On April 18th…

April 18, 1888: The Baker Street Irregulars started their search for the launch Aurora. [SIGN]

Which one of us have not wanted to be a Baker Street Irregular? I was lucky in the sense, I got into the world of 1895 when I was about 11, so I still thought of myself as willing get into whatever dirty messy situation to look for the Aurora if asked by that towering giant of a idol Holmes. One of my local friends also thought she would do the same. I had brought her into the world of the Thames and Tonga firing poison darts whilst chasing a missing Treasure.

April 18, 1887: Action’s house in Reigate was broken into [REIG]

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine

My old friend Colonel Hayter, who had come under my professional care in Afghanistan, had now taken a house near Reigate, in Surrey, and had frequently asked me to come down to him upon a visit. On the last occasion he had remarked that if my friend would only come with me, he would be glad to extend his hospitality to him also. A little diplomacy was needed, but when Holmes understood that the establishment was a bachelor one, and that he would be allowed the fullest freedom, he fell in with my plans, and a week after our return from Lyons we were under the Colonel’s roof. Hayter was a fine old soldier, who had seen much of the world, and he soon found, as I had expected, that Holmes and he had plenty in common.

On the evening of our arrival we were sitting in the Colonel’s gunroom after dinner, Holmes stretched upon the sofa, while Hayter and I looked over his little armoury of firearms.

“By the way,” said he, suddenly, “I think I’ll take one of these pistols upstairs with me in case we have an alarm.”

“An alarm!” said I’

“Yes, we’ve had a scare in this part lately. Old Acton, who is one of our county magnates, had his house broken into last Monday. No great damage done, but the fellows are still at large.”

The interesting point about this Colonel comes from the distinguished Sherlockian scholar D Martin Dakin. In his indispensable research volume A Sherlock Holmes Commentary, he mentions the fact that Colonel Hayter is the only Colonel Holmes had good luck with. Try to think of any other Colonel in the cases who is an honest and upright British citizen. From Colonel Moran on, if you are able to think of such an upright Colonel, let us know. I bet on Dakin.

Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

One Reply to “On April 18th…”

  1. Re: Colonels in the Canon-
    Colonel Ross, owner of Silver Blaze, wasn’t such a bad bloke was he?
    And I’m sure Holmes and Watson had some good luck having placed a few pounds on Silver Blaze to win the Wessex Cup. 🙂
    Paul Hartnett “Scout”

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