On March 4th… Meet the Irregulars

Sherlock Holmes approached the body, and, kneeling down, examined it intently.

As he spoke, his nimble fingers were flying here, there, and everywhere, feeling, pressing, unbuttoning, examining, while his eyes wore the same far-away expression which I have already remarked upon. So swiftly was the examination made, that one would hardly have guessed the minuteness with which it was conducted. Finally, he sniffed the dead man’s lips, and then glanced at the soles of his patent leather boots. [STUD]

[Illustration by George Wylie Hutchinson for the Ward, Lock, Bowden, & Co 1891 edition of A Study in Scarlet]

March 4, 1881: Drebber was poisoned and died. The body was found in an abandoned flat. A woman’s wedding ring was found there. A German word written in BLOOD was found on a wall. What happened?

Illustration by Richard Gutschmidt (1902)

March 4, 1881: Watson met the Baker Street Irregulars

“What on earth is this?” I cried, for at this moment there came the pattering of many steps in the hall and on the stairs, accompanied by audible expressions of disgust upon the part of our landlady.

“It’s the Baker Street division of the detective police force,” said my companion gravely; and as he spoke there rushed into the room half a dozen of the dirtiest and most ragged street arabs that ever I clapped eyes on.

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


4 Replies to “On March 4th… Meet the Irregulars”

  1. Was the body found in a flat at Number 3, Lauriston Gardens, or was it simply in a room in a house, one of four similar ones on the street? I cannot find any reference to the house being divided into flats, but perhaps I’m misreading.

  2. Sandy, The only comment I find in the Canon does not answer your question directly. Quoting from the Canon, “Then let us go and look at the room.” With which inconsequent remark he strode on into the house, followed by Gregson, whose features expressed his astonishment.
    A short passage, bare-planked and dusty, led to the kitchen and offices. Two doors opened out of it to the left and to the right. One of these had obviously been closed for many weeks. The other belonged to the dining-room, which was the APARTMENT in which the mysterious affair had occurred. Holmes walked in, and I followed him with that subdued feeling at my heart which the presence of death inspires.” To me the use of the word Capitalized by me, APARTMENT,would lead me to assume(oh that word assume with its double meaning!)that the building or any of the buildings were divided but that is no definite answer. I find it strange that Watson would use the American word apartment instead of the English word Flat. So I leave you with a smile and a thanks for asking a question I could
    not answer, Chips

    1. Thanks, Chips. I, too, assumed that Watson used the
      British sense of apartment, i.e., a separated room or suite of rooms, such as “the master apartments,” which might mean a bedroom, bath en suite, and sitting room.

      I checked a few sites, and the British use of the more American “apartment” to mean private living quarters in a building with multiple occupants is now used in the UK in ads intended for the international market.

      Another mystery to be followed by reams of papers?

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