Showing posts with label Sherlock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sherlock. Show all posts

Friday, 15 February 2019

Today We Have To Be Soldiers

Listen to your Gut
Even though your gut has shit for brains.

Listen to your Heart -

You will find there's nothing left to Sacrifice. 
You can't tell me it's not worth fighting for; 
You can't tell me, it's not worth dying for.

Listen to your Head -

It notices EVERYTHING.

And never fall out of Grace with your Self.

When I Find My Self in Times of Trouble,
Mother-Mary Comes to Me

I know You Two
And if I’m gone, I know what you could become.
... because I know who you really are.

A junkie who solves crimes to get high ...

... and the doctor who never came home from the war.
Well, you listen to me: 
Who You Really Are,
It Doesn’t Matter.
It’s all about 
The Legend 
The Stories 
The Adventures.
There is a Last Refuge for 
The Desperate 
The Unloved
The Persecuted
There is a final court of appeal for everyone.
When life gets 
Too Strange
Too Impossible
Too Frightening, 
There is always One Last Hope.
When all else fails ...
... there are two men sitting arguing in a scruffy flat ...
 ... like they’ve always been there ...
 ... and they always will.
 The best and wisest men I have ever known.
My Baker Street boys.
 Sherlock Holmes 
Doctor Watson.

SHERLOCK (reassuringly): I’m here, Eurus.
(Still wearing the clothes she wore in Sherrinford, Eurus is sitting on the floor with her knees drawn up in front of her and her hands wrapped around them. Her eyes are closed.
The footage of the girl on the plane goes into fast reverse back through all the scenes we’ve seen of her until she’s back in her seat, looking uneasily out of the window. The footage rapidly reverses even further and slows down to the very first moment where, in reverse of what we first saw, we see a close-up of her eye closing.
Flashback of young Eurus running around the beach with her toy aeroplane.
In her bedroom, adult Eurus keeps her eyes closed and speaks with a child-like voice.)

EURUS: You’re playing with me, Sherlock. We’re playing the game.
SHERLOCK: The game, yes. I get it now. (He steps closer to her.) The song was never a set of directions.
EURUS (her eyes still closed and her voice child-like and frightened): I’m in the plane, and I’m going to crash.
(Sherlock crouches down in front of her.)
EURUS (child-like): And you’re going to save me.
SHERLOCK: Look how brilliant you are. Your mind has created the perfect metaphor. You’re high above us, all alone in the sky, and you understand everything except how to land. (He shifts round and sits down in front of her, breathless and anxious.) Now, I’m just an idiot, but I’m on the ground. (He reaches out and puts his fingers onto her hands.) I can bring you home.
EURUS (her eyes still closed, plaintively): No.
(Her voice reverts to its adult tone.)
EURUS: No, no. (She shivers.) It’s too late now.
SHERLOCK (shifting closer to her and lowering his hand): No it’s not. It’s not too late.
(She cries, her eyes screwed tight and her face twisted with fear.)
EURUS: Every time I close my eyes, I’m on the plane. I’m lost, lost in the sky and ... no-one can hear me.
(She pulls her knees closer to herself, crying silently. Sherlock reaches out and gently puts his hand onto hers again.)
SHERLOCK (in a whisper): Open your eyes. I’m here.
(She opens her eyes and slowly raises her head.)
SHERLOCK (in a whisper): You’re not lost any more.
(He shifts even closer and reaches out to embrace her. She shuffles forward and wraps her arms around him and they hug each other tightly while she cries.)
SHERLOCK (softly, stroking her hair): Now, you ... you just ... you just went the wrong way last time, that’s all. (His voice becomes tearful.) This time, get it right. (Still softly but more clearly) Tell me how to save my friend.
(In the well, John groans with the effort of trying to keep his head above the water.
In the bedroom Sherlock pulls back a little.)

SHERLOCK: Eurus ...
(He cradles his sister’s head with one hand and gazes pleadingly into her eyes.)
SHERLOCK: Help me save John Watson.
(She stares at him, trembling and tearful as he gently strokes her hair.
In the well, John grimaces and then groans, tilting his chin up out of the water as he strains with the effort of trying to pull the chains free. Then a light shines down onto him from the top of the well and a rope is thrown down to him. Gasping with relief, he takes hold of it.)

[Your transcriber butts in here – sorry for the interruption – to frown sternly at the many people online who bitched about what possible use the rope could be and asked snidely whether John was about to rip off his feet and climb up the rope. Even on first viewing it seemed obvious to me that (1) someone was then going to climb down the rope with a bloody great set of bolt cutters and (2) John grabbed the rope because he now had some support to pull himself up just a little – i.e. to the full extent of the chains – and keep above the water until his rescuer arrived. Anyway, moving on ...]

Later, Eurus is being led away from the house by two police officers. She still looks tearful. Police cars and vans are parked all around and a helicopter’s rotors can be heard nearby. Some distance away, Sherlock watches her. John is beside him, wrapped in a grey blanket. Greg walks over to them.
LESTRADE: I just spoke to your brother.
SHERLOCK (as he and John turn to him): How is he?
LESTRADE: He’s a bit shaken up, that’s all. She didn’t hurt him; she just locked him in her old cell.
JOHN: What goes around comes around.
LESTRADE: Yeah. Give me a moment, boys.
(He starts to walk past them but turns back when Sherlock speaks quietly.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, um. Mycroft – make sure he’s looked after. He’s not as strong as he thinks he is.
LESTRADE (nodding): Yeah, I’ll take care of it.
(He turns to walk away again, while Mystrade fans squee so loudly that nearby dogs cower and cover their ears with their paws.)
SHERLOCK: Thanks, Greg.
(John, who has been huddling into his blanket, lifts his head and Greg turns back again and looks at him in surprise before walking away.
Eurus has been loaded into a reinforced cell inside one of the police vans. She sits on a side bench as a police officer closes the door.)

LESTRADE (to a nearby male police officer): The helicopter ready?
LESTRADE: Let’s move her, then.
(The officer nods in the direction of Sherlock.)
POLICE OFFICER: Is that him, sir? Sherlock Holmes?
(Greg looks back to where Sherlock has turned to face John, who looks round at him.)
LESTRADE: Fan, are you?
POLICE OFFICER: Well, he’s a great man, sir.
LESTRADE: No, he’s better than that. (He looks towards Sherlock for a moment.) He’s a good one.
[Your transcriber bursts into tears.]
(The two officers look towards our boys for a little longer, then turn and walk away.)
JOHN (quietly to Sherlock): You okay?
SHERLOCK (quietly, thoughtfully): I said I’d bring her home. I can’t, can I?
JOHN: Well, you gave her what she was looking for: context.
SHERLOCK (looking round at him): Is that good?
JOHN: It’s not good, it’s not bad. It’s ...
(He looks away and screws up his face, searching for the right words, then turns back to his friend.)
JOHN: It is what it is.

MRS HOLMES (offscreen, sounding shocked): Alive?! For all these years?
(She and her husband are in Mycroft’s Diogenes office. Mycroft sits behind his desk and his father is sitting on a chair on the other side while Mrs Holmes stands at the other end of the desk staring in shock at her oldest son. Her younger son is standing at the far end of the room leaning against the closed office door with his arms folded and his head lowered.)
MRS HOLMES (to Mycroft): How is that even possible?!
MYCROFT: What Uncle Rudy began ... (he hesitates slightly, his eyes lowered) ... I thought it best to continue.
MRS HOLMES (angrily): I’m not asking how you did it, idiot boy, I’m asking how could you?
MYCROFT: I was trying to be kind.
(He raises his eyes to hers at the end of his sentence.)
MRS HOLMES: Kind?! (She gasps in a pained breath.) Kind? (She becomes tearful as she continues.) You told us that our daughter was dead.
MYCROFT: Better that than tell you what she had become.
(She stares at him wide-eyed.)
MYCROFT: I’m sorry.
(His father stands up and leans his hands on the table.)
MR HOLMES: Whatever she became, whatever she is now, Mycroft ...
(Cut-away of a helicopter flying towards Sherrinford Island.)
MR HOLMES (offscreen): ... she remains our daughter.
MYCROFT: And my sister.
MRS HOLMES: Then you should have done better.
SHERLOCK (quietly): He did his best.
MRS HOLMES: Then he’s very limited.
(Mycroft looks towards his brother, unable to meet his parents’ eyes.)
MR HOLMES: Where is she?
(Cut-away of the helicopter coming in to land on the beach of the island.)
MYCROFT: Back in Sherrinford; secure, this time. (He looks at his father.) People have died.
(Sherlock gets out of the helicopter, carrying a holdall, and walks away across the beach.)
MYCROFT (offscreen): Without doubt she will kill again if she has the opportunity. There’s no possibility she’ll ever be able to leave.
(Mr Holmes has straightened up a little but now leans down again and speaks firmly.)
MR HOLMES: When can we see her?
(Mycroft looks at him.
At Sherrinford, Sherlock comes out of the lift on the upper level of the Control Room and trots down the stairs.)

MYCROFT (offscreen): There’s no point.
MRS HOLMES (upset): How dare you say that?
MYCROFT (closing his eyes and speaking more firmly): She won’t talk. She won’t communicate with anyone in any way.
(At Sherrinford, Sherlock swipes a card through a card reader and the door in front of him opens. He walks through.)
MYCROFT: She has passed beyond our view.
(Still leaning against Mycroft’s office door, Sherlock gazes down at the floor in front of him.)
MYCROFT (looking at his mother): There are no words that can reach her now.
(She turns to look at her other son.
At Sherrinford, Sherlock walks out of another lift.)

MRS HOLMES (offscreen): Sherlock.
(In Mycroft’s office, Sherlock raises his head.
At Sherrinford, he walks along the long corridor towards the Secure Unit.
In the office, Mrs Holmes shrugs questioningly at Sherlock.)

(At Sherrinford, Sherlock stops at the end of the corridor and the lights on the scanner above his head begin to oscillate back and forth.)
MRS HOLMES (offscreen): You were always the grown-up.
(Mycroft raises his head a little and looks towards his brother.)
MRS HOLMES (offscreen): What do we do now?
(Sherlock turns his head away slightly, looking thoughtful.
At Sherrinford, the lift door at the front of Eurus’ cell slides open and Sherlock, having presumably left his coat upstairs, walks out. He walks a few paces forward, looking at his sister inside the glass-walled cell. Her face is turned away from him and she doesn’t react to the sound of his footsteps. He bends down and puts the holdall on the floor. Behind him the lift door closes and the green lights in the room turn white. Sitting on the seat at the side of the room, she still doesn’t react. Sherlock unzips the bag and then stands up holding his violin and bow. He plucks at the strings and Eurus blinks. Once he’s sure the violin is tuned properly, he lifts his bow and plays a simple tune. He stops at the end of the first phrase and lifts his bow a little, looking towards Eurus. She doesn’t respond or move in any way.
In the burnt-out living room of 221B Baker Street, Sherlock – in shirt and trousers – walks across the floor, stepping over the ruined books and debris. The sound of him playing the same tune in Eurus’ cell can be heard offscreen as he starts it again and this time continues the tune. In 221B he picks up a random item from the floor, then walks across to where the skull which is usually on the wall between the windows is lying on the burnt rug. John turns around from where he’s standing near the fireplace and holds up what he’s just found – the earphones which usually adorn the skull’s head. Sherlock lifts the skull so that John can put the earphones back onto it and then loop the cable over the top. Sherlock turns away with it and looks for somewhere to put it.
In the cell Sherlock continues playing. After a while, Eurus stands up and turns to face him. Sherlock stops playing, and the two of them look at each other for a long while.
In 221B Sherlock, still holding the skull and headphones, lifts his overturned chair with the other hand and sets it upright. As he gazes upwards, the violin starts up again offscreen.
A helicopter heads towards Sherrinford Island again and, in the cell, Sherlock plays on. Eurus stands silently, watching him with a trace of interest on her face.
In 221B Sherlock picks up one of the dining chairs and sets it on its feet. John is over near the right-hand window.
Sherlock gets out of the helicopter again on the beach at Sherrinford with his holdall in one hand. We start to realise that he is making repeated visits to play to his sister.
In the cell, while he continues to play, Eurus picks up her own violin and bow and walks towards the glass wall. Sherlock stops in mid-phrase. She puts the violin to her chin. Sherlock watches her, and she begins to play the same piece from the beginning. The sound from her violin is richer – either she’s a better player or she has her Strad back. Or possibly it’s a bit of both because she plays the first phrase with more flair than her brother, running the notes together differently at one point. Sherlock blinks rapidly as she ends the phrase and stops, lowering her bow. He lifts his own bow and plays the phrase again, still using his own interpretation of the notes.
While the music continues offscreen, John is standing in his own living room sorting through his mail. He stops when he gets to a white padded envelope sent by Special Delivery.
Shortly afterwards he walks aimlessly around the room while he speaks into his phone.)

JOHN: Uh, yeah, I-I think you’d better get round here.
(In his other hand he is holding what he found in the envelope. Inside a clear plastic wallet is a white DVD. Handwritten on the disc are the words “MISS YOU”.
In the cell, Eurus closes her eyes and begins to play the tune again but this time Sherlock joins in with a counterpart. They stand either side of the glass, harmonising with each other.
At John’s home, the disc slides into the DVD player. Sherlock has now arrived and stands near the sofa, still wearing his coat, while John sits down. They look at each other for a moment, then Sherlock turns away to look towards the TV while John lifts the remote control and starts the playback. Mary’s face smiles at them from the screen. Sherlock blinks and John stares at the TV in surprise, his mouth falling open a little.)

(As the music from the violin duet continues, Sherlock again walks along the corridor towards the Special Unit.)
MARY (voiceover initially, then on the screen): I know you two; and if I’m gone, I know what you could become.
(Sherlock turns to look down at John. John smiles briefly at the screen, his eyes full of tears, and Sherlock turns back to the TV as Mary continues.)
MARY (voiceover): ... because I know who you really are.
(Flashback to our very first sight of Sherlock all those years ago, his face upside down on the screen as he unzips a body bag and looks inside.)
MARY (voiceover): A junkie who solves crimes to get high ...
(In the flashback Sherlock looks down at the body and wrinkles his nose a little as he sniffs.
Flashback to our very first sight of John, jolting up in bed in his lonely bedsit after his latest nightmare.)

MARY (voiceover): ... and the doctor who never came home from the war.
(Sherlock walks to the door of the Secure Unit and swipes his card through the reader.
In the cell, the siblings’ duet becomes more complicated and intricate.)

MARY (on the TV screen): Well, you listen to me: who you really are, it doesn’t matter.
(In the dark burnt ruin of 221B, a workman is sweeping up while another one stuffs rubbish into a black plastic bag. Standing in front of the fireplace, John looks around the room and tiredly rubs the back of his neck as if despairing of ever getting the place back to normal. Oblivious to what’s going on around him, Sherlock is sitting in his chair texting.)
MARY (voiceover): It’s all about the legend, the stories, the adventures.
(At Sherrinford, Sherlock comes out of the lift and walks across the green-lit room towards where his sister is sitting on the seat with her back to the room.
The Holmes siblings face each other through the glass, playing together beautifully.
In 221B, Mrs Hudson comes through the door and looks across the room. While the workmen tidy up and John stands at the fireplace, Sherlock types onto his phone
“You know where to find me.” and adds underneath “SH”.)
MARY (voiceover): There is a last refuge for the desperate, the unloved, the persecuted.
(Again Sherlock walks along the corridor towards the Secure Unit.
In the cell, Eurus and Sherlock play on.)

MARY (voiceover): There is a final court of appeal for everyone.
(In 221B, most of the burnt debris has been removed and workmen are now redecorating. Our boys have decided to restore the flat exactly as it was, and the wallpaper on the fireplace wall is the same as it was before. Sherlock, wearing his camel dressing gown, is standing facing the fireplace. At the sofa wall, John sprays a circle of yellow paint onto the wallpaper and then adds two dots inside near the top of the circle. He turns round and we see that the wallpaper on that wall is also the same as it was before and John has now added the smiley face to it. He looks across expectantly towards Sherlock and then walks out of the way. Sherlock, now facing into the room, raises his long-muzzled pistol, spins the chamber and then flicks it into place, then aims towards the spray-painted face and fires twice. He smiles, then lifts the muzzle and blows across the top.
The siblings’ tune resolves into the familiar
“Pursuit” music, now played offscreen by an ensemble of stringed instruments.
Sherlock, now wearing his blue dressing gown, stabs his knife down into an open letter on the mantelpiece as John stands beside him holding the piece of paper in position. They turn as Mrs Hudson comes into the room and looks at them in exasperation. The room is now fully restored to its former glory and all the familiar items have either been repaired or replaced with identical copies.
Sherlock and Eurus play on. Without stopping, he raises his eyes to hers and she looks back at him. For the first time, there is emotion in her eyes as she gazes at her brother. She smiles just a little and they continue their duet.
In 221B a montage of scenes rolls out. Even though there is no segue between them, they clearly take place over a period of time. Sherlock, in his camel dressing gown, walks around behind the client chair. Sitting in the chair is an old-fashioned ventriloquist’s dummy dressed in a black and red jacket with a white shirt and black bowtie. Its operator seems to be crouched behind the chair, as evidenced by a black-sleeved arm poking round from the back of the chair and disappearing into the dummy’s back. John walks through the living room door wearing his jacket and carrying his briefcase. He frowns briefly at the scene as he goes across the room. Sitting down in his chair he looks up at a blackboard set up on an easel in front of the fireplace and frowns at the ‘dancing men’ figures chalked on it [see here for the translation].)

MARY (voiceover): When life gets too strange, too impossible ...
(At the other side of the blackboard, sitting in his chair wearing his suit jacket, Sherlock frowns across the room and gets up to walk over and stand at the feet of a man lying on his back in the middle of the floor in front of the door. The man is dressed in Viking costume. His eyes are closed. John, wearing a brown cardigan, is on his knees beside the man, patting his face with one hand and peeling one eyelid open with his other thumb. [For anyone who missed the end credits, the man is played by musician Paul Weller.])
MARY (voiceover): ... too frightening, there is always one last hope.
(Mrs Hudson comes to the living room door holding a can of air freshener. Pulling a face, she sprays the can into the air and then turns to spray another blast towards John’s chair.)
MARY (voiceover): When all else fails ...
(Sitting in his chair and looking down in disgust at something grubby and possibly vomit-soaked in his hands, John – still in his brown cardigan – raises his head as Sherlock picks up Rosie and straightens up. She now has a full head of hair and is dressed in a pink top with denim short-legged dungarees over the top. Her mouth is grubby, so presumably she has just thrown up into whatever John is holding.)
MARY (voiceover): ... there are two men sitting arguing in a scruffy flat ...
(Tucking his goddaughter closely into his body with one hand while she makes a valiant attempt to stick her finger up her nose, Sherlock smiles and points across the room with the other.)
SHERLOCK: Oh, there’s Daddy!
(The music resolves into a fuller, slower and even more orchestral version of “Pursuit”.
Sherlock waves across the room and then walks forward to hand Rosie down to John, who is kneeling on the floor and wearing a pale grey shirt. John smiles in delight as he takes hold of his daughter and kisses her cheek.)

MARY (voiceover): ... like they’ve always been there ...
(Nearby, Greg stands looking towards Sherlock with one hand raised to his head and a harassed look on his face. He gestures beckoningly towards him as he turns to the door.)
MARY (voiceover): ... and they always will.
(In the doorway as Greg leaves, Molly comes in smiling happily and walks across the room.)
MARY (voiceover): The best and wisest men I have ever known.
(In the cell, Sherlock smiles at his sister as he continues to duet with her. Their parents and big brother are sitting on chairs to one side of Sherlock. With her eyes lowered while she listens to her children play, their mother reaches across to take Mycroft’s hand. He looks down at their hands and then turns to look at her.)
MARY (voiceover): My Baker Street boys.
(She smiles from the TV screen.)
MARY: Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
(And in slow motion Sherlock and John – our Baker Street boys – run side-by-side out of the entrance of a large stone building, identified by plaques either side of the porch as “Rathbone Place,” and race off towards their next adventure.)

Transcript and Detailedcommentary courtesy of

-Many Thanks and Maximum Love

Monday, 1 October 2018

Surely The Game is hardly worth The Candle.

When Shall We3 Meet Again?
By Thunder, Lightening, or in Rain?

"The Seven Percent Solution is NOT a Sherlock Holmes Story — 
It's a Story About Sherlock Holmes."

— Nicholas Meyer

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantel-piece and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case. With his long, white, nervous fingers he adjusted the delicate needle, and rolled back his left shirt-cuff. For some little time his eyes rested thoughtfully upon the sinewy forearm and wrist all dotted and scarred with innumerable puncture-marks. Finally he thrust the sharp point home, pressed down the tiny piston, and sank back into the velvet-lined arm-chair with a long sigh of satisfaction.

Three times a day for many months I had witnessed this performance, but custom had not reconciled my mind to it. On the contrary, from day to day I had become more irritable at the sight, and my conscience swelled nightly within me at the thought that I had lacked the courage to protest. Again and again I had registered a vow that I should deliver my soul upon the subject, but there was that in the cool, nonchalant air of my companion which made him the last man with whom one would care to take anything approaching to a liberty. His great powers, his masterly manner, and the experience which I had had of his many extraordinary qualities, all made me diffident and backward in crossing him.

Yet upon that afternoon, whether it was the Beaune which I had taken with my lunch, or the additional exasperation produced by the extreme deliberation of his manner, I suddenly felt that I could hold out no longer.

"Which is it to-day?" I asked,—"morphine or cocaine?"

He raised his eyes languidly from the old black-letter volume which he had opened. "It is cocaine," he said,—"a seven-per-cent. solution. Would you care to try it?"

"No, indeed," I answered, brusquely. "My constitution has not got over the Afghan campaign yet. I cannot afford to throw any extra strain upon it."

He smiled at my vehemence. "Perhaps you are right, Watson," he said. "I suppose that its influence is physically a bad one. I find it, however, so transcendently stimulating and clarifying to the mind that its secondary action is a matter of small moment."

"But consider!" I said, earnestly. "Count the cost! Your brain may, as you say, be roused and excited, but it is a pathological and morbid process, which involves increased tissue-change and may at last leave a permanent weakness. You know, too, what a black reaction comes upon you. Surely the game is hardly worth the candle. Why should you, for a mere passing pleasure, risk the loss of those great powers with which you have been endowed? Remember that I speak not only as one comrade to another, but as a medical man to one for whose constitution he is to some extent answerable."

He did not seem offended. On the contrary, he put his finger-tips together and leaned his elbows on the arms of his chair, like one who has a relish for conversation.

"My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world."

"The only unofficial detective?" I said, raising my eyebrows.

"The only unofficial consulting detective," he answered. "I am the last and highest court of appeal in detection. When Gregson or Lestrade or Athelney Jones are out of their depths—which, by the way, is their normal state—the matter is laid before me. I examine the data, as an expert, and pronounce a specialist's opinion. I claim no credit in such cases. My name figures in no newspaper. The work itself, the pleasure of finding a field for my peculiar powers, is my highest reward. But you have yourself had some experience of my methods of work in the Jefferson Hope case."

"Yes, indeed," said I, cordially. "I was never so struck by anything in my life. I even embodied it in a small brochure with the somewhat fantastic title of 'A Study in Scarlet.'"

He shook his head sadly. "I glanced over it," said he. "Honestly, I cannot congratulate you upon it. Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love-story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid."

"But the romance was there," I remonstrated. "I could not tamper with the facts."

"Some facts should be suppressed, or at least a just sense of proportion should be observed in treating them. The only point in the case which deserved mention was the curious analytical reasoning from effects to causes by which I succeeded in unraveling it."

I was annoyed at this criticism of a work which had been specially designed to please him. I confess, too, that I was irritated by the egotism which seemed to demand that every line of my pamphlet should be devoted to his own special doings. More than once during the years that I had lived with him in Baker Street I had observed that a small vanity underlay my companion's quiet and didactic manner. I made no remark, however, but sat nursing my wounded leg. I had a Jezail bullet through it some time before, and, though it did not prevent me from walking, it ached wearily at every change of the weather.

"My practice has extended recently to the Continent," said Holmes, after a while, filling up his old brier-root pipe. "I was consulted last week by Francois Le Villard, who, as you probably know, has come rather to the front lately in the French detective service. He has all the Celtic power of quick intuition, but he is deficient in the wide range of exact knowledge which is essential to the higher developments of his art. The case was concerned with a will, and possessed some features of interest. I was able to refer him to two parallel cases, the one at Riga in 1857, and the other at St. Louis in 1871, which have suggested to him the true solution. Here is the letter which I had this morning acknowledging my assistance." He tossed over, as he spoke, a crumpled sheet of foreign notepaper. I glanced my eyes down it, catching a profusion of notes of admiration, with stray "magnifiques," "coup-de-maitres," and "tours-de-force," all testifying to the ardent admiration of the Frenchman.

"He speaks as a pupil to his master," said I.

"Oh, he rates my assistance too highly," said Sherlock Holmes, lightly. "He has considerable gifts himself. He possesses two out of the three qualities necessary for the ideal detective. He has the power of observation and that of deduction. He is only wanting in knowledge; and that may come in time. He is now translating my small works into French."

"Your works?"

"Oh, didn't you know?" he cried, laughing. "Yes, I have been guilty of several monographs. They are all upon technical subjects. Here, for example, is one 'Upon the Distinction between the Ashes of the Various Tobaccoes.' In it I enumerate a hundred and forty forms of cigar-, cigarette-, and pipe-tobacco, with colored plates illustrating the difference in the ash. It is a point which is continually turning up in criminal trials, and which is sometimes of supreme importance as a clue. If you can say definitely, for example, that some murder has been done by a man who was smoking an Indian lunkah, it obviously narrows your field of search. To the trained eye there is as much difference between the black ash of a Trichinopoly and the white fluff of bird's-eye as there is between a cabbage and a potato."

"You have an extraordinary genius for minutiae," I remarked.

"I appreciate their importance. Here is my monograph upon the tracing of footsteps, with some remarks upon the uses of plaster of Paris as a preserver of impresses. Here, too, is a curious little work upon the influence of a trade upon the form of the hand, with lithotypes of the hands of slaters, sailors, corkcutters, compositors, weavers, and diamond-polishers. That is a matter of great practical interest to the scientific detective,—especially in cases of unclaimed bodies, or in discovering the antecedents of criminals. But I weary you with my hobby."

"Not at all," I answered, earnestly. "It is of the greatest interest to me, especially since I have had the opportunity of observing your practical application of it. But you spoke just now of observation and deduction. Surely the one to some extent implies the other."

"Why, hardly," he answered, leaning back luxuriously in his arm-chair, and sending up thick blue wreaths from his pipe. "For example, observation shows me that you have been to the Wigmore Street Post-Office this morning, but deduction lets me know that when there you dispatched a telegram."

"Right!" said I. "Right on both points! But I confess that I don't see how you arrived at it. It was a sudden impulse upon my part, and I have mentioned it to no one."

"It is simplicity itself," he remarked, chuckling at my surprise,—"so absurdly simple that an explanation is superfluous; and yet it may serve to define the limits of observation and of deduction. Observation tells me that you have a little reddish mould adhering to your instep. Just opposite the Seymour Street Office they have taken up the pavement and thrown up some earth which lies in such a way that it is difficult to avoid treading in it in entering. The earth is of this peculiar reddish tint which is found, as far as I know, nowhere else in the neighborhood. So much is observation. The rest is deduction."

"How, then, did you deduce the telegram?"

"Why, of course I knew that you had not written a letter, since I sat opposite to you all morning. I see also in your open desk there that you have a sheet of stamps and a thick bundle of post-cards. What could you go into the post-office for, then, but to send a wire? Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth."

"In this case it certainly is so," I replied, after a little thought. "The thing, however, is, as you say, of the simplest. Would you think me impertinent if I were to put your theories to a more severe test?"

"On the contrary," he answered, "it would prevent me from taking a second dose of cocaine. I should be delighted to look into any problem which you might submit to me."

"I have heard you say that it is difficult for a man to have any object in daily use without leaving the impress of his individuality upon it in such a way that a trained observer might read it. Now, I have here a watch which has recently come into my possession. Would you have the kindness to let me have an opinion upon the character or habits of the late owner?"

I handed him over the watch with some slight feeling of amusement in my heart, for the test was, as I thought, an impossible one, and I intended it as a lesson against the somewhat dogmatic tone which he occasionally assumed. He balanced the watch in his hand, gazed hard at the dial, opened the back, and examined the works, first with his naked eyes and then with a powerful convex lens. I could hardly keep from smiling at his crestfallen face when he finally snapped the case to and handed it back.

"There are hardly any data," he remarked. "The watch has been recently cleaned, which robs me of my most suggestive facts."

"You are right," I answered. "It was cleaned before being sent to me." In my heart I accused my companion of putting forward a most lame and impotent excuse to cover his failure. What data could he expect from an uncleaned watch?

"Though unsatisfactory, my research has not been entirely barren," he observed, staring up at the ceiling with dreamy, lack-lustre eyes. "Subject to your correction, I should judge that the watch belonged to your elder brother, who inherited it from your father."

"That you gather, no doubt, from the H. W. upon the back?"

"Quite so. The W. suggests your own name. The date of the watch is nearly fifty years back, and the initials are as old as the watch: so it was made for the last generation. Jewelry usually descends to the eldest son, and he is most likely to have the same name as the father. Your father has, if I remember right, been dead many years. It has, therefore, been in the hands of your eldest brother."

"Right, so far," said I. "Anything else?"

"He was a man of untidy habits,—very untidy and careless. He was left with good prospects, but he threw away his chances, lived for some time in poverty with occasional short intervals of prosperity, and finally, taking to drink, he died. That is all I can gather."

I sprang from my chair and limped impatiently about the room with considerable bitterness in my heart.

"This is unworthy of you, Holmes," I said. "I could not have believed that you would have descended to this. You have made inquires into the history of my unhappy brother, and you now pretend to deduce this knowledge in some fanciful way. You cannot expect me to believe that you have read all this from his old watch! It is unkind, and, to speak plainly, has a touch of charlatanism in it."

"My dear doctor," said he, kindly, "pray accept my apologies. Viewing the matter as an abstract problem, I had forgotten how personal and painful a thing it might be to you. I assure you, however, that I never even knew that you had a brother until you handed me the watch."

"Then how in the name of all that is wonderful did you get these facts? They are absolutely correct in every particular."

"Ah, that is good luck. I could only say what was the balance of probability. I did not at all expect to be so accurate."

"But it was not mere guess-work?"

"No, no: I never guess. It is a shocking habit,—destructive to the logical faculty. What seems strange to you is only so because you do not follow my train of thought or observe the small facts upon which large inferences may depend. For example, I began by stating that your brother was careless. When you observe the lower part of that watch-case you notice that it is not only dinted in two places, but it is cut and marked all over from the habit of keeping other hard objects, such as coins or keys, in the same pocket. Surely it is no great feat to assume that a man who treats a fifty-guinea watch so cavalierly must be a careless man. Neither is it a very far-fetched inference that a man who inherits one article of such value is pretty well provided for in other respects."

I nodded, to show that I followed his reasoning.

"It is very customary for pawnbrokers in England, when they take a watch, to scratch the number of the ticket with a pin-point upon the inside of the case. It is more handy than a label, as there is no risk of the number being lost or transposed. There are no less than four such numbers visible to my lens on the inside of this case. Inference,—that your brother was often at low water. Secondary inference,—that he had occasional bursts of prosperity, or he could not have redeemed the pledge. Finally, I ask you to look at the inner plate, which contains the key-hole. Look at the thousands of scratches all round the hole,—marks where the key has slipped. What sober man's key could have scored those grooves? But you will never see a drunkard's watch without them. He winds it at night, and he leaves these traces of his unsteady hand. Where is the mystery in all this?"

"It is as clear as daylight," I answered. "I regret the injustice which I did you. I should have had more faith in your marvellous faculty. May I ask whether you have any professional inquiry on foot at present?"

"None. Hence the cocaine. I cannot live without brain-work. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window here. Was ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-colored houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them? Crime is commonplace, existence is commonplace, and no qualities save those which are commonplace have any function upon earth."

I had opened my mouth to reply to this tirade, when with a crisp knock our landlady entered, bearing a card upon the brass salver.

"A young lady for you, sir," she said, addressing my companion.

"Miss Mary Morstan," he read. "Hum! I have no recollection of the name. Ask the young lady to step up, Mrs. Hudson. Don't go, doctor. I should prefer that you remain."

Saturday, 29 September 2018


No Sympathy for The Devil —
Keep That in Mind

Buy The Ticket
Take The Ride

Lucifer :

 "Doesn't quite make sense, 
Doesn't quite make sense." 

Of course it doesn't make sense, it's not real. 


Oh, Sherlock. 



Sherlock :
No. No, not you. 
It can't be you. 

Lucifer :
I mean, come on, be serious. 
The costumes, the gong? 
Speaking as a criminal mastermind, we don't really have gongs or special outfits. 

Sherlock :
What the hell is going on? 

Lucifer :
 Is this silly enough for you yet? 
Gothic enough? 
Mad enough, even for you? 

It doesn't make sense, Sherlock, 
because it's not real. 
None of it. 

Watson :
What's he talking about? 

Lucifer :
This is all in your mind. 

John :

Watson :

John :
You're dreaming...

I don't believe that God made Man in his image. 

'Cause most of the shit that happens comes from man. 

No, I think man was made in the Devil's image. 
And Women were created out of God. 

'Cause after all, Women can have babies, which is kind of like creating. 

And which also accounts for the fact that women are so attracted to men... 'cause let's face it... the Devil is a hell of a lot more interesting! 

Believe me, I've slept with some Saints in my day, I know what I'm talking about. 

So the whole point in life is for men and women to get married... so that God and the Devil can get together and work it out. 

Not that we have to get married. 

God forbid.

Friday, 28 September 2018

The Reichenbach Cauldron

I moved my head to look at the cabinet behind me. When I turned again Sherlock Holmes was standing smiling at me across my study table. 

I rose to my feet, stared at him for some seconds in utter amazement, and then it appears that I must have fainted for the first and the last time in my life. 

Certainly a grey mist swirled before my eyes, and when it cleared I found my collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon my lips. Holmes was bending over my chair, his flask in his hand.

“My dear Watson,” said the well-remembered voice, “I owe you a thousand apologies. I had no idea that you would be so affected.”

I gripped him by the arm.

“Holmes!” I cried. “Is it really you? Can it indeed be that you are alive? Is it possible that you succeeded in climbing out of that awful abyss?”

“Wait a moment,” said he. “Are you sure that you are really fit to discuss things? I have given you a serious shock by my unnecessarily dramatic reappearance.”
“I am all right, but indeed, Holmes, I can hardly believe my eyes. Good heavens, to think that you—you of all men— should be standing in my study!” 

Again I gripped him by the sleeve and felt the thin, sinewy arm beneath it. “Well, you’re not a spirit, anyhow,” said I. “My dear chap, I am overjoyed to see you. Sit down and tell me how you came alive out of that dreadful chasm.”

He sat opposite to me and lit a cigarette in his old nonchalant manner. He was dressed in the seedy frock-coat of the book merchant, but the rest of that individual lay in a pile of white hair and old books upon the table. Holmes looked even thinner and keener than of old, but there was a dead-white tinge in his aquiline face which told me that his life recently had not been a healthy one.

“I am glad to stretch myself, Watson,” said he. “It is no joke when a tall man has to take a foot off his stature for several hours on end. Now, my dear fellow, in the matter of these explanations we have, if I may ask for your co-operation, a hard and dangerous night’s work in front of us. Perhaps it would be better if I gave you an account of the whole situation when that work is finished.”
“I am full of curiosity. I should much prefer to hear now.”

“You’ll come with me to-night?”

“When you like and where you like.”

“This is indeed like the old days. We shall have time for a mouthful of dinner before we need go. Well, then, about that chasm. I had no serious difficulty in getting out of it, for the very simple reason that I never was in it.”

“You never were in it?”

“No, Watson, I never was in it. My note to you was absolutely genuine. I had little doubt that I had come to the end of my career when I perceived the somewhat sinister figure of the late Professor Moriarty standing upon the narrow pathway which led to safety. I read an inexorable purpose in his grey eyes. I exchanged some remarks with him, therefore, and obtained his courteous permission to write the short note which you afterwards received. 

I left it with my cigarette-box and my stick and I walked along the pathway, Moriarty still at my heels. When I reached the end I stood at bay. He drew no weapon, but he rushed at me and threw his long arms around me. 

He knew that his own game was up, and was only anxious to revenge himself upon me. We tottered together upon the brink of the fall. 

I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me. I slipped through his grip, and he with a horrible scream kicked madly for a few seconds and clawed the air with both his hands. 

But for all his efforts he could not get his balance, and over he went. With my face over the brink I saw him fall for a long way. Then he struck a rock, bounded off, and splashed into the water.”

I listened with amazement to this explanation, which Holmes delivered between the puffs of his cigarette.
“But the tracks!” I cried. “I saw with my own eyes that two went down the path and none returned.”
“It came about in this way. The instant that the Professor had disappeared it struck me what a really extraordinarily lucky chance Fate had placed in my way. 

I knew that Moriarty was not the only man who had sworn my death. There were at least three others whose desire for vengeance upon me would only be increased by the death of their leader. They were all most dangerous men. One or other would certainly get me. 

On the other hand, if all the world was convinced that I was dead they would take liberties, these men, they would lay themselves open, and sooner or later I could destroy them. 

Then it would be time for me to announce that I was still in the land of the living. So rapidly does the brain act that I believe I had thought this all out before Professor Moriarty had reached the bottom of the Reichenbach Fall.

“I stood up and examined the rocky wall behind me. In your picturesque account of the matter, which I read with great interest some months later, you assert that the wall was sheer. This was not literally true. 

A few small footholds presented themselves, and there was some indication of a ledge. The cliff is so high that to climb it all was an obvious impossibility, and it was equally impossible to make my way along the wet path without leaving some tracks. 

I might, it is true, have reversed my boots, as I have done on similar occasions, but the sight of three sets of tracks in one direction would certainly have suggested a deception. On the whole, then, it was best that I should risk the climb. It was not a pleasant business, Watson. 

The fall roared beneath me. I am not a fanciful person, but I give you my word that I seemed to hear Moriarty’s voice screaming at me out of the abyss. 

A mistake would have been fatal. More than once, as tufts of grass came out in my hand or my foot slipped in the wet notches of the rock, I thought that I was gone. 

But I struggled upwards, and at last I reached a ledge several feet deep and covered with soft green moss, where I could lie unseen in the most perfect comfort. 

There I was stretched when you, my dear Watson, and all your following were investigating in the most sympathetic and inefficient manner the circumstances of my death.

“At last, when you had all formed your inevitable and totally erroneous conclusions, you departed for the hotel and I was left alone. 

I had imagined that I had reached the end of my adventures, but a very unexpected occurrence showed me that there were surprises still in store for me. 

A huge rock, falling from above, boomed past me, struck the path, and bounded over into the chasm. 

For an instant I thought that it was an accident; but a moment later, looking up, I saw a man’s head against the darkening sky, and another stone struck the very ledge upon which I was stretched, within a foot of my head. 

Of course, the meaning of this was obvious. Moriarty had not been alone. 

A confederate—and even that one glance had told me how dangerous a man that confederate was— had kept guard while the Professor had attacked me. From a distance, unseen by me, he had been a witness of his friend’s death and of my escape. He had waited, and then, making his way round to the top of the cliff, he had endeavoured to succeed where his comrade had failed.

“I did not take long to think about it, Watson. Again I saw that grim face look over the cliff, and I knew that it was the precursor of another stone. I scrambled down on to the path. 

I don’t think I could have done it in cold blood. It was a hundred times more difficult than getting up. But I had no time to think of the danger, for another stone sang past me as I hung by my hands from the edge of the ledge. 

Halfway down I slipped, but by the blessing of God I landed, torn and bleeding, upon the path. I took to my heels, did ten miles over the mountains in the darkness, and a week later I found myself in Florence with the certainty that no one in the world knew what had become of me.
“I had only one confidant—my brother Mycroft. I owe you many apologies, my dear Watson, but it was all-important that it should be thought I was dead, and it is quite certain that you would not have written so convincing an account of my unhappy end had you not yourself thought that it was true. 

Several times during the last three years I have taken up my pen to write to you, but always I feared lest your affectionate regard for me should tempt you to some indiscretion which would betray my secret. 

For that reason I turned away from you this evening when you upset my books, for I was in danger at the time, and any show of surprise and emotion upon your part might have drawn attention to my identity and led to the most deplorable and irreparable results. 

As to Mycroft, I had to confide in him in order to obtain the money which I needed. The course of events in London did not run so well as I had hoped, for the trial of the Moriarty gang left two of its most dangerous members, my own most vindictive enemies, at liberty. I traveled for two years in Tibet, therefore, and amused myself by visiting Lhassa and spending some days with the head Llama. 

You may have read of the remarkable explorations of a Norwegian named Sigerson, but I am sure that it never occurred to you that you were receiving news of your friend. I then passed through Persia, looked in at Mecca, and paid a short but interesting visit to the Khalifa at Khartoum, the results of which I have communicated to the Foreign Office. 

Returning to France I spent some months in a research into the coal-tar derivatives, which I conducted in a laboratory at Montpelier, in the South of France. 

Having concluded this to my satisfaction, and learning that only one of my enemies was now left in London, I was about to return when my movements were hastened by the news of this very remarkable Park Lane Mystery, which not only appealed to me by its own merits, but which seemed to offer some most peculiar personal opportunities. 

I came over at once to London, called in my own person at Baker Street, threw Mrs. Hudson into violent hysterics, and found that Mycroft had preserved my rooms and my papers exactly as they had always been. 

So it was, my dear Watson, that at two o’clock to-day I found myself in my old arm-chair in my own old room, and only wishing that I could have seen my old friend Watson in the other chair which he has so often adorned.”

Monday, 24 September 2018

Eurus Holmes and The Tantra — Beyond Good and Evil

There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown
His cloister'd flight, ere to black Hecate's summons
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.


SCENE I. A desert place.

Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches

First Witch
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch
When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.

Third Witch
That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch
Where the place?

Second Witch
Upon the heath.

Third Witch
There to meet with Macbeth.

First Witch
I come, Graymalkin!

Second Witch
Paddock calls.

Third Witch

Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.

SCENE V. A Heath.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches meeting HECATE
First Witch
Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.

Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call'd to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i' the morning: thither he
Will come to know his destiny:
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and every thing beside.
I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end:
Great business must be wrought ere noon:
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that distill'd by magic sleights
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion:
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
He hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear:
And you all know, security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
Music and a song within: 'Come away, come away,' & c

Hark! I am call'd; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.

First Witch
Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.

‘ As to you, Watson, you are joining up with your old service, as I understand, so London won’t be out of your way. Stand with me here upon the terrace, for it may be the last quiet talk that we shall ever have. ‘

The two friends chatted in intimate conversation for the next few minutes, recalling once again the days of the past while their prisoner wriggled vainly to undo the bonds that held him. As they turned to the care Holmes pointed back to the moonlit sea and shook a thoughtful head.

‘ There’s an east wind coming, Watson. ‘

‘ I think not, Holmes. It’s very warm. ‘

‘ Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. 

There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before it's blast. But it is God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when The Storm has cleared.

Start her up, Watson, for it is time we were on our way. ‘

Again, Phoebe came to the desired embrace of Coeus.

Then the goddess through the love of the god conceived and brought forth dark-gowned Leto, always mild, kind to men and to the deathless gods, mild from the beginning, gentlest in all Olympus.

Also she bare Asteria of happy name, whom Perses once led to his great house to be called his dear wife.  

And she conceived and bare Hecate whom Zeus the son of Cronos honoured above all. 

He gave her splendid gifts, to have a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea.

She received honour also in starry heaven, and is honoured exceedingly by the deathless gods. For to this day, whenever any one of men on earth offers rich sacrifices and prays for favour according to custom, he calls upon Hecate.

Great honour comes full easily to him whose prayers the goddess receives favourably, and she bestows wealth upon him; for the power surely is with her.

For as many as were born of Earth and Ocean amongst all these she has her due portion. The son of Cronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all that was her portion among the former Titan gods: but she holds, as the division was at the first from The Beginning, privilege both in earth, and in heaven, and in sea.

Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not less honour, but much more still, for Zeus honours her.

 Whom she will she greatly aids and advances: she sits by worshipful kings in judgement, and in the assembly whom she will is distinguished among the people.

And when men arm themselves for the battle that destroys men, then the goddess is at hand to give victory and grant glory readily to whom she will.

Good is she also when men contend at the games, for there too the goddess is with them and profits them: and he who by might and strength gets the victory wins the rich prize easily with joy, and brings glory to his parents.

And she is good to stand by horsemen, whom she will: and to those whose business is in the grey discomfortable sea, and who pray to Hecate and the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, easily the glorious goddess gives great catch, and easily she takes it away as soon as seen, if so she will.

She is good in the byre with Hermes to increase the stock. The droves of kine and wide herds of goats and flocks of fleecy sheep, if she will, she increases from a few, or makes many to be less.

So, then. albeit her mother's only child (17), she is honoured amongst all the deathless gods.

And the son of Cronos made her a nurse of the young who after that day saw with their eyes the light of all-seeing Dawn

 So from The Beginning she is a nurse of the young, and these are her honours.

 (17) Van Lennep explains that Hecate, having no brothers to support her claim, might have been slighted.