On a rainy day in 1883, Watson had just finished his breakfast, when Holmes surprises him while in disguise. On the streets as a ragged begger, he has learned the honor of a duchess is at stake. Does it relate to a murder case the detectives worked on in the past? Holmes and Watson recount the case of poisoning, and risk of lost inheritance.
Miss Stoner fears she’ll be murdered, just as her sister had been. What did her sister’s dying words mean about a speckled band? Will Holmes be able to protect her from her step father, Moran? Will the grumpy man be able to warn that insolent rascal Holmes off the matter? The brute strength Moran shows in bending a fireplace poker means nothing to Sherlock.
Visiting Miss Stoners room, Holmes finds curiosities with bell ropes, vents, and strange music in the night. Holmes sees danger, and develops a plan to bring it to an end. The trap isn’t without danger to Watson on this night for a fowl business. As our sleuths sneak through the house at night, the planned murder is picked apart, and the mystery of it is unraveled as it backfires on a killer.
Note: At first listen, I thought the story was a little contrived. Afterward, it dawned on me the story is from an actual Conan Doyle tale. I blame any appearance of being contrived on the nature of having to convert the story into a radio script that has to fit into a precise 30 minute format. A film was made with the same name, and is freely available on Archive.org, but it pre-dates the team of Rathbone and Bruce as the famous detectives, so if you check it out, get ready for a slightly different feel to the movie.