"The Speckled Band" by Sherlock Holmes 18 words

  1. coroner
    a public official who investigates by inquest any death not due to natural causes
    "That was what the county coroner asked me at the inquiry.
  2. dawdle
    hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.
    And now, Watson, this is too serious for dawdling, especially as the old man is aware that we are interesting ourselves in his affairs; so if you are ready, we shall call a cab and drive to Waterloo.
  3. perpetrate
    perform an act, usually with a negative connotation
    In a fit of anger, however, caused by some robberies which had been perpetrated in the house, he beat his native butler to death and narrowly escaped a capital sentence.
  4. adder
    a person who adds numbers
    "It is a swamp adder!" cried Holmes; "the deadliest snake in India.
  5. blanched
    (especially of plants) developed without chlorophyll by being deprived of light
    By the light of the corridor-lamp I saw my sister appear at the opening, her face blanched with terror, her hands groping for help, her whole figure swaying to and fro like that of a drunkard.
  6. morose
    showing a brooding ill humor
    As it was, he suffered a long term of imprisonment and afterwards returned to England a morose and disappointed man.
  7. dissolute
    unrestrained by convention or morality
    In the last century, however, four successive heirs were of a dissolute and wasteful disposition, and the family ruin was eventually completed by a gambler in the days of the Regency.
  8. imprudence
    a lack of caution in practical affairs
    This incident gives zest to our investigation, however, and I only trust that our little friend will not suffer from her imprudence in allowing this brute to trace her.
  9. bramble
    any of various rough thorny shrubs or vines
    He had no friends at all save the wandering gypsies, and he would give these vagabonds leave to encamp upon the few acres of bramble-covered land which represent the family estate, and would accept in return the hospitality of their tents, wandering away with them sometimes for weeks on end.
  10. allusion
    passing reference or indirect mention
    "Ah, and what did you gather from this allusion to a band -- a speckled band?"
  11. mania
    an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action
    Violence of temper approaching to mania has been hereditary in the men of the family, and in my stepfather's case it had, I believe, been intensified by his long residence in the tropics.
  12. masonry
    the craft of a mason
    Then with his lens he tested the hinges, but they were of solid iron, built firmly into the massive masonry.
  13. vagabond
    a wanderer who has no established residence or visible means of support
    He had no friends at all save the wandering gypsies, and he would give these vagabonds leave to encamp upon the few acres of bramble-covered land which represent the family estate, and would accept in return the hospitality of their tents, wandering away with them sometimes for weeks on end.
  14. bequeath
    leave or give by will after one's death
    She had a considerable sum of money -- not less than £1000 a year -- and this she bequeathed to Dr. Roylott entirely while we resided with him, with a provision that a certain annual sum should be allowed to each of us in the event of our marriage.
  15. fancy
    not plain; decorative or ornamented
    "Alas!" replied our visitor, "the very horror of my situation lies in the fact that my fears are so vague, and my suspicions depend so entirely upon small points, which might seem trivial to another, that even he to whom of all others I have a right to look for help and advice looks upon all that I tell him about it as the fancies of a nervous woman.
  16. convulsion
    violent uncontrollable contractions of muscles
    There was something else which she would fain have said, and she stabbed with her finger into the air in the direction of the doctor's room, but a fresh convulsion seized her and choked her words.
  17. dispel
    to cause to separate and go in different directions
    The sight of the safe, the saucer of milk, and the loop of whipcord were enough to finally dispel any doubts which may have remained.
  18. fortnight
    a period of fourteen consecutive days
    My stepfather learned of the engagement when my sister returned and offered no objection to the marriage; but within a fortnight of the day which had been fixed for the wedding, the terrible event occurred which has deprived me of my only companion."