After being recently confused by an attempt connect our current pandemic with Sherlock Holmes in "The Dying Detective," I was relieved to be reminded of a true Canonical pandemic reference while listening to this week's "The Final Podblem."
Of course, they didn't specifically mention it, a certain member of that podcast team being a lying liar who can pull off an outlandish fabrication without a hint of falseness. As their review of "The Yellow Face" came to the fate of Effie Munro's first husband, instead of dying of yellow fever, he was suddenly dead of an explosion at the horse factory.
T'was an early morning, one of those where a man of a certain age awakes feeling oddly enough in parts of the body that hypochondria set in ("Is this it? Is this when the [Insert Killer Ailment Here] gets me at last?"), so I shall claim multiple excuses for starting to look up Canonical horse factories. You know . . . those CANONICAL HORSE FACTORIES that Sherlockians have discussed for all of my forty years in this business.
The Canon has a leather factory (Close!) and a bicycle factory (That surely ran the horse factory out of business.), as well as a bust factory and an artificial knee-cap factory, but as you probably well know, not a single horse factory. Not the little factory in Sweden that makes wooden horses. Not one of those gruesome joints were they make horse steaks and horseburger. And not a subcontractor for Westworld's robotic steeds.
What would a Canonical horse factory be, except one thing: A handy diversion from a yellow fever pandemic that was supposed to help divert we stupid laymen one step further into thinking a horrific yellow face at a window was the result of ravages of yellow fever. I don't think I ever quite fell for that one. But in Victorian England? A young medical man trying to pull a literary trick on the average Jimmy England? Oh, yeah, yellow fever will give you permanent yellow ugly-face, sure.
But this is 2020. We're much more medically savvy than the common Victorian. Right?
Well, I would be putting on airs, but those explosions at the Victorian horse factories really have me in a funk. Poor John Hebron.