7. CHAPTER VII. LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.
The whole thing occurred in a moment -- so quickly that I had
no time to realize it. I have a vivid recollection of that
instant, of Holmes' triumphant expression and the ring of his
voice, of the cabman's dazed, savage face, as he glared at
the glittering handcuffs, which had appeared as if by magic
upon his wrists. For a second or two we might have been a
group of statues. Then, with an inarticulate roar of fury,
the prisoner wrenched himself free from Holmes's grasp, and
hurled himself through the window. Woodwork and glass gave
way before him; but before he got quite through, Gregson,
Lestrade, and Holmes sprang upon him like so many staghounds.
He was dragged back into the room, and then commenced a
terrific conflict. So powerful and so fierce was he, that
the four of us were shaken off again and again. He appeared
to have the convulsive strength of a man in an epileptic fit.
His face and hands were terribly mangled by his passage
through the glass, but loss of blood had no effect in
diminishing his resistance. It was not until Lestrade
succeeded in getting his hand inside his neckcloth and
half-strangling him that we made him realize that his struggles
were of no avail; and even then we felt no security until we
had pinioned his feet as well as his hands. That done,
we rose to our feet breathless and panting.
"We have his cab," said Sherlock Holmes. "It will serve
to take him to Scotland Yard. And now, gentlemen,"
he continued, with a pleasant smile, "we have reached
the end of our little mystery. You are very welcome to put
any questions that you like to me now, and there is no danger
that I will refuse to answer them."