In Chapter 3, "In Quest of a Solution," of The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous detective Sherlock Holmes, his steadfast companion, Dr. John H. (for "Hamish," the Scottish version of "James") Watson, and Holmes's new client, Miss Mary Morstan, are put into a four-wheeled London cab, and are being taken to "an unknown place, on an unknown errand."
It was a September evening, and not yet seven o’clock, but the day had been a dreary one, and a dense drizzly fog lay low upon the great city. Mud-coloured clouds drooped sadly over the muddy streets. Down the Strand the lamps were but misty splotches of diffused light which threw a feeble circular glimmer upon the slimy pavement. The yellow glare from the shop-windows streamed out into the steamy, vaporous air, and threw a murky, shifting radiance across the crowded thoroughfare.
In his description of his journey through London, Watson does little to dispel the common perception of the city as foggy and dreary at the best of...
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