Oct. 20th, 2017 02:14 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 9635
Where was Watson living? Not Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Pre. After SIGN. Monday, June 3rd. I’m guessing 1889 since that is the only reasonable year between marriage and Reichenbach that has June 3 on a Monday.

John Watson
Presumably Mary Watson
Maid (at Watson’s place)
Anstruther – takes patients for Watson
Sherlock Holmes
John Turner
- daughter
Charles McCarthy
- son
McCarthy kept two servants -- a man and a girl
~ 6 others in McCarthy household
William Crowder, a game-keeper in the employ of Mr. Turner
Patience Moran – 14 yr-old, daughter of the lodge-keeper of the Boscombe Valley estate

Waton’s house
Paddington Station
On the train to

Other crimes/criminals/cases mentioned:
Study in Scarlet

Other studies mentioned:

Questions/thoughts about the story
close-fitting cloth cap – ah ha! I know this is the origins of that silly deerstalker

Moran – Another duplicate name

“magistrates at Ross, who have referred the case to the next Assizes”
- where is Ross?
- More traveling assizes (need to read more about this, try this source:

Lestrade – Why would he be out here? Are London inspectors often travel?
- “left foot of yours with its inward twist”

coroner's jury –


“which he wore in deference to his rustic surroundings” meaning?

Barometric pressure – “ “Sunny,” for instance, can usually be found in the range of high barometric pressure — 30.2 or 30.3 inches. “Stormy,” on the other hand would be found in the range of low barometric pressure — 29.2 or lower, perhaps even on occasion below 29 inches.” Thus, one of 29 would indicate a storm is coming.

Violet eyes – don’t exist

Bermuda Dockyard – the island?

“great yellow blotches of lichen upon the gray walls” – Yahoo! Acknowledgement of the super awesome lichens!

Diabetes – This was sort of a shock to read that this disease was considered fatal. I am used to thinking of it as a manageable disease or even a ‘modern’ disease. In the genetics class that I TA’ed we discussed diabetes briefly but didn’t go into the history of the disease. We mostly used insulin as an example of what happened to proteins after they were translated (post-translational modification) and explaining that insulin today is produced from bacteria expressing modified human proteins.

"Why does fate play such tricks with poor, helpless worms? I never hear of such a case as this that I do not think of Baxter's words, and say, 'There, but for the grace of God, goes Sherlock Holmes.'" ???

Other things about Holmes
Carries lots of paper around (for this case)

“his mind was so absolutely concentrated upon the matter before him that a question or remark fell unheeded upon his ears, or, at the most, only provoked a quick, impatient snarl in reply”

“monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco”

Other things about Watson
“My experience of camp life in Afghanistan had at least had the effect of making me a prompt and ready traveller. My wants were few and simple,”

I know the military neatness which characterizes you. You shave every morning, and in this season you shave by the sunlight

Reads yellow-backed novels


Oct. 12th, 2017 10:06 am
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 7843
Where was Watson living? Not Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Pre. Dec 27. After Watson/Morstan Marriage (1888). After SCAN and TWIS.

John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
commissionaire Peterson
Countess of Morcar
John Horner - a plumber
James (Jem) Ryder - upper-attendant at the hotel
Catherine Cusack - maid to the Countess
Inspector Bradstreet
landlord of small public-house
Breckinridge – geese seller
Bill - a boy helping Breckinridge
Mrs. Maggie Oakshott
Maudsley – thief/criminal, knows Ryder

221B Baker Street
Tottenham Court Road to Goodge Street (near the British Museum)
Hotel Cosmopolitan
Alpha Inn (near the British Museum)
Wimpole Street/Harley Street/Wigmore Street/Oxford Street
small public-house near Holborn
Covent Garden
117, Brixton Road
Kilburn – Maudsley’s house

Other crimes/criminals/cases mentioned:
“my attempt to recover the Irene Adler papers, to the singular case of Miss Mary Sutherland, and to the adventure of the man with the twisted lip.”
“last six cases which I have added to my notes, three have been entirely free of any legal crime.” Still three more are not mentioned!

Other studies mentioned:

Questions about the story
“four million human beings all jostling each other within the space of a few square miles” Eep, that’s a lot of people… Which brings me to when did a census start, assuming that number was calculated by a census? Where was that data published?

Billycock – type of hat

“back of Tottenham Court Road” same side or opposite of the British Museum?

“It was pierced in the brim for a hat-securer, but the elastic was missing.” Elastic, as in rubber?

“a man with so large a brain must have something in it.” – Phrenology!

lime-cream – Oh! This is cool. Invented by Eugene Rimmel in ~1864 and is a water-in-oil (almond and lime water) hair product (book reference: Handbook on Cosmetics . Rimmel, the company, is still around.

“gritty, grey dust of the street” – guessing this is due to the coal being burned and the general dirtiness of the city.
“fluffy brown dust of the house” – my house dust is not brown, it’s more of a grey and fluffy.

More info about tallow and tallow candles (links get a little preachy, blah) - and

“brilliantly scintillating blue stone, rather smaller than a bean in size”, “forty-grain weight” – so ~ 1 cm in size and ~2.6 g


Newspapers - Globe, Star, Pall Mall, St. James’s, Evening News, Standard, Echo,

Vitriol – sulfuric acid

Scotch bonnet?

“we turn our dinner into a supper” – meal order? I use dinner and supper interchangeably.

doctors’ quarter?

Wimpole Street/Harley Street and Wigmore Street/Oxford Street run parallel to each other. Missing a step there… Directions not to be taken literally.

“zigzag of slums to Covent Garden” - there are a lot of theater places around that area now. When did the theaters move in?

“7s. 6d.” s is shillings and d is?

“the ‘Pink ’un’ protruding out of his pocket”?

Brandy fixing things again…

“What a shrimp it is” what?

Pentonville – jail. What other jails are in the area?

Other things about Holmes
“He was lounging upon the sofa in a purple dressing-gown, a pipe-rack within his reach upon the right, and a pile of crumpled morning papers, evidently newly studied, near at hand.”

Letting the guy go.

Other things about Watson
Working a practice and doing rounds


Oct. 5th, 2017 04:22 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of Blanched Soldier
The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 7788
Where was Watson living? With his wife (second wife?)
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. January 1903

Sherlock Holmes
John Watson (mentioned, not in it)
Mr. James M. Dodd (Jimmie)
Colonel Emsworth (Emsworth the Crimean V. C.)
Lance-Corporal Godfrey Emsworth
Godfrey Emsworth’s mother
Ralph, the butler
the butler’s wife and Godfrey’s nurse
station-master (mentioned)
innkeeper (mentioned)
Mr. Kent (surgeon)
Baldy Simpson
Sir James Saunders

221B Baker Street
Throgmorton Street (near Threadneedle street! A location in BERY)
Tuxbury Old Park, near Bedford (30-60 min north of London)
Diamond Hill outside-Pretoria (mentioned)
Buffelsspruit, outside Pretoria, on the Eastern railway line (mentioned)
Eustonn station

Other crimes/criminals/cases mentioned:
Finishing up Abbey School, in which the Duke of Greyminster (Priory School and the Duke of Holderness?)
commission from the Sultan of Turkey
“I was able once to do him a professional service, and he is ready to advise as a friend rather than as a specialist. His name is Sir James Saunders."

Other studies mentioned:

Questions about the story
“Mr. James M. Dodd seemed somewhat at a loss how to begin the interview”
- That doesn’t make sense. Why would he begin the interview when Holmes is interviewing him?

Boer War – Second Boer War (11 October 1899 and ended on 31 May 1902)
- What is a Boer?
- “January, 1903, just after the conclusion of the Boer War” – It ended in May 31, 1902…

Middlesex Corps?

Imperial Yeomanry?

“his handkerchief in his sleeve instead of in his pocket” This was a habit for someone in the military?

“As to Middlesex, your card has already shown me that you are a stockbroker from Throgmorton Street.” What does Middlesex have to do with Throgmorton St? Throgmorton is in City of London (London proper? Maybe?)

Throgmorton St and Threadneedle St – is this in the financial district? Does London have a financial district?

Trap = carriage?

“half-timbered Elizabethan foundation and ending in a Victorian portico”?

“Godfrey’s nurse” – From what I understand, it was not fashionable for women of means to nurse their children. This really makes no sense to me as the safest source of food for the infants would be the mom’s breastmilk.

smoky skin?


Took a week after the initial interview to go to Tuxbury Old Park

“We were clearing brother Boer”

Hansen’s disease (Leprosy) links:

"I have the ordinary knowledge of the educated medical man,"
- So, he should be called Dr. Kent, not Mr. Kent. Right?

Other things about Holmes
Backhanded compliments (See first paragraph)

Grudgingly admits Watson is right about how to tell a story.

“The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association.”

“sit with my back to the window and to place my visitors in the opposite chair, where the light falls full upon them”

Kept a diary, record, of when cases took place

abnormally acute set of senses

“And here it is that I miss my Watson. By cunning questions and ejaculations of wonder he could elevate my simple art, which is but systematized common sense, into a prodigy.” Ah ha! Appreciation for Watson’s writing.

Other things about Watson
“worried [Holmes] to write an experience of [his] own”


“The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife…”
- Third marriage according to Baring-Gould
- I’m generally of the opinion that there was only one wife (Mary) but exploring why Watson would leave him after Reichenbach would be interesting/sad


Sep. 28th, 2017 08:42 am
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of Black Peter
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 8121
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. July 1895

John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
Stanley Hopkins - 30
Captain Peter Carey/Black Peter – 50, seal and whale fisher
Carey’s wife
Carey’s daughter – glad to see abusive father die
2 female servants
John Hopley Neligan – 20,
Neligan - West-country bankers
Dawson – retired West-country banker
James Lancaster
Hugh Pattins
Patrick Cairns - harpooner

221B Baker Street
Woodman’s Lee, Forest Row, Sussex
Brambletye Hotel (briefly mentioned)

Other crimes/criminals/cases mentioned:
Lots of unnamed issues from clients during 1895
Duke of Holdernesse – Priory School
sudden death of Cardinal Tosca—an inquiry which was carried out by him at the express desire of His Holiness the Pope
arrest of Wilson, the notorious canary-trainer
tragedy of Woodman’s Lee
Dawson and Neligan ruining a village

Other studies mentioned:

Questions about the story
Wire = telegram?

Dundee? Oh! This is a place in UK. I’m thinking Crocodile Dundee and Australia.

“drive his wife and his daughter out of doors in the middle of the night, and flog them through the park until the whole village outside the gates was aroused by their screams.” Why would this even be allowed? Vicar remonstrated him. He was summoned for attacking the vicar but not his own family.

“As long as the criminal remains upon two legs so long must there be some indentation, some abrasion, some trifling displacement which can be detected by the scientific searcher.” Now wait, wasn’t there a previous story where Holmes couldn’t find clues because the ground was hard as iron?


Stock Exchange securities


four-wheeler = carriage?

“Saxon invaders at bay—the impenetrable “weald,” for sixty years the bulwark of Britain.”
- There is probably more history in this statement than I understand
“nothing save these ravaged groves and great scars in the earth show the work of the past.”
- More history stuff. The forest once existed but now is gone and it’s a field?

Are there any old growth forests left in the UK? Most of the US has been clear cut but there are a few hidden, hard to access places that still have old growth.

ribston-pippin – I’m guessing this does not refer to the apple variety.

“As soon as I get my kit.” – kit?
“Have you your papers?” – papers?

Ending with both Holmes and Watson going to Norway for some reason.

Other things about Holmes
“lived for his art’s sake… So unworldly was he—or so capricious—that he frequently refused his help to the powerful and wealthy where the problem made no appeal to his sympathies, while he would devote weeks of most intense application to the affairs of some humble client whose case presented those strange and dramatic qualities which appealed to his imagination and challenged his ingenuity.”
- Like this about Holmes. Well, like most things this can go either way. It’s helpful to poorer clientele who have an interesting problem. Hopefully their problem is interesting enough…

Captain Basil – disguise

five small refuges in different parts of London in which he was able to change his personality

Being rather tough on Hopkins… sheesh.

“Let us walk in these beautiful woods, Watson, and give a few hours to the birds and the flowers.”

Other things about Watson
“it was not my habit to force a confidence”

Did not participate in Holmes’ ridiculous harpoon experiment.

“It was a long and melancholy vigil, and yet brought with it something of the thrill which the hunter feels when he lies beside the water pool.”
Waxing poetically and totally an adrenaline junkie.

“muzzle of the revolver to his temple”
- Handles the revolver


Sep. 21st, 2017 11:52 am
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 9695
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Pre. February. Before Watson/Morstan Marriage (1888).

John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
Alexander Holder – (client) senior partner at Holder & Stevenson
Unnamed Groom
Unnamed Page
Lucy Parr - the second waiting-maid, sweetheart was Francis Prosper
Arthur Holder – son of Alexander, plays cards and gambles, loves Mary
Sir George Burnwell – “ruined gambler, an absolutely desperate villain, a man without heart or conscience”, Mary’s lover
Mary Holder – niece of Alexander
Unnamed inspector
Unnamed constable
Francis Prosper – green-grocer
Sir George Burnwell’s valet

221B Baker Street
Fairbank somewhere in Streatham?
Sir George’s house (wherever that is)
Receiver (unknown location)
Cell that holds Arthur (unknown location)

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:

Other studies mentioned:

Questions about the story
London weather -;sess
Question about this. I was chatting with a British expat friend about winters. When he was little he was told to never walk on frozen ponds because the ice wasn’t think enough. When he came to New England he was all freaked out that people were ice skating on ponds. Is this normal?

More winter questions. How drafty would these buildings be? Are the windows single pane? Is the only heat from a fire place? Would each bedroom have a fireplace?

Snow removal on streets – I’m pretty sure they didn’t have snow plows. The snow in Boston gets nasty during the winter and I’m guessing that it would be the same here. Probably one of the few times that the smog was reduced.

Threadneedle Street – There are actual banks there! Lloyds, Nationwide, Bank of England (and Bank of England museum)

Underground – as in subway? Do Holmes or Watson ever use this?

£50,000 sounds like an insane amount to me now (not a trifling sum!). What would this be today?

Beryl = emerald/aquamarine or just about any other color of precious stone. What color is this piece? I had in my mind that it is blue
Coronet = not a necklace but a crown.
First time reading this I thought it was a necklace with blue stones not a golden crown with some sort of colored or clear gemstone.

“I felt that it would be an imprudence to leave so precious a thing in the office behind me.” Yah, bad idea bud.

Streatham to Threadneedle street is about an hour commute one way. That seems like a monster commute for any time period but especially for that one that time period.
“short railway journey and a shorter walk brought” Train ride was ~25 min.

“green-grocer who brings our vegetables round” I’m guessing that grocery stores were not invented yet but there were markets. People of a certain social class could afford to have their groceries delivered.

carte blanche?

common loafer/collar turned up, his shiny, seedy coat, his red cravat, and his worn boots/disreputable clothes = I’m guessing lower class

“he breathed his vows” guessing this doesn’t mean wedding vow.

“the pavement had been cleared” Ah ha! Snow removal. By what?

“life-preserver” the same one that is used to keep people afloat in water?

“I knew my man, however, and I clapped a pistol to his head before he could strike.” OK, now why didn’t Holmes take Watson? I thought Watson is typically used in this type of situation. Seems rather foolish to go there alone.

“address of the receiver” pawn shop?

“got to my bed about two o’clock, after what I may call a really hard day’s work.” Yah, exactly. Also travelled at least 20 miles.

Fee = Paid £1000 for this case. Also, did he have to front the £3000 to pay for the beryls or did the receiver accept an IOU?

Other things about Holmes
“Sherlock Holmes pushed him down into the easy-chair and, sitting beside him, patted his hand and chatted with him in the easy, soothing tones which he knew so well how to employ.”

“It was no uncommon thing for him to be away for days and nights on end when he was hot upon a scent…”


Sep. 14th, 2017 03:56 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of Abbey Grange
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 9170
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. Winter of ‘97

Brief summary:
Holmes called in by Hopkins and the case appears to be ordinary. Details are called into question by Holmes and he finds that there is more to the case.

John Watson
Sherlock Holmes
Stanley Hopkins
Sir Eustace Brackenstall - richest men in Kent, dead, abusive
Lady Brackenstall (aka Mary Fraser)
Theresa Wright – maid
Captain Croker

221B Baker Street
Charing Cross Station
Abbey Grange, Marsham, Kent
Chislehurst Station
shipping office of the Adelaide-Southampton line, end of Pall Mall
Scotland Yard (did not go in)
Charing Cross telegraph office

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:
Lewisham gang of burglars – three Randalls

Other studies mentioned:
composition of a text-book on the art of detection

Questions about the story
“Wake up your Watson” – When did this start in the fandom?

Cab vs handsom vs carriage vs dogcart

Charing Cross Station – (find on map) How well connected is England?
- Train information in general

“crackling paper, ‘E.B.’ monogram”?

Chislehurst Station – find on map

noble park?


More medical stuff, bathing swelling with vinegar and water – why is this even a good thing?

“It is a sacrilege, a crime, a villainy to hold that such a marriage is binding”
- I read somewhere that Doyle was of the opinion that women should be able to leave/be divorced from marriages such as this. But, for some reason he was not a proponent of women’s rights.

“drenching a dog with petroleum and setting it on fire” What!?


multiplex knives – swiss army knife?

“as our train was crawling out of a suburban station, he sprang on to the platform and pulled me out after him” How does this work? Are there doors to the outside in each compartment?

“We have not yet met our Waterloo, Watson, but this is our Marengo, for it begins in defeat and ends in victory” reference lost on me.

“Vox populi, vox Dei”?

Complicated, messy, what would have happened if Hopkins had figured it out?

Other things about Holmes
“Why do you not write them yourself?”
- Oh goodness, Holmes, this is when Watson earns his title of long suffering friend.

Did not turn in Captain Croker. Willing to decide his own justice.


Sep. 6th, 2017 11:22 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of the Three Students
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 6480
Where was Watson living? Baker Street???
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. 1895.

Brief summary:

Sherlock Holmes
John Watson
Hilton Soames - tutor and lecturer at the College of St. Luke’s
Bannister – served Soames as a servant for 10 yrs. little, white-faced, clean-shaven, grizzly-haired fellow of fifty.
Daulat Ras – Indian student who is taking the examination. Lives in the middle floor.
Gilchrist – athlete, father Sir Jabez Gilchrist (had gambling problem). Lives on lowest floor. Does he has a first name?
Miles McLaren - lives on top floor. Bright, lazy, and had a card scandal.

Unknown campus in unknown place staying at some furnished unknown lodgings
Mentioned College of St. Luke’s, but this is false.

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:

Other studies mentioned:
Striking results from studying early English charters

Thoughts/questions about the story
On the date. Watson spends the entire first paragraph saying he’s changed details so you can’t figure it out. So, he could have easily changed the date…

What are the “great University towns” in London/England?

Early English charters?

College of St. Luke’s? I found one near the University of Exeter.

Soames – an acquaintance of Watson and Holmes. More backstory would be nice.

“for the credit of the college, it is most essential to avoid scandal” – I sympathize with him here. Having created and administered exams, we guard those things with our lives.

Fortescue Scholarship?


green baize? I am sure that there is more behind this term as well.

“whose honesty is absolutely above suspicion” – of course he is…
“unpardonable liberty of examining my papers” - More servant culture stuff I am unfamiliar with.

Brandy seems to fix everything. Need to look at the history behind that.

History of pencils and pencil sharpening?

“fine surface of red leather” Why is leather needed on the surface of a writing table? It would make it squishy.

“Not one of your cases, Watson—mental, not physical. All right; come if you want to.” Be left behind, nope, not likely. This is post Reichenbach, how does he not know his Watson at this point?

“Holmes made an examination of the carpet” Hehe! My inner self is imagining Jeremy Brett crawling around the ground dramatically.

“Watson, I have always done you an injustice. There are others.”
- This seems really out of place to me in the rest of the paragraph. Not sure of the meaning.

“got his Blue”?

Quadrangle – I love this word. No reason why, it makes me giggle.

“You can go to blazes” – Find a list/reference for British swear words/sayings

“And yet that Indian was a sly fellow also. Why should he be pacing his room all the time?”
- This part with Holmes is defending Daulat’s actions also seems like he could be defending his own actions as well.

“What with your eternal tobacco, Watson, and your irregularity at meals, I expect that you will get notice to quit and that I shall share your downfall”
- I think this is humor but I am not sure what is going on here.
- Maybe it is sarcasm. The tobacco and irregularity at meals is a Holmes thing, so maybe Holmes is goading him here?

Rhodesian Police?

What happened to Bannister? Would he have been kept on or fired?

Other things about Holmes
“My friend’s temper had not improved since he had been deprived of the congenial surroundings of Baker Street. Without his scrap-books, his chemicals, and his homely untidiness, he was an uncomfortable man.”

Holmes is six feet high


Aug. 30th, 2017 09:37 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 6208
Where was Watson living? Baker Street
Pre/Post Reichenbach (May 1891)? Post. June 1902.

Brief summary:
Evans creates an elaborate plan to remove Nathan Garrideb from his house to retrieve the Prescott press. Watson gets injured during the confrontation with Evans at Nathan’s room.

Sherlock Holmes
John Watson
Nathan Garrideb
Mrs. Hudson (no talking)
John Garrideb/’Killer’ Evans/Morecroft/James Winter
Alexander Hamilton Garrideb (From Evan’s story, a man of means)
Dr. Lysander Starr (Holmes uses to test Evans)
Rodger Prescott - forger and coiner in Chicago, killed by Evans

Baker Street
136 Little Ryder Street, W. (where is this? Cannot find it on a map. Made up or not on modern maps.)
Near Edgware Road (missing an e?)

Other crimes/criminals mentioned:
Rodger Prescott’s forgery in Chicago

Thoughts/questions about the story
“Holmes refused a knighthood for services which may perhaps some day be described.” Hmm… What could those be…

South African War – I know nothing about this

Garrideb – an actual surname? Two records on and maybe 3 people in US and Russia ( These appear to be modern. Where did this name come from?

Trying to find the comedy in this story, might have wrong definition (yep, I do).
Comedy def: a literary genre and a type of dramatic work that is amusing and satirical in its tone, mostly having cheerful ending. The motif of this dramatic work is triumph over unpleasant circumstance by which to create comic effects, resulting in happy or successful conclusion.
Tragedy def: a series of unfortunate events by which one or more of the literary characters in the story undergo several misfortunes, which finally culminate into a disaster of ‘epic proportions’. Tragedy is generally built up in 5 stages: a) happy times b) the introduction of a problem c) the problem worsens to a crisis or dilemma d) the characters are unable to prevent the problem from taking over e) the problem results in some catastrophic, grave ending, which is the tragedy culminated.

What happened to
Nathan Garrideb: tragedy
Watson: maybe comedy. Not that getting shot is anything like a comedy
Holmes: almost tragedy but ends up as a comedy
“Killer” Evans: tragedy

“The telephone directory lay on the table beside me…” Previously left there by Holmes? I think so. Holmes seems to be enjoying not telling Watson what is going on and having him find Gerridebs that he’s already found.

“short, powerful man with the round, fresh, clean-shaven face characteristic of so many American men of affairs. The general effect was chubby and rather childlike.” I’m getting the impression Watson does not favorably look at American style. What is the characteristic style of British men of affairs? Do they have facial hair? If so, Watson is more normal than Holmes (no surprise there).

“His accent was American, but was not accompanied by any eccentricity of speech.” Seriously? What is an American accent, btw? I can believe eccentricity of speech in NY, Boston, midwestern, or Texan and I don’t consider myself having an accent…

“Your pictures are not unlike you…” When did Holmes get his picture taken and where was it featured? Or is he referring to Paget illustrations?

Men’s fashion. Is there a decent source for this? I guess there is a difference between British/American fashion, but it would be nice to see the differences.

Expressions! “What in thunder”. Find other fun expressions from this time.

“wheat pit”?

Fort Dodge to Topeka = ~300 mi east

“putting up a bird”?

“ring him up” When did the telephone become common place and I’m assuming that it was more complicated to phone someone in those days.

“old Tyburn Tree of evil memory”?

“residential flats, but rather the abode of Bohemian bachelors.” What is the difference?

“Sotheby's or Christie's”?

Hans Sloane (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753) -

“Yes, it was bad English but good American. The printer had set it up as received.” How do English advertisements differ?


“Well, it is not the first we have shared, Holmes. I hope it may not be the last.” Ah, No! foreshadowing! I didn’t catch that on my first read through, but now it painfully obvious.
Newgate Calendar?

Mycroft, Morecroft… I think there was another -croft character that I can’t remember at this moment.

“Wild West friend” really?

“Please give the Yard a call, Watson.” Ok, Holmes, so Watson has an injury and you are still expecting him to make calls for you?

Premise: American with $$$ and wants to do something ridiculous.
Was the eccentric American with means a popular trope at that time?
Was America the place to get rich quick so this type of story was more believable?

Other things:

Probably the main reason this one is so popular:
“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…”


Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:44 pm
mafief: (Default)
The Adventure of the Three Gables
Case Book of Sherlock Holmes
Words: 6081
Where was Watson living? Unclear.  Hasn’t seen Holmes in a few days. “When I met my friend in his room early next morning.” Possibly not at Baker Street???
Pre/Post Reichenbach? Unclear. No date mentioned.
Brief summary:
Mary Maberley employs Holmes to look into the matter of someone wanting to purchase her house and everything in it.  Holmes uncovers an affair and the aftermath between Douglas Maberley and Isadora Klein.
Sherlock Holmes
John Watson
Steve Dixie – Large, black man.  Threatens Holmes and Watson in the beginning. Employed by Barney
Stockdale. Prize-fighter
Barney Stockdale - part of Spencer John gang, specialize in assaults, intimidation.  Employs Dixie. Wife = Susan
Spencer John - gang
Mary Maberley – Widow.  Mother of Douglas.  Holmes’ client for the case.  
Mortimer Maberley – Late husband and former client of Holmes.  Case was over a trifling matter.
Douglas Maberley – Son of Mortimer and Mary Maberley.  Attache at Rome. Died of pneumonia. Was involved with Isadora Klein.  Wrote other novels.
Haines-Johnson –  Auctioneer and Valuer, ‘house agent’, interacts with Mary Maberley to purchase
house and everything in it
Mr. Sutro – lawyer to Mary Maberley.  Older gentlemen. Described as gray.
Susan (Stockdale)– help in Mary Maberley’s house until she left after being discovered spying on
Maberley/Watson/Holmes conversation.  Wife of Barney.
Ferguson - retired sea captain former owner of Three Gables.
Mary the maid – young girl that is the maid in The Three Gables.
Langdale Pike – Lives at St. James’s Street.  Knowledgeable about social scandals. Contributes to garbage papers (tabloids).
Unnamed inspector at Harrow -
Isadora Klein – Spanish decent.  Married Klein, a sugar king. Unmatched beauty.
Duke of Lomond – Isadora Klein is set to marry him
Baker Street
The Three Gables, Harrow Weald
Grosvenor Square
West End (is this a place?)
Other crimes/criminals mentioned:
“the killing of young Perkins outside the Holborn Bar”
Spencer John gang
Phrases and other thing I would like more clarification:
“he was dressed in a very loud gray check suit with a flowing salmon-coloured tie.”
-        What does loud mean in this context?
“if I have to trim you up a bit.”
-        Slang for what?
What is…
Bull Ring in Birmingham
woolly head
Crown Derby tea-set
attache = a person on the staff of an ambassador, typically with a specialized area of responsibility.
Did Holmes ever meet Barney Stockdale face to face in the story? Don’t think so…
“Mary the maid heard the noise and began screaming out of the window. That brought the police…”
-        How densely populated is this area that there were policemen in yelling distance?
-        When was fingerprint analysis commonly used by the police?
belle dame sans merci – French "The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy"[
Poem found here:
What was the feelings of different races towards each other during that time?
From my modern perspective, Holmes seems rather racists towards Dixie.  I don’t like Holmes’ personality in this tale.
-        I don’t like the smell of you
-        Black Steve
-        for my scent-bottle
-        Why is he calling Dixie by his first name?
Thoughts about the story
The dialogue between Dixie and Holmes feels like two separate conversations.
“My client is a very liberal man, but he has his fads and his own way of doing things. It is everything or nothing with him”.  Conversation between house agent and Mary Maberley.  No indication from Doyle that the person behind it is a female and we won’t get that reveal until part with Susan.  So, did she hire another person to talk to the house agent or did the house agent purposefully switch the gender? Was the house agent a hired by Barney Stockdale?
Watson showing himself in a rather intelligent light in this one and is answering Holmes’ questions.  This helps the client (and us) know what is going on and his thought process. I liked “Dr. Watson agrees, so that settles it.” from Holmes.
Left Mary Maberley to contact Sutron and convince him to help guard her house.  Why did Holmes not come back later or even leave/send Watson?
How long was Susan working for Mary Maberley?
“Holmes discreetly helped Langdale to knowledge, and on occasion was helped in turn.”  This is begging for more background.
Douglas wrote 245 pgs about a month affair with Isadora? Or was the affair longer?
Other things:
“Surely no man would take up my profession if it were not that danger attracts him.” – Holmes
Does Holmes often under describe his talent to others?
-        “as my feeble powers go”
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This weekend I was at my sister-in-law’s house celebrating my parent’s fortieth wedding anniversary. Congrats to them and we wish them many more. My two were a little confused and sung them happy birthday because we were celebrating with cake. My parents had a blast playing with their grandkids and seeing us.

My sister-in-law does a much better job at decorating than I do (I completely fail at this) and I had been to my sister-in-law’s house many, many times before but never really paid attention to items on display. Tucked into the corner of her dining room was the plaque below. Being my awkward self, I asked to take a picture of it with the books she had in her sewing room. She told me that she visited London and the Sherlock Holmes’ museum during her high school trip. I didn’t know that about her before. She then asked me why I wanted a picture of it. Cue me trying to explain to someone that I am writing fanfiction. Now there are two people that I know personally that are aware I am writing. In any case, I took the picture to potentially use it as an icon. I still need to upload and use my watson_woe icon from this round.

Also took the kids to a park and found that someone had littered googly eyes. Being a good citizen, I cleaned them up. Since googly eyes are just about my level of humor some days, I proceeded to take pictures of googly eyes on things.

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My works for Watson’s Woes July Writing Prompts for 2017.

Prompt # - Title - Prompt

1 - Second Opinion - Watson injury (any severity), from a different POV than Holmes.

2 - Catacombs - summer in the city

3 - Banned - Overheard

4 - Banned (Part 2) - To the Makeup Table!

5 - I Can See Just Fine - Note to Self

6 - Busy as a bee - Poetic License

7 - Dreaded hours - Midnight summons

8 - Garden Plot Mystery - Everyone Loves Sharing Their Expertise

9 - One, two, three, half turn - I Never Get Your Limits

10 - Puzzle - Do Not Take the First Cab, Nor the Second, But the Third

11 - New Understanding - The Bard

12 - The Life of an Umbrella - For the Want of a Brolly

13 - Meteor - picture prompt

14 - An’ we’ll all hang on behind - Ensemble

15 - Banned (part 3) - Blood on the Snow

16 - Advertisement - Picture prompt: Submitted Without Comment

17 - Remembrance - A cardboard box

18 - The Force is Strong with this One - Dr. Watson, Meet Dr. Freud
19 - City Chase - Whump Watson woefully with an alliterative injury

21 - Practice - A trip to the theatre

22 - The Guard’s Recommendation - I Came Here to Talk About the Red-Headed League and I’m Honestly Feeling So Attacked Right Now.

23 - Purple Hyacinths - ’Tis But a Scratch

24 - Nor A Sam - Music hall songs

25 - Disobey or Obey - Healer's Choice

26 - Feather - Exhaustion

27 - Untitled - Fix a Canon Scene

28 - Dusting - No Ghosts, Demon Hounds, Vampires, etc. Need Apply.

29 - Nudge - What's the worst that could happen?

30 - My Master - The Devil's Caprice.

31 - Paper-Fasteners and Chewing Gum - Improvised Tools

I posted a few of them on AO3.  ACD here and one BBC here.
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Obligatory first post about, well, a first post and popcorn. Popcorn is awesome. More about me later.


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