains,
however improbable,
must be the truth?
He must of come in
through the roof.
Excellent Watson,
hold this lamp.
Let us carry our research
to the room above
the secret room in which
the treasure was found.
The skylight.
Holmes a child has
done this horrid thing.
My memory failed me,
for I should have been
able to foretell it.
There is nothing we
can learn from here.
Let us go down.
What is your theory
about those footmarks?
My dear Watson, try a
little analysis yourself.
You know my methods.
Apply them.
I cannot conceive
of anything
that will cover
the facts.
You will soon.
We're in luck.
Our little ally
has trod in
the creosote.
[Voices from afar].
Ahh, look at that.
Quite a nice little
place you got here.
representatives of the law
unless I'm very,
very much mistaken.
Now Watson
before they come
what do you make of
this poor fellow?
The muscles are
stiff as a board.
A state of extreme
far exceeding the
usual rigor mortis.
Quite so.
Coupled with this
distortion of the face,
the Hippocratic smile,
risus sardonicus, as the
old writers called it,
what would that
suggest to your mind?
Death from a powerful
vegetable alkaloid
some strychnine-like
that produces tetanus.
to the right,
come on along
gentleman to the right.
Up these stairs.
This thorn.
old English thorn.
I think it is not right
that Miss Morstan
remain in this
stricken house.
I suggest you slip away
and take her home Watson
and then go to
3 Pinchin Lane,
Lambeth and ask for Toby.
3 Pinchin Lane.
I'd rather have Toby's
help than that of the
whole protective
force London.
Well here's a
pretty business!
Place is as full
as a rabbit-warren!
I think you better
recollect me,
Mr. Athelney Jones.
Why, of course I do!
Mr. Sherlock Holmes,
the theorist.
I'll never forget that
you lectured us all
about the Bishopgate
jewel case,
True you set us on
the right track then
I think you'll own now
it is more by good luck
than good guidance.
It was a piece of
very simple reasoning.
Oh, come, now, come!
Never be ashamed
to own up.
But what is all this?
It's a bad business!
Bad business!
Stern facts here
no room for theories.
It's lucky I happened
to be up at Norwood
on another case when
I got the message.
How do you think
this man died?
This is not a case for
me to theorize over.
No, no, no.
Still, we can't deny
you hit the nail on
the head sometimes.
Door locked,
I understand.
Jewels worth a
fortune missing.
How were the windows?
Fastened; but there was
a footstep on the sill.
Windows fastened.
Nothing to do with
it. It's common sense.
Man could have died
in a fit I suppose.
I have a theory.
These flashes come
to me sometimes.
Sergeant, outside
if you please.
And you too, Mr. Sholto.
What do you think
of this, Holmes?
Sholto has confessed
he was with his
brother last night.
The brother died in a fit.
Sholto walks off
with the treasure?
How about that?
Whereupon a dead man
very considerately
gets up and locks the
door from the inside.
There's a flaw
there somewhere.
Let us apply common
sense to the matter.
They were brothers
there was a quarrel
Bartholomew dead
jewels gone.
And master Thaddeus
evidently in a
disturbed state of mind.
His appearance well,
not attractive.
You see
I'm weaving a web
around Thaddeus.
The net begins to
close upon him.
that splinter,
which I firmly believe
to be poisoned,
that card and that
curiously shaped instrument
were lying there
on the table.
Confirms my theory
in every respect.
The house is full of
Indian curiosities.
All point to Thaddeus.
how did he escape?
There is a trapdoor
in the roof Sergeant.
May I ask Mr. Sholto
to step this way?
You see facts are better
than theories, after all.
My view of the
case is confirmed.
There is a trapdoor
with the roof,
and it is partly open.
It is I who opened it.
Mr. Thaddeus Sholto, it
is my duty to inform you
that anything you say
will be taken down
and maybe used in
evidence against you.
I arrest you in
the Queen's name
as being concerned in the
death of your brother.
I didn't I tell you
Don't trouble
yourself, Mr. Sholto.
I think that I can engage
to clear you
of this charge.
Don't promise too
much, Mr. Theorist.
You may find it a harder
matter than you think.
Not only will I
clear Mr. Sholto,
but I will give
you a description
of the 2 men who were
in this room last night.
One was a poorly
educated man,
with his right leg off,
wearing a stump worn
away on the inside.
His left boot has a
coarse, square-toed sole
it has an iron band
around the heel.
He's much sunburned,
and has a certain
amount of skin missing
from the palm of one hand.
And the other one?
He's rather a
curious person.
I hope before
long to be able to
introduce you to
the pair of them.
Watson, go to 3
Pinchin Lane, London
and ask for Toby.
I'd rather have
Toby's help
than that of the whole
detective force of London.
Mr. Toby?
Mr. Toby?
Mr. Toby?
Get out of it.
You drunken hooligan.
Go on get out of it or
I'll turn my dogs on you.
All 43 of them.
I'm looking for Mr. Toby.
I have a viper
in this bag,
and I'll tip it
out over your 'ead
if you don't hoof it!
It's urgent
that I find him.
I won't be argued with!
1, 2, 3 and down
comes the viper.
I've come from Mr. Holmes.
I've come from Mr.
Sherlock Holmes.
Mr. Sherlock Holmes
well who'd of
thought it?
Awe here you are.
Mr. Sherlock Holmes
why didn't you say so,
come in.
Oh yes he does
now Naughty.
Oh please don't you
bite the gentleman
cause this gentleman
is a friend
of Mr. Sherlock Holmes
and any friend of
Mr. Sherlock Holmes
is a friend of mine.
Don't mind him.
He'll just give you a
nice friendly squeeze.
I've give him the
run of the room
because he keeps down the
beetles something beautiful.
Now what did you say
Mr. Sherlock
Holmes wanted?
Yes Toby.
Awe well Toby's No. 7
there along on the left.
Here you give him these
and Toby will go
along with you
as quiet as a lamb.
Hey Toby wake up come on.
There's work
for you to do.
A gentleman's come
here to see you.
Toby come on.
Come on love.
Come on Toby.
It's all right officer
it's Mr. Holmes.
Coach around.
Come on Toby.
Well done you've got Toby.
Here comes London.
I'm coming down.
look at these Watson.
I found them
in the gutter.
Oh thank you
Mrs. Bernstone.
Do you smell the creosote?
Athelney Jones arrested
not only Thaddeus
but also the gatekeeper,
the gamekeeper,
2 Indian servants.
I was lucky to
escape myself.
Watson are you on for
a bit of a trudge?
Of course.
You and Toby game
as they come
when it's a good
holding scent.
Now find him.
Go Toby.
Seek Toby seek.
Steady Watson steady.
Lucky the rain
has stopped.
The scent will
lie on the road
in spite of their start.
Ah, how sweet the
morning air is.
Have you brought
your pistol Watson?
No I have my stick.
In the event were
led to the men
the peg leg I'll
leave to you.
Leave the ally
to me come.
What the deuce is the
matter with the dog?
They took a boat
except they didn't take
a cab or a balloon.
They must have been
met at the waters edge.
He's lost his character
to infallibility.
No, no, no.
Toby's not to blame.
Those barrels are
filled with creosote.
The scent was divided.
So like good
huntsmen Watson.
We must cast
the dog again
and find the true one.
We're out of luck.
They've taken the
boat from here.
These people are
cleverer than I thought.
Now Watson these
people show
management here.
Mordecai Smith.
You come back here and
get your face washed.
Oh you youngin'.
I'll get your Dad to
give you a good spankin'
when he gets back.
My what a rosy-cheeked
young rascal!
Is there anything
you'd like Jack?
I'd like a shillin'.
A fine young lad you
got there, Mrs. Smith.
Lor' bless you, sir, he
is that, and forward.
He gets a'most too
much for me to manage,
'specially when my man
is away days at a time.
Awe it's a pity
about that.
I was hoping to hire
a boat from him,
a steam launch.
Why, bless you, sir,
it is in the steam
launch that he has gone.
Aye' didn't like the
bloke who did the hire
not at all, very rough,
with a wooden leg,
come tappin' at our window
in the middle of the night
and away they went
without a word to me.
Now this man with the
wooden leg, was he alone?
Think he might have
had an animal with him.
A dog?
Didn't look like
no dog to me sir.
More like something that
you find at the zoo.
So tell me about
the launch.
It's the old green bird
with the yellow line.
Oh no, no, sir.
The Aurora has just
been fresh painted
black with a gold trim.
Awe yes, with
a white funnel.
No sir black funnel.
Awe yes of course.
Well thank you Mrs. Smith.
Goodbye Jack.
The main thing with
people of that sort
is never to let them
think that information
is of the slightest
importance to you.
If you do they
will instantly
shut up like an oyster.
Well our course seems
pretty clear now.
What would you do, then?
Get on the track
of the Aurora.
It would take days
if not months
to search every wharf
and landing place
on the harbor between
here and Greenwich.
What do you propose?
As our query has no reason
to fear that he's being hunted
I propose first
of all a bath.
And shave.
And then a good meal and
then some hours of sleep.
At the same time
mobilizing the Baker
Street division
of the detective
police force.
In other words
the irregulars.
Awe the energetic Jones
the ubiquitous reporter
fixed up the case
between them.
Watson look at this.
Mr. Jones' trained and
experienced faculties
were at once directed towards
the detection of the criminals.
His well-known
technical knowledge
and powers of
minute observation...
well it gets better still
the prompt and
energetic action
of the officers of the law
shows the great
advantage for the
single vigorous
and masterful mind.
Isn't it gorgeous?
We had a close shave of
being arrested ourselves.
I wouldn't answer
for our safety now
if he has another of
his attacks of energy.
Mr Holmes said
nothing of this.
You can't possibly
go in there.
I'm sorry Mr. Holmes
It's all right
Mrs. Hudson,
they are my guests.
Look, hats off.
I've got your message.
I brought 'em on sharp.
3 bob and a tenner
for the tickets.
Now Wiggins, in future
they can report to
you and you to me.
I cannot have the house
invaded in this way.
Oye stop that.
Now I want you to find
the steamboat Aurora.
Owner Mordecai Smith,
black with gold trim.
Richmond to Gravesend
both sides of the river.
Fine sir.
How much?
Old scale of pay
a guinea to the boy
who finds the boat.
Here is a day in advance.
If the launch
is above water
the irregulars
will find her.
They can go everywhere,
see everything.
If our man had
an easy task
just as ours ought to be.
One-legged men
are not so common
and this other man
must be unique.
The aborigines of
the Andaman Islands
may perhaps claim
the distinction
of being the smallest
race upon this earth.
They are a
fierce, morose,
and intractable people,
though capable of forming
the most devoted
when their confidence
has once been gained.
They have always been a
terror to shipwrecked crews,
braining the survivors with
their stone-headed clubs
or shooting them with
with poisoned arrows.
These massacres are
usually concluded
by a cannibal feast.
Nice, amiable people.
And what time would you
like for dinner Mr. Holmes?
Half past eight the
day after tomorrow.
You'll wear yourself
out old man.
I heard you marching
about all night.
You really must
get some rest.
I can't sleep.
This infernal problem
is consuming me.
No news?
None whatsoever.
The whole river has been
searched from both sides.
Mrs. Smith has not
heard from her husband,
it's too much.
To be balked by
some petty obstacle
when all else has
been overcome.
See anything?
No nothing.
Shove off.
Or you'll feel the
back of my hand.
I'm not going to
tell you again boy.
A nice little craft.
Aye, she's a
good boat this.
We built her right
in this yard.
Fastest boat on the river.
What she in for?
Repairs to her rudder.
That's the order.
I can't find anything
amiss with it.
I want her in the water
by six o'clock tonight.
Fully coaled and steam up.
Right Mr. Smith
she'll be ready.
Six o'clock sharp, mind,
for 2 gentlemen that'll
not be kept waiting.
It's this Norwood
case Doctor.
I have a great deal
to worry and try me.
And this case is a
very dark one too.
Thank you.
I shall be most grateful
for Mr. Holmes' help.
Your friend is
a wonderful man
and not to be beat.
Well you maybe in
for a long wait.
Nope I don't think so.
Go to Baker
Street at once.
If I've not returned,
wait for me.
I am close on the track
of the Sholto gang.
Come with us tonight
if you want to be
in at the kill.
So he's on the
scent again?
He's been at
fault too has he?
Even the best of us are
thrown off sometimes.
Sherlock Holmes?
What is it?
Are you Mr.
Sherlock Holmes?
No but I'm
acting for him.
I've come about
this right here.
If you have any
you may give to me.
There's a reward.
Is it about the
steam launch, Aurora?
I'm telling no one but
Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
No, no; come inside.
I'm a police officer.
You look like one.
No you will be
for your loss of time.
You will not have
long to wait.
Sit down.
Cigar Mr. Jones?
Oh, thank you for
you very much.
As I was saying Doctor,
I consider your friend
Mr. Sherlock Holmes is
a man not to be beat.
He would have made
the most promising
police officer.
I don't care
who knows it.
With a little
more discipline
and a lot less theory.
Thank you.
You might offer me one.
Oh, you rogue
you would have
made an actor
and a rare one.
You had the proper
workhouse cough,
and those weak
legs of yours
there worth 10
pounds each.
A police officer,
I'm flattered.
Jones I shall need
a police launch
at the Westminster steps.
The fastest you have.
2 stout men,
yourself, myself,
Watson all of us armed.
That is easily arranged.
I will telephone
the local station.
When we get to the tower
we'll stop opposite
of Jacobson's Yard.
How did you find
the Aurora then?
Well I have reasons that
the launch couldn't be
far often despite
of its invisibility.
So gentlemen,
where could it be?
Well out of the
water I suppose.
In a repair or
boat builders yard.
One of my boys is
waiting by the yard
to give us the signal.
You planned it all
very neatly Mr. Holmes
but if the affair
were in my hands
I should have a body
of police in the yard
and arrested them
when they came down.
Which would
have been never.
This man Small is a
pretty shrewd fellow.
Anything suspicious
and he would lie snug
for another week.
We're opposite
Jacobson's Yard now,
shall we move
downstream a little.
No this mist may be
of an advantage to us.
We must lie low and wait.
Your boy's signaling,
I can see it plainly.
There's the Aurora
going like the devil
She's very fast.
I doubt if we
shall catch her.
We must catch her!
Pile it on, stokers!
I'll never forgive myself
if she proves to
have some use.
Faster, faster.
This is the fast
boat they've got.
Pile on the coals.
Stoke her.
We must have her.
Even if we burn the boat.
Keep the light steady.
I can almost make
out his companion.
We're gaining.
Pile it on, stoker.
Give it all the
steam we've got.
I think we
gained a little.
I'm sure of it.
Point the light
more to the left.
Keep it steady.
What's happening
on that boat?
They're fighting
among themselves.
The peg leg.
Cease you.
You can burn in hell
The sign of four
Watson look.
What a face.
Let him wear
himself out.
So Jonathan Small.
I am sorry it's
come to this.
And so am I sir.
But I give you my
word gentlemen
I never laid hands
on young Mr. Sholto.
Of course you didn't.
Your little friends
dart killed him
while he was still
climbing the rope.
Well you speak as if
you were there sir.
Well if it had been
old Major Sholto
I would have swung for
him with a light heart.
But to be lagged over
this young Sholto,
cursed heart.
You must make a
clean breast of it
if you do I may
be of use to you.
Quite a family party.
I reckon I'll pull
that flask myself.
Now, where are
you going Small?
The Esmeralda,
at Gravesend,
outward bound
for the Brazils.
And nearly made it.
Another man at the engines
and you'd never
have caught us.
Where's the key my man?
At the bottom
of the river.
Now look here,
we've had enough of
you tonight Small.
Bring the cuffs in
men, I'm warning you.
Its alright constable
When we leave the stacks.
I suggest that we go
back to Baker Street.
Well I think Miss
Morstan should be there.
Well that's not the
regulation way Mr. Holmes.
Well I can at least
promise you a nice,
warming drink.
Very well gentlemen.
Well Miss Morstan
I am pleased and proud
to have been able to bring
the thief to justice.
The pretty justice.
Who's loot is this
if it is not ours?
Where is the justice
that I should give it up
to those who have
never owned it?
You forget Small
they know nothing
of this matter.
We cannot tell
how far justice
may have originally
been on your side.
No sir.
You have been
fair spoken to me,
though I can say
that it's you
that I have to thank
for these
bracelets on my wrists.
Still I bear no
grudge for that.
If you want to
hear my story
I have no wish
to hold it back.
And what I say to
you is God's truth,
every word of it.
When I was a lad
I took the Queen's
shilling and was
posted out to India
with the Third Buff's.
A crocodile
snapped this off
when I was bathing
in the Ganges.
The sawbones
had my stump
in the tar barrel
nice and quick.
I was young and strong.
We got my discharge
and this fellow...
it's been a good
support to me
so there I was a
cripple at 20.
But I liked it out there
so I found myself a
job as an overseer
on an Indigo farm.
I was on horseback all
day so that was fine.
But I was never
in luck for long,
without a note of warning
the great
mutiny was on us.
I came back to the farm
one evening to find
my master and all his
family be murdered.
I didn't wait.
On that same evening I
was in the Fort of Agra,
the nearest city still
held by the British.
The old Fort of Agra,
a queer place,
it's full of
passages and rooms
and more entrances
than you can count.
There were many gates
and because I was an
ex-soldier and British
they put me in charge
of one of them
and gave me a
couple of Sikkhs
who'd stayed loyal to us.
It was a lonely place.
My 2 Punjabis were
experienced, fighting men.
Kartar Singh and
Indigo Singh.
No rebels.
The fort is safe.
There are no rebel
this side of the river.
You must be with us
or you must be
silenced forever.
With you how?
We want you to be rich,
which is why you British
came to this land.
Well I have no
objection of being rich.
Then swear by the
bones of your father
to raise no hand
and to speak no
word against us now
or ever afterwards
then you will have
quarter of the treasure.
But there are
only 3 of us.
Jagodish Singh my
foster brother
he must have his share.
There is no time
Sahib decide.
provided the fort is
in no kind of danger
I swear.
What would you have
done Mr. Holmes?
I strongly suspect
I would have done
exactly as you did.
Yes I know the Sikkh.
He's not a man to
be trifled with.
One of our local Rajahs,
Rich as Croesus of course,
he'd gone in
with the rebels.
But... He wanted
to hedge his bet
just in case the
British came out on top.
So he made a plot to
get half his treasure
hidden in the Fort of Agra
sending one of
his men with it
in the guise
of a merchant
and Jagodish Singh
Kartar's brother
to be the guide.
They come challenging
sahib, in a major way
giving no caution to fear.
What then?
we do what has
to be done.
Who goes there?
A friend sahib.
A friend advance
and be recognized.
What have you with you?
A box sahib, old box.
Having some family papers.
No good to nobody
sahib only for myself.
Sahib, I'm no
ordinary beggar.
You will have money sahib.
and you comrades
sahib also.
Take him to the
main guardroom.
Never was a man more
compassed round with death.
If that man had escaped
the whole affair
would have come out.
I should have been
shot most like.
Which of you would have
held back his musket?
Kartar was for
burning him,
that's there religion.
But such a fire
was impossible.
Jagodish was for
throwing him down
into the great ditch
below the fort
where the jackal's
to clean him.
No doubt he was right.
I'm always for showing
some respect for the dead.
Then we turned
to the box,
this box.
Inside were more gems
than I could have ever
even had dreamed of.
A 143 diamonds of
the first order
including the Great Mogul,
the second largest
stone in existence.
97 emeralds,
170 rubies,
40 carbuncles,
61 agates.
Jagodish was right,
it was a great
mistake you made
burying the
body as you did
would you not
say so Watson?
Yes indeed.
Bodies not burned in India
are soon discovered.
So you and your
3 companions
were found guilty and
sent away for life
to the penal colony in
the Andaman Islands.
Blair Island sir.
never was a place
worse named.
It was a place to sweat.
A place to rot.
A place to die.
And I sweated there
year after year
until your father
arrived Miss. Morstan.
you will not maltreat
the white prisoner.
If it happens again
you'll be court marshaled.
He was our administrative
officer and he gave me
a nice cushy villa
in the dispensary.
He was as good and kind
a Christian gentleman
as I ever come across
and I hold no
grudge against him.
Or you Miss.
Thank you Mr. Small.
Well as I sat thinking
about the treasure
I could see all the offices
and the prison officials
at their drinking
and their gambling.
Major Sholto never
had much luck.
Night after night
he was the loser.
Some people are
born like that.
It's all over
for me Morstan.
I'm ruined.
I shall have to
send in my paper.
I don't suppose
you could manage
another couple
of hundred hey?
I had a pretty nasty
face in myself
and I have a daughter
back home to support.
Well I've got 2
wretched sons.
Ruined hey, damn pity.
So you decided to
approach your benefactor
Captain Morstan?
He was often in
the dispensary.
The tropical climate
didn't agree with him.
His heart was weak
and his blood was
all poisoned.
Knowing that he
would wish to share
any arrangement
with his friend
the officer in
command, Major Sholto?
Yes sir it seemed
the safest way.
And is there any private
concern over which
of course you have the
power of disposing
as you think best
Thank you for
that advice sir.
Thank you indeed
but the fact is
being in the
position I am
I need help.
What sort of help?
I need a partner.
Well I'm sure Major
Sholto and myself
would like to help
you if we could.
We could at
least talk about,
that is of course if we
can agree as to terms.
There's only one bargain
a man in my
position can make.
In exchange
for my freedom
and that of my
3 companions
we shall give
you a fifth share
to divide between you.
A fifth?
That isn't very much.
50 thousand
at the least.
Anyway how can
we possibly
give you your freedom?
You know it's impossible.
All we need is a
boat and provisions.
There are plenty little
yachts and yawls
in Calcutta or Madras,
Well enough to
serve our purpose.
If only there were
just one of you.
None or all.
We have sworn it.
The 4 of us must
always act together!
Calm yourself Sholto.
Calm yourself,
think about it man,
think about it.
Small is a man
of his word
he will not abandon
his friends.
I think we may very
well trust him.
We met the next morning
in the small hours.
I had our written
agreement in every detail.
We being officers
in the Army
of her majesty
Queen Victoria...
We being officers
in the Army
of her majesty
Queen Victoria...
Do swear on
the Holy Bible
that this agreement
will always remain
sacred and
binding to us.
Do swear on
the Holy Bible
that this agreement
will always remain
sacred and binding to us.
I gave each of
them a plan
showing the position
of the treasure.
Oh that brings
back memories.
Sholto took the
next boat to India,
found the treasure
and took it back
with him to England?
When we heard the news
Captain Morstan was
as angry as I was.
He swore to me
he would go home
and settle the
matter with Sholto.
And so he would
if he lived
but that was not to be.
From that day,
I lived only
for vengeance.
I thought of it by day,
I nursed it by night
to get to Sholto,
put my hands
on his throat
that was my one thought.
As luck would have it,
one of the islanders
had been brought in
to my dispensary,
more than half dead
from a snakebite.
And in common humanity
I did my best for him.
Somehow he pulled through
and became very
devoted to me,
a funny little fellow.
Well you gentlemen
caught a glimpse
of him yourselves,
no doubt, last night.
He was staunch and
true little Tonga.
No man ever had a
more faithful mate.
Being by trade
a fisherman
he had a goodish
size native boat
and he had agreed to
try to escape with me.
After 10 days we were
picked up by a trader
with a cargo of pilgrims
from Malay bound for Gito.
After many months
we worked our way
across the world
to London.
A remarkable account.
And now I think
Miss Morstan
might like to see the
Great Agra Treasure,
which will
surely make her
one of the richest young
ladies in England.
There's no key.
I'm sure our iron
poker will oblige.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha
This is
your doing Small.
Yes I put the
treasure away
where you shall never
lay a hand on it.
No living man or woman
has any right to it
unless it is the 3 men
in the Andaman Convict
Barracks and myself.
I know now that I cannot
have the use of it,
no more can they.
But I have acted all along
for them as much
as for myself.
We have the sign of
four with us always.
Where is it?
Where the key is
and where
little Tonga is.
I saw your launch
might catch us
and I saw little Tonga
go over the side.
I put the loot
in a safe place.
You are deceiving us
Small if you had wished
to throw the treasure
into the Thames
it would have been easier
to have thrown
box and all.
Easier for me to throw
and easier for
you to recover.
A man who's clever
enough to hunt me down
is clever enough
to pick up a box
from the bottom
of the river.
I am sorry.
I am glad the
treasure is lost.
It's been nothing
but a curse
to every man who
has owned it.
And only death to
my poor father.
And slavery for life
to me and my
We spent the first
half of my life
digging a breakwater
in the Andaman's.
And I'm likely to
spend the other half
digging ditches
on Dartmoor.
Well Holmes duty is duty
and I've gone rather far
in bringing him here.
I shall feel
more at ease
when I have our
storyteller here
under lock and key.
I am obliged to you
for your assistance.
Good day to you.
Doctor Watson,
Miss Morstan.
Awe, after you Small.
you seem a bit handy
with that wooden
leg of yours.
I feel most ashamed
that you Mr. Holmes
and you dear
Doctor Watson
have had to put yourself
into such peril
on my behalf.
Oh that's all over
and forgotten.
Mrs. Forrester has sent her
carriage for Miss Morstan.
I'll impose on you
no longer gentlemen.
You must be exhausted.
Yes I confess the reaction
is already upon me.
I shall be as limp
as a rag for a week.
I'm so very
grateful to you
for clearing my
father's name.
I'm so very grateful
to you both.
Seems so unfair.
You ve done all the
work in this business
and Athelney Jones
gets all the credit.
What remains for you?
For me, the pleasure
of having solved
an interesting case
almost single-handed.
And for you no
doubt the pleasure
of writing it up
in your usual flowery
and romantic style.
What a very
attractive woman.
Was she?
I hadn't noticed.