On June 27th…

June 27, 1890: Holmes and Watson traveled by train to Boscombe Valley. (BOSC)
Editor’s Note: This story contains that great Drawing by Sidney Paget. The one with Holmes laid out on the grass using his magnifying Glass to the minute clue to solve the case with. That drawing along with others drew a world of word pictures in which a skinny boy with glasses found a world that was all his own.

June 27, 1902: “Killer” Evans wounded Watson in the leg. (3GAR)

Holmes turns James Winter, alias Morecroft, alias “Killer” Evans over to Scotland Yard. Holmes had threatened “Killer” Evans with those immortal words that showed Dr Watson just how much he meant to Holmes.

“In an instant he had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots. I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There was a crash as Holmes’s pistol came down on the man’s head. I had a vision of him sprawling upon the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend’s wiry arms were round me and he was leading me to a chair.

“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.

“It’s nothing, Holmes. It’s a mere scratch.”

He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket-knife.

“You are right,” he cried, with an immense sigh of relief. “It is quite superficial.” His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. “By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?”

From The Adventure of The Three Garridebs, one of the stories in The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes.

Words that were exquisite in their effect on me when I first read them back on the plains of Kansas at the ripe old age of 12.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.