“The Adventure of the ‘Gloria Scott'” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I don’t know why, but every so often I just need a Sherlock Holmes fix, so this week I read “The Adventure of the ‘Gloria Scott'” which first appeared in The Strand Magazine and was included in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, published December 1893. I’m sure I’ve read this before, but it’s not one that stuck in my memory, although it was Holmes’ first case.
Holmes finally decides to tell Watson about the first case he was involved in, while he was in college.
“You never heard me talk of Victor Trevor?” he asked. “He was the only friend I made during the two years I was at college. I was never a very sociable fellow, Watson, always rather fond of moping in my rooms and working out my own little methods of thought, so that I never mixed much with the men of my year. Bar fencing and boxing I had few athletic tastes, and then my line of study was quite distinct from that of the other fellows, so that we had no points of contact at all. Trevor was the only man I knew, and that only through the accident of his bull terrier freezing on to my ankle one morning as I went down to chapel.”
I love that picture of a younger Sherlock. Anyway, the adventure involves Victor’s father, a justice of the peace. Holme is invited to the Trevors’ home for a holiday and gives a demonstration of his deductive reasoning powers. While there a mysterious man shows up, a man the elder Trevor seems to know, and to be almost afraid of. Holmes soon head back to London and works on his experiments there until he receives a letter from Victor stating that Victor needs Holmes’ help immediately, that he fears for his father’s life.
To me, an interesting point is that Holmes does not actually solve the mystery here. Victor’s father tells the entire story in written form that his son finds after the father’s death. Holmes only clears up a few loose ends. There are also a couple of discrepancies in the story, but to be honest it doesn’t bother me. I enjoy Holmes, period, and have since I was young.
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