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Category Archives: Adventures

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Financial Anaylsis of “The Man With the Twisted Lip”

Financial Anaylsis of “The Man With the Twisted Lip”

“Every pocket stuffed with pennies and half-pennies….”

– The Man With the Twisted Lip (TWIS)

 

“Every pocket stuffed with pennies and half-pennies….”
“For seven hours I plied my trade, and when I returned home in the evening I found to my surprise that I had received no less than 26s. 4d.
“… had a writ served upon me for £25.” “In ten days I had the money and had paid the debt.”
“I do not mean that any beggar in the streets of London could earn £700 a year….”

I’ve always found such writing offensive, as it trivializes the pain of grinding poverty and suggests escaping it is easy. English society in Holmes’s time was even more stratified that America today. So I decided to build a spreadsheet from these statements. I had to refresh my understanding of Sterling coinage to interpret the statements. My first discovery was that the math in the three passages is consistent. In each case, Boone is bringing in a bit over two pounds a day.

But the real question, to me, is does it work that way? Recalculating the data, I learn that Boone is taking in a bit over a pence a minute. Now we’ve got a yardstick to test these include claims. Are donors, like bees visiting flowers, giving this frequently? Remember, his take is in pence or half-pence coins. Watching beggars outside of Metro stations or camped at traffic lights, I simply don’t see that level of giving. The traffic light people only succeed when the light is red (every few minutes), and not that often.

I think it’s bunk.

This story originally appeared in the 2018 edtion of Irene’s Cabinet, published by our friends at Watson’s Tin Box, and is reprinted here with permission.

William (Bill) Mosteller is faux Sherlockian. When he reads a story, he worries whether it conforms to the source, the Jeremy Brett episode from Granada. He attends Scion society meetings because Mary Russell sent him.

CoinCollective’s Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence PNC & other Post-Mint Modifications

CoinCollective’s Sherlock Holmes 50 Pence PNC & other Post-Mint Modifications

“… there were several little changes carried out …” – The Adventure of the Speckled Band (SPEC) A United Kingdom collectibles company, CoinCollective, has created a philatelic-numismatic cover with the 2019 Sherlock Holmes 50 pence coin, and several other items that may be of interest to those collectors that want “one of everything.”   This cover… Continue Reading

The 1993 Sherlock Holmes Stamps First Day Cover

The 1993 Sherlock Holmes Stamps First Day Cover

“Holmes stopped at a post office…” – The Adventure of the Creeping Man (CREE) In 1993, the Royal Mail issued a set of 5 24-pence stamps featuring scenes from different Sherlock Holmes stories. Fleetwood, the philatelic collectibles firm, issued a Philatelic Numismatic Cover (PNC) featuring the stamps along with a Victorian farthing and penny. The envelopes… Continue Reading

Canonical Currency in Present-Day Terms (2018)

Canonical Currency in Present-Day Terms (2018)

“An intricate and elaborate calculation.” – The Adventure of the Dancing Men (DANC) Image courtesy of Jean Upton Now that the holiday season is behind us and the inevitable bills begin to roll in, it’s an appropriate time to think of money. For example, that Christmas goose in “The Blue Carbuncle” cost 7/6 (that’s seven… Continue Reading

A Sherlockian Visits the Currency Exchange (1986)

A Sherlockian Visits the Currency Exchange (1986)

“Sold his soul to the devil in exchange for money” – The Adeventure of Wisteria Lodge (WIST) Seven hundred and fifty pounds, Dr. Grimesby Roylott had as the annual income of his late wife’s estate. The reader of The Speckled Band is supposed to understand that £750 is a lot of money, but that £250, which… Continue Reading

Data! Data! Data! – The Man with the Twisted Lip

Data! Data! Data! – The Man with the Twisted Lip

“‘Data! Data! Data!‘ he cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’” – The Adventures of The Copper Beeches (COPP) 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… Continue Reading

The 17 Steps: The Man With the Twisted Lip

The 17 Steps: The Man With the Twisted Lip

Seventeen thoughts for further ponderance of the case at hand – The Man with the Twisted Lip (TWIS) WATSON’S LONDON GOSSIP COLUMN “Isa Whitney, brother of the late Elias Whitney, D. D., Principal of the Theological College of St. George’s, was much addicted to opium,” this tale begins. While the Hounds have often discussed Watson’s protecting… Continue Reading

The 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Medal

The 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Medal

” I have, as you know, devoted some attention to this, and written a little monograph on the ashes of 140 different varieties of pipe, cigar, and cigarette tobacco.” – The Boscombe Valley Mystery (BOSC) The attendees of the 2018 140 Varieties of Tobacco Ash Dinner Violin players. Bicycling enthusiasts. Coin collectors. There are numerous Sherlockian groups out… Continue Reading

Bob Fritsch Issued His Second Sherlockian Wooden Nickel

Bob Fritsch Issued His Second Sherlockian Wooden Nickel

“… I see a Chinese coin hanging from your watch-chain …” – The Red-Headed League (REDH) Robert F. Fritsch, the 7th Garrideb aka The Coiner (by the zinc and copper filings in the seam of his cuff), issued a Sherlockian wooden nickel during last summer’s World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. This is Bob’s second Sherlockian wooden… Continue Reading