On January 12th…

January 12 (or thereabouts), 1903: Sir James Saunders diagnosed Godfrey Emsworth’s disease as pseudo-leprosy. [BLAN]

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (November, 1926)

I was finishing this little analysis of the case when the door was opened and the austere figure of the great dermatologist was ushered in. But for once his sphinx-like features had relaxed and there was a warm humanity in his eyes. He strode up to Colonel Emsworth and shook him by the hand.

‘It is often my lot to bring ill-tidings, and seldom good,’ said he. ‘This occasion is the more welcome. It is not leprosy.’


‘A well-marked case of pseudo-leprosy or ichthyosis, a scale-like affection of the skin, unsightly, obstinate, but possibly curable, and certainly non-infective. Yes, Mr Holmes, the coincidence is a remarkable one. But is it coincidence? Are there not subtle forces at work of which we know little? Are we assured that the apprehension, from which this young man has no doubt suffered terribly since his exposure to its contagion, may not produce a physical effect which simulates that which it fears? At any rate, I pledge my professional reputation – But the lady has fainted! I think that Mr Kent had better be with her until she recovers from this joyous shock.’

On January 7th…

January 7, 1886: Milverton sent an incriminating note to the husband of one of his blackmailees. [CHAS]

January 7, 1888: Holmes received an encoded message from Porlock. [VALL]

January 7, 1903: James Dodd left Old Tuxbury for London, where he consulted Sherlock Holmes. [BLAN]

On January 6th…

January 6, 1886: Charles Augustus Milverton called upon Holmes at 221B Baker Street. [CHAS]

January 6, 1888: Jack Douglas shot and killed Ted Baldwin. [VALL]

January 6, 1903: Colonel Emsworth told James Dodd that he must leave Tuxsbury Old Park the next morning. [BLAN]

And the most IMPORTANT:

Friday, January 6, 1854: Sherlock Holmes was born!

On January 5th…

January 5, 1903: James Dodd traveled from London to Bedford and thence to Tuxbury Old Place. [BLAN]

January 5, 1903: James Dodd saw the face of Godfrey Emsworth at his bedroom window. [BLAN]