The Adventure of the Yellow Face Quotes


"The indications here, are, however, are neither very marked or very important. The owner is obviously a muscular man, left-handed, with an excellent set of teeth, careless in his habits, and with no need to practice economy.”

Sherlock Holmes

This line, spoken by Holmes in reference to their unseen client’s pipe, is a perfect example of Holmes’ deductive abilities. In almost every story in the canon, Holmes at some point is able to draw conclusions seemingly out of the air, often with nothing more to go on than a hat, a walking stick, or in this case, a pipe.

“I swear that I will tell you everything some day, but nothing but misery can come of it if you enter that cottage.”

Effie Monro

This poignant line, spoken by the wife of Grant Munro, comes into sharper focus when we learn the reason behind it: namely that Effie has a child who is an African American. Her words indicate that she believes the prejudice of her husband (and the community) would be so great as to make their lives miserable. We later learn that as far as Grant is concern, the fears are unwarranted.

“I am not a very good man, Effie, but I think I am a better one than you have given me credit for being.”

Grant Munro

This line, arguably the most important of the entire story, reveals the double nature of prejudice. Effie Munro so believed that her husband would not receive her African American child that she hid her away in another house, even covering her face and hands so that no one would know the truth. In this way, Effie actually showed prejudice against her husband, not believing him capable of rising above the stigma of racism.

“Watson,” said he, “if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little overconfident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper ‘Norbury’ in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you.”

Sherlock Holmes

This quote of Holmes’, a particular favorite of many fans of the fictional detective, is one of the rare instances when he shows his more human qualities, namely, his ability both to make mistakes and own up to them. “The Adventure of the Yellow Face”, though featuring relatively little of Holmes, still contains important information in the development of the character of Sherlock Holmes, for the sole reason that it shows that Holmes, like the rest of us, is capable of jumping to conclusions without having accurate information.

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