Saturday, March 21, 2020

Vas dere a vampire in that valley of fear?

"Vell, I vant to tell you right now . . ."

Okay, is that me doing a bad Dracula impression?

"But did she tell you who it vas?"

She is plainly the vampire's victim, right?

"I dare say not, the leetle baggage! Perhaps she did not vish to frighten you away."

If you don't recognize those lines, you haven't read the non-Sherlock parts of The Valley of Fear lately. That's Conan Doyle's lines for the heroine's old German father, Jacob Shafter. It's actually a very restrained Conan Doyle, if you've ever read the manuscript reproduction of his Angels of Darkness. Those "angels of darkness" weren't vampires either. But then there's this lady . . . .

"Away wid ye to Frisco, you and your books! Bedad your coat tails would be the purtiest part of ye in my oies. I'd rather marry the tinth part o' a Saint than be the wife o' a wanderin' book shop!"

Oh, this must be the victim of the vampire from Limehouse, not the "leetle baggage." But we won't delve any further into that little pit of awful caricatures. Back to the Canon!

Eventually we get a German baron in the Holmes Canon who doesn't sound like a vampire at all, Baron Von Bork. We had a pretend count, the Count Von Kramm, very early in the Canon, in "A Scandal in Bohemia," but even that guy doesn't put on the vampire accent like Jacob Shafter.

Jacob Shafter who conveniently runs a rooming house, by the way, and as soon as he sees a relationship growing between her daughter and a lodger, he goes, "But you vill find other lodgings, mister." Is he protecting his daughter or her love interest here? Was there something else to fear in this valley of fear besides the local social club?

It's been a long day, I may be reaching way too far, but who doesn't want more vampires in the Canon of Sherlock Holmes? (Or maybe just in parallel universe Canons that don't mess up the original.)

I certainly vant to vish for more.

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