Brad at Sherlock Peoria posted recently about the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to the fire at 221B Baker Street in “The Final Problem”.
“They set fire to our rooms last night. No great harm was done.”
So says Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Watson. It does indeed seem to have caused very little harm, since three years later, in “The Empty House”, Holmes says that “Mycroft preserved my rooms and my papers exactly as they had always been.” An impressive feat, considering how quickly paper burns.
That fire came up in a quiz a couple of years ago, and there was a discussion in the comments in which Ariana (“Carla”) suggested that Holmes set the fire himself.
What do you think? Did Moriarty (or his agents) set the fire? Did Holmes set it himself? Or perhaps Holmes fibbed, and there was no fire at all?
(Click on Russell Stutler’s illustration of the Baker Street rooms to see an enlarged version. Be sure to visit his site for his annotations!)