illustration of Sherlock Holmes in profile looking across a cityscape with a magnifying glass in the distance and a speckled band visible through the glass

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Why did Doyle include the imaginary swamp adder in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band"?

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Well, you may not like this theory, because it isn't particularly theoretical, but I'd say that he simply made it up or misspoke. There are a number of such slips and more basic slips in the Holmes stories (wonderful though they are), places where either Holmes or Doyle or both make mistakes.

See, for example, this site:

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