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Helen Stoner is engaged to be married to Percy Armitage, with the wedding only weeks away.
Several years earlier her sister Julia had also been engaged to be married, but had died mysteriously on the eve of her wedding, her last words being a garbled reference to a 'speckled band'.
Helen is terrified of her stepfather, the eccentric Dr. Grimesby Roylott, and fearing for her safety she seeks out Sherlock Holmes and begs him for help. Holmes and Watson journey down into the country to find out the origins of the speckled band and to ensure that Helen Stoner is kept safe.