Watson tells us that he was “. . . standing at the Criterion bar” when he met Stamford, “. . . who had been a dresser under me at Bart’s.”
The Criterion was then, and is even today, an upscale establishment. How could Dr Watson afford the price of a pre-lunch drink (or perhaps even two) at the undoubtedly pricey Criterion given the state of his finances which, in his own words, was hardly sound: “So alarming did the state of my finances become, that I soon realized that I must either leave the metropolis and rusticate somewhere in the country, or that I must make a complete alteration in my style of living . . . .”
Did the long-shot mare he had bet on over the Christmas racing season come in a whopping twenty to one and permit Watson the luxury of a celebration at the Criterion?
Kumar provides us with a number of avenues for research: 1) the Christmas racing season and plausible long-shot horses; 2) the evidence for Stamford picking up the tab; 3) the potential of Dr Watson having a tab at the Criterion; 4) or perhaps the simple explanation: he wished to do so without regard to his finances.
Please comment if you have an idea on this question you wish to share. And “Thank You” to Kumar Bhatia “Bobbie” for his always interesting and thoughtful contributions.