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The Punitentiary: The Three Garridebs

The Punitentiary: The Three Garridebs

“I remember the date very well, for it was in the same month that Holmes refused a knighthood for services which may perhaps some day be described.”

The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (3GAR)

Holmes, I can’t believe that you would refuse a knighthood. Few have done more than you in serving royalty and persons of high birth in this country when both your investigative skills and discretion are necessary. Surely you felt some embarrassment in refusing the King.

Come, come, Watson. Royalty or commoner – it makes no difference – I make little distinction in selecting my cases, only that they challenge my deductive skills.  When her Majesty made me a member of the Royal Victorian Order years ago for a small service I provided, I was reluctant to accept it, but could not refuse that gracious lady.  Through Mycroft I made it known that this was more than sufficient and that for personal reasons I could accept no further honours.  Apparently our good King Edward was not informed of this, and Mycroft had to explain my reluctance in such a way as to cause neither insult nor embarrassment to the monarchy.  Besides I already have a knighthood.

What!  What do you mean?  For how long have you kept this hidden from me?

Oh, it’s purely nominal, Watson. Of course you remember when the Vatican requested my assistance in the sudden death of Cardinal Tosca – I believe you referenced it in one of your stories in The Strand.  When the case was complete, I felt I could not refuse the Pope when he insisted that I be made a Knight of Honour and Devotion in the Knights of Malta for my help.  I protested that while I may have catholic tastes in many areas, I was not a member of the Church.  But the honour is purely for lay persons, so to further our relations with the Vatican, I accepted.  It did provide Mycroft with the reason I could not accept a knighthood here.

What do you mean, Holmes?

It is not well known, but our King Edward has a fondness for amusing but slightly risqué or ribald stories.  So when Mycroft explained my reluctance, he amused our monarch by quoting the punchline to that old chestnut:  once a king, always a king, but once a knight is enough!

Bob StekWe welcome Bob Stek as our resident punster to The Fourth Garrideb.  Bob is The Mysterious Scientist of the Baker Street Irregulars and the founder of the Desert Prospectors of Arizona.  Stek is also a member of Watson’s Tin Box, the Epilogues of Sherlock Holmes, the John H Watson Society and many others. In 1987, he published The Electronic Holmes Companion, the first complete electronic version of the Canon. Your editor was a proud owner of the 15 floppy disks that made up the volume.

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