On June 19th…

June 19, 1889: Isa Whitney went to the Bar of Gold. [TWIS]

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn)

Terence Longdon as Isa Whitney (1986)

She had the surest information that of late he had, when the fit was on him, made use of an opium den in the furthest east of the City. Hitherto his orgies had always been confined to one day, and he had come back, twitching and shattered, in the evening. But now the spell had been upon him eight-and-forty hours, and he lay there, doubtless, among the dregs of the docks, breathing in the poison or sleeping off the effects. There he was to be found, she was sure of it, at the `Bar of Gold’, in Upper Swandam Lane. But what was she to do? How could she, a young and timid woman, make her way into such a place, and pluck her husband out from among the ruffians who surrounded him?

Chips says: This tale contains the famous line where John’s wife Mary adresses him as “James”. Any ideas why?

[Any ideas other than the Hamish Theory? –Selena Buttons]

4 Replies to “On June 19th…”

  1. I feel that Watson parents would have named their son Horatio after The famous British Naval hero Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. With no offense meant to Dorthy Sayers Hamish is translated into English as either James or John so John James or John John does not work for me. Admiral Lord Nelson was a major War Hero all over the English Home land and Empire. I feel the Patriotic fever of “Rule Britannia,Britannia rules the Waves ” wold be overwhelming for the Parents. Chips

  2. Watson’s father was named H. according to the watch he gave Watson’s older brother; Watson’s middle name could be his father’s first name.

  3. A small correction for Chips: Mrs. Watson does not address her husband as James. She refers to a “James” when speaking to Kate Whitney. The quote is

    “It was very sweet of you to come. Now, you must have some wine and water, and sit here comfortably and tell us all about it. Or should you rather that I sent James off to bed?”

    There seems little doubt that she is referring to her husband, but theories of “James” include the possibility that James was a son, or even a servant — who would have served the “wine and water” — all plausible since she did not address her husband as “James.”

  4. Great pickup, Chips. Of the choices, I’d say she would most likely be referring to a child. One might jokingly “send” a husband to bed, and one might definitely send a child to bed, but the mistress of the house is more likely to give a servant permission to go off duty for the night than actually send him to bed.

    On the other hand, Kate seems to want Watson there, so perhaps that is the one to whom Mary is referring — and we’re back to the old riddle: Why?

Comments are closed.