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Data! Data! Data! – The Five Orange Pips

Data! Data! Data! – The Five Orange Pips

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’”

– The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP)

Sidney Paget - The Strand Magazine - November 1891
Sidney Paget – The Strand Magazine – November 1891

This column is composed of material (Data!) developed for a short course called Appreciating Sherlock Holmes that I teach twice a year in the Community Education Life Enrichment Program for a local community college. It is composed of “points of information” that are common to many / most / all of the 60 Canonical stories.

The information here has been researched by me or borrowed / stolen from many efforts of other Sherlockians.

The Adventure of The Five Orange Pips, for whatever reason, has been declining in popularity over the years, maybe because of the subject matter or because many have trouble “picturing” it as they read. Basically, you will have to read it because there is only a small chance that you will ever watch it.

HERE GOES       This month’s story The Adventure of The Five Orange Pips.

A Confederate veteran, for dire reasons, “exchanged the charming climate of Florida for the lonely life of an English provincial town.” Holmes was consulted too late to avert the tragedy, but this is one of the most successful of all the stories in conveying the sense of impending horror. The effect is enhanced by the September gale that was raging when young Openshaw came to Baker Street to tell of the sinister message: “Put the papers on the sundial.”

DUMMIES SHORT SUMMARY (From Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Steven Doyle & David Crowder)
“Not a shining moment for Sherlock as he underestimates the power and the reach of the Ku Klux Klan.”

• This is 7th of the 60 tales published.
• It was first published in The Strand Magazine in November, 1891.
• It is part of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection published in book form in 1892.
• The British illustrator was Sidney Paget.

According to C. E. Lauderback, 1960 – – found on SHERLOCKIAN.NET website of Chris Redmond, at 7,378 words FIVE has the 21st most words (#1 is VEIL – 4,499, #56 is NAVL – 12,701)

THE BEST OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (How do Sherlockians rate this story?)
• 1927 – Arthur Conan Doyle named it as 7th on his list of 12 favorites.
• 1944 – The Baker Street Irregulars voted it #7 on their top 12 favorites.
• 1959 – The Baker Street Irregulars did not include it on their list of 10.
• 1999 – The Baker Street Irregulars voted it 24th of the 56 short stories.
• 1999 – The Sherlock Holmes Society of London voted it 23rd of the 56 short stories.

CLASSIFYING THE CASE (From the Wandering Gipsies of Grimpen Mire of Decatur, Alabama)
This case is one of 23 classified as a MURDER where Holmes solved the case but one of 5 where the perpetrator escaped justice. The others were GREE, MUSG, RESI, and WIST.

Doyle was often very vague about stating WHEN the tale took place and included few contemporary references to help. Whether this was done intentionally or unthinkingly, the dating of events in the Canon is a very popular pastime pursued by several of our “scholars” researching and justifying their results to no end. We will again default to William Baring-Gould’s dating of Thursday, September 29 to Friday, September 30, 1887, making it the 11th story in time. This means that Holmes was 33 and Watson 35.

It is always interesting to see what else in happening at the same time as the stories.
• Anglo-Italian Agreement; spheres of influence defined in Northeast Africa.
• Independent Labour Party newspaper, The Clarion, published.
• All elementary education to be free.
• Factory Act: no child under 11 to work in factories.
• Small Holdings Act, County Councils are empowered to purchase land for letting as small holdings under 50 acres.
• Germany develops first pension scheme.
• Massacre of Europeans following Arab revolt in Belgian Congo.
• Bank failures in the U.S.A. and Australia.
• Widespread famine in Russia.
• Building of Trans-Siberian Railway commenced.
• Gauguin travels to Tahiti.
• The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle.
• Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Hardy.
• Beginnings of wireless telegraphy based on work of Clark Maxwell and Hertz.
• Tuffier, of Paris, performs early lung operation for tuberculosis.
• W.L. Hudson, American, invents zipper. First practical design in 1913.

Holmes is still residing at 221B. Watson’s is married and living elsewhere but wife was on a visit to her mother’s, and so for a few days he was once more in his old quarters with Holmes. COMMENT – Watson married Mary Morstan (SIGN) who was an orphan. This “stuff” drives Sherlockians crazy.

• JOHN OPENSHAW, consulted Holmes.
• EIIAS OPENSHAW, uncle of John
• JOSEPH OPENSHAW, father of John
• MAJOR PRENDERGAST, referred John to Holmes
• MAJOR FREEBODY, friend of Joseph – Joseph was visiting him when he was killed.
• CAPTAIN JAMES CALHOUN, captain of the bark Lonestar and leader of the gang of murderers
• 2 MATES (unnamed) OF THE LONESTAR, accomplices of Calhoun

• “Tut! tut! You must act, man, or you are lost. Nothing but energy can save you. This is no time for despair.”
• “I am the last court of appeal.”
II have been beaten four times—three times by men, and once by a woman.”
• “I say now, as I said then, that a man should keep his little brain-attic stocked with all the furniture that he may be likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.”
• “I shall be my own police. When I have spun the web they may take the flies, but not before.”
• “The observer who has thoroughly understood one link in a series of incidents should be able to accurately state all the other ones, both before and after.”
• “It is not so impossible, however, that a man should possess all knowledge which is likely to be useful to him in his work, and this, I have endeavoured in my case to do.”

Sherlock_Holmes_and_the_House_of_Fear_-_1945_-_PosterHOLMES’ FEE
None. Unlikely, since Holmes’ client was murdered.

This is one of the stories in the Canon deemed as having poor “visual” appeal, hence, it has only been on a screen twice.

1945 – The House of Fear with Basil Rathbone
2000 – The Five Orange Pips, as an episode of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century (Animated TV series)

The Master of disguise used the deception of being disguised 14 times in 11 of the 60 stories. In this story, none were needed or used.

UNRECORDED CASES (that involved Holmes)
Watson would tease / torture his readers with “I know something you don’t.” Oh my, how Sherlockians love this category. I have in excess of over 150 examples in my collection. FIVE gives us six more stories that leave us wanting more.
• The Adventure of the Paradol Chamber
• The Amateur Mendicant Society
• The loss of the British Barque Sophie Anderson
• The adventures of the Grice Pattersons on the island of Uffa
• The Camberwell poisoning case
• The Tankerville Club scandal

FAINTING IN THE CANON (courtesy of Sherlockian Karen Murdock)
Fainting is extremely common in the Canon, appearing, in some form, in 37 of the 60 tales. In 21 cases someone actually faints. In 22 cases someone almost faints. And in 5 cases someone pretends to faint. In this month’s story tale, Elias Openshaw almost faints being under great mental stress after receiving a death threat from the KKK – – sometimes broke into a cold sweat. “At such times,” reported his nephew, “I have seen his face, even on a cold day, glisten with moisture, as though it were new raised from a basin. John Openshaw did not report, however, if the colonel fainted from emotional shock after these episodes of sweating.

Sherlockians love this topic and are regularly searching for these items. Holmes mentions published or projected works in 11 of the stories. Unfortunately, none are mentioned here.

NEWSPAPERS (Real and Fictional)
Though included in only 20 tales some of our more obsessed Sherlockians love this one. No need to be obsessed in FIVE.

The 60 Sherlock Holmes stories used English as spoken in England from the 1880’s until the 1910’s. Some words are foreign to us today and need a “contemporary translation.” FIVE only has one item needing “translation” into today:
• “Lloyd’s Registers” refers to Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, no connection with Lloyd’s of London

WEAPONS (from A Compendium of Canonical Weaponry by Dettman and Bedford)
… “a means by which one contends against another” … utilized in 57 of the 60 tales (all but CREE, 3STU, & YELL) There are several general categories to classify “weapons” that include: firearms, human agents, cutlery, animals, blunt instruments, extortion, toxin, blackmail, and miscellaneous. In our story, which is short, you will find a very small list.
• Pool – Of water, in the garden of Elias Openshaw, where his body was found, presumably having been drowned by agents of the Ku Klux Klan.
• Weapon – Which John Openshaw said he was armed with.
• Thames River – Near Waterloo Bridge, where John Openshaw was drowned by agents of the Ku Klux Klan.

Five Orange Peeps
Five Orange Peeps ~ Ugh!

Yes. O.K. Sherlockians are occasionally “weird.” Every year, about this time, many of us prowl the neighborhood supermarkets and drugstores looking for this to give to friends. It goes with this month’s story. Give them “Five Orange PEEPS” – – sorry, just had to include this.

2015-03-30 10.41.54Frank Mentzel, aka Merridew of Abominable Memory, is the current Gasogene of the Six Napoleons of Baltimore. His four week Appreciating Sherlock Holmes classes for the Community Colleges of Baltimore County, MD for the Spring semester is either halfway started or halfway done, depending upon your outlook.

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