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why do you think that Helen Stoner was heavily veiled when she came to see Holmes and...

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barneyy | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 17, 2013 at 12:14 AM via web

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why do you think that Helen Stoner was heavily veiled when she came to see Holmes and watson?

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jeremydodson | Student, Grade 10 | Salutatorian

Posted March 17, 2013 at 1:47 AM (Answer #1)

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So that no one will be able to recognize her. Her father, for example, was responsible for the killing of her sister.

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tjbrewer | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted March 17, 2013 at 2:39 AM (Answer #2)

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Helen was still in mourning for her late sister, and wearing a veil was a common practice of mourning women in Victorian England. 

More importantly, she didn't want anyone to know that she had sought Sherlock Holmes' help.  She didn't know who had killed her sister, only that it involved a "speckled band," as her sister had said with her dying breath.  Helen strongly suspected foul play, which was why she sought Holmes' aid, but she didn't know who was behind it.  Her father was a likely suspect because he had motive, but there was no evidence tying him to means or opportunity. 

Sherlock later determined the means and opportunity, and foiled the attempt made on Helen's life by her father.  I won't spill anymore details, that would ruin the mystery. 

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