Thursday, June 1, 2017

A pip of a summer project.

Okay, this one is going to be hard for me to write.

Remember "The Five Orange Pips?" The whole story where John Openshaw comes to Sherlock Holmes about a sort of family curse that killed his uncle and father and is coming for him? And does come for him?

You know, the one where that same John Openshaw is actually then killed before Sherlock Holmes even starts investigating his case, other than looking up something for Watson in the encyclopaedia? I was just writing about our library group discussing it, a couple of weeks ago.

Well, since that last reading of the case, something's been bothering me, and that something is this: Sherlock Holmes didn't actually solve the case.

Sure, he comes home to 221B Baker Street after a busy day and explains his theory of the whole thing to Watson. He puts some seeds in an envelope and addresses it to a ship. (A ship. Let that one roll around in your head for a minute or two.) But Sherlock Holmes does nothing to confirm his theory. We have no criminal apprehended and then confessing his full story. No Inspector Lestrade appears to follow up on things.

All we have is a theoretical deduction by Mr. Sherlock Holmes that seems to satisfy him enough that he can put the tragic failure out of his mind. Apparently Watson must have eventually asked him about the matter later, at which time Holmes fed him that shipwreck story, but this was a period when Watson had left Holmes for a wife. And Holmes is moody even when Watson has come to stay for a bit. I always hate to suggest drug use, but this is not our best period for trusting everything Holmes says.

Like I said, this one is hard to write.

So if Sherlock Holmes didn't solve "The Five Orange Pips," it seems incumbent upon those of us that follow him to make up for that deficiency. Summer is pretty much here and we all need a summer project or two, so why not solve "The Five Orange Pips?'

Stay tuned.

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