Wow, looks like *everyone's* getting knocked up here, and here I thought the Victorians were prudes. *cough*
Anyhow, is it just me that finds it depressing that we know right off the bat that the client, whatever the outcome (apparently successful) of the case, is going to be dead within a couple years anyhow?
Also, pretty much any time someone says "yes, my step-father has the use of the money left to me until I marry!", you know who's going to be at the root of the problem. Just sayin'. Of course, there seems to be little secret as to who's behind it, given the build up, and I suppose the question is meant to be more just what the hell is going on, and how he's doing it. (And what the Speckled Band actually is.)
And a cheetah and baboon wandering freely over the open grounds? In England? That's... different. I also tend to think of those both as African animals, although some subspecies of them do apparently live in India.
I have to wonder just how long a snake's supposed to live in the airless confines of a safe. (Or how long a cat would last in there, for that matter.) Unless there were some holes drilled, or some such?
I also note that while Holmes has scruples about bringing Watson with him into danger, those scruples aren't enough to make him warn Watson of what he should be careful of/watching out for!
And, and our good old friend the "Swamp adder,[...]the deadliest snake in India." Of course, there is no such snake, and there's been various debate and wankery over which snake Doyle actually meant, or that it could have been. At any rate, it's a damn smart snake, to be trained (which snakes typically aren't, not being smart enough) to come to a whistle (which I can't imagine it could hear, since snakes don't have the same kinds of ears that we do), with the use of milk in a saucer (which I've never heard of snakes drinking, but it's possible, I guess).
Other than that, I'm not sure what else to say about this story - I feel like it deserves something more to be said, being so unique and bizarre, but I don't really know what to say other than just that!
Hello Mr. Schedule!