A Limerick

This from our good “Chips”

A Snip and a Snort

A snip and a snort on the list,
Are something I’d never have missed.
They’re not worse than a pun,
So take it as fun.
Someday they’ll be lost in the mist.

—by Sandy Kozinn, “Roxie” and “Esmerelda”
a Sherlockian amongst Sherlockians

October 5th, 2014

“Chips” (who is having computer problems) sends along this Isaac Asimov treasure. It would be interesting to know who made the pen and ink change and whether it was originally as written, or as changed. Perhaps we have a detective who can assist.



The Inspiration to Keep Going

To All (from on the road):

I always carry a copy of the Canon with me while on a trip. I am researching statements about our beloved Doctor for a future purpose.  I have a few now, however, that I would like to share with you:

“I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the convention and humdrum routine of everyday life. You have shown your relish for it by the enthusiasm with which you have chronicled it, and if you excuse me saying so, somewhat to embellish my own little adventures.” (REDH)

Coming from a less than perfect situation, words like the ones above and so many other words and tales gave me fuel to keep going.

“I am bound to say in all the accounts you have been so good as to give of my own small achievements, you have habitually underrated you own abilities. It may be that you yourself are not luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it.” (HOUN)

Oh! To be able to fit the above description of our Doctor.


aka Ron from Denver

A Memorable Toast

To All:

At my local Sherlock Holmes group dinner this past February, there was a toast which I would like to share with you. The author of the toast was Guy Mordeaux, a founding member of the group, Dr Watson’s Patients, and a good friend.

His toast was titled “On the Significance of Boswells or the Finding of the Right Watson.” I will quote those passages that impressed me and that I wish to share:

“When referring to the Canon a different Character emerges. The actor Jeremy Brett put his finger on who our dear Dr Watson really is during an interview in which he said, “‘Watson and Holmes are two halves of the same person. They are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. . . You can’t have one without the other; it’s impossible.’”

Holmes and Watson are two character personalities that complement each other. David Accord, writing in “Success Secrets of Sherlock Holmes,” calls Dr Watson, “. . . a solid, intelligent war veteran with steely nerves and a strong sense of honor and loyalty to Holmes.”

Ben McIntyre writes in The London Times: “Holmes is flashy, brilliant and extraordinary, but it is Watson’s blunter, quieter virtues of simple decency that we are called on to admire, and it is his voice that we trust.”

Ron Lies

September 08th, 2014

Rereading my books, I found this piece. You may call it old-fashioned, but it is what it is. I enjoy others being passionate about their new versions and I wish them well. For me, with writings like this, I am and always will be an 1895 Sherlockian.


Sonnet on Baker Street

Quick, Watson, quick! (he says) the game’s afoot:
Perhaps it’s only Scandal in Bohemia,
Or maybe Speckled Band, or Devil’s Root,
Or famous sleuth who’s dying of Anaemia–
The Dancing Men, Chicago’s smartest crooks
Have given us the code: we’ll fool that party —
These are not merely episodes in books,
But the Crusade of Holmes and Moriarty.

So bring the fiddle and the dressing gown,
And Mrs. Hudson, and brave Scotland Yard,
And Watson by the jezail bullet lamed–
We rattle in a hansom back to town.
If this is fancy, history’s debarred:
If this is fiction, let fact be ashamed.

                  —Christopher Morley; On Sherlock Holmes.


To All:

The following are my most exiting sequences in the Canon in The Sign of Four:

“Fire if he raises his hand,” said Holmes, quietly. We were within a boat’s-length by this time, and almost within touch of our quarry. I can see the two men now as they stood: the white man with his legs far apart, shrieking out curses, and the unhallowed dwarf with his hideous face and his strong, yellow teeth gnashing at us in the light of our lantern. It was well that we had so clear a view of him. Even as we looked he plucked out from under his covering a short, round piece of wood, like a school-ruler, and clapped it to his lips. Our pistols rang out together. He whirled round, threw his arms in the air, and, with a kind of choking cough, fell sideways into the stream. I caught one glimpse of his venomous, menacing eyes amid the white swirl of the waters.

And this one:

“See here,” said Holmes, pointing to the wooden hatchway. “We were hardly quick enough with our pistols.” There, sure enough, just behind where we had been standing, stuck one of those murderous darts which we knew so well. It must have whizzed between us just at the instant we fired. Holmes smiled at it and shrugged his shoulders in his easy fashion, but I confess it turned me sick to think of the horrible death which had passed so close to us that night.”

Anyone have a favorite you would care to share?

“Chips” aka Ron

A Life and a Friend

The Magic That Touches Us All

To All:

A quote from the story that first convinced me of the friendship and partnership of Watson and Holmes. Watson could have said. ‘Forget it,’ and rolled over in the covers and gone back to sleep. But he did not, and thus became one of my best friends who just happens to be fictional.


“Chips” aka Ron

‘Come, Watson, come!’ he cried. ‘The game is afoot. Not a word!  Into your clothes and come!’ 

–Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Abbey Grange


The Bond of Two Friends

“So it was, my dear Watson, that at two o’clock today I found myself in my old armchair in my own old room, and only wishing that I could have seen my old friend Watson in the other chair which he had so often adorned.”

Reading those words remind me of the level of affection Holmes had for Watson. Are there any other quotes that any of you wish to share?


The Good Doctor a la the BBC

To All:

The 2nd drawing of the Watson’s, played by Edward Hardwicke, from the Jeremy Brett BBC Sherlock series done by a very talented artist from Australia named Phil Cornell.

You may be familiar with his work from The Baker Street Journal and many other publications.

All my best,
Chips aka Ron

“Chips” quotes “Pippin”

To All:

I have permission from the author of this Piece to reprint it here. He is James O’Leary, a fellow Watsonian and Sherlockian of the first order. He has a interesting comment that is to be found in full at that marvelously informative site, I HEAR OF SHERLOCK EVERYWHERE. The title of his piece is “Sherlock Boom . . . What Sherlock Boom?” I strongly suggest you read the whole piece. I want to share this part  as I wish I could put the thought into words as well as he has:

“For as much as we play The Game that Doyle was the literary agent to John H. Watson, there is no higher accolade than to say an author created a character that lives. We read the words Doyle wrote with care for the clues they tell us about those living, breathing fictional characters and, like all good literature, tell us about us. There is nothing wrong with re-inventing Holmes for the times. Each generation has its own Hamlet, its own Macbeth, its own Romeo and Juliet, but Shakespeare is ever-present. There are no venerated Shakespeare pastiches, no continuing adventures of Othello. His characters have not become myth and that is the fear that some see in the face of Benedict Cumberbatch cum Sherlock; a Sherlock with multiple births, an archetype to be molded into any shape by any sculptor — a Holmes without a Doyle.

It is the now the Cumberbatch/Sherlock Boom and the great detective who was published between 1887 and 1927 is along for the ride. He survived the Reichenbach, Gillette’s on-stage betrothal and Rathbone’s bizarre windswept hairdo. He is made of sterner stuff. Because Sherlock Holmes and John Watson live, and live only, in four novels and 56 short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

“Aye, there’s the genius and the wonder of the thing!” And don’t forget it.”



The Beauty of the Doctor’s Language

Here is a statement by Jody Baker that I read and want to share with you.


“So it is that in our study of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches matter we again encounter the poetic spirit of Doctor Watson and the exquisite beauty of his expression:”

It was an ideal spring day. A light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east. The sun was shining brightly, and yet there was an exhilarating nip in the air which set an edge to a man’s energy. All over the countryside, away to the rolling hills around Aldershot, the little red and gray roofs of the farm steadings peep out from amid the light green of the new foliage.[COPP, Doub.p.322]

Is there a lovelier description in all of literature than this?


Inspector Baynes aka “Jody Baker”

Doctor Watson: By Phil Cornell

To All:

This drawing was done by a very talented artist from Australia named Phil Cornell. You may be familiar with his work from The Baker Street Journal and many other publications. I have copies of some more drawings of his I will send along.

I just received my society lapel/blouse pin for our group. It is quite impressive and well worth the money. I will be wearing it to all the Sherlockian functions in my area. If you have have not ordered yours yet, you should. You will like it.

All my best,

“Chips” aka Ron


On “Becoming” Holmes or Watson

To All:

     When I first read Sherlock Holmes, I was amazed at the stories and how Holmes solved the cases. The more stories I read, the more my outlook changed. Instead of trying to solve the case, I simply enjoyed being along with Holmes as he solved the case.

     When reading, I was going here and there with Holmes and realized I had become Doctor Watson.  Through the beauty of his prose and the style of the writing, I was changed into the Doctor and transported back to 1895.

I recently read a phrase in a paper I would like to share with you. It rang true and I hope you enjoy it too.

“May I submit to you that if you will apply rational reasoning and thought to the matter, you will (may) find that your deep and abiding love for the Sherlock Holmes tales is because of Watson and not because of Holmes.

The Defense Rests.
          -Respectfully, Baynes. aka Jody Baker

     I thank “Buttons” for his advice for my column as well as for the kind words he wrote about me in our latest newsletter.  I thank our Editor, “Sandy,” for helping me make my articles for our journal better.

Ron Lies “Chips”

A Quote by Mr Starrett

To All:

A quote you may enjoy. The location is given as number 256 In Ronald De Waal’s massive work, The World Bibliography  of Sherlock Holmes, 1974 edition. The quote is attributed to Vincent Starrett who is addressing the unpublished adventures. As I do not have the Starrett work in my meager collection I would  be grateful to anyone who would kind enough to look it up and let me know the details of the listing.

“Fragments of mystery exist completely in memory or anticipation like tales read long ago and years forgotten– their outlines blur and waver just beyond the edge of thought. It is part of Watson’s magic that some of those lost adventures, never set down in print, seem to inhabit the chambers of the mind as memorably as those 60 others that made up the saga.”

I freely admit the emphasis on the Watson’s Magic is my mine own editing.



Agatha Christie on Holmes and Watson

To All:

Enjoy. Quite a tribute to our beloved Doctor.



Holmes and Watson as Seen by Agatha Christie

“I must first pay tribute to Conan Doyle, the pioneer of detective writing, with his two great creations Sherlock Holmes and Watson—Watson perhaps the greater creation of the two. Holmes after all has his properties, his violin, his dressing gown, his cocaine, etc., whereas Watson has just himself–lovable, obtuse, faithful, maddening, guaranteed to be always wrong, and perpetually in a state of admiration! How badly we all need a Watson in our lives!”

–Agatha Christie, in her article, “Detective Writers in England”
found in Ask a Policeman; London: Harper, 2013.