The Return of Sherlock Holmes
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Return of Sherlock Holmes Language and Communication Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Story.Paragraph) or (Story.Section.Paragraph) if applicable.
"I'm not much of a story-teller," said our visitor, nervously clasping and unclasping his great, strong hands. "You'll just ask me anything that I don't make clear." (Dancing Men.28)
A number of characters give this qualification of not being a good storyteller before launching into lengthy narratives, which have presumably been edited by Watson. Storytelling is at the center of criminal investigations here and can be linked to themes of justice, truth and lies, reputation, communication, and even just detective work itself.
It was vain to urge that his time was already fully occupied, for the young lady had come with the determination to tell her story, and it was evident that nothing short of force could get her out of the room until she had done so. (Solitary Cyclist.2)
We get a lot of contrasts between how people tell their stories here, and also between how willing people are to tell them. In this case, a young woman demands to tell her story, which contrasts to characters like Colonel Moran in the "Empty House" who refuse to speak to Holmes at all.
"Gone to the nearest public-house. That is the centre of country gossip. They would have told you every name, from the master to the scullery-maid." (Solitary Cyclist.63)
Holmes often seems very fond of visiting lower-class places. It's possible that part of his enjoyment of these places has to do with the type of communication that goes on there. In this case, we see that Holmes has a fondness for gossip as a source of information.