Why does Helen Stoner come to see Holmes in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"?In what three ways is Helen's situation when she visits Holmes similar to Julia's just before she died?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Helen Stoner goes to visit Sherlock Holmes because she lives in terror after the strange death of Julia, her sister.

 “It is not cold which makes me shiver,” said the woman in a low voice, changing her seat as requested.

"What, then?”

“It is fear, Mr. Holmes. It is terror.”


Helen Stoner was greatly disturbed by the death of her sister. Julia died in strange and horrible circumstances:

She writhed as one who is in terrible pain, and her limbs were dreadfully convulsed. At first I thought that she had not recognised me, but as I bent over her she suddenly shrieked out in a voice which I shall never forget, ‘Oh, my God! Helen! It was the band! The speckled band!’

 Julia was engaged to be married: a situation which enraged her stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Roylott. Helen was afraid that the announcement of her own engagement had put herself in danger of suffering the same terrible fate as her sister.

Similarities between Julia and Helen would be:

·     They are twins.

·     They are both due to inherit an annuity from their mother’s estate on marriage.

·     Their engagement announcements enrage their violent stepfather’s wrath.

·     They both hear a strange whistling at night which disturbs them.

 And obviously, Dr. Grimesby Roylott plans (unsuccessfully) to murder them using the same elaborate scheme with the swamp adder.

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