TH6: Every Link Rings True 2nd Warm Up Game Results

Hello Watsonians,

The time has passed to submit answers for our second TH6:Every Link Rings True warm-up game.  Responses to this game came quickly, with our ‘Calder’ /Brad Keefauver sending the answers almost before I posted the questions.  He was fast and 100% accurate.

Several others quickly followed with correct answers as well: Roger Johnson/ ‘Count’, Richard Olken/ ‘Palmer’, Denny Dobry, Paul Harnett/ ‘Scout’, Sheila Holtgrieve/ ‘Daisy’, Beth Gallego/ ‘Selena’, Ron Lies/ ‘Chips’, and Michele Lopez/ ‘Reggie’

Congratulations to all of you for a game well-played!  You are all in fine form for the 2018 Treasure Hunt.  I will be back soon with another small warm-up challenge.

Many thanks for playing!

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

On March 8th…

Frank Wiles illustration of VALL epilogue

‘I’ve had bad news — terrible news, Mr. Holmes’ [illustration by Frank Wiles for The Strand magazine, 1915]

March 8, 1888: Holmes learned that Jack Douglas had been lost at sea. [VALL]

“No, I don’t say that,” said Holmes, and his eyes seemed to be looking far into the future. “I don’t say that he can’t be beat. But you must give me time – you must give me time!” We all sat in silence for some minutes, while those fateful eyes still strained to pierce the veil.

A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI

On March 7th…

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt of Jefferson Hope and Lucy Ferrier in A Study in Scarlet

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1902)

March 7, 1881: Jefferson Hope’s body was found in his cell. [STUD]

He had gone to the final judgment and reunion with Lucy. One can hope that mercy ruled determination of their case. Their suffering and pain on earth was enough. -Chips

A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI

On March 6th…

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1902)

March 6, 1881: Holmes tested some pills on the landlady’s dying dog. [STUD]

As he spoke he turned the contents of the wine-glass into a saucer and placed it in front of the terrier, who speedily licked it dry. Sherlock Holmes’s earnest demeanour had so far convinced us that we all sat in silence, watching the animal intently, and expecting some startling effect. None such appeared, however. The dog continued to lie stretched upon the cushion, breathing in a laboured way, but apparently neither the better nor the worse for its draught.

As we know, the second pill had a rather different effect.

March 6, 1881: Jefferson Hope was captured. [STUD]

Illustration by George Hutchinson for A Study in Scarlet (1891)

The whole thing occurred in a moment – so quickly that I had no time to realize it. I have a vivid recollection of that instant, of Holmes’s triumphant expression and the ring of his voice, of the cabman’s dazed, savage face, as he glared at the glittering handcuffs, which had appeared as if by magic upon his wrists. For a second or two we might have been a group of statues. Then with an inarticulate roar of fury, the prisoner wrenched himself free from Holmes’s grasp, and hurled himself through the window. Woodwork and glass gave way before him; but before he got quite through, Gregson, Lestrade, and Holmes sprang upon him like so many staghounds. He was dragged back into the room, and then commenced a terrific conflict. So powerful and so fierce was he that the four of us were shaken off again and again. He appeared to have the convulsive strength of a man in an epileptic fit. His face and hands were terribly mangled by his passage through the glass, but the loss of blood had no effect in diminishing his resistance. It was not until Lestrade succeeded in getting his hand inside his neckcloth and half-strangling him that we made him realize that his struggles were of no avail; and even then we felt no security until we had pinioned his feet as well as his hands. That done, we rose to our feet breathless and panting.

On March 5th…

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1902)

March 5, 1881: Stangerson found stabbed to death at Halliday’s Private Hotel. [STUD]

He stood in the centre of the room, fumbling nervously with his hat and uncertain what to do.

“This is a most extraordinary case,” he said at last – “a most incomprehensible affair.”

“Ah, you find it so, Mr. Lestrade!” cried Gregson, triumphantly. “I thought you would come to that conclusion. Have you managed to find the secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson?”

“The secretary, Mr. Joseph Stangerson,” said Lestrade gravely, “was murdered at Halliday’s Private Hotel about six o’clock this morning.”

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1906)

March 5, 1881: An old “crone” retrieved the woman’s wedding ring advertised as “found” in the ad placed by Holmes. [STUD]

At my summons, instead of the man of violence whom we expected, a very old and wrinkled woman hobbled into the apartment. She appeared to be dazzled by the sudden blaze of light, and after dropping a curtsy, she stood blinking at us with her bleared eyes and fumbling in her pocket with nervous shaky fingers. I glanced at my companion, and his face had assumed such a disconsolate expression that it was all I could do to keep my countenance.

By Hope’s own admission, this person was not Jefferson Hope, so who was she or he? Hope took the secret with him to the hereafter. Any ideas out there?

Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI

Membership Renewals for 2018

Renewal notices have been going out in email for memberships that expired at the end of December. If your membership has expired, though, you don’t have to wait for the email; you can head over to the shop to purchase a Membership for 2018.

Not sure when your membership expires? Take a peek at our Members Page! If it says you are a member through 12/17, it’s time to renew. (If it’s any other date, it’s not time yet. Memberships ending 6/18 will be notified about how to renew through the end of 2019 later in the year.) While you’re there, if you notice our information for you is incorrect or incomplete, please let me know!

TH6: Every Link Rings True 2nd Warm Up Game

Hello Watsonians!

Last month, we had a little fun with an introductory practice game in anticipation of the annual Treasure Hunt.  This month we continue the practice for TH6:Every Link Rings True with a second warm up game.

You will find the five questions for the practice posted below.  Please do not post any answers here; send answers to  Answers are due no later than March 11th.

Won’t you play along?

Margie/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

1. According to Watson, Holmes never stood here.  Where?

2. Find the slip of a girl who prevented her friend from standing where Holmes never stood.  Who?

3. A lady with an identical surname to [the answer to question two] was mentioned only once as part of a well-baited trap.  Who?

4. A lady with the same first name as [the answer to question three] had a brother who did not think Holmes was very clever after all.  Which brother?

5. With the first name of [the answer to question four] in mind, look in the pocket and find the poet. Which poet?

Helpful hint: Do not look in Holmes’s pocket.

Poison in Princeton (via Pop Goes the Page)

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1903)

Escape rooms are all the rage, and I’ve heard more than one person speculate on the possible fun to be had with a Holmes-themed room. Some very clever folks at Princeton did more than speculate: they created a Sherlock Holmes Escape Room challenge. Over the course of 5 hours, 180 kids worked in teams of 6 to solve the puzzles.

This sounds amazing. I appreciate the tips at the end of the post, since I just might have to try to put one of these together for a library program sometime!

On February 17th… The Birth of a Sherlockian Scholar

February 17, 1888: On this date, the Reverend Monsignor Ronald A Knox, one of the most eminent original Sherlockian scholars, was born. Although he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1912, he converted to Catholicism, becoming a Roman Catholic priest in 1918, later a Monsignor. He is best known for writing the paper Studies in the Literature of Sherlock Holmes.


Available from Gasogene Books (Wessex Press)

If there is anything pleasant in life, it is doing what we aren’t meant to do. If there is anything pleasant in criticism, it is finding out what we aren’t meant to find out. It is the method by which we treat as significant what the author did not mean to be significant, by which we single out as essential what the author regarded as incidental. […] There is, however, a special fascination in applying this method to Sherlock Holmes, because it is, in a sense, Holmes’s own method. ‘It has long been an axiom of mine,’ he says, ‘that the little things are infinitely the most important.’ It might be the motto of his life’s work.

This paper has generated years of Sherlockian studies. It was presented to the Gryphon Club in 1911, published in The Blue Book Magazine in 1912, and republished a number of times, including in Knox’s Essays in Satire in 1928. [The link above will take you to a PDF file of the paper in Blackfriars v1 n3 (June 1920), hosted at the University of Minnesota. -Selena Buttons]

In a response to the paper, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that “Holmes changed entirely as the stories went on” but that “Watson never for one instant as chorus and chronicler transcends his own limitations. Never once does a flash of wit or wisdom come from him. All is remorsely eliminated so that he may be Watson.” [A frankly absurd assertion! -Selena Buttons]

My source for the information on Knox’s birthdate comes from A Curious Collection of Dates by Leah Guinn (“Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (“Tressa”). [Additional information about the presentation and publication of “Studies of the Literature of Sherlock Holmes” and Dr Doyle’s response comes from The Ronald Knox Society of North America. -Selena Buttons]

(This post originally appeared on February 17, 2017.)

A Love Affair for Life

My favorite edition is and always will be the Doubleday one volume edition. This volume was the Shangri-La of my childhood. I started out reading an abridged version of the story “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”. The story was in a weekly messenger that my Catholic school received for the 7th and 8th grade. The purpose was to introduce more adult literature since we were becoming young adults. Instead it started a life time and devotion in one underweight, under-muscled, lonely, bespectacled boy.

I could not get enough of 221B and my two new devoted companions. We solved the mystery and brought Justice where we could. And best of all, they were there with only an opening of a book! I went through all the stories I could find in our small school library. I then harassed our local city public library for library loans. One of the Librarians mentioned in an off-handed tone that Rector’s Book Store downtown had a One Volume collection of all 60(!!!) stories of Holmes and Watson. I had to have that treasure!

So getting my Mom to call down to the store, I found out the horrible information the book was $10.00! The price seemed so unattainable. So as my Mom taught me, I dug into my piggy savings bank and found out I had a whole lot of chores for my neighbors, mowing of neighbors’ lawns with my father’s hand push mower in my future. Finally, those fund raising efforts and a very generous contribution from my Mom made the unobtainable mine.

Mom and I went down one Saturday morning by bus. I normally was in awe of the huge world of books in the store. Not today. Straight to the adult mystery’s section, grabbing the one volume treasure, and straight to the cashiers. When we got there, my Mom stayed in the background while I pulled out my fist of money and laid the desired treasure down in front of the clerk. The clerk looked at the rather large book, about 1300 pages, thumbed through it, saw who he guessed was my Mother in back of me. He spoke out to her: “Ma’am I do not think he would like this book. It is so large and has no pictures.”

My Mom in her coldest tone said, “He wants this book. He does not need pictures to read a book as you do.”

The clerk very quickly rang up the book, took my money from the counter, gave me change and walked with us and apologized all the way out of the store, holding the door open for us, and urged us to come again.

Now as to why the Doubleday one volume is my favorite. You can do no better than the Preface “In Memoriam”. To quote: “The whole Sherlock Holmes saga is triumphant illustration of art’s supremacy over life.” I had my first glimpse of that now familiar sitting room. I learned the major and minor details of Holmesiana to be able spend endless hours of my life in blissful enjoyment discussing these with other dyed in the blood addicts.

I also was able to see my first picture of the flat at 221B Baker Street.

Chat on the Society Members Slack Channel

We love to talk in the comments section here on the blog, but sometimes we’d like a bit more room to have conversations. Enter the John H Watson Society Slack Channel!

The channel provides a members-only space for chatting about a variety of topics. To get your invitation to join the channel, please complete the form below with your name, your Society moniker, and your preferred email address.

See you in the Slack!

The Cat of the Baskervilles (Book Review)

The Cat of the Baskervilles

by Vicki Delany
Crooked Lane Books (February 2018)
304 p. ISBN 9781683314714

Publisher’s Summary

When Jayne Wilson’s mother is accused of murder, Jayne and Gemma have to eliminate the impossible to reveal the true killer.

Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival. When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot.

The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.

Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing―only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead. Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

General Review

When Ms. Delany contacted the Society, offering an ARC of her third book, I jumped at the offer.  I reviewed her first book (review here), and enjoyed it quite a bit.  I didn’t review the second book for the Society, but I did read it, and though I thought there were some weaknesses, I still loved it, especially since it focused on pastiche writers.  This third book, however, I was incredibly eager to read.  As a person who works in theatre, how could I resist a book that brings Holmesian theatre to the center of the plot?

I wasn’t disappointed at all (well, perhaps a little- there was no stage manager character, and as a stage manager, I’m always on the look out for my people!).  I have always appreciated how each book in this series brings in a different aspect of Holmesiana.  The first looked at the original Strand magazines and collectors; the second book focused on pastiches and their writers.  Having the third book focus on theatre was excellent, as it forced Gemma and Jayne out of the book store more.  Although the Sherlock Holmes book store and tea room are still an important location, it no longer becomes the site of so much death, and it lets the reader see the wider community as well.

Gemma continues to be a fun twist on the Holmes character, self-aware enough to know that some people don’t appreciate her insights, and yet too straightforward to stop herself in time.  After the second book, where all the detective work was accomplished through conversations, I was pleased to see a return of footwork to Gemma’s investigations.  While I appreciate the fact that Holmes was, before Watson, largely an armchair detective, I like to see a little more movement in my pastiches.  Gemma got to do a spot of breaking and entering in this book, much to my delight, in addition to her gently (and occasionally not-so-gently) prying conversations.  I also loved how very concerned she was for Jayne, our Watson, throughout the entire book.  Too often Holmeses are portrayed as disinterested in their Watsons; I was pleased to see that this book did not go that route.

The mystery is light, and not terribly difficult for a reader to solve, but it’s enjoyable to watch how Gemma gets to the conclusion.  I was intrigued by the way the author decided to wrap up the mystery in this book.  It was not the traditional way at all, and while I solved the mystery itself, I still didn’t see the end coming.

This is a series where reading the previous books aren’t terribly necessary to understanding the plot, as the author does much recapping and explaining of who everyone is, so if the previous two books haven’t been of interest to you but this one sounds fun, I would recommend picking it up.  It’s a very fun read, and perfect for anyone snowed in who wants to just curl up with something light while they drink their cocoa.

What About Our Watson?

I love Jayne Wilson.  I think it’s fair to say that she isn’t a Watson in the most traditional sense (she is a somewhat reluctant partner during Gemma’s investigations), but there is something about her that makes me fiercely protective of her.  She can be a little bit Bruce-ian at times—she has never really tried to notice things the way Gemma does—but if I had to assign a screen Watson to her, for comparison, I’d actually say she’s a bit like Galina Shchepetnova, the Watson in My Dearly Beloved Detective.  Sweet, a little bit ditzy, but incredibly fierce when provoked.

One of the reasons I chose not to review Delany’s second book, Body on Baker Street, for the Society was that Jayne had a somewhat reduced role as compared to the first book.  Much to my relief, Jayne returned to her role more fully in Cat of the Baskervilles.  Given that her mother is the prime suspect in the mystery, we got to see Jayne through a full range of emotions, deepening her character quite a bit.

I also enjoyed seeing Jayne in a “military” mode—while catering for an afternoon tea event.  She is very much in charge during the tea, and it was lovely seeing her as strong, capable, and the boss of Gemma.  I also was very fond of the part where Jayne sets Gemma straight about her dating life.  Gemma being protective of Jayne is something I enjoyed about this book, but I appreciated that Jayne is perfectly able to take care of herself, without Gemma “handling” things for her.

I truly love Jayne Wilson; she’s one of my favourite parts of this series, and I hope the author continues to expand her role.

You Might Like This Book If You Like:

Theatre; cozy mysteries; actor drama; romance

Is there a book you want Lucy to review?  Let her know! Contact the Society today!

TH6: A Little Game Results & Answers

Hi Watsonians–

The first warm up game for TH6:EveryLinkRingsTrue is over and the results are in.  The first Watsonian to correctly answer all five questions is none other than our amazing leader ‘Selena Buttons’ (Beth Gallego).   Several other Watsonians gave it a go and most succeeded in answering all questions correctly.

Congratulations to Beth and all our participants: Ron Lies/ ‘Chips’, Richard Olken/ ‘Palmer’,  Paul Hartnett/ ‘Scout’, Sheila Holtgrieve/ ‘Daisy’, and Michele Lopez/ ‘Reggie’.

We will have a few more short games to practice this quiz style prior to the start of the Treasure Hunt.  The answers are posted below.

Many thanks to all of you that played the game!

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. In ten minutes or less, accept a child. With the child in mind, choose 4 brief letters

Answer:  YELL

‘It was a long two minutes before Grant Munro broke the silence, and when his answer came it was one of which I love to think. He lifted the little child, kissed her, and then, still carrying her, he held his other hand out to his wife, and turned towards the door.’ (YELL)

‘The Yellow Face’ = YELL

In some editions, two minutes is changed to ten minutes.  See Klinger Annotated, VOL 1, p. 472, note 25.

  1. Turn your four letters into a verb, send it across the moor, and confirm who it is not. Who

Answer: Sir Henry Baskerville

‘A terrible scream – a prolonged yell of horror and anguish burst out of the silence of the moor.  That frightful cry turned the blood to ice in my veins. ‘Oh, my God!’ I gasped. ‘What is it? What does it mean?’…Blindly we ran through the gloom, blundering against boulders, forcing our way through gorse bushes, panting up hills and rushing down slopes, heading always in the direction whence those dreadful sounds had come. At every rise Holmes looked eagerly round him, but the shadows were thick upon the moor and nothing moved upon its dreary face. And it shone upon something else which turned our hearts sick and faint within us – the body of Sir Henry Baskerville!….Good heavens, are you mad?’ He had uttered a cry and bent over the body. Now he was dancing and laughing and wringing my hand. Could this be my stem, self-contained friend? These were hidden fires, indeed! ‘A beard?”It is not the Baronet – it is – why, it is my neighbour, the convict!’ (HOUN)

  1. Find a restorative for [the answer to #2], and then find the soldier who supposedly took an expanded version of the same. What expanded restorative?

Answer: Voyage round the world

‘Sir Henry and Dr Mortimer were, however, in London, on their way to that long voyage which had been recommended for the restoration of his shattered nerves.’ (HOUN)

‘I waited a bit and then I wrote again. This time I had a reply, short and gruff.  Godfrey had gone on a voyage round the world, and it was not likely that he would be back for a year. That was all.  ‘I wasn’t satisfied, Mr Holmes…Is it not natural that I should wonder at his sudden silence and should wish to know what has become of him?”… I spoke to the station-master and also to the innkeeper in the village. I simply asked if they knew anything of my old comrade, Godfrey Emsworth. Both of them assured me that he had gone for a voyage round the world. He had come home and then had almost at once started off again. The story was evidently universally accepted.’ (BLAN)

  1. Compound the cost for a lady to have a similar restorative. How much?

Answer: Five thousand pounds

‘Well, well,’ said he, ‘I suppose I shall have to compound a felony as usual. How much does it cost to go round the world in first-class style?’ The lady stared in amazement. ‘Could it be done on five thousand pounds?’  ‘Well, I should think so, indeed!’ ‘Very good. I think you will sign me a cheque for that, and I will see that it comes to Mrs Maberley. You owe her a little change of air. Meantime, lady’ – he wagged a cautionary forefinger – ‘have a care! Have a care! You can’t play with edged tools for ever without cutting those dainty hands.’ (3GAB)

  1. With a like amount, buy a thief. Who?

Answer: Colonel Valentine Walter

With the shock, his broad-brimmed hat flew from his head, his cravat slipped down from his lips, and there was the long light beard and the soft, handsome, delicate features of Colonel Valentine Walter. Holmes gave a whistle of surprise.  ‘You can write me down an ass this time, Watson,’ said he. ‘This was not the bird that I was looking for.’  ‘Who is he?’ asked Mycroft, eagerly. ‘The younger brother of the late Sir James Walter, the head of the Submarine Department….’ 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.’ (BRUC)

Helpful Hint:  Your final answer should be appropriate for the times with February right around the corner.

February 14,  Valentine’s Day



TH6: A Little Game reminder & a helpful hint

Hello Watsonians–

Popping in to remind you that five days remain to play along with our TH6:EveryLinkRingsTrue warm up game.  Responses to the quiz are welcomed through January 29th.  Several very good, almost-100%-correct attempts have been submitted. Up to this point, however, only one of our Watsonians has managed to solve all five questions correctly on the first try.  (Change-of-heart-do-overs are also welcome through the 29th.)

Almost invariably question #3 is proving to the problem.  After correctly solving question #2, our quiz takers are making an assumption as to the first part of #3 which does not make sense when linked to the remaining questions because the assumption is incorrect.  If you are willing to give it a try (or a re-do), I recommend you think about Holmes’s good advice:

“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.”

Question #3 requires you to look beyond the most obvious.

I have re-posted the questions below if you would like to give them a try. Since all the questions link, it is certainly possible to work from the bottom up.

Many thanks to all of you that have taken the time to play the game,

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. In ten minutes or less, accept a child. With the child in mind, choose 4 brief letters.
  1. Turn your four letters into a verb, send it across the moor, and confirm who it is not. Who?
  1. Find a restorative for [the answer to #2], and then find the soldier who supposedly took an expanded version of the same. What expanded restorative?
  1. Compound the cost for a lady to have a similar restorative. How much?
  1. With a like amount, buy a thief. Who?

Helpful Hint:  Your final answer should be appropriate for the times with February right around the corner.

On January 24th… “Barcarolle”

‘I think I can promise you that you will feel even less humorous as the evening advances. Now, look here, Count Sylvius. I’m a busy man and I can’t waste time. I’m going into that bedroom. Pray make yourselves quite at home in my absence. You can explain to your friend how the matter lies without the restraint of my presence. I shall try over the Hoffmann Barcarolle upon my violin. In five minutes I shall return for your final answer. You quite grasp the alternative, do you not? Shall we take you, or shall we have the stone?’

Holmes withdrew, picking up his violin from the corner as he passed. A few moments later the long-drawn, wailing notes of that most haunting of tunes came faintly through the closed door of the bedroom.

Portrait of Hoffmann by an unidentified painter ca. 1800 (University of Adelaide), via Wikimedia Commons

Ernst Theodor Amadeus (E. T. A.) Hoffmann was born Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann on January 24th, 1776, in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).

He was a painter, a composer, and a writer. Three of his stories – “Der Sandmann” (The Sandman), Rath Krespel (Councillor Krespel; published in English translation as The Cremona Violin), and Die Geschichte vom verlorenen Spiegelbilde (The Story of the Lost Reflection) – formed the basis of Offenbach’s final opera, “The Tales of Hoffmann”. The soprano/mezzo-soprano duet, “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour”, is considered the most famous barcarolle ever written and often referred to as simply “The Barcarolle”.

[Hat-tip to Leah Guinn and Jaime N Mahoney and their fantastic A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes”]

On January 23rd…

January 23, 1891: Holmes “incommoded” Moriarty. [FINA]

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

“You evidently don’t know me,” said he.

“On the contrary,” I answered, “I think it is fairly evident that I do. Pray take a chair. I can spare you five minutes if you have anything to say.”

“All that I have to say has already crossed your mind,” said he.

“Then possibly my answer has crossed yours,” I replied.

“You stand fast?”


He clapped his hand into his pocket, and I raised the pistol from the table. But he merely drew out a memorandum-book in which he had scribbled some dates.

“You crossed my path on the 4th of January,” said he. “On the 23rd you incommoded me; by the middle of February I was seriously inconvenienced by you; at the end of March I was absolutely hampered in my plans; and now, at the close of April, I find myself placed in such a position through your continual persecution that I am in positive danger of losing my liberty. The situation is becoming an impossible one.”

“Have you any suggestion to make?” I asked.

“You must drop it, Mr Holmes,” said he, swaying his face about. “You really must, you know.”

TH6: An announcement and a little game

Hello Watsonians!

With the New Year underway, it is time to begin thinking about that annual event our ‘Calder’ (Brad Keefauver) once dubbed “Treasure or Torture”–the annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt.   With ‘Selena Buttons’ approval, I am pleased to serve as Treasure Hunt Master for 2018.  I hope to concoct a hunt you will find challenging and fun.  We are taking a somewhat different approach this year. ‘TH6: Every Link Rings True’ will be a 50-question quiz rather than our usual 100 questions, and all the questions will link.   Three of our previous hunts have featured some linking sections that were popular with our competitors.

To get you thinking about the possibility of participating this year, I have a small, five-question quiz below for you to think about over the next two weeks. Please do not post your answers here; your answers should be emailed to:  Answers will be accepted through January 29th.

Won’t you play along?  As Holmes told Watson: “’Yes, you can, Watson. And you will, for you have never failed to play the game. I am sure you will play it to the end.”

Margie/JHWS ‘Mopsy’

TH6: Every Link Rings True Introduction Quiz

  1. In ten minutes or less, accept a child. With the child in mind, choose 4 brief letters. What four letters?
  2. Turn your four letters into a verb, send it across the moor, and confirm who it is not. Who?
  3. Find a restorative for [the answer to #2], and then find the soldier who supposedly took an expanded version of the same. What expanded restorative?
  4. Compound the cost for a lady to have a similar restorative. How much?
  5. With a like amount, buy a thief. Who?

Helpful Hint:  Your final answer should be appropriate for the times with February right around the corner.

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’