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“Someday, the true story may be told.”
These were Sherlock Holmes’ last words as written on page 737 of Sherlock Holmes Complete Novels and Stories Volume 2, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have now reached the end of my journey.
The whole experience was a bit bumpy but nevertheless amazing and educational. I would have finished this volume in a week or two, but there’s a part of me which wanted to prolong the ride. I know I can always read Sir Doyle’s works anytime. It’s just that on my part, it was pretty tough to let go. I may be overreacting, I don’t know, but that’s how it is. L
During the days I was absorbed reading Sherlock Holmes’ stories, adventures, case-books, memoirs, whatever you call it, I even experienced seeing him in my dreams. I’m not exactly sure how the story went in my dream, all I know is that I saw him there. Sherlock Holmes visited me in my dreams. Isn’t that sweet?
I’ve read a lot of novels and have been acquainted with a couple of male characters but it was only Sherlock Holmes who blew me away. Well, unlike other characters and heroes, he is the only one, by far, who had the luxury to pour himself onto his readers. Imagine with those four novels and 56 short stories (divided in Volumes 1 and 2), readers and fans like me, can truly have the opportunity to know him on a deeper level and have a clear picture of him as if he really exists in real life.
I couldn’t be more grateful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for bringing the greatest detective ever in our lives, in my life specifically. He has been beyond generous on his descriptions of Sherlock Holmes in every story. And what a genius he is for coming up with such amazing adventures! It was, in general, a pleasant experience and an educational trip.
To Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only have you made my 24th year of existence more colourful and bright, but you have also proven to me, that great minds never once forget the Creator that is behind it.
To Dr John Watson, it has been very selfless of you to show your loyalty and obedience to Sherlock Holmes even if some things are beyond your understanding and even if it meant welcoming danger upon saying ‘yes’ to your bestfriend. Sir Doyle, yet again showed in you that we are all capable of meeting and maintaining a close tie with at least one person for the rest of our years on earth. And that even the most successful person needs someone to turn to in times of tears and much more in times of laughter.
Lastly, to Mr Sherlock Holmes, I apologise for using the prefix due to you just now. I wanted my narration of you in my previous writings to be casual as I feel that I can express more using only ‘Sherlock’ or ‘Holmes’ or ‘Sherlock Holmes.’ This time around, I am addressing you as Mr Sherlock Holmes as a sign of respect and yeah, love, for the character and person that you are in these carefully crafted adventures. You have showed that all men have a soft spot and it takes time before one can truly see that. You have also showed that some people even behind those cold masks are capable of expressing their feelings. You have taught me that small details, which are oftentimes considered unimportant can also be as vital as the big ones. You are a perfect example, a model to me of someone who can exhibit composure amidst chaos and have proven that patience is definitely a virtue that we humans must all possess. Above all, you have shown regard to a Supreme Being. You are one of the few fictional characters who have successfully instilled in my mind that this life is not our own. Hence, we should take care of it with all our powers.
Thanks to you all.
This isn’t a heart-breaking goodbye. Best to put it as my first goodbye for I am certain that I will be with you all again in the future.
‘Til next time my dearest SH. ❤
*a friend told me that the best way to get over this great book (as I don’t want to really feel sad) is to read a new one right away. And that’s what I’m going to do now.
Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.
How to save a life?
In this memoir narrated by Dr John Watson, Sherlock Holmes not only successfully answered this question, but he, more than ever, successfully showed how to save a life…a precious woman’s life.
The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger is a story which I can relate to the most in this collection. I wanted to express in writing what I’ve experienced. Hence, this entry.
The case revolves on the life of a woman who escaped from a very terrible past, did everything to live peacefully and with the utmost privacy and literally hid her face every single day with a black veil even though she lives with no one else.
The landlady of the apartment she was renting was pretty okay with the whole setting of her paying the monthly rent in time and not allowing anyone else to see her nor come near her. Until one day, the house owner in the name of Mrs Merrilow heard her screams with some sort of allusions to her bitter past, not to mention when she accidentally saw the face behind that veil which caught her off guard.
Eugenia Ronder, the veiled lodger, had a tragic, miserable history. She was a poor circus performer, a lovely woman whose life turned for the worst after marrying a brute husband. That marriage, as implied in the story, was definitely against her will. As with any other woman who are suffering within their marriage, it’s given that that woman will soon fall for the guy who will show her genuine kindness and love. In addition, a lot of women, since time immemorial, have been forced to marry someone they don’t love either as in an arranged marriage or as a form of payment for the family’s debt. That’s a piece of harsh reality right there.
The battered wife can no longer tolerate such inhumane treatment from his husband that she soon agreed to devise a scheme to murder him, with the aid of Leonardo, her lover. The plan was to have the circus lion attack and eventually kill her spouse. It was carried out one night but unfortunately went awry. Though the husband was killed in the process, Eugenia was also attacked and had her face chewed up by the beast. It was a miracle she came out alive after that incident. This was the first sad result of their actions. The second one was that Leonardo turned out not to be the man she expected him to be for he run away and left her when she needed him most.
It was tough. It has been one hell of a long ride for Eugenia Ronder. That tragic past of hers haunted her and she came to a point when she could no longer hold it all in. She couldn’t tell the police either because that will mean imprisonment for her or/and Leonardo and she didn’t want that to take place. No, she wouldn’t allow something like that to happen to her old lover. Even after everything that had occurred, she still cared for Leonardo. Sacrifices such as this one is undoubtedly evident in the real world. As in Eugenia Ronder’s words, “But a woman’s love is not so easily set aside.”
Sherlock Holmes was the best option for her story so she then opted to invite the great detective accompanied by his loyal friend to her apartment. There she told the two men of her past. And so the powers of Sherlock Holmes came in play. After listening intently, in John Watson’s words, “…Holmes stretched out his long arm and patted her hand with such a show of sympathy as I had seldom shown him to exhibit.”
Such gesture definitely worked for Mrs Ronder. There were also accounts of Sherlock Holmes’s soothing ability in the previous stories. He then decided to close the case and his parting words to her were:
“Your life is not your own. Keep your hands of it.”
The above stated line struck me deeply. Yes, our life is not our own to end. While there is life, there is hope. Amidst immeasurable sufferings and loneliness, we can always count on a Being superior than our own to soothe our pains. There is always, always someone who can help us. Such a cliché, but it’s true.
Good results. That’s what we expect from the world’s greatest detective and he definitely never fails to deliver such positive outcomes.
“Two days later, when I called upon my friend, he pointed with some pride to a small blue bottle upon his mantelpiece. I picked it up. There was a small poison label. A pleasant almondy odour rose when I opened it.
‘Prussic acid,’ said I.
‘Exactly. It came by post. ‘I send you my temptation. I will follow your advice.’ That was the message. I think, Watson, we can guess the name of the brave woman who sent it.’ ”
I was a bit teary-eyed upon reading that last part. Another good ending, isn’t it? Indeed the best one for this story.
And that…that was how Sherlock Holmes saved a life. 🙂
Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.
I am less than a hundred pages away from finishing Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novels and Stories Volume 2. As a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, I know I have to apply the art of detachment as early as now. Reading the ‘goodbye’ remark of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the preface of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes seriously broke my heart, though I know I can always reread his works.
The Adventure of the Three Garridebs is the sixth of the twelve adventures of Sherlock Holmes in this collection. Dr John Watson was a major star in this case which was presented firstly as a case of hunting three men with Garrideb as their last name in order to fulfil a will. Of course with Sherlock Holmes, we can never be sure that the initial case presented is really the case itself. I mean you have to keep on reading in order to have a complete grasp of what the story is all about. As expected, it turned out that Mr John Garrideb, the main hunter of the other two Garridebs had a hidden agenda for launching his quest.
Another remarkable talent of Sherlock Holmes is his ability to discern if someone is telling the truth or not. This is basically why he always exert an effort in meeting his client and all the other people involved in the case, face to face be it in their Baker Street lodging or somewhere else.
Eyes don’t lie. That’s a fact. I can just imagine Sherlock Holmes’ piercing gaze and scrutinizing looks every time he interviews a client. If I were that client, I might lose focus and just stare at him in return. 🙂
Anyway, this case was a pretty easy and fast-paced adventure for Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson. The former was quick to figure out that his client, Mr John Garrideb was a hoax and that his real identity is, “‘Killer’ Evans, of sinister and murderous reputation.” This dangerous man was really after the property of the second genuine Garrideb, Mr Nathan Garrideb.
Evans constructed another lie to have Mr Nathan Garrideb set out on a quest of his own in search of the ‘third Garrideb’ in the name of Mr Howard Garrideb (which is definitely another hoax). So the house was emptied and Evans took the opportunity of breaking into the house in search of a certain counterfeiter’s machine, a printing press called Prescott’s machine. Holmes didn’t know at first what particular object Evans was after. What he knew was that it is within the property of Mr Nathan Garrideb and so he also took the chance of breaking into it with his loyal accomplice, Dr John Watson for further investigation. This is when they had caught Evans in the act of taking Prescott’s machine.
For me, the highlight of this story was not when Holmes and Watson caught Evans in the act, but that when Holmes finally showed his vulnerable side – that face of Holmes whom for a moment showed genuine concern for his good friend Watson. It is not every day that I get to read such accounts of my most admired fictional character. This happened when Holmes and Watson caught Evans and the latter attempted to fire his revolver on them resulting to a sort of sudden hot sear pressed on the doctor’s thigh.
The below statement was the very statement Holmes uttered that showed his vulnerable side.
“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”
Watson’s thought bubble response was:
“It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment.”
What a heart-warming statement from Watson, isn’t it? Good thing nothing serious happened to him. If there is one person in this world who is most deserving of seeing that vulnerable side of Sherlock Holmes, that’s got to be Dr John Watson. It’s a complete privilege on my part, as a reader and as a fan, to be a witness to this event. (I know t’was a bit weird but I keep playing this scenario on my mind since I’ve read it.)
And the below statement of Holmes proved just how much he cares for and values Watson.
“By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive.”
Again, what is there to not like and love in Sherlock Holmes? I must admit, Dr John Watson deeply moved me in this story as well. His loyalty and obedience to his friend never once weakened. Who wouldn’t want a friend in Watson?
I really love this adventure of Sherlock Holmes mainly because I have seen another side of him. His approach in every case he handles is highly admirable, one that will leave you in awe, but on my part, it’s really his personality, his humanity that draws me to him. Oh I can even come up with a list of all the characteristics Sir Arthur Conan Doyle carefully crafted for the world’s greatest detective.
I just love SH. I really do. 🙂
Photo credits: All images used were grabbed online. Credits to owners.