On November 30th…

November 30, 1895: Oberstein was captured in the smoking room of the Charing Cross Hotel. [BRUC]

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Now the letter: “Dear Sir, – With regard to our transaction, you will no doubt have observed by now that one essential detail is missing. I have a tracing which will make it complete. This has involved me in extra trouble, however, and I must ask you for a further advance of five hundred pounds. I will not trust it to the post, nor will I take anything but gold or notes. I would come to you abroad, but it would excite remark if I left the country at present. Therefore I shall expect to meet you in the smoking-room of the Charing Cross Hotel at noon on Saturday. Remember that only English notes, or gold, will be taken.” That will do very well. I shall be very much surprised if it does not fetch our man.’
And it did! It is a matter of history – that secret history of a nation which is often so much more intimate and interesting than its public chronicles – that Oberstein, eager to complete the coup of his lifetime, came to the lure and was safely engulfed for fifteen years in a British prison. In his trunk were found the invaluable Bruce-Partington plans, which he had put up for auction in all the naval centres of Europe.

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

On November 29th…

Illustration by Walter Paget for The Strand Magazine (December, 1913)

November 29, 1890: Culverton Smith confessed to killing his nephew, Victor Savage. [DYIN]

The very one, by George, and it may as well leave the room in my pocket. There goes your last shred of evidence. But you have the truth now, Holmes, and you can die with the knowledge that I killed you. You knew too much of the fate of Victor Savage, so I have sent you to share it. You are very near your end, Holmes. I will sit here and I will watch you die.

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

On November 28th…

Illustration by Walter Paget for The Strand Magazine (December, 1913)

November 28, 1890: Holmes fasted for a second day. [DYIN]

He was indeed a deplorable spectacle. In the dim light of a foggy November day the sick-room was a gloomy spot, but it was that gaunt wasted face staring at me from the bed which sent a chill to my heart. His eyes had the brightness of fever, there was a hectic flush upon either cheek, and dark crusts clung to his lips. The thin hands upon the coverlet twitched incessantly. His voice was croaking and spasmodic. He lay listlessly as I entered the room but the sight of me brought a gleam of recognition to his eyes.

On November 27th…

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes in “The Dying Detective” (Granada, 1994)

November 27, 1890: Holmes fasted. [DYIN]

‘Three days of absolute fast does not improve one’s beauty, Watson. For the rest there is nothing which a sponge may not cure. With vaseline upon one’s forehead, belladonna in one’s eyes, rouge over the cheek-bones, and crusts of beeswax round one’s lips a very satisfying effect can be produced. Malingering is a subject upon which I have sometimes thought of writing a monograph. A little occasional talk about half-crowns, oysters, or any other extraneous subject produces a pleasing effect of delirium.’

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

On November 26th…

HMS Orontes [Griffin & Co, 1880]

November 26, 1880: The Orontes docked at Portsmouth bearing Watson. [STUD]

Worn with pain, and weak from the prolonged hardships which I had undergone, I was removed, with a great train of wounded sufferers, to the base hospital at Peshawur. Here I rallied, and had already improved so far as to be able to walk about the wards, and even to bask a little upon the verandah, when I was struck down by enteric fever, that curse of our Indian possessions. For months my life was despaired of, and when at last I came to myself and became convalescent, I was so weak and emaciated that a medical board determined that not a day should be lost in sending me back to England. I was dispatched, accordingly, in the troopship Orontes, and landed a month later on Portsmouth jetty, with my health irretrievably ruined, but with permission from a paternal government to spend the next nine months in attempting to improve it.

Illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele for The Strand Magazine (1913)

 

November 26, 1890: Holmes took to his bed. [DYIN]

I was horrified, for I had heard nothing of his illness. I need not say that I rushed for my coat and my hat. As we drove back I asked for the details.

‘There is little I can tell you, sir. He has been working at a case down at Rotherhithe in an alley near the river and he has brought this illness back with him. He took to his bed on Wednesday afternoon and has never moved since. For these three days neither food nor drink have passed his lips.’

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

Limerick Corner: Sussex Vampire

Two more limericks today:

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

There’s a beautiful wife from Peru
Whose behavior has Bob in a stew.
He tells Holmes that she’s wild;
That she’s bitten their child.
Can it be we’ve a vampire in view?
-Issac Asimov, BSI

The Sussex Vampire

Though Ferguson hoped for protection
From a vampire, Holmes’s detection
Revealed that the nibbling
Was caused by the sibling,
Begrudging his father’s affection.
-Wallace W Higgins

Yolanda Vazquez as Carlotta Ferguson (Granada, 1993)

Limerick Corner: Sussex Vampire

Since we have nothing as recorded for this date in the source book I use for daily occurrences, I am including another limerick on the Sussex Vampire. This one is from that very talented limerick author and member of our group, Sandy Kozinn (JHWS “Roxie” and ASH “Esmeralda”).

Two stokers inside a ventilation cowl on the HMS Spiteful, 1901 (Black & White Illustrated Budget, December 21, 1901)

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

There once was a wicked young boy,
Poisoned weapons his favorite toy.
Maimed his dog. For another,
tried to kill his young brother,
off to sea with that vicious young boy!

-Esmeralda

Chips says: I have a built in hatred of any one who hurts a animal other than for the reason of self-protection or others’ protection. Therefore, young Jacky in this story committed – in my opinion – the ultimate crime and deserves the ultimate punishment: becoming shark food would be too good for him but it would keep him from harming another of God’s creatures again.

Just a thought…

[Capital punishment by shark seems a little bit harsh. He could probably use a good scare, though. -Selena Buttons]

Limerick Corner: Sussex Vampire

We have nothing recorded as from the Canon for this date, so I felt that a limerick for this story from the author of the source book I use for daily occurrences in the Cannon would fit in well here.

Richard Dempsey as Jack Ferguson (Granada, 1993)

The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire

The Babe’s mother sucked blood from his neck,
Of her Husband it made quite a wreck.
Jacky poisoned the child,
So young Jack was exiled
To a whole year at sea, what the heck!

William S Dorn, BSI, DWNP

Just a random thought: How would a year at sea and before returning to the family have cured young Jacky of his hatred for his stepbrother? What would have cured him?

On November 22nd…

November 22, 1895: Colonel Valentine Walter confessed to stealing the Submarine plans. [BRUC]

Jonathan Newth as Col. Valentine Walter (Granada, 1988)

‘I can assure you,’ said Holmes, ‘that every essential is already known. We know that you were pressed for money, that you took an impress of the keys which your brother held, and that you entered into a correspondence with Oberstein, who answered your letters through the advertisement columns of the Daily Telegraph. We are aware that you went down to the office in the fog of Monday night, but that you were seen and followed by young Cadogan West, who had probably some previous reason to suspect you. He saw your theft, but could not give the alarm, as it was just possible that you were taking the papers to your brother in London. Leaving all his private concerns, like the good citizen that he was, he followed you closely in the fog, and kept at your heels until you reached this very house. There he intervened, and then it was, Colonel Walter, that to treason you added the more terrible crime of murder.’

‘I did not! I did not! Before God I swear that I did not!’ cried our wretched prisoner.

‘Tell us, then, how Cadogan West met his end before you laid him upon the roof of a railway carriage.’

‘I will. I swear to you that I will. I did the rest. I confess it. It was just as you say. A Stock Exchange debt had to be paid. I needed the money badly. Oberstein offered me five thousand. It was to save myself from ruin. But as to murder, I am as innocent as you.’

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

On November 21st…

November 21, 1895: Mycroft asked Holmes to find the stolen submarine plans. [BRUC]

‘[…]Every effort has been made to keep the secret. The plans, which are exceedingly intricate, comprising some thirty separate patents, each essential to the working of the whole, are kept in an elaborate safe in a confidential office adjoining the Arsenal, with burglar-proof doors and windows. Under no conceivable circumstances were the plans to be taken from the office. If the Chief Constructor of the Navy desired to consult them, even he was forced to go to the Woolwich office for the purpose. And yet here we find them in the pockets of a dead junior clerk in the heart of London. From an official point of view it’s simply awful.’

‘But you have recovered them?’

‘No, Sherlock, no! That’s the pinch. We have not. Ten papers were taken from Woolwich. There were seven in the pockets of Cadogan West. The three most essential are gone – stolen, vanished. You must drop everything, Sherlock. Never mind your usual petty puzzles of the police-court. It’s a vital international problem that you have to solve. Why did Cadogan West take the papers, where are the missing ones, how did he die, how came his body where it was found, how can the evil be set right? Find an answer to all these questions, and you will have done good service for your country.’

November 21, 1901: Holmes wrote to thank Morrison, Morrison and Dodd for their letter about vampires. [SUSS]

BAKER STREET,
Nov. 21st.
Re Vampires

Sir,

Referring to your letter of the 19th, I beg to state that I have looked into the inquiry of your client, Mr Robert Ferguson, of Ferguson and Muirhead, tea brokers, of Mincing Lane, and that the matter has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion. With thanks for your recommendation,

I am, Sir,
Faithfully yours,
SHERLOCK HOLMES

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