On September 26th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (May, 1893)

September 26, 1879: At 2:00 am, Reginald Musgrave found Brunton reading the family ritual. [MUSG]
[This is one of my favorite cases. I love the family ritual. It appeals to me, “the man who is half a boy”. -Chips]

Brunton, the butler, was in the library. He was sitting, fully dressed, in an easy-chair, with a slip of paper which looked lake a map upon his knee, and his forehead sunk forward upon his hand in deep thought. I stood dumb with astonishment, watching him from the darkness. A small taper on the edge of the table shed a feeble light which sufficed to show me that he was fully dressed. Suddenly, as I looked, he rose from his chair, and walking over to a bureau at the side, he unlocked it and drew out one of the drawers. From this he took a paper, and returning to his seat he flattened it out beside the taper on the edge of the table, and began to study it with minute attention.

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (August 1901 – April 1902)

 

September 26, 1900: An anonymous warning letter to Sir Henry Baskerville arrived at the Northumberland Hotel. [HOUN]

Out of the envelope he took a half-sheet of foolscap paper folded into four. This he opened and spread flat upon the table. Across the middle of it a single sentence had been formed by the expedient of pasting printed words upon it. It ran: “As you value your life or your reason keep away from the moor.” The word “moor” only was printed in ink.

“Now,” said Sir Henry Baskerville, “perhaps you will tell me, Mr. Holmes, what in thunder is the meaning of that, and who it is that takes so much interest in my affairs?”

 

September 26, 1902: The Morning Post announced the de Merville-Gruner marriage would not take place. [ILLU]

I do not know how the incriminating book was used. Sir James may have managed it. Or it is more probable that so delicate a task was entrusted to the young lady’s father. The effect, at any rate, was all that could be desired.

Three days later appeared a paragraph in The Morning Post to say that the marriage between Baron Adelbert Gruner and Miss Violet de Merville would not take place.

On September 25th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (August, 1901 – April, 1902)

September 25, 1900: Dr Mortimer called at 221B. [HOUN]

The appearance of our visitor was a surprise to me, since I had expected a typical country practitioner. He was a very tall, thin man, with a long nose like a beak, which jutted out between two keen, grey eyes, set closely together and sparkling brightly from behind a pair of gold-rimmed glasses. He was clad in a professional but rather slovenly fashion, for his frock-coat was dingy and his trousers frayed. Though young, his long back was already bowed, and he walked with a forward thrust of his head and a general air of peering benevolence.

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (August, 1901 – April, 1902)

September 25, 1900: Sir Henry Baskerville arrived at Waterloo Station. [HOUN]

The only other kinsman whom we have been able to trace was Rodger Baskerville, the youngest of three brothers of whom poor Sir Charles was the elder. The second brother, who died young, is the father of this lad Henry. The third, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family. He came of the old masterful Baskerville strain, and was the very image, they tell me, of the family picture of old Hugo. He made England too hot to hold him, fled to Central America, and died there in 1876 of yellow fever. Henry is the last of the Baskervilles. In one hour and five minutes I meet him at Waterloo Station. I have had a wire that he arrived at Southampton this morning.

On September 24th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (November, 1891)

September 24, 1889: John Openshaw was drowned in the Thames. [FIVE]

Between nine and ten last night Police-Constable Cook, of the H Division, on duty near Waterloo Bridge, heard a cry for help and a splash in the water. The night, however, was extremely dark and stormy, so that, in spite of the help of several passers-by, it was quite impossible to effect a rescue. The alarm, however, was given, and, by the aid of the water-police, the body was eventually recovered. It proved to be that of a young gentleman whose name, as it appears from an envelope which was found in his pocket, was John Openshaw, and whose residence is near Horsham. It is conjectured that he may have been hurrying down to catch the last train from Waterloo Station, and that in his haste and the extreme darkness he missed his path and walked over the edge of one of the small landing-places for river steamboats. The body exhibited no traces of violence, and there can be no doubt that the deceased had been the victim of an unfortunate accident, which should have the effect of calling the attention of the authorities to the condition of the riverside landing-stages.

On September 23rd…

Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett), Kitty Winter (Kim Thomson), and Baron Adelbert Gruner (Anthony Valentine) in “The Illustrious Client” (Granada Television, 1991

September 23, 1902: Kitty Winter threw acid into the face of Baron Gruner. [ILLU]

It was done in an instant, and yet I clearly saw it. An arm —a woman’s arm—shot out from among the leaves. At the same instant the Baron uttered a horrible cry—a yell which will always ring in my memory. He clapped his two hands to his face and rushed round the room, beating his head horribly against the walls. Then he fell upon the carpet, rolling and writhing, while scream after scream resounded through the house.

“Water! For God’s sake, water!” was his cry.

I seized a carafe from a side-table and rushed to his aid. At the same moment the butler and several footmen ran in from the hall. I remember that one of them fainted as I knelt by the injured man and turned that awful face to the light of the lamp. The vitriol was eating into it everywhere and dripping from the ears and the chin. One eye was already white and glazed. The other was red and inflamed. The features which I had admired a few minutes before were now like some beautiful painting over which the artist has passed a wet and foul sponge. They were blurred, discoloured, inhuman, terrible.

On September 22nd…

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February/March, 1925)

September 22, 1902: Holmes had the stitches resulting from the attack on him removed. [ILLU]

For six days the public were under the impression that Holmes was at the door of death. The bulletins were very grave and there were sinister paragraphs in the papers. My continual visits assured me that it was not so bad as that. His wiry constitution and his determined will were working wonders. He was recovering fast, and I had suspicions at times that he was really finding himself faster than he pretended even to me. There was a curious secretive streak in the man which led to many dramatic effects, but left even his closest friend guessing as to what his exact plans might be. He pushed to an extreme the axiom that the only safe plotter was he who plotted alone. I was nearer him than anyone else, and yet I was always conscious of the gap between.

On the seventh day the stitches were taken out, in spite of which there was a report of erysipelas in the evening papers. The same evening papers had an announcement which I was bound, sick or well, to carry to my friend. It was simply that among the passengers on the Cunard boat Ruritania, starting from Liverpool on Friday, was the Baron Adelbert Gruner, who had some important financial business to settle in the States before his impending wedding to Miss Violet de Merville, only daughter of, etc., etc.

On September 20th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (September, 1891)

September 20, 1889: James Windibank returned from his first trip to France. [IDEN]

“But how about Mr. Hosmer Angel? Did he make no attempt to see you?”

“Well, father was going off to France again in a week, and Hosmer wrote and said that it would be safer and better not to see each other until he had gone. We could write in the meantime, and he used to write every day. I took the letters in in the morning, so there was no need for father to know.”

On September 18th…

September 18, 1889: Mary Sutherland and Hosmer Angel went for their second walk. [IDEN]

“He was a very shy man, Mr. Holmes. He would rather walk with me in the evening than in the daylight, for he said that he hated to be conspicuous. Very retiring and gentlemanly he was. Even his voice was gentle. He’d had the quinsy and swollen glands when he was young, he told me, and it had left him with a weak throat, and a hesitating, whispering fashion of speech. He was always well dressed, very neat and plain, but his eyes were weak, just as mine are, and he wore tinted glasses against the glare.”

L0059062 Sunglasses with dark blue lenses, England, 1860-1900 Credit: Science Museum, London. Wellcome Images.   Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

On September 16th…

September 16, 1889: Mary Sutherland and Hosmer Angel went for their first walk. [IDEN]

“It was most suggestive,” said Holmes. “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. Can you remember any other little things about Mr. Hosmer Angel?”

“He was a very shy man, Mr. Holmes. He would rather walk with me in the evening than in the daylight, for he said that he hated to be conspicuous. Very retiring and gentlemanly he was. Even his voice was gentle. He’d had the quinsy and swollen glands when he was young, he told me, and it had left him with a weak throat, and a hesitating, whispering fashion of speech. He was always well dressed, very neat and plain, but his eyes were weak, just as mine are, and he wore tinted glasses against the glare.”

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

 

September 16, 1902: Holmes was attacked outside the Café Royal. [ILLU]

We learn with regret that Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the well-known private detective, was the victim this morning of a murderous assault which has left him in a precarious position. There are no exact details to hand, but the event seems to have occurred about twelve o’clock in Regent Street, outside the Café Royal. The attack was made by two men armed with sticks, and Mr. Holmes was beaten about the head and body, receiving injuries which the doctors describe as most serious. He was carried to Charing Cross Hospital and afterwards insisted upon being taken to his rooms in Baker Street. The miscreants who attacked him appear to have been respectably dressed men, who escaped from the bystanders by passing through the Cafe Royal and out into Glasshouse Street behind it.

No doubt they belonged to that criminal fraternity which has so often had occasion to bewail the activity and ingenuity of the injured man.

On September 14th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (September, 1891)

September 14, 1889: The Gasfitters’ Ball was held. [IDEN]

“I see. Then at the gasfitters’ ball you met, as I understand, a gentleman called Mr. Hosmer Angel.”

“Yes, sir. I met him that night, and he called next day to ask if we had got home all safe, and after that we met him—that is to say, Mr. Holmes, I met him twice for walks, but after that father came back again, and Mr. Hosmer Angel could not come to the house any more.”

 

 

 

 

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 14, 1902: Holmes and Kitty Winter pleaded with Violet de Merville. [ILLU]

“I was about to answer when the girl broke in like a whirlwind. If ever you saw flame and ice face to face, it was those two women.

“‘I’ll tell you who I am,’ she cried, springing out of her chair, her mouth all twisted with passion—’I am his last mistress. I am one of a hundred that he has tempted and used and ruined and thrown into the refuse heap, as he will you also. Your refuse heap is more likely to be a grave, and maybe that’s the best. I tell you, you foolish woman, if you marry this man he’ll be the death of you. It may be a broken heart or it may be a broken neck, but he’ll have you one way or the other. It’s not out of love for you I’m speaking. I don’t care a tinker’s curse whether you live or die. It’s out of hate for him and to spite him and to get back on him for what he did to me. But it’s all the same, and you needn’t look at me like that, my fine lady, for you may be lower than I am before you are through with it.'”

On September 13th…

September 13, 1889: James Windibank left for his first trip to France. [IDEN]
“[…] At last, when nothing else would do, he went off to France upon the business of the firm, but we went, mother and I, with Mr. Hardy, who used to be our foreman, and it was there I met Mr. Hosmer Angel.”

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 13, 1902: Sir James Damery consulted Holmes. [ILLU]

Sharp to the half-hour, Colonel Sir James Damery was announced. It is hardly necessary to describe him, for many will remember that large, bluff, honest personality, that broad, clean-shaven face, and, above all, that pleasant, mellow voice. Frankness shone from his grey Irish eyes, and good humour played round his mobile, smiling lips. His lucent top-hat, his dark frock-coat, indeed, every detail, from the pearl pin in the black satin cravat to the lavender spats over the varnished shoes, spoke of the meticulous care in dress for which he was famous. The big, masterful aristocrat dominated the little room.

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 13, 1902: Holmes visited Baron Adelbert Gruner. [ILLU]

He is an excellent antagonist, cool as ice, silky voiced and soothing as one of your fashionable consultants, and poisonous as a cobra. He has breeding in him—a real aristocrat of crime with a superficial suggestion of afternoon tea and all the cruelty of the grave behind it. Yes, I am glad to have had my attention called to Baron Adelbert Gruner.