On July 19th…

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

July 19, 1889: Holmes returned the missing letter to Trelawney Hope’s dispatch box. [SECO]

Patricia Hodge as Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope
(Granada, 1986)

Holmes raised the lady. “I am thankful, madam, that you have come to your senses even at this last moment! There is not an instant to lose. Where is the letter?”

She darted across to a writing-desk, unlocked it, and drew out a long blue envelope.

“Here it is, Mr. Holmes. Would to heaven I had never seen it!”

“How can we return it?’ Holmes muttered. “Quick, quick, we must think of some way! Where is the despatch-box?”

“Still in his bedroom.”

“What a stroke of luck! Quick, madam, bring it here.”

A moment later she had appeared with a red flat box in her hand.

“How did you open it before? You have a duplicate key? Yes, of course you have. Open it!”

From out of her bosom Lady Hilda had drawn a small key. The box flew open. It was stuffed with papers. Holmes thrust the blue envelope deep down into the heart of them, between the leaves of some other document. The box was shut, locked, and returned to his bedroom.

July 19, 1898: The first Dancing Men appeared. [DANC]

Holmes held up the paper so that the sunlight shone full upon it. It was a page torn from a notebook. The markings were done in pencil, and ran in this way: –

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1903)

Submit to the October 2017 Watsonian

Hey friend! Did you enjoy your latest issue of the Watsonian? Want to get involved and share your own scholarship, fiction, poetry, book review, list of 10 best scenes, themed cookie recipe, etc? Have some stellar art, comics, or other visual fanwork to showcase? The deadline to submit to the October Fall issue is August 1, coming up fast. Late submissions will be considered if possible.

The Society welcomes scholarly papers, articles, original fiction, miscellanea or other submissions. One need not be an experienced or academic writer; some of our most engaging articles come from individuals with a love for the writing and appreciation for the pleasures gained over the years.There is always room for your research, thoughts, ideas and creativity. The Society is an inclusive group; we desire interested Watsonians to take part and to approach the Society with innovative projects. Whether you are a first time author is not important; that you try is what counts.

Guidelines are loose and mostly at the editor’s discretion. The journal is open-minded and receptive to thoughtful as well as amusing articles. It is the intent of the Society to provide a journal for first-time as well as experienced writers who seek to expand The Game and have fun doing so.

Submissions should be an up-to-date Word file, Pages file, or Google Doc and sent via email to: publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com. Questions about submissions or guidelines can be directed to same.

As your newly appointed Editor-in-Chief, I am excited and honored to be reading your submissions, and want very much to help you develop your thoughts/meta/ideas into a workable essay or other form. Get in touch and let’s see what we can do for each other.

Best wishes,

Elinor Gray “Misty”

On July 18th…

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

July 18, 1889: Lady Hilda retrieved the missing letter from beneath Eduardo Lucas’s floor. [SECO]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

The lady sprang to her feet, with the colour all dashed in an instant from her beautiful face. Her eyes glazed – she tottered – I thought that she would faint. Then with a grand effort she rallied from the shock, and a supreme astonishment and indignation chased every other expression from her features.

“You – you insult me, Mr. Holmes.”

“Come, come, madam, it is useless. Give up the letter.”

She darted to the bell.

“The butler shall show you out.”

“Do not ring, Lady Hilda. If you do, then all my earnest efforts to avoid a scandal will be frustrated. Give up the letter, and all will be set right. If you will work with me, I can arrange everything. If you work against me, I must expose you.”

She stood grandly defiant, a queenly figure, her eyes fixed upon his as if she would read his very soul. Her hand was on the bell, but she had forborne to ring it.

“You are trying to frighten me. It is not a very manly thing, Mr. Holmes, to come here and browbeat a woman. You say that you know something. What is it that you know?”

“Pray sit down, madam. You will hurt yourself there if you fall. I will not speak until you sit down. Thank you.”

“I give you five minutes, Mr. Holmes.”

“One is enough, Lady Hilda. I know of your visit to Eduardo Lucas, and of your giving him this document, of your ingenious return to the room last night, and of the manner in which you took the letter from the hiding-place under the carpet.”

On July 17th…

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

Harrington Bird’s “Isinglass Winning the Derby”, from The Encyclopedia of Sport (1897)

July 17, 1888: Silver Blaze won the Wessex Cup. [SILV]

From our drag we had a superb view as they came up the straight. The six horses were so close together that a carpet could have covered them, but half-way up the yellow of the Mapleton stable showed to the front. Before they reached us, however, Desborough’s bolt was shot, and the Colonel’s horse, coming away with a rush, passed the post a good six lengths before its rival, the Duke of Balmoral’s Iris making a bad third.

July 17, 1888: Holmes told Colonel Ross that Silver Blaze had killed John Straker. [SILV]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1892)

“My dear sir, you have done wonders. The horse looks very fit and well. It never went better in its life. I owe you a thousand apologies for having doubted your ability. You have done me a great service by recovering my horse. You would do me a greater still if you could lay your hands on the murderer of John Straker.”

“I have done so,” said Holmes, quietly.

The Colonel and I stared at him in amazement. “You have got him! Where is he, then?”

“He is here.”

“Here! Where?”

“In my company at the present moment.”

The Colonel flushed angrily. “I quite recognize that I am under obligations to you, Mr. Holmes,” said he, “but I must regard what you have just said as either a very bad joke or an insult.”

Sherlock Holmes laughed. “I assure you that I have not associated you with the crime, Colonel,” said he; “the real murderer is standing immediately behind you!”

He stepped past and laid his hand upon the glossy neck of the thoroughbred.

“The horse!” cried both the Colonel and myself.

July 17, 1889: An inquest into the death of Eduardo Lucas was held. [SECO]

A Coroner’s Inquest (“Living London”, 1901)

All that day and the next and the next Holmes was in a mood which his friends would call taciturn, and others morose. He ran out and ran in, smoked incessantly, played snatches on his violin, sank into reveries, devoured sandwiches at irregular hours, and hardly answered the casual questions which I put to him. It was evident to me that things were not going well with him or his quest. He would say nothing of the case, and it was from the papers that I learned the particulars of the inquest, and the arrest with the subsequent release of John Mitton, the valet of the deceased. The coroner’s jury brought in the obvious “Wilful murder”, but the parties remained as unknown as ever.

 

On July 16th…

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

July 16, 1889: Trelawney Hope and Lord Bellinger asked Holmes for help. [SECO]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

It was, then, in a year, and even in a decade, that shall be nameless, that upon one Tuesday morning in autumn we found two visitors of European fame within the walls of our humble room in Baker Street. The one, austere, high-nosed, eagle-eyed, and dominant, was none other than the illustrious Lord Bellinger, twice Premier of Britain. The other, dark, clear-cut, and elegant, hardly yet of middle age, and endowed with every beauty of body and of mind, was the Right Honourable Trelawney Hope, Secretary for European Affairs, and the most rising statesman in the country. They sat side by side upon our paper-littered settee, and it was easy to see from their worn and anxious faces that it was business of the most pressing importance which had brought them. The Premier’s thin, blue-veined hands were clasped tightly over the ivory head of his umbrella, and his gaunt, ascetic face looked gloomily from Holmes to me. The European Secretary pulled nervously at his moustache and fidgeted with the seals of his watch-chain.

It is amazing to me how Sidney Paget could draw a picture that so closely creates the image. –Chips

On July 15th…

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

July 15, 1889: Eduardo Lucas was stabbed to death by his wife, Mme. Fournaye. [SECO]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

My friend has so often astonished me in the course of our adventures that it was with a sense of exultation that I realized how completely I had astonished him. He stared in amazement, and then snatched the paper from my hands. This was the paragraph which I had been engaged in reading when he rose from his chair:

“MURDER IN WESTMINSTER.

“A crime of a mysterious character was committed last night at 16 Godolphin Street, one of the old-fashioned and secluded rows of eighteenth-century houses which lie between the river and the Abbey, almost in the shadow of the great tower of the Houses of Parliament. […] The room was in a state of wild disorder, the furniture being all swept to one side, and one chair lying on its back in the centre. Beside this chair, and still grasping one of its legs, lay the unfortunate tenant of the house. He had been stabbed to the heart, and must have died instantly. The knife with which the crime had been committed was a curved Indian dagger, plucked down from a trophy of Oriental arms which adorned one of the walls. Robbery does not appear to have been the motive of the crime, for there had been no attempt to remove the valuable contents of the room. Mr. Eduardo Lucas was so well known and popular that his violent and mysterious fate will arouse painful interest and intense sympathy in a widespread circle of friends.”

The Treasure Hunt: Second Appetizer

Dear All,

as the deadline for the Hunt approaches, I have been busy in a revision process of the 100 questions. Using the feedback from the first test question, I had to come to a painful decision. One question was cut out because a certain turn of phrase would have been somewhat unfair to English-speaking people (ironically, Germans would have had significant advantages).

Since it was one of my favourite questions (and, I guess, the most difficult of the batch) I don’t want to let it die. So I submit it here for your consideration.
Hint: the solution is also the name of a London Underground station.

“No ghosts need apply”, said once Holmes. Nevertheless, he occasionally spent some time in a place that has the same name of a “ghost”. Which place? In which story or stories does he visit it?

I think that if you can guess this one, you will do very well indeed in the Hunt.

The solution will be posted at the end of next week. Have fun!

On July 13th…

July 13, 1888: Holmes called upon Mrs Straker. [SILV]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1892)

“Three of them are receipted hay-dealers’ accounts. One of them is a letter of instructions from Colonel Ross. This other is a milliner’s account for thirty-seven pounds fifteen, made out by Madame Lesurier, of Bond Street, to William Darbyshire. Mrs. Straker tells us that Darbyshire was a friend of her husband’s, and that occasionally his letters were addressed here.”

“Madame Darbyshire had somewhat expensive tastes,” remarked Holmes, glancing down the account. “Twenty-two guineas is rather heavy for a single costume. However, there appears to be nothing more to learn, and we may now go down to the scene of the crime.”

Chips asks: What gall does it take to cover up buying dresses for your mistress and having the bills come directly to you with your wife satisfied that you are being a mail drop for a friend?

On July 12th…

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1906)

July 12, 1895: Holmes captured Patrick Cairns. [BLAC]

I heard a click of steel and a bellow like an enraged bull. The next instant Holmes and the seaman were rolling on the ground together. He was a man of such gigantic strength that, even with the handcuffs which Holmes had so deftly fastened upon his wrist, he would have quickly overpowered my friend had Hopkins and I not rushed to his rescue. Only when I pressed the cold muzzle of the revolver to his temple did he at last understand that resistance was vain. We lashed his ankles with cord and rose breathless from the struggle.

[Our Watson comes through again. Way to Go! –Chips]

On July 11th…

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

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

July 11, 1895: John Hopley Neligan was apprehended at Peter Carey’s cabin. [BLAC]

The nocturnal visitor was a young man, frail and thin, with a black moustache which intensified the deadly pallor of his face. He could not have been much above twenty years of age. I have never seen any human being who appeared to be in such a pitiable fright, for his teeth were visibly chattering, and he was shaking in every limb. He was dressed like a gentleman, in Norfolk jacket and knickerbockers, with a cloth cap upon his head. We watched him staring round with frightened eyes. Then he laid the candle-end upon the table and disappeared from our view into one of the corners. He returned with a large book, one of the log-books which formed a line upon the shelves. Leaning on the table, he rapidly turned over the leaves of this volume until he came to the entry which he sought. Then, with an angry gesture of his clenched hand, he closed the book, replaced it in the corner, and put out the light. He had hardly turned to leave the hut when Hopkins’s hand was on the fellow’s collar, and I heard his loud gasp of terror as he understood that he was taken. The candle was relit, and there was our wretched captive shivering and cowering in the grasp of the detective. He sank down upon the sea-chest, and looked helplessly from one of us to the other.

July 11, 1895: Holmes sent a telegram using the name of Captain Basil. [BLAC]

“Excellent, Watson. The alternative develops. Have you telegraph forms? Just write a couple of messages for me: `Sumner, Shipping Agent, Ratcliff Highway. Send three men on, to arrive ten tomorrow morning – Basil.’ That’s my name in those parts.

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (1923)

July 11, 1903: Prof. Presbury was attacked a second time by his wolf-hound, Roy. [CREE]

And then in a moment it happened! It was not the chain that broke, but it was the collar that slipped, for it had been made for a thick-necked Newfoundland. We heard the rattle of falling metal, and the next instant dog and man were rolling on the ground together, the one roaring in rage, the other screaming in a strange shrill falsetto of terror. It was a very narrow thing for the Professor’s life. The savage creature had him fairly by the throat, its fangs had bitten deep, and he was senseless before we could reach them and drag the two apart.