"I have seen those symptoms before," said Holmes, throwing his cigarette into the fire. "Oscillation upon the pavement always means an affaire de coeur. She would like advice, but is not sure that the matter is not too delicate for communication. And yet even here we may discriminate. When a woman has been seriously wronged by a man she no longer oscillates, and the usual symptom is a broken bell wire. Here we may take it that there is a love matter, but that the maiden is not so much angry as perplexed, or grieved. But here she comes in person to resolve our doubts"
- Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity
Here, Holmes says that if a woman is seriously wronged, the result will be a broken bell wire. Now from all I can gather from the internet, "bell wire" just means an electrical cable commonly used in doorbells etc. I have to infer that a "broken bell wire" either means one that has been deliberately broken or it symbolically means that the bell has been rung incessantly. I would assume that the bell wire referred is Holmes', indicating that the woman is furiously clicking on Holmes' Bell. Is this inference correct?