?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Page | Next Page


I'll admit, I'd been considering futzing with the schedule to put this one right around Christmas itself, but I didn't think it was worth the confusion. Ah well.

Hrm, a purple dressing gown. Somehow I never pictured purple to be Holmes' color!

I'm also not sure that I'd say that all three of those named cases would be completely free of legal crime. Adler's case for instance could be considered blackmail, Mary Sutherland's surely there could be some sort of fraud/breech of promise or something, and I'm sure the police could come up with something for "Hugh Boone" along the lines of wasting their bloody time. But anyhow.

It also strikes me as odd that, knowing the guy's name, it would be that hard to find out who the hell it was, although I also realize that's probably my experience as a daughter of the Information Age speaking. I'll concede it'd be more difficult during Holmes' era, especially when there at first wasn't as much reason to make the effort. A hat and a goose? Meh.

(And I'll admit, I have to shudder each time I read something along the lines of "signs that [...] it should be eaten without unnecessary delay." Waiting until it starts to "turn," and then finally eating it? Ugh, my stomach quails. But then, I'm a wimp with food/illness stuff.)

So, big head equals big... *cough* smarts? Well, I guess it was probably in line with the thinking of the day, at least.

Bah, so Holmes realizes that the loss to Henry Baker must have been a fairly big one, and yet can't be bothered advertising in the paper until now? Tut tut.

Once again, for someone so cold and logical on the surface, Holmes shows a poetic/romantic streak when he muses about the history of this stone, and others like it.

It's also very kind of Ryder to stumble along at just that time, to save Holmes and Watson a trip (and save the story from getting too long.) And very kind of him to so meekly go along with someone who seems to know everything. But ah well, I guess a little hand-waviness is allowed.

Holmes is also a bit of a soft touch for an agent of justice, but as he says, it IS Christmas, so... very well, then.


The Schedule

Comments

( 5 Notes — Write a Footnote )
(Deleted comment)
khedron
Dec. 17th, 2009 04:01 am (UTC)
I always have to look up the word "carbuncle" when I read this story; in my mind, "carbuncle" makes me first think of boils, then the Final Fantasy Summon, and then I remember it's some sort of rock.

Ewww, I didn't know that one (although I do now, having looked it up). I think I always get it confused with "barnacle", which is also kind of rocky.

I wonder if Holmes pocketed the 1000-pound reward, or what?

Good question!
stormfeather
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:21 am (UTC)
I also think of the FF summon. XD

And yeah, I hope he shared it out with the guy that lost the goose, and the guy that found it!
khedron
Dec. 17th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
I also think of the FF summon. XD

I almost posted on that usage -- I tracked it down a little bit, and the most common ref is Jorge Luis Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings. There's a basic description out there which goes like this:
Carbuncle was the name given by the Spanish Conquistadors to a mysterious creature around the 16th Century. There are few descriptions of what the creature looks like, although it is small with a kind of shining mirror or jewel on its head. The legend of the jewel grew up around the Carbuncle creature and many men have supposedly searched for it, hoping to find the precious stone, without success. The name "Carbuncle" is a variation of the spanish name Carbunco. The name of this creature has given birth to several variations of the mith. In Caleuche Island, in Chile, the Carbuncle is a creature said to guard the earth's treasures and gemstones. If someone catches it with a rope, the Carbuncle will reveal the location of its treasure after a complicated ritual.
khedron
Dec. 17th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
It also strikes me as odd that, knowing the guy's name, it would be that hard to find out who the hell it was, although I also realize that's probably my experience as a daughter of the Information Age speaking.

Yup, I think so. According to this, there were 4.5-6.5 million people in London around that time, which is a lot of people to know about.

(And I'll admit, I have to shudder each time I read something along the lines of "signs that [...] it should be eaten without unnecessary delay." Waiting until it starts to "turn," and then finally eating it? Ugh, my stomach quails. But then, I'm a wimp with food/illness stuff.)

It wasn't that bad, was it? "In spite of the slight frost" means that it was basically refrigerated outside the entire time, right? I thought this was still in the safe zone. (But as desdenova said, well, thresholds for this have changed over time.)

I liked this one quite a bit in general. I didn't like the "head size = intelligence" bit that you pointed out; also, I wasn't fond of the "had foresight, but has less so now than formerly" part, although I'm not quite sure why I object.
crouchback
Dec. 19th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC)
You're not just a child of the Information Age-you're the 3rd or 4th generation that has grown up with in-depth censuses, identification cards, driver's licenses, various forms of social insurance, passports, and income taxes on the whole populace (vice on a narrow section of society that made over 150 pounds sterling per annum). Governments and businesses track people to a degree that the Victorians would have either been horrified by (most people) or marveled at (the Fabian socialists, who basically wanted a society like the one we live in).

In Victorian times, record keeping like that was spotty, when it was done at all. It was possible for someone to give a name without anything to back that up. People could and did walk away from their lives, hop on a ship to somewhere else (no need for a passport in most countries), pick a new name, and start anew.

There were parts of the world where this is still true but they are vanishing. Heck, it was true when I were a lad in the US, but not anymore.

It's unlikely he could make enough money to support his family by begging, but not impossible. It was a lot easier to maintain a middle-class lifestyle in those days than it is now, especially in the 50 years before 1914, when economic growth was incredible.

I've never thought about how often Holmes is fooled by disguise. I guess he's arrogant because he's so good at it, and he just can't conceive of anyone else being so good.

Edited at 2009-12-19 03:48 pm (UTC)
( 5 Notes — Write a Footnote )