Treasure Hunt: It’s Coming!


With so many new members, we remind all members of the Society of the upcoming Treasure Hunt.

The First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt will involve a lengthy search through the Canon and scholarly material requiring Watsonian Seekers of Truth to sort through a large body of data in order to arrive at the point where the Canonical Treasure is to be found and identified.

Our treasure hunt will involve encryption, obscure references, geographic and biologic inferences, people, objects, dates, and all manner of Watsonian and Holmesian/Sherlockian knowledge.

Be cautioned! It will not be simple. The First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt may well take you weeks to sort out the answer . . . perhaps months. This will make the Musgrave Ritual look like child’s play. You will be required to hunt through the literature, both the Sacred Canon and the related scholarship of the past seventy years.

And there will be prizes! The first Society Charter member to email the correct answer will receive a fine first British edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated to the Society by an anonymous member. Other categories of winners will also receive handsome donated prizes.

And now for the Rules:

  1. The Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt will be posted on the Society’s website at the Quiz Page at exactly 12:00 Noon (Pacific) on Thursday, 1 August 2013.  All participants will have an equal opportunity relative to time and access. The Canonical Treasure Hunt will end upon submission of the first correct answer or on Monday, September 2, 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific).
  2. The Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt shall have four categories: Charter Members, Non-Members, Founding Members and Students. One winner from the Charter Members shall be determined and one winner from Non-Members shall also be determined.  A winning Founding Member will be determined, as well. Founding Members may not compete in the Charter Member category. The Student winner may be a member or non-member, but must be enrolled in a high school, college or university of higher learning. The Charter Member winner will receive a first British edition of  The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ( a $1,000 value). The Non-Member winner will receive a six-year membership to the Society (a $120 value). The Student winner will receive an Honorarium of $250. The Founding Member (Directors) winner shall have  the satisfaction of knowing the answer submitted was correct.
  3. The winners will be determined by two criteria: 1) Correctness of the final answer; and 2) Time of receipt of the correct answer by the Society via email at .  Winners in all categories will be posted on the Society website. NOTE: The final answer will consist of identifying the ultimate Treasure, but will also require answering correctly in writing all questions leading up to the final answer.
  4. All matters concerning the Canonical Treasure Hunt, the contest, the answers, and the determination of the winning answer will be the sole decision of the John H Watson Society Directors. The only purpose of the Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt is to encourage scholarship and a deeper understanding of the writings of John H Watson, M.D.  All prizes have been donated to the Society by anonymous members.

The Society encourages its members to inform as many people of this First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt as possible. We also encourage other scion clubs and organisations to let their members know of this unique and exciting event. And, we would hope the Sherlockian, Holmesian and Watsonian media worldwide find it a worthy effort for featuring prominently in their reportage.

And so, we anticipate the First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt and ask you to spread the word and return promptly at noon (Pacific) on Thursday 1 August 2013 for the revealing of the mystery!  The game IS afoot!

Okay! Let’s Get Tough in Preparation for the Treasure Hunt coming in 16 Days!

Here is an example of what you will have to research in the Treasure Hunt (except there will be 100 of these and they will not be as easy as this one).

  1. Find “main-truck” and count forward 37 words. What is the word?
  2. In the preceding story, name the other Canonical story referred to by Holmes.
  3. In that referred to story, find the “glint” and proceed to the 32nd paragraph following. What is the object there?

And Yet More Distinguished New Members!

The past week has brought the Society six new Charter Members. We now have sixty members total in less than ninety days since our founding. Clearly, the devotion to Dr Watson is far deeper than we ever imagined. We are most fortunate to have had such an outpouring of support and interest from our ever-growing membership. Thank you one and all!

Please welcome the following fellow Watsonians and extend to them our traditional greeting: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”


Mr Harris joins us from Scotch Plains, New Jersey. He writes:

“I’ve been a Sherlockian for many years. The time has come to add Watsonian. I am the author of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: ABout Type, published by The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box.”

Bruce has already submitted a most interesting paper for The Watsonian and we welcome more of his scholarly writings on the Canon, Dr Watson and Mr Holmes.


Mr. Grumbles joins us from Huntsville, Alabama. He writes:

I became a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London about 30 years ago and have enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes Journal, through the years. I visited the Reichenbach Falls many years ago and shall always recall the steep climb and the frightening fall that could occur. I like many others have scoured Baker Street and many of paths he traveled in his adventures. It has been my belief that John Hamish Watson, MD was the Masters guiding light, without whom he would never have been known.

Like so many aficionados I have tried my hand at a pastiche or two, such as The Giant Maiwandian Cat. I would consider it a privilege to be associated with the John H. Watson Society.


Mr. Linder comes to the Society from his home in Dallas where he is a member of the scion group, The Barque Lone Star. We hope to learn more of Herbert’s Canonical interests through his active participation in the Society activities.

We welcome Herbert and look forward to his contributions to the Quiz Page, the Treasure Hunt and with submissions to The Watsonian. We are beginning to develop quite a following in Texas.


Dr Berg joins us from Salinas, California where he is a diagnostic radiologist and a long time Sherlockian (interesting: both are detectives). His telephone call to Buttons was most enjoyable and later he sent along the following:

“My wife, Lynda, and I have a horse ranch of Tennessee Walker and Peruvian Horses. I belong to the Diogenes Club of Carmel-by-the-Sea. I am past-Persian Slipper, past-Tantalus, and past-Gasogene, as well as Quiz Master.

My day job is with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, where I am a diagnostic radiologist.

I am very excited to become a member of the Watson Society!”

And we are most grateful to have your support and interest in the Society. We hope you will become a regular contributor to our Quiz Page, perhaps creating questions to stump our insightful members. And we also appreciate your interest in oenology.


Mr Harlem lives in Acton, Massachusetts and is a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and The John H Watson Society. We are most proud he chose us as his first interest after which he joined SHSL. He writes:

“The John H. Watson Society is my first Sherlock Holmes society membership, although I have been an avid Sherlockian for over sixty years, albeit in quite a casual way. From my first volume, the Morley-prefaced Doubleday, I have assembled a modest collection of Holmes books, including a couple of original illustrated Strand facsimiles, plus works by Adrian Conan Doyle, William Baring-Gould, several Doyle biographies, many pastiches of widely-ranging quality, the complete Jeremy Brett Granada TV series on DVD, and a number of framed Strand cover reproductions that I found at a little shop in Charing Cross Road.

A two-time retirement flunkout, I made a segue from 35 years in high-tech to my present career in real estate. I am very much looking forward to this new adventure as part of the John H. Watson Society!”

A we look forward to your journey on the adventure with us! Welcome, “Beau”!


Mr Music joins us from Clarkston, Michigan where he is a long time, distinguished Sherlockian. He writes:

A Detroit native, I am currently the Commissionaire of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit (established 1946), where I also serve as the archivist, head of the planning committee, contributor to our newsletter The Beggar’s Cup, and webmaster for our site

I am also an active member of the Ribston-Pippins scion in Michigan, a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, and a member of the Clients of Adrian Mulliner (Sherlock Holmes/PG Wodehouse scion).

I enjoy travelling the Sherlockian circuit and frequently attend gatherings of the Hounds of the Baskerville (sic) in Chicago, the ACD/SH Newberry Library Symposium, the Dayton Symposium, the BSI’s Silver Blaze, and the annual BSI weekend festivities in New York, among others.

In addition to my enjoyment studying the Canon and playing “The Game”, I take a particular interest in studying and researching the history of the BSI, the Amateur Mendicant Society, and our early founders.

Don Yates, our Founding Chair, has conferred upon Christopher the moniker “Russell” in honour of the great Russell McLauchlin (“Naval Treaty”, BSI 1949) who founded the Amateur Mendicant Society in 1946.

We look forward to Christopher’s scholarly and historic contributions to The Watsonian in future.


Ms Rossini joins us from Winnetka, Illinois where she pursues her legal career and her deep interests in all things Watsonian and Holmesian.

She is a member of the Devon Street Beggars, the Criterion Bar, the Scotland Yarders, and the Torists. And, now we welcome her to the Society of Watsonians.

Welcome to Brenda. We look forward to your active participation in our activities and scholarship.

For Your Weekend

A bit of research and explication of an abbreviation and several words (source, meaning, background, etc.):

  1. A.D.P.
  2. peltries
  3. snow-clad lawn
  4. breaker

Rack & Riddle

Buttons has been “racking & riddling” (to use the méthode champenoise term) to come up with a question that will generate new research and scholarship. After several pies and several more pints, he stumbled across something:

Who can complete a compendium from the Sacred Canon of all things that burn?

For example, the lighthouse would have a kerosene lamp and that would create a flame; the lamplight would require a gas flame to throw off light into the foggy evening.

When you begin to go through the Canon with an eye to the absolute necessity of flame in 1895, you begin to find a huge new body of inquiry. And, when you add those things that are outside of normal Victorian life, such as the flaming radix pedis diaboli, we have even more to consider. This is a topic worthy of a significant scholarly paper for The Watsonian.

We’ll give you a few days for this one. Now, back to the bacon and tomato sandwich.

The New Member Festival Continues!

Buttons is working hard to keep up with the new Charter Members of the Society. Over the past two days, we have six new members and will do our best to assemble their biographies as they are received. Here are four:

Kieran McMullen

Mr. McMullen joins the Society from his home in Georgia. He writes:

“I am a triple retiree: Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, retired sheriff and retired volunteer fireman. I have had five books published by MX Publishing: Watson’s Afghan Adventure, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Boer Wagon, Sherlock Holmes and the Irish Rebels, and The Many Watsons (a compilation of my blogs with all money going to the Undershaw Preservation Trust). The first three books have been republished as Holmes and Watson: The War Years. I also have cooperated with Dan Andriacco on The Amateur Executioner and we will be having another Enoch Hale mystery coming out this fall. In addition there will be a new mystery about Watson before Christmas.

The Society welcomes another prolific and interesting writer and looks forward to Kieran’s future contributions to our journal. Please join in extending our Societal welcome to new members:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Stuart Nelan

Mr Nelan joins the Society from Texas, and writes:

“I’ve been involved with Sherlock Holmes for over forty years now, primarily collecting books.  I’ve gone to the last five BSI Weekends in NYC, and my wife and I are planning to go to The Norwegian Explorer’s Conference in Minnesota later this

I belong to the two Dallas-area Sherlock Holmes societies — The Crew of the Barque Lone Star, and The Diogenes Club of Dallas (although after our recent civil war, the former has now absorbed the latter).

I am also a member of The Sound of the Baskervilles (for which I am the volunteer webmaster —, The Norwegian Explorers, and The Sherlock Holmes Society of London.  I also subscribe to
several Sherlockian publications.

I’m looking forward to being involved with the John H. Watson Society!”

And the Society very much looks forward to the pleasure of your active involvement, Stu. Please join in welcoming Stu Nelan to membership with our member greeting:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Don Hobbs

The Society is pleased to have the well-known Sherlockian, Mr Don Hobbs, join as a Charter Member. Don has been a devotee of the Watsonian and Sherlockian worlds for many years and is quite active in various clubs and organisations. He is an invested Baker Street Irregular, “Inspector Lestrade,” and can, doubtless, advise us all as to the proper pronunciation of the Inspector’s name.

He writes:

“I have been a Sherlockian for more than thirty years. Most of that time I have
concentrated on collecting foreign language translations of the Canon. Currently,
there are 98 languages with at least one Canonical translation. I was co-founder of Sherlock Peoria and write a blog “Inspector Lestrade’s Blotter Page.” I am the editor of The Galactic Sherlock Holmes, the complete Electronic Bibliography of the Foreign Language Translations of the Canon. I am an Applications Specialist for Radiology software company. My job allows me to travel extensively, which in turn allows me to meet up with other Sherlockians around the world.”

Mr. Hobbs’s other memberships include:

» The Diogenes Club of Dallas
»  The Maniac Collectors
» The Crew of the Barque Lone Star
» The Fortescue Scholarship Program  (B.S.S., A.M.S. & Sh.D.)
» The STUD Sherlockian Society
»  The Beacon Society
» The Torists International, S.S.
» The Curious Collectors of Baker Street
» The Hansom Cab Clock Club
» Le peloton des cyclistes solitaires

Please extend a warm welcome to Don Hobbs and join in our traditional greeting:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Steven Rothman

We are honoured to welcome Mr. Steven Rothman, BSI “The Valley of Fear,” as a Charter Member of the Society. Mr. Rothman is known to Sherlockians, Holmesians and Watsonians worldwide as the long-time Editor of the Baker Street Journal and a devoted scholar and pre-eminent Sherlockian.

His memberships include:

» The Baker Street Irregulars (The Valley of Fear)
» The Sherlock Holmes Society of London
» Le Cercle de Sherlock Holmes

The Society very much looks forward to and welcomes Mr. Rothman’s contributions to our scholarship, our journal and our mission. Please welcome him with our special greeting:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”


Does anyone have fond memories of the modern-day the 221B Sherlock Holmes Museum in London and, particularly, the delightful street-level restaurant there named Mrs. Hudson’s Restaurant? Buttons first dined there in 1986 and again several times in later years. The decor was period Victorian and quite nice; the food was classic Victorian and fairly good, brought up from kitchens in the basement; the staff was entirely dressed in period clothing; and, with a four-course meal, each diner was given a free ticket to “The Rooms” above (the museum). It was quite a pleasant little restaurant and in business at least a decade. The space is now occupied by the museum store. Anyone know who was the “Mrs. Hudson” of the restaurant?

Our First Member from India, living in Dubai, UAE

The Society warmly welcomes Mr. Kumar Bhatia to Charter Membership. Kumar lives in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He writes:

“I am from Bombay, India , but live and work in Dubai U.A.E. I am a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of India and have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson since the age of 13, when my very own Stamford, my late uncle, introduced me to the Canon, with a birthday present of the ” Memoirs.”

We look forward to Mr Bhatia’s contributions to the Society, the journal and to the international views of the world’s Watsonians.

Please join in welcoming him and extending the Society’s traditional welcome:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive,” and perhaps literally in Kumar’s experience.


On this day on which our separation from England is commemorated, it is
appropriate to note that, thanks to your interest, untiring efforts and kind referrals, fifty Watsonians now number themselves as members of The John H Watson Society . . . and that is fifty in only eighty-four days.

It is a Veritable Festival of Watsonia and Anglophilia!

Best regards

Buttons (who is having a hot dog instead of a meat pie)

A Marathon of New Charter Members

The Society is honoured to welcome five new Charter Members this Fourth of July, 2013. Please join in extending a warm welcome, en mass, to these new members:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”


Charles Press, PhD, JHWS, “Rofer.” Dr Press a is Pofessor Emeritus in the journalism department at Michigan State University and a long-time (50-year) member of the Greek Interpreters of East Lansing. He lives in Grand Rapids and has published a number of books on the subject of Holmes.


Hugh Ashton, M.A., JHWS “Clancy” is a prolific professional writer and author of Sherlock Holmes adventures.

Hugh Ashton was born in the UK in 1956. After graduating from the University
of Cambridge, he worked in a variety of jobs, including security guard, publisher’s assistant, and running an independent record label, before coming to rest in the field of information technology, where he assisted perplexed users of computers and wrote explanations to guide them through the problems they encountered.
A long-standing interest in Japan led him to emigrate to that country in 1988, where he has remained ever since; writing instruction manuals for a variety of consumer products, assisting with IT-related projects at banks and financial institutions, and researching and writing industry reports on the Japanese and Asian financial industries. Some of the knowledge he has gained in these fields forms the background for At the Sharpe End, his second novel.
Hugh currently lives with his wife Yoshiko in the old town of Kamakura to the
south of Tokyo, where he is working on future novels and stories.

He has recently published five volumes of Sherlock Holmes mysteries with
Inknbeans Press of Los Angeles: Tales from the Deed Box of John H. Watson
, More from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD, Secrets from the Deed Box of John H Watson MD, The Darlington Substitution, and Notes from the Dispatch-Box of John H. Watson MD in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The three “Deed Box” collections have been collected and printed together in a handsome hardback edition–The Deed Box of John H.Watson MD.
Inknbeans Press has also published his collection of short stories set in Japan, Tales of Old Japanese, featuring the culture and habits of the older generation of Japanese.
His first published novel, Beneath Gray Skies, is an alternative history set in a “past that never happened”, where the Civil War was never fought.
His second novel, At the Sharpe End, features an expatriate consultant living in Tokyo, Kenneth Sharpe, who finds himself thrust into a world of violence and high finance that takes him by surprise.
The third novel, Red Wheels Turning, takes some of the characters of Beneath Gray Skies, and sets them in the background of Tsarist Russia, where a battle of wits takes place to control the secret Russian wonder weapons that could win the war for the Allies.


Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen” joins us from Spanaway, Washington where she is a long-time member of The Sound of the Baskervilles. Margie is an enthusiastic Sherlockian cross-word puzzle maker known as “The Pawky Puzzler” and she is a devotee of our beloved Dr Watson. We hope to see Margie’s cross-word creations in The Watsonian.


Ron Lies, JHWS “Chips” joins the Society from Denver, Colorado where he has been an active member of Dr Watson’s Neglected Patients since 1972.

Ron writes:

“I am at present Transcriber of Dr Watson’s Neglected Patients. I have been a past Staff Surgeon, past Chief Surgeon and member since 1972. I am a member of: The Sherlock Holmes Society of India; a member of The Sydney Passengers, The Sherlock Homes Society of Australia; and co- founder of The Sons of Shaw, a society honoring the memory of John Bennett Shaw.

I have had a overwhelming interest in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson since seventh grade when I read “The Speckled Band” in my class’s Catholic Weekly Reader. I have always identified with Dr John Watson and now feel I am where I belong with The John H. Watson Society.”

So do we, Ron. Welcome!


Dan Andriacco, D.Min., JHWS “Dutch” is a well-known author of Sherlockian works who discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories at about the age of nine. Not long after, he became acquainted with such greats of the Golden Age of detective fiction as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Earle Stanley Gardner, and many more.
His earliest career goal was to become a mystery writer. He eventually did, while holding down day jobs at The Cincinnati Post as a reporter and editor (1973-1997) and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as communications director (1997-present). From 1977 to 1982, he wrote a monthly mystery review column for
The Post. He also taught non-credit classes in mystery fiction and mystery writing.
He has been a member of the Tankerville Club, a Cincinnati-based scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars, since 1981. He is the author of Baker Street Beat: An Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings and five published mystery novels with Sherlockian overtones. The most recent is The Disappearance of Mr.
James Phillimore
, the latest in his Sebastian McCabe – Jeff Cody series. He has also been a mystery reviewer and taught non-credit classes in mystery fiction. He once won a bet with a colleague that he could write a novella in less time than it took her to read one of his novels
Mr Andriacco’s Sebastian McCabe – Jeff Cody mystery series, set in a small town in Ohio, is very much in the tradition of his Golden Age favorites. “McCabe is a great detective in the classic mode,” Andriacco said. “By that I mean he is a polymath amateur sleuth. He’s a college professor at a small Catholic college, but he’s also a mystery writer, a magician, and a linguist. I would love to meet the man, but I’m not sure I’d want to be his best friend. His ‘Watson,’ Jeff Cody is not only his best friend, but also his brother-in-law and the public relations director for the college where Mac teachers. These multiple relationships carry multiple tensions, which I hope is a source of humor. These books are supposed to be fun and funny. Judging by reviewers, they seem to hit that mark for most readers.”
Dan Andriacco, known to friends as “Doctor Dan,” holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. He was born in 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Ann. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Welcome to the Society’s First Student Member: Alena Mueller

In the Watsonian and Sherlockian worlds, today is an historic day. The Society has welcomed into Charter Membership our first student member: Alena Mueller.

Alena writes:

“I live in Iowa City, IA and attend West High School. I first got interested in Sherlock when a friend forced me to watch BBC Sherlock. I have now become obsessed with all things Sherlockian and Watsonian.”

The Society is very honoured to have our first student member. Alena represents the future of Watsonian and Sherlockian scholarship and enthusiasm. Her explorations will be different from many of ours and will extend The Game into new pathways.

We welcome Alena with the warmest of our traditional greeting:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” And, of course, this is the first observation of Sherlock Holmes ever made and spoken to our beloved Dr Watson at their first meeting in A Study In Scarlet.

This historic moment allows us to muse and ponder a bit on our purpose. Imagine, if you will, Scion branches of The John H Watson Society in high schools across the country. Each branch “Consultation Room” having, say, three or more students and a faculty advisor studying and researching the Sacred Canon and producing articles, papers, films, and a great variety of work furthering the Watsonian and Sherlockian corpus. Imagine, if you will, a vibrant parent Society supporting those branch “Consulting Rooms” and encouraging, along the way, good scholarship by bright students.

We could do that.

Interesting, is it not?

Dr Watson’s “ship’s”

Dr Watson states, “I always smoke ‘ship’s’ myself” Anyone care to define ‘ship’s’ which later becomes Ship’s without quotes and a capital “S”? Over a half-century ago, a Sherlockian with the first name of Sherry ploughed this ground, but the definitive answer remains elusive. Are you up to the challenge?

Scroll Down and Look at the Responses to the MD, Mr, Dr, FRCS question!

This quiz question  has brought about the largest number of responses ever. And here is a perfect example of collaboration, original work, and the enthusiasm that makes our mutual interest fun and rewarding.

You too can participate. You too can create a question. Either post it as a reply or send it to Buttons and he will get down off his stool and chalk it on the board.

And, please note that the First Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt is only 31 days away! 

Today’s quiz question is:

Do you accept Martha as being the housekeeper in “His Last Bow,” as well as the housekeeper at the Sussex Downs cottage, and is she also Mrs Hudson?

The Pleasures of Research and The Game

If you wish to read about the pleasures of research and the love of data in our mutual enthusiasm, please look at the numerous entries on the Quiz Page in response to the question of M.D., Dr, Mr, FRCS, etc.

You will find superb replies and fully-informed research on the topic, and you can almost hear the fun in their voices as the respondents feverishly enter their comments.

This is what makes it enjoyable. This is what makes it a Society alive!

Thank you one and all for your contributions, and thank you to those who read them and appreciate the depth of the interaction.

And, please remember that the Big One — the First Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt is only 31 days away!

Welcome to Andrew Fusco, JD, JHWS “Topper,” BSI to Charter Membership

The Society is delighted to welcome the long-time Sherlockian, Andy Fusco, to Charter Membership. Andy is a lawyer residing in Morgantown, West Virginia. He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, “Pondicherry Lodge,” and a number of other clubs.

We look forward to Mr. Fusco’s contributions to the Society and to The Watsonian.

Please join in extending our greeting to Andy:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”