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question about "the retired colourman"


pipo
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hi everybody,

 

cause I`m not a native english speaker, I have some difficulties in understanding some parts of this adventure, especially this sentence: "We must forgive you your ‘even,’ Mr. Holmes, it’s as workmanlike a job as I can remember.”

is this some kind of praise or police inspector is trying to ridicule Mr. holmes?

 

i`ll be thankful if anyone can help me

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I'm trying to remember the context...

But I think the police are saying that the quality of the work is irrelevant to the crime!

Is this what the BBC team play with when Sherlock says of Moriarty: though I'm sure he'd make a good job of your boiler.

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Here's the context:
 

"Pure swank!" Holmes answered.  "He felt so clever and so sure of himself that he imagined no one could touch him.  He could say to any suspicious neighbour, 'Look at the steps I have taken.  I have consulted not only the police but even Sherlock Holmes."
 
The inspector laughed.
 
"We must forgive you your 'even,' Mr. Holmes," said he "it's as workmanlike a job as I can remember."

 
 That's punctuated in American, but presumably the dialog is the original, merely from an American edition.  I think the inspector is being fairly matter-of-fact there, though he does seem to be amused at the way Holmes patted himself on the back at Scotland Yard's expense with that "even."  His hypothetical quote means roughly, "I have consulted not only the police but also the far superior Sherlock Holmes."

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thanks for your replies guys

 

the audience here seems to be only the inspector and Dr. watson, but when the inspector uses "WE" in his comment. do you think he means police force or something else?

is this translation seems relevant and fit for use: " your self-confidence is so amusing Mr. holmes but nevertheless what you have done was masterly"?

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Yeah I always read it as the Inspector saying something like "We must forgive you your moment of self satisfaction because that was the most dedicated, hard worked investigation I can remember." I think the 'we' might apply to anyone the people in audience with Holmes and the police force. 

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So what's new, he started in A Study in Scarlet, although he repeatedly stresses that he is willing to leave all the praise of the press to them as long as he gets his own personal satisfaction of a case solved.

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thanks for your posts, they were really helpful

 

in another (earlier) part of the story, Holmes leaves a message for Watson which starts with this sentence:

"There are one or two points of contact which I should wish to establish with Mr. Josiah Amberley."

what does "points of contact" means in here? what is the concept of this sentence?

 

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Yes, having checked that part of the story, I think he means "a couple of things I'd like to check with Amberley about."  Perhaps that's a Victorian way of putting it.  It's certainly not a current-day American phrase -- and judging by Bev's reaction, it's not a current-day British phrase either.

 

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