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Anglický čtenář v Doubravníku [15]

01.01.2006

The colonel still stared at my friend like a man in a trance.
"You cunning, cunning fiend!" was all that he could say...




The Adventure of the Empty House 4

We had all risen to our feet, our prisoner breathing hard, with a policeman on each side of him. Already a few loiterers had begun to collect in the street. Holmes went up to the window, closed it, and dropped the blinds. Lestrade lit two candles. I was able at last to have a good look at our prisoner.

It was a strong man with cruel blue eyes and an aggressive nose. He did not look at any of us, but his eyes were fixed upon Holmes's face with an expression in which hatred and amazement were equally blended.

"You fiend!" he kept on saying. "You clever, clever fiend!"

"Ah, Colonel!" said Holmes. "I don't think I have had the pleasure of seeing you since the time when you showed much interest in me at the Reichenbach Fall."

The colonel still stared at my friend like a man in a trance.
"You cunning, cunning fiend!" was all that he could say.

"I have not introduced you yet," said Holmes. "This, gentlemen, is Colonel Sebastian Moran, once an officer of Indian Army, and the best heavy-game shot that our Eastern Empire has ever produced. I believe I am correct, Colonel, in saying that your bag of tigers still remains unrivalled?"

The fierce old man said nothing, but looked at my friend very angrily. With his savage eyes and moustache he was wonderfully like a tiger himself.

"I confess that you had one small surprise for me," said Holmes. "I did not anticipate that you would yourself make use of this empty house and this convenient front window. I thought you would shoot from the street, where my friend Lestrade and his men were waiting for you. With that exception, all has gone as I expected."

Holmes had picked up the powerful air-gun from the floor, and was examining its mechanism.

"An admirable and unique weapon," said he, "noiseless and of tremendous power: I knew Von Herder, the blind German mechanic, who constructed it to the order of the late Professor Moriarty. For years I have been aware of its existence, though I have never before had the opportunity of handling it. I recommend it very specially to your attention, Lestrade"

"You can trust us to look after that, Mr. Holmes," said Lestrade, as the whole party moved towards the door. "Anything further to say?"

"Only to ask what charge you intend to prefer?"

"What charge, sir? Why, of course, the attempted murder of Mr. Sherlock Holmes."

"Not so, Lestrade. I do not want to appear in the matter at all. To you, and to you only, belongs the credit of the remarkable arrest which you have effected. Yes, Lestrade, I congratulate you! With your usual happy mixture of cunning and audacity, you have got him."

"Got him! Got whom, Mr. Holmes?"

"The man that the whole force has been seeking in vain -- Colonel Sebastian Moran, who shot the Honourable Ronald Adair with an expanding bullet from an air-gun through the open window of the second-floor front of No. 427 Park Lane, upon the thirtieth of last month. That's the charge, Lestrade. And now, Watson, let us go and have a smoke in my study."

"I hope you observed all precautions, Mrs. Hudson?" said Holmes.

"I went to it on my knees, sir, just as you told me."

"Excellent. You carried the thing out very well. Did you observe where the bullet went?"

"Yes, sir. I'm afraid it has spoilt your beautiful figure, for it passed right through the head. I picked it up from the carpet. Here it is!"

Holmes held it out to me. "A soft revolver bullet. Who would expect to find such a thing fired from an air-gun! All right, Mrs. Hudson. I am much obliged for your assistance. And now, Watson, sit down in your old armchair once more, for there are several points which I should like to discuss with you."

"Well," he said "Moran was the best shot in India, and I expect that there are few better in London. Have you heard the name?"

"No, I have not."

"Well, well, such is fame! But, if I remember right, you had not heard the name of Professor James Moriarty, who was one had one of the most intelligent man of the century. Just give me down my index of biographies from the shelf."



. . .

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