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Explain what vexes Holmes about Merryweather’s remarks regarding the hollow-sounding...

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ibedilvint | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 27, 2011 at 5:18 AM via web

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Explain what vexes Holmes about Merryweather’s remarks regarding the hollow-sounding flags in the paragraph beginning “‘Nor from below …’”

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted September 27, 2011 at 7:29 AM (Answer #1)

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Mr. Merryweather is the bank director.  He is sure that his bank is safe and this is a wild goose chase.  He even remarks that "I hope a wild goose may not be the end of our chase"  Only after he is assured by the police agent that Sherlock Holmes has detective qualities, does he think this is worthwhile.  To enter into the bank, they have to go through a small corridor,ending in a massive gate.  The massive gate was opened by Mr. Merryweather and then he led them down a flight of winding stairs which ended up at another massive gate.  Mr. Merryweather opened that one and led them further down until they got to a huge vault or cellar, which was piled all around with boxes.  Holmes states that the place seems secure from above, and Mr. Merryweather assures him it is, as well as from below.  They have stationed flags on the floor.  He hits these with his cane and  is surprised to find they have a hollow sound.  Holmes gets upset.  He is expecting the robbers to come through the floor.  He tells Mr. Merryweather that he needs to be quiet because the noise he has already made has put the possibility of capturing the criminals in jeopardy.  If they heard Mr. Merryweather, they would scrap the whole idea until a later time or permanently. He asks Mr. Merryweather to sit on one of the crates and stay out of the way.  After examining the floor, Holmes is sure that they are about to capture the criminals.

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