On September 28th…

September 28, 1879: Brunton did not appear at breakfast. [MUSG]

For two days after this Brunton was most assiduous in his attention to his duties. I made no allusion to what had passed, and waited with some curiosity to see how he would cover his disgrace. On the third morning, however he did not appear, as was his custom, after breakfast to receive my instructions for the day.

September 28, 1889: Hosmer Angel proposed that he and Mary Sutherland should marry within the next week. [IDEN]

“Were you engaged to the gentleman at this time?”

“Oh, yes, Mr. Holmes. We were engaged after the first walk that we took. Hosmer—Mr. Angel—was a cashier in an office in Leadenhall Street—and—”

“What office?”

“That’s the worst of it, Mr. Holmes, I don’t know.”

On September 27th…

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

September 27, 1879: Brunton found the treasure box. [MUSG]

You know my methods in such cases, Watson. I put myself in the man’s place and, having first gauged his intelligence, I try to imagine how I should myself have proceeded under the same circumstances. In this case the matter was simplified by Brunton’s intelligence being quite first-rate, so that it was unnecessary to make any allowance for the personal equation, as the astronomers have dubbed it. He know that something valuable was concealed. He had spotted the place. He found that the stone which covered it was just too heavy for a man to move unaided. What would he do next? He could not get help from outside, even if he had some one whom he could trust, without the unbarring of doors and considerable risk of detection. It was better, if he could, to have his helpmate inside the house. But whom could he ask? This girl had been devoted to him. A man always finds it hard to realise that he may have finally lost a woman’s love, however badly he may have treated her. He would try by a few attentions to make his peace with the girl Howells, and then would engage her as his accomplice. Together they would come at night to the cellar, and their united force would suffice to raise the stone.

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

September 27, 1889: James Windibank left for his second 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 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.

Annual Treasure Hunt: a Sequel

“A lie, Watson – a great, big, thumping, obtrusive, uncompromising lie”
(VALL, 800)

Dear fellow Watsonians, I must confess to a heinous crime.

In giving the answers to the Annual Treasure Hunt, I lied. Shamelessly. But I did it for a good cause.

Let me explain. Among the questions for the Hunt, I devised one that, in my mind, had to be the most difficult of the lot. Unfortunately, I had totally overlooked the fact that there was a simple, straightforward and perfectly Canonical answer to that question. When the answers arrived, I found out that all participants had given that correct alternative answer. So much for the so-called ingenuity and deviousness of the Quiz Master.
And so I lied. I changed the list of the answers that I had already prepared and put the alternative answer in the place of that which I had originally conceived. The purpose was to avoid spoiling the original answer and to provide the contestants with a new challenge.

Here it is. Question # 4 in the Hunt, you will recall, was the following: The subject of this question won a blue award twice. Who or what?

You all answered “Gilchrist”, who had won the Blue for the hurdles and the long jump. But there is another answer to that question, a most difficult and complex one.

So the sequel to the Annual Treasure Hunt is: find another answer to question #4, the answer that I had originally in mind.
Hints: this question requires a little digging in external sources, such as an encyclopaedia and/or Internet search engines. The subject of the question can be a person, an animal, a company, a government or any other entity. The subject is mentioned in the Canon, but the award is not (so it is useless to search for, say, all occurrences of the word “blue”).

Since this is a hard question, you have one month to submit the answer (by e-mail to treasurehunt (AT) johnhwatsonsociety.com). The answer will be posted on October 21.

I hope you will enjoy this quiz. Happy Hunting!

A Puzzle For You

If you are a jigsaw puzzle fan and a Sherlock Holmes fan, this is for you. Look at this picture, and you are overwhelmed by the World of 1895 that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle captured.

You have pictures of the Holmes brothers, the Ultimate Villain, the devoted Dr Watson and the imagined Femme Fatale.

There are so many of those phrases that we have grown to love, to quote, and to try to live in our everyday actions. How many of us have looked around all everyday situations and tried not just to see but to observe? To count the steps we walk up every day and find out we had no idea that there may be seventeen steps!

This puzzle even has a SPOILER section revealing all 60 of the cases and their villains.  Scenes from the Canon, the cover of Mrs. Beeton’s Christmas Annuals and the cliff at Reichenbach Falls in the Final (or is it?) Problem.  And there is more. So, So much more.

For under $20 ($14.99 USD, to be exact), you can have hours of frustrating satisfaction and unlimited enjoyment. The Think Geek folks did not make this easy but they made it well worth the effort. Truly, thanks to them, The Game is Afoot.

Available now at ThinkGeek.com: Sherlock Holmes 1000pc Puzzle.

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.”