how heavily the hand of the dead man weighed upon them


Senior Member
As to the gang, it will be within the memory of the public how completely the evidence which Holmes had accumulated exposed their organization, and how heavily the hand of the dead man weighed upon them.
Context: at this point, Holmes and Moriarity was (supposedly) dead. Watson is narrating how Moriarity's gang (there had been no evidence linking Moriarity to this gang, despite it being an open secret) got dismantled by the evidence Holmes left behind.

I'm getting a bit confused about the last part. There are 2 dead men here: Holmes and Moriarity. So was he talking about the fact that Holmes who basically used an iron fist and crushed them, or that Moriarity was deeply involved with this gang?

Source: The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are several references in that text to “the dead man’s hand” (and a scrap of paper found in it?). So I doubt that the dead man in question was either Holmes or Moriarty.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Without that information I would say it's a reference to Holmes, but that information changes everything. Whatever that scrap of paper was was apparently the key to bringing down the gang.
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