Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hound, Chapter Thirteen. Mind the gap.

When Sherlock Holmes shows up at your house without a suitcase . . . well, since when does Sherlock Holmes show up at anyone's house with a suitcase? If the guy you bring in to solve your problems brings a suitcase, you should probably get someone else.

Sherlock Holmes is finally at Baskerville Hall in the thirteenth chapter of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and the sight of him means one thing: This is back to being a short story. Holmes doesn't like to waste his time, and he's definitely not wasting it here. Time to let Cartwright carry your bag of roasted peanuts in the shell and step back and watch the master at work. (Hey, what's the sense of having servants in a place like Baskerville Hall if you can't drop peanut shells on the floor like it's Texas Roadhouse? Whaddaya mean, "ugly Americans?")

Sir Henry has certainly picked up the mantle of baronet privilege quickly enough -- when Holmes brings up the possibility of arresting the household for helping Selden hide, Sir Henry doesn't even take a moment to go, "Yeah, yeah, whatever . . . ." He just acts like it wasn't even said.

And Watson is still a little in love with Holmes: "The lamp beat upon his face, and so intent was it and so still that it might have been that of a clear-cut classical statue, a personification of alertness and expectation." Not picturing Michelangelo's David, are you, Watson?

At least Holmes has his mind on the paintings at hand in the Baskerville collection.  Holmes knows his art, having been descended from artists . . . you know he had to try his hand at painting somewhere in his youth, unless Mycroft got there first.  And Sir Henry has his mind on his ancestors: "Rear-Admiral Baskerville," whose first name might well be "Rear-Admiral" for all we know, and the aptly named William "Bill" Baskerville who served in Parliament.

One served under Rodney, one served under Pitt, and then we come to Hugo, who was served under the Hound.

Later, when Holmes takes Watson on a review-tour with his bedroom candle, Watson must be a little sleepy, as he misses the chance to take a lovely shot at his friend:

"It is the first quality of the criminal investigator that he should see through a disguise," pronounces Holmes. And then the conversation could have well gone like this:

"Really, Holmes? The name Irene Adler ring a bell? How about Mrs. Sawyer?"

"Those were cross-dressers, Watson. They don't count."

"Little girl with yellow Halloween mask?"

It's no wonder Holmes liked fooling Watson with disguises later on! Oh, wait, that was an imaginary conversation -- A headcanon must be a little elastic, you know.

Speaking of elastic, here's our agenda for the final day in Dartmoor:

1. Get up early. (Holmes gets up earlier.)

2. Have breakfast with Sir Henry.

3. Take two hours to go from Baskerville Hall to Coombe Tracey in a two-wheeled carriage.

4. Spend thirty seconds talking to Cartwright at Coombe Tracey station, wait a few minutes for him to get a telegram from the station office.

5. Go to Laura Lyons's place. Talk to her for five minutes.

6. Go back to the station, stand and wait for the 5:40 train.

7. Have dinner with Lestrade.

Okay, perhaps it's just me, as I get a little cranky when I miss lunch, but we missed lunch in there. And I think we stood at the station for something like five hours, and I'm being generous. We could well have been there for seven.

What happened in between? Well, what was the last thing Sherlock Holmes said before that large gap in time?

"We must wish you good morning now, Mrs. Lyons, and it is probably that you will very shortly hear from us again."

Very shortly. And Watson never mentions talking to Mrs. Lyons again. What might Sherlock Holmes, the good doctor, and a typist have spent the whole afternoon doing? Hmmmmm . . . .

Get your mind out of the gutter, she's a typist. You read a written account of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Maybe they were just taking advantage of her typing skills.

Of course, I still am missing a lunch.


  1. I very much enjoyed your yesterday's Elementary-tweeting this morning! :-D))