May 5 1900: Sir Charles Baskerville died. [HOUN]
Sir Charles lay on his face, his arms out, his fingers dug into the ground, and his features convulsed with some strong emotion to such an extent that I could hardly have sworn to his identity. There was certainly no physical injury of any kind. But one false statement was made by Barrymore at the inquest. He said that there were no traces upon the ground round the body. He did not observe any. But I did – some little distance off, but fresh and clear.”
“A man’s or a woman’s?”
Dr. Mortimer looked strangely at us for an instant, and his voice sank almost to a whisper as he answered: –
“Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!”
May 5, 1902: John Mason found part of a mummy that was dug up from the crypt. (SHOS)
“There is a central heating furnace in the cellar under Lady Beatrice’s room. It’s been off for some time, but Sir Robert complained of cold and had it on again. Harvey runs it – he’s one of my lads. This very morning he came to me with this, which he found raking out the cinders. He didn’t like the look of it.”
“Nor do I,” said Holmes. “What do you make of it, Watson?”
It was burned to a black cinder, but there could be no question as to its anatomical significance.
“It’s the upper condyle of a human femur,” said I.
Dates provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn
4 Replies to “On May 5th…”
As you can see (perhaps) from the illustration, there is no “upper condyle” on the femur. The medial and lateral condyles are both at the lower end, forming part of the knee joint. Above the condyles, however, are the epicondyles, to which the ligaments or tendons are attached. Bernard Davies BSI pointed out in his essay “The Members for Berkshire” that what Watson actually said was surely, “It is the epicondyle of a human femur.” (Davies, B. “Holmes & Watson Country: Travels in Search of Solutions”. [The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, 2008])
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