"The Sign of (the) Four"

I received a nice copy through Abebooks, and the first thing I noticed was that in my "Complete Sherlock Holmes," the title is not "The Sign of the Four" but "The Sign of Four."  Maybe in the U.S. the name was altered?  Anybody know?
The shorthand in it is disappointing to me because it is very hard to distinguish the m's from the n's and the a's from the e's. There's not enough distinction made between the length of the lines and the size of the circles.  I have a couple of other old books like this and have the same trouble reading them.  The book itself is hard enough to read without this added complication!  Is it just me, or should I "quit my bellyaching" and buckle down with it on the train ride into work each day?!

(by jim for everyone)