On June 21st…

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn)

June 21, 1889: Watson found Holmes in the Bar of Gold. [TWIS]

Opium-den in the East End of London (Illustrated London News, 1874)
(Wellcome Library, London 
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0)

As I passed the tall man who sat by the brazier I felt a sudden pluck at my skirt, and a low voice whispered, “Walk past me, and then look back at me.” The words fell quite distinctly upon my ear. I glanced down. They could only have come from the old man at my side, and yet he sat now as absorbed as ever, very thin, very wrinkled, bent with age, an opium pipe dangling down from between his knees, as though it had dropped in sheer lassitude from his fingers. I took two steps forward and looked back. It took all my self-control to prevent me from breaking out into a cry of astonishment. He had turned his back so that none could see him but I. His form had filled out, his wrinkles were gone, the dull eyes had regained their fire, and there, sitting by the fire, and grinning at my surprise, was none other than Sherlock Holmes. He made a slight motion to me to approach him, and instantly, as he turned his face half round to the company once more, subsided into a doddering, loose-lipped senility.
“Holmes!” I whispered, “what on earth are you doing in this den?”
“As low as you can,” he answered, “I have excellent ears. If you would have the great kindness to get rid of that sottish friend of yours, I should be exceedingly glad to have a little talk with you.”

Chips asks: Another one of Holmes great disguises developed by long practice. Was it just that?

English: 1873 engraving of Views in Bristol by Thomas Sulman (c.1834 – 1900)

June 21, 1890: James McCarthy spent a second day in Bristol. [BOSC]

Mr. James McCarthy, the only son of the deceased, was then called, and gave evidence as follows: – `I had been away from home for three days at Bristol, and had only just returned upon the morning of last Monday, the 3rd. My father was absent from home at the time of my arrival […]

Chips says: We know the real reason for the trip thanks to Mr. Holmes’s brilliant detective work.


On June 19th…

June 19, 1889: Isa Whitney went to the Bar of Gold. [TWIS]

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn)

Terence Longdon as Isa Whitney (1986)

She had the surest information that of late he had, when the fit was on him, made use of an opium den in the furthest east of the City. Hitherto his orgies had always been confined to one day, and he had come back, twitching and shattered, in the evening. But now the spell had been upon him eight-and-forty hours, and he lay there, doubtless, among the dregs of the docks, breathing in the poison or sleeping off the effects. There he was to be found, she was sure of it, at the `Bar of Gold’, in Upper Swandam Lane. But what was she to do? How could she, a young and timid woman, make her way into such a place, and pluck her husband out from among the ruffians who surrounded him?

Chips says: This tale contains the famous line where John’s wife Mary adresses him as “James”. Any ideas why?

[Any ideas other than the Hamish Theory? –Selena Buttons]