The hall door had hardly slammed behind our visitor

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Senior Member
Does the bold part mean the hall door slammed very short time before Sherlock Holmes ascended the stair?

Sherlock Holmes sprang to his feet the moment that she was gone and rushed into his room. He returned in a few seconds enveloped in an ulster and a cravat. “I’ll follow her,” he said, hurriedly; “she must be an accomplice, and will lead me to him. Wait up for me.” The hall door had hardly slammed behind our visitor before Holmes had descended the stair.

"A Study in Scarlet," by by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, assuming you mean "descended", but the past perfect is even more emphatic, saying that Holmes had completed the action of descending the stair (=staircase or set of stairs in modern English) within only a very short time of the hall door slamming.

    You need "a" before "very short time".


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    His living quarters are upstairs. She had left there and gone downstairs to go out the front door - what he calls the hallway door, I believe.

    She had barely exited the building when he came down the stairs to the same door. He had to wait for her to leave before he came down the stairs so she wouldn't see him following her.
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