Okay, since all order and sense in the universe seems to be going out the window, let's just frickin' go for it. I'll even give you some background music to accompany it! Ladies and gentlemen and those who otherwise identify, the incomparable Andrea True Connection!
Did you think it was a coincidence? Did you?
Moriarty, the mastermind.
Moran, the assassin.
Morstan, the infiltrator.
When I wrote last time about the other enemy who was keeping Sherlock Holmes away from London besides Colonel Moran, Mary Morstan Watson, little did I realize how deep that rabbit hole would lead. I mean, Moriarty, Moran, and Morstan? They're like the dark Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman trinity of the Sherlockverse! Such a perfect matched set! And we like threesomes so much, surely we're going to stop right there and look no further, right? Right?
Well, fie on thee, you Mor-villains who thought we'd stop at three! These are mad times that call for madder theories, theories to surpass the flat-out insanity we're seeing play out in the actual news!
The man who coveted Sherlock Holmes's skull and drew him into a lonely trap over killer beasts and roaming murders . . . James Mortimer!
The man who came closest to killing John H. Watson after so many others failed . . . Morecroft!
The Scotland Yard inspector we only hear of when Sherlock Holmes is a dying detective . . . Morton!
The Mor-people weave through the career of Sherlock Holmes like a dark thread of death. Sherlock Holmes kept them in his commonplace book, like Morgan the poisoner. Old Frankland the crank fought one of them in court, Sir James Morland. And who even knows what that Countess of Morcar was up to, but we do know Sherlock didn't seem in any hurry to let her have her blue carbuncle back.
Now, for a moment, mentally do something we've always enjoyed doing -- get rid of that second half of A Study in Scarlet that doesn't have Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in it. What are you left with? Well, not that much about a certain religious affiliation. And a tale of a man devoted to stalking members of a cult-like organization whose mission ends with him being taken at 221B Baker Street and his death soon after. Watson writes it up with that whole second section, making it "Oh, Jefferson Hope was just after these two guys and they were Mormons according to him. Mormons! Not like he might have said 'Mor-men' and told us anything else . . . noooooo."
Perhaps, the events behind A Study in Scarlet didn't just set up the partnership of Holmes and Watson. Perhaps they set up the passing on of a mission of Hope, a mission that the two men took up and sought to continue, uncovering the secrets of the legions of Mor-men and stop whatever plans their underworldly schemes had hatching.
Was Alice Morphy so innocent in her inspiring Professor Presbury to experiment on himself with ape serum?
Was Annie Morrison's part in the Cunningham murder so innocuous as she would have us believe?
And when all of these people motorboated their fellows with their secret societal greeting, was the sound that of "MORMORMORMORMORMOR!!"
Okay, so maybe that last one is a little far-fetched, but the notion that Sherlock Holmes's career had a focus on a secret league of Mor-people has been suspiciously absent from all of the more available Sherlockian scholarship of the last century wouldn't you say? Makes you wonder why, doesn't it?
All I can say to that is: "Mor" to come. (And if you don't see me writing any more on this subject, well, that may just prove that the conspiracy of silence does exist, eh? Please be Sherlock Holmes to my Jefferson Hope and carry on the investigation, should that happen.)