Thursday, January 7, 2021

Ah, poor Brother Morris!

 There are unloved step-children among the citizens of the land of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlockians avoid them like they're Hugh Boone in need of a bath. In fact, Hugh Boone in need of a bath would get more attention than they get. Most of us probably wouldn't even recognize them by name.

Like Brother Morris. Okay, I'll give you a moment. Brother Morris. Anything?

Yeah, he's from that Scowrers segment of The Valley of Fear. And that poor guy -- it's not only Sherlockians that aren't giving him any love. Listen to his own whiney tale.

"I found that I was under the orders of a black villain and caught in a meshwork of crime. What could I do? Every word I said to make things better was taken as treason, the same as it was last night . . . If I leave the society, I know well that it means murder to me, and God knows what to my wife and children. Oh, man, it is awful -- awful!"

Yeah, Brother Morris got in over his head.

"I had a conscience and a religion; but they made me a criminal among them . . . Maybe I'm a coward. . . . Anyhow I went. I guess it will haunt me forever."

Brother Morris is actually the guy in the story with the job of saying the title out loud: "It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from dusk to the dawn. Wait, young man, and you will learn for yourself."

Brother Morris happens to be doing all his whining to the guy coming in to fix matters, who gives him a very Holmes-like "goodbye and . . ." adieu: "Well, so long, Brother Morris, and may you find things go better with you in the future." And after much more no-Sherlock story, that same fellow tells Morris this:

"It's him or us. I guess this man would destroy us all if we left him long in the valley."

One wonders if Brother Morris ever really figured out what was going on with the people around him, or what the full truth of his world was. His community probably didn't think too highly of him when the movement he had been a part of was done, whether or not he actually took repercussions from either side, neither of which were probably too happy with him.

Of course, maybe, I missed something in Brother Morris's story, because . . . yeah . . . Scowrers Non-Sherlock section of The Valley of Fear.  Is it because he isn't a well-written character, though?

Well, I think there might be a few current Americans that seem real similar. to Brother Morris in a lot of ways, so he's definitely not unrealistic. But he's certainly no Sherlock Holmes.

And we do like stories better with the likes of Sherlock Holmes in them. 

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