On March 18th… The Man with the Watches

Frank Craig illustration
Illustration by Frank Craig for The Strand (July 1898)

At five o’clock on the evening of the 18th of March in the year [1892] a train left Euston Station for Manchester. It was a rainy, squally day, which grew wilder as it progressed, so it was by no means the weather in which anyone would travel who was not driven to do so by necessity. The train, however, is a favourite one among Manchester business men who are returning from town, for it does the journey in four hours and twenty minutes, with only three stoppages upon the way. In spite of the inclement evening it was, therefore, fairly well filled upon the occasion of which I speak. The guard of the train was a tried servant of the company – a man who had worked for twenty-two years without a blemish or complaint. His name was John Palmer. (from “The Man with the Watches”, emphasis added)

“The Man with the Watches”, a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle, appeared in The Strand magazine in July 1898, with illustrations by Frank Craig. It could be inferred that the detective in the story is Sherlock Holmes (though he’s never named), so the story is considered by some to be an extra-canonical case. It is one of the stories collected in Jack Tracy’s Sherlock Holmes: The Published Apocrypha. A review of that book by James O’Leary (JHWS “Pippin”) is available via our friends at I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere: Classics of Sherlockiana: the Apocrypha of Sherlock Holmes.

Sources:
Brought to our attention by A Curious Collection of Dates by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”). The full text of The Man with the Watches is available online.

Posted by The Dynamic Duo of Ron (JHWS “Chips”) and Beth (JHWS “Selena Buttons”)