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From Watson’s Tin Box – The Illustrious Client

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Illustrious Client

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.”

– The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR)

“Both Holmes and I had a weakness for the Turkish Bath.” ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box

Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few select items from their tin evidence box for The Adventure of the Illustrious Client with us here at The Fourth Garrideb. These evidence boxes were originally created by the late Paul Churchill, BSI, one of the founders of Watson’s Tin Box and contains both genuine artifacts and genuine faux reproductions that he (and others) created. These items create a great deal of discussion at their monthly meetings and we hope it will do the same here. Enjoy!

“I had asked him whether anything was stirring, and for answer he had shot his long, thin, nervous arm out of the sheets which enveloped him and had drawn an envelope from the inside pocket of the coat which hung beside him.
‘It may be some fussy, self-important fool, it may be a matter of life or death,’ said he, as he handed me the note. ‘I know no more than this message tells me.’
It was from the Carlton Club, and dated the evening before.” ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
‘It is my business to follow the details of Continental crime. Who could possibly have read what happened at Prague and have any doubts as to the man’s guilt! It was a purely technical legal point and the suspicious death of a witness that saved him! I am as sure that he killed his wife when the so-called “accident” happened in the Splügen Pass as if I had seen him do it. I knew, also, that he had come to England, and had a presentiment that sooner or later he would find me some work to do. Well, what has Baron Gruner been up to? I presume it is not this old tragedy which has come up again?’ ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
It’s a book he has – a brown leather book with a lock, and his arms in gold on the outside. I think he was a bit drunk that night, or he would not have shown it to me.’
‘What was it, then?’
‘I tell you, Mr Holmes, this man collects women, and takes a pride in his collection, as some men collect moths or butterflies. He had it all in that book. Snapshot photographs, names, details, everything about them. It was a beastly book – a book no man, even if he had come from the gutter, could have put together. But it was Adelbert Gruner’s book all the same. “Souls I have ruined.” He could have put that on the outside if he had been so minded. However, that’s neither here nor there, for the book would not serve you, and, if it would, you can’t get it.’ ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
It was between the Grand Hotel and Charing Cross Station, where a one-legged news-vendor displayed his evening papers. The date was just two days after the last conversation. There, black upon yellow, was the terrible news-sheet:
MURDEROUS ATTACK UPON SHERLOCK HOLMES
I think I stood stunned for some moments. Then I have a confused recollection of snatching at a paper, of the remonstrance of the man, whom I had not paid, and, finally, of standing in the doorway of a chemist’s shop while I turned up the fateful paragraph. ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
The first thing is to exaggerate my injuries. They’ll come to you for news. Put it on thick, Watson. Lucky if I live the week out – concussion – delirium – what you like! You can’t overdo it.’ ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
On the seventh day the stitches were taken out, in spite of which there was a report of erysipelas in the evening papers. The same evening papers had an announcement which I was bound, sick or well, to carry to my friend. It was simply that among the passengers on the Cunard boat Ruritania, starting from Liverpool on Friday, was the Baron Adelbert Gruner, who had some important financial business to settle in the States before his impending wedding to Miss Violet de Merville, only daughter of, etc., etc. Holmes listened to the news with a cold, concentrated look upon his pale face, which told me that it hit him hard.” ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
‘Well, then, spend the next twenty-four hours in an intensive study of Chinese pottery.’
He gave no explanations and I asked for none. By long experience I had learned the wisdom of obedience. But when I had left his room I walked down Baker Street, revolving in my head how on earth I was to carry out so strange an order. Finally I drove to the London Library in St James’s Square, put the matter to my friend Lomax, the sub-librarian, and departed to my rooms with a goodly volume under my arm. ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
He opened the lid and took out a small object most carefully wrapped in some fine Eastern silk. This he unfolded, and disclosed a delicate little saucer of the most beautiful deep-blue colour.
‘It needs careful handling, Watson. This is the real eggshell pottery of the Ming dynasty. No finer piece ever passed through Christie’s. A complete set of this would be worth a king’s ransom – in fact, it is doubtful if there is a complete set outside the Imperial palace of Peking. The sight of this would drive a real connoisseur wild.’ ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
I seized a carafe from a side-table and rushed to his aid. At the same moment the butler and several footmen ran in from the hall. I remember that one of them fainted as I knelt by the injured man and turned that awful face to the light of the lamp. The vitriol was eating into it everywhere and dripping from the ears and the chin. ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box
I do not know how the incriminating book was used. Sir James may have managed it. Or it is more probable that so delicate a task was entrusted to the young lady’s father. The effect, at any rate, was all that could be desired. Three days later appeared a paragraph in The Morning Post to say that the marriage between Baron Adelbert Gruner and Miss Violet de Merville would not take place. The same paper had the first police-court hearing of the proceedings against Miss Kitty Winter on the grave charge of vitriol-throwing. Such extenuating circumstances came out in the trial that the sentence, as will be remembered, was the lowest that was possible for such an offence. ~ WTB ILLU Evidence Box

Thanks to the 42nd Garrideb, Denny Dobry, for the scans in this post. Thanks also to Debbie Clark, the 58th Garrideb, the current keeper of the evidence boxes.

Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion in Columbia, MD, is one of the most active Sherlockian groups in the Middle Atlantic region, Generally meeting on the last Monday of each month, the meetings feature canonical toasts, good conversations and dining, as well as a discussion of the month’s featured story and an educational presentation. For more information about Watson’s Tin Box, please visit their website HERE.

 

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Abbey Grange

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Abbey Grange

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box – Thor Bridge

From Watson’s Tin Box – Thor Bridge

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Naval Treaty

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Naval Treaty

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Sign of Four

From Watson’s Tin Box – The Sign of Four

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box: The Three Garridebs

From Watson’s Tin Box: The Three Garridebs

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading

From Watson’s Tin Box: His Last Bow

From Watson’s Tin Box: His Last Bow

“Somewhere in the vaults of the bank of Cox and Co., at Charing Cross, there is a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid.” – The Problem of Thor Bridge (THOR) Watson’s Tin Box, a BSI scion that meets in Columbia, Maryland, shares a few… Continue Reading