On April 2nd… Stoke Moran and Norbury

April 2, 1883 Repairs were started at Stoke Moran [SPEC]

“Two days ago some repairs were started in the west wing of the building, and my bedroom wall has been pierced, so that I have had to move into the chamber in which my sister died, and to sleep in the very bed in which she slept.”

What is going to happen? We might do well to think of the quote from this case:

“Violence does, in truth, recoil upon the violent, and the schemer falls into the pit which he digs for another.”

A Snake coils usually before striking his victim. Could Watson/Doyle have been attempting a pun using recoil and a snake?

Illustration by Josef Friedrich (1906)

There was little difficulty in entering the grounds, for unrepaired breaches gaped in the old park wall. Making our way among the trees, we reached the lawn, crossed it, and were about to enter through the window, when out from a clump of laurel bushes there darted what seemed to be a hideous and distorted child, who threw itself on the grass with writhing limbs, and then ran swiftly across the lawn into the darkness.

“My God!” I whispered; “did you see it?”

Holmes was for the moment as startled as I. His hand closed like a vice upon my wrist in his agitation. Then he broke into a low laugh, and put his lips to my ear.

“It is a nice household,” he murmured. “That is the baboon.”

I include this picture because I always imagined what this scene looked like but I never saw it pictured until now.

April 2 1883: Effie’s Munro daughter, Lucy, moved into the cottage [YELL]

Paget illustration of the cottage doorway in YELL
Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1893)

“Well, last Monday evening I was taking a stroll down that way, when I met an empty van coming up the lane, and saw a pile of carpets and things lying about on the grass-plot beside the porch. It was clear that the cottage had at last been let.”

I have a quote from this case that I again have to put before dear readers:

“Watson,” said he, “if it should ever strike you that I am getting a little over-confident in my powers, or giving less pains to a case than it deserves, kindly whisper `Norbury’ in my ear, and I shall be infinitely obliged to you.”

To me, proof that Holmes had been at least bested by two women in his cases when you put this one together with “A Scandal in Bohemia”.

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

The Welsh Canon!

This Fascinating Bit of News Just Received

John Watson and Sherlock Holmes speak Welsh for the first time

Buttons, being part Welsh, thought this was super!

At the Emmys Award ceremony in Los Angeles recently, BBC Wales’ Sherlock drama series was accredited with international acclaim. This has given the Welsh capital much grounds for celebration, particularly as the whole series had been produced at Cardiff’s Roath Harbour studios. It is timely therefore that a Welsh adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most popular tale of all has been published this week.

Y Cylch Brith is Eurwyn Pierce Jones’ adaptation of The Speckled Band – a classically famous Conan Doyle short story; and this exiting enterprise has established the Welsh Language as the hundredth language in which one or more of Sir Conan Doyle’s grand literary works are now available.

The Speckled Band was indeed the famous author’s most favourite tale from amongst the whole of his collective writings concerning the mysterious crime-solving exploits of Sherlock Holmes. Welsh author Eurwyn Pierce Jones together with Y Lolfa Press at Talybont near Aberystwyth, have high hopes that Welsh readers in their myriads will delight themselves in hearing the illustrious detective speaking naturally in Welsh for the very first time since he ever appeared in print in 1887.

“Constructing a readable modern Welsh version of the Victorian-styled English narrative which characterises the source text was quite a challenge,” explains the Abermule-based author and translator, who hails originally from the Welsh-speaking heartland area of Y Bala, and has commissioned a Sherlock Holmes outfit to celebrate the book’s publication.

“I was keen to ensure that the end product would preserve the essential nuances and characteristics of the famous original English text, whilst simultaneously satisfying the demands of the adopted Welsh language, which claims the prestigious reputation of being the oldest living language in Europe.

“So, although the general diction of Y Cylch Brith tends towards a literary style, I have tried to ensure that it is suitable for young readers, and is particularly appropriate reading material for English speakers of all ages who may be currently learning Welsh.  A major benefit to those readers is the assurance that this Welsh version follows Conan Doyle’s own initial English text as near as could possibly be achieved, almost sentence by sentence.  Doyle’s original English version is even freely available on-line.”

Author Eurwyn Pierce Jones is keen to express his sincere gratitude to the executive committee of the Deerstalkers and all its members who comprise the Welshpool based first Sherlockian Society of Wales.  They were the ones who were primarily responsible for initialising this venture, for securing the copyrights and publishing rights, and for facilitating the sales and promotional aspects of this publication – by marketing this short volume to Sherlockian enthusiasts and book collectors all over the world.

Author’s biographical details:

During his childhood years Eurwyn lived in the Bala area, in the heartland of Welsh speaking North Wales; then pursued various occupations which led him in turn from one Welsh county to another.  At thirty years of age he left a career in aircraft flight and navigational instrumentation engineering, to graduate in Welsh language and literature at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, before serving as a secondary school teacher; from where he moved on as a careers and commercial management adviser.  For the last twenty years he has worked as a freelance Welsh-English text translator and simultaneous interpreter, in which capacity he has frequently engaged in assignments which have strong literary aspects.

Author’s contact details:
Mr Eurwyn Pierce Jones
01686  630 628
8 epj@dialstart.net

The Speckled Band: Limericks

To All:

 I became intrigued with the idea of how many different ways that a limerick could be written about the same story. So I copied the different limericks that I had about the short story “The Speckled Band” and put them here for you to enjoy.


The Speckled Band

Doctor Roylott takes every precaution
to cling to each stepdaughter’s portion.
To avert Helen’s fate,
our friends lie in wait,
and he dies with a dreadful contortion.

         – Mr. Henry Baker (in the light of common day, Oliver Mundy)

“He spoke in a slow staccato fashion,
choosing his words with care,
and gave the impression of a man of learning and letters
who had had ill-usage at the hands of fortune.”

The Speckled Band

Helen’s bed ‘neath the ventilator,
meant the snake by the rope could locate her.
So ran the plot
of Doctor Roylott
who was trying to liquidate her.

         -Don Dillistone, June, 2004

The Speckled Band

Her annuity was the key factor
in why Helen’s stepfather attacked her.
He was mad as a hatter,
for a pet, kept an adder,
and the adder was meant to subtract her.

          -The Dancing Man

The Speckled Band

In the bedroom a milk-drinking snake
wanted a nice piece of cake.
He crawled down the rope;
he just couldn’t cope
with more tasteless food, for Pete’s sake.

           — Matilda – from the lumber camps of Michigan aka Bill Briggs

The Speckled Band

You would not want this in your hand,
though it could crawl up a silk strand;
it would never fight,
but it could bite;
it was the maligned speckled band.

              –William S Dorn BSI, ,DWNP;  from his book The Limericks of Sherlock Holmes; Pencil Productions 2005.

Bill emailed me that he found 10 copies of his book that he would be offering for sale at $18.00 postage included. In my opinion the book is one you should get if you love limericks. Contact Bill at: billdorn@mac.com

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”