On November 20th…

November 20, 1901: Bob Ferguson called on Holmes for advice [SUSS]

Illustration by Howard K Elcock for The Strand Magazine (January, 1924)

Promptly at ten o’clock next morning Ferguson strode into our room. I had remembered him as a long, slab-sided man with loose limbs and a fine turn of speed, which had carried him round many an opposing back. There is surely nothing in life more painful than to meet the wreck of a fine athlete whom one has known in his prime. His great frame had fallen in, his flaxen hair was scanty, and his shoulders were bowed. I fear that I roused corresponding emotions in him.

‘Hullo, Watson,’ said he, and his voice was still deep and hearty. ‘You don’t look quite the man you did when I threw you over the ropes into the crowd at the Old Deer Park. I expect I have changed a bit also. But it’s this last day or two that has aged me. I see by your telegram, Mr Holmes, that it is no use my pretending to be anyone’s deputy.’

‘It is simpler to deal direct,’ said Holmes.

‘Of course it is. But you can imagine how difficult it is when you are speaking of the one woman you are bound to protect and help. What can I do? How am I to go to the police with such a story? And yet the kiddies have got to be protected. Is it madness, Mr Holmes? Is it something in the blood? Have you any similar case in your experience? For God’s sake, give me some advice, for I am at my wits’ end.’

November 20, 1901: Holmes told Bob Ferguson that his son, Jacky had tried to poison the baby [SUSS]

Illustration by Howard K Elcock for The Strand Magazine (January, 1924)

‘Jacky!’

‘I watched him as you fondled the child just now. His face was clearly reflected in the glass of the window where the shutter formed a background. I saw such jealousy, such cruel hatred, as I have seldom seen in a human face.’

‘My Jacky!’

‘You have to face it, Mr Ferguson. It is the more painful because it is a distorted love, a maniacal exaggerated love for you, and possibly for his dead mother, which has prompted his action. His very soul is consumed with hatred for this splendid child, whose health and beauty are a contrast to his own weakness.’

Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn, BSI, DWNP.


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