On March 30th…

March 30, 1894: The Honorable Ronald Adair was murdered. [EMPT]

Paul Lacoux as the Hon. Robert Adair in The Return of Sherlock Holmes: The Empty House (1986)

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

“No Great Harm Was Done” [FINA]

Stutler's Drawing of 221B Baker Street
221B Baker Street, as imagined by Russell Stutler


Brad at Sherlock Peoria posted recently about the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to the fire at 221B Baker Street in “The Final Problem”.

“They set fire to our rooms last night. No great harm was done.”

So says Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Watson. It does indeed seem to have caused very little harm, since three years later, in “The Empty House”, Holmes says that “Mycroft preserved my rooms and my papers exactly as they had always been.” An impressive feat, considering how quickly paper burns.

That fire came up in a quiz a couple of years ago, and there was a discussion in the comments in which Ariana (“Carla”) suggested that Holmes set the fire himself.

What do you think? Did Moriarty (or his agents) set the fire? Did Holmes set it himself? Or perhaps Holmes fibbed, and there was no fire at all?

(Click on Russell Stutler’s illustration of the Baker Street rooms to see an enlarged version.  Be sure to visit his site for his annotations!)

The Bond of Two Friends

“So it was, my dear Watson, that at two o’clock today I found myself in my old armchair in my own old room, and only wishing that I could have seen my old friend Watson in the other chair which he had so often adorned.”

Reading those words remind me of the level of affection Holmes had for Watson. Are there any other quotes that any of you wish to share?


April: A Busy Month

Our good and loyal Charter Member, Kumar Bhatia “Bobbie” sends along this compendium of April from the Canon:

Dear Friends:

April is here. A rather busy month it was as Watson tells us! 

“It was early April in the year ’83, that I woke one morning to find Sherlock Holmes standing, fully dressed, by the side of my bed . . . .” 
–Dr Watson, “The Speckled Band” 

“On referring to my notes, I see that it was on the 14th of April, that I received a telegram from Lyons, which informed me that Holmes was lying ill, in the Hotel Dulong . . . . .” 
–Dr Watson, “The Reigate Squires”

“It was with some surprise that I saw him walk into my consulting room, upon the evening of the 24th of April. It stuck me that he was looking even paler and thinner than usual . . . .” 
–Dr Watson, “The Final Problem” 

“. . . . and now at the close of April, I find myself in such a position through your continual persecution that I am in positive danger of losing my liberty. . . .” 
–Prof Moriarty, “The Final Problem”

“ . . . . such was the remarkable narrative to which I listened on that April evening, a narrative which would have been utterly incredible to me, had it not been confirmed by the actual sight of the tall spare figure and the keen eager face which I had never
thought to see again.”
–Dr Watson, “The Empty House” 

Watson makes mention of a few other occurrences in the month of April, which I leave to our fellow members to post; however, I cannot but resist sharing  with my fellow Sherlockians, the most ominous of them all. I quote from:  The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes – The Life of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by John Dickson Carr.

“But he [Doyle] had another task before that. At Norwood on April 6th, 1893, sitting by the fire with a cold in his head, idly reading Pride and Prejudice, while legions of painters bumped the outside of the house, he put aside the book and wrote a letter to the Ma’am. “All is well down here; I am in the middle of the last Holmes story, after which the gentleman vanishes, never to return! I am weary of his name.” 

Kumar Bhatia, JHWS “Bobbi”