Looking of the sixty cases of Sherlock Holmes in December, it's hard to avert your eyes from that bright Blue Carbuncle, shining atop the Canonical tree. But if you do, and the afterimages of it leave your mental retina for long enough, you might just glimpse bits of some other tales.
Just put a little Temptations music on and you might start to hear one of them . . . .
"It was the third of December
That day she'll alway remember, Mary will
'Cause that was the day, that her daddy disappeared, but his luggage didn't, and the Sholtos said they hadn't see him which was a big ol' lie even though one of them eventually started sending her pearls 'cause he felt so guilty . . ."
Yes, that parody song barely even needs rewriting, so on to a happier Yule treat, from another December tale. Put yourself, for a moment, in the place of a couple of South African gold-men who come back to England and look up the spinster daughter of a deceased associate. One of the two men, they think, is going to have to marry this gal, but . . . miracle of miracles . . . it turns out she's not such a bad-looking dame, and someone an older guy could spend pleasant December evenings with, if his gorilla pal doesn't show up and try to make smoochies with her. (Sorry, had to turn 30's gangster just to get that sentence out.)
There's a side to "The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist," which has a lot of Christmas carols to it, if you think about it. It's December, the music teacher, the ten-year-old girl, and her father are entertaining themselves after dinner . . . what else is going to happen there?
And that scene sure beats Krampus coming to steal your rare blue gem at Christmas time, as happens in that other story. I mean, as far as the Countess of Morcar is concerned, it might as well have been Krampus who got the treasured jewel. And was she an evil "Mor" like Moran or Moriarty or the corrupt Captain Morstan? (Yeah, yeah, don't give that last villain any slack because he has a doe-eyed blonde daughter . . . he was a right traitor to the Crown.) Maybe Sherlock Holmes was acting in the spirit of Krampus and punishing the evil children with threatened whippings and keeping their blue carbuncles.
But all of that beats having a Julia Stoner Christmas. Sure, you mean the man you want to marry, but unless you're fluent in Parseltongue . . . not a good time.
But I bet old Bob Carruthers and his daughter would always remember the December they got to spend with the graceful Violet Smith, singing songs in the evenings while she played.