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Regarding questions 1 and 3: John saw (through the window) both men about to take their pills. He assumed that Sherlock would swallow the pill, so he decided to shoot. Regarding question 2: We don't know that, but if Sherlock was right in his deduction there was only one poisonous pill. From Baker Street wiki: Summing up his observations, Sherlock ...


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The use of pop-op text goes back a long time. Silent films mostly used intertitles rather than overlaid titles; these were both technically easier to produce and more dramatically effective than subtitles in the absence of a soundtrack to establish timing continuity, but certainly be the 1920s overlaying text on a scene for dramatic effect was not uncommon. ...



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