Friday, August 4, 2017

Jurys of the Canon.

It's the lazy days of summer, so why not just let the lines from the stories themselves roll over you and tell the tale themselves. (One could say I'm presenting the evidence and letting you be the jury, but naaaww. Just lazy.)

"I should be judge, jury, and executioner, all rolled into one."
-- Jefferson Hope, American

"How could I hope to make it good before twelve foolish tradesman in a jury-box?"
-- Arthur Morstan, British father of British Mary

"This explanation was borne out by the post-mortem examination, which showed long-standing desease, and the coroner's jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence."
-- Dr. James "Boring" Mortimer, Briton

"You and I know  that he died of sheer fright, and we know also what frightened him; but how are we to get twelve stolid jurymen to know it?"
-- Sherlock Holmes, looking to take a hound to court

"I had a complete knowledge of the whole business, but I had not a case which could go to a jury."
-- Sherlock Holmes, still working out the hound and the court

"Theories are all very well, but we have to deal with a hard-headed British jury."
-- Inspector G. Lestrade, a man who knows his job

"A single man could not have carried out two deaths in such a way as to deceive a coroner's jury."
-- Sherlock Holmes, thinking highly of coroner's juries

"I really think we have enough to go before a jury."
-- Inspector Gregory

"And yet he was absolutely incapable of working out the practical points which must be gone into before a case could be laid before a judge or jury."
-- Sherlock Holmes on his brother Mycroft

"That's for a jury to decide."
-- Inspector G. Lestrade, again

"I fancy that I have evidence enough to satisfy a jury, even if you are able to pick a hole in it."
-- Inspector Stanley Hopkins

"However, that is for a British jury to decide. Meanwhile I have so much sympathy for you that if you choose to disappear in the next twenty-four hours I will promise you that no one will hinder you."
-- Sherlock Holmes, making one less jury necessary

"Watson, you are a British jury, and I never met a man who was more eminently fitted to represent one."
-- Sherlock Holmes, deciding he needs a jury after all

"The coroner's jury brought in the obvious 'Willful murder', but the parties remained as unknown as ever."
-- John H. Watson, reporting

"I knew the facts were true, but could I hope to make a jury of countrymen believe so fantastic a story?"
-- Leon Sterndale, about to disappear  into Africa

"That was the view taken by the coroner's jury and also in the police-court proceedings."
-- Sherlock Holmes, about to go in and prove otherwise

Did Holmes's view of juries evolve over time? Did Dr. Watson eventually follow the path chosen by Jefferson Hope and be the second man in the Canon to decide he was a jury, or does Holmes's appointment of him make him a more innocent jury-poser? In any case, it's the lazy days of summer, so don't think too hard about it.


  1. Why juries? Did you get jury duty?

    1. Somebody must not be up on the news. Some juries are just grand. Grand, I tell you, grand!

  2. I am tainted on juries - having read too many John Grisham novels!