Parallel Case of St Louis's Newsletter

January Volume Fourteen Whole Number 70 2005

THE NEWSLETTER OF THE PARALLEL CASE OF ST. LOUIS [PCofSTL]

Editor: Pasquale Accardo

Managing Editor: Joseph Eckrich

Roving Reporters: Gordon Speck & David Harlan

Book Reviews: Mary Schroeder

UNDER THE ARCH

 

 

As mentioned in the last issue, it is time again for dues/subscriptions, and we will need to raise them slightly. US mem-bership is now $15.00, Canadian $18.00 (US funds) and the rest of the world $21.00 (again in US funds). As always, $3.00 of every membership/dues goes to support one of three libraries. All dues/ subscriptions are due by the February meeting (February 21, 2005): however, we appreciate those who have remitted early; these are being used to help fund our May Sherlock Holmes conference. Checks or money orders made payable to me or to The Parallel Case of St. Louis and may be mailed to

Joe Eckrich

914 Oakmoor Dr.

Fenton, MO 63026-7008.

You should have received a renewal no-tice with the last newsletter. If you did not, please remit payment, along with name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

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I must apologize for the lateness of the last issue. Events conspired to delay it. The problem was primarily mine. I can blame part of it on working on the confe-rence and, in particular, trying to get out approximately 800 registration forms in December. Add in the holidays and a few other things, and you got a very late issue. I also have to make note of an error appearing in the last issue - my fault again. (I seem to have a lot of these senior moments lately.) In my review of the BSI’s Valley of Fear tour, I placed our keynote speaker and author of Ma-king Sense of the Mollie Maguires as an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin (on the book cover.) Having attended the Tour and met Professor Kinney, I should have remembered that he is now a Professor of History at Boston University - at least I hope I have it right at last.

 

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The conference is coming along nicely. We have some great out-of-the-ordinary things planned, in addition to an ex-cellent list of speakers and professional entertainment at the banquet by Michael Elliott, “The Sherlock Holmes of Thought”. There will be several contests, including a participatory mystery, pas-tiche and “open mike” contests with plenty of prizes - including attendance prizes. One of the highlights will be the display of treasures from the University of Minnesota Sherlock Holmes Collec-tion. The early registration deadline (with a break on cost) is fast approa-ching - February 15, 2005. If you would like a registration form, let me know, please write me at the address above or e-mail me at

jeckrich@sbcglobal.net

or telephone (636) 861-1454.

If you let me know you are definitely at-tending but are a little late in returning your registration form that you requested after this newsletter was received, we will allow a little leeway on the dead-line. However, we do need to get num-bers as soon as possible in order to deal with the hotel - and to have some wor-king capital. We have hotel expenses and prizes to obtain, etc. Room reser-vations must be made directly with the hotel at 1-800-682-6338. Ask for the special rate of $85.00 for the Sherlock Holmes group prior to April 22, 2005. Any questions, please contact me; we look forward to seeing you there. I can guarantee you will have a great time, along with the opportunity to see a ter-rific program and associate with some very nice Sherlockians (aren’t they all?).

Note to local members: If you are planning on attending the conference (and if not, why not?), we could use some volunteers on Saturday. We need 2 or 3 volunteers to help at the Registration table. This will primarily be from 9:00am to 12:00noon. We have also agreed to provide a vendor table for Les Klinger’s new Annotated Sherlock Holmes, provided his public-sher sends some copies, so we will need at least one volunteer for this table (2 would allow for switching off). This would be from 9:00am to 11:30am and during the several af-ternoon breaks. To volunteer please call me at (636) 861-1454 or email to jeckrich@sbcglobal.net as soon as possible.

Most PCofSTL members have not pre-viously attended a Sherlockian confe-rence and that is too bad, but I can assure you that you would enjoy any you atten-ded but particularly our upcoming one. One of the greatest things about such conferences is the opportunity to meet a wonderful group of people with a shared interest. Once you have attended one or two conferences, it is then great to renew acquainttances as well as make new friends. I have made some wonderful friends through these conferences. In ad-dition, there are interesting talks and oth-er items of interest. I have never atten-ded a conference that wasn’t a great deal of fun or that I regretted attending. Our May conference will be able to stand with the best of them (I think it may even outshine most, and that is taking nothing away from the others). We have done everything possible to make this a really fun and exciting event, from the great line-up of speakers to the mystery and other contests, and the professional entertainment at the banquet. I really hope that many of our local members will attend, not only because this is “our” conference, but because I know you will have a great time. In addition, unlike everyone else attending, you do not have the expense of traveling or of a hotel room (unless you wish to do so). We will have more than enough atten-dees to make this conference a success. I just hope many of our local members will be among that number.

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As mentioned in the last issue, Les Klinger’s Annotated Sherlock Holmes (W.W. Norton) is out and it looks spec-tacular. The first two volumes contain all of the short stories with the novels ap-pearing in a third volume later this year. Les will be a presenter at our symposi-um. We hope the publisher will provide some copies for sale that I am sure Les will be happy to sign.

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This is off the subject but last time I mentioned that Gordon and I made our way to Coopers-town, NY and toured the Baseball Hall of Fame there right after the Valley of Fear Tour. If you are local to the St. Louis area and interested in the sport, I highly recommend the touring Base-ball Hall of Fame exhibit now at the St. Louis History Museum in Forest Part through some-time in April. The cost is $8.00 per person and well worth it, but it is free on Tuesdays - an even better bargain. JJE

DECEMBER MEETING

Present at the December gathering were:

Joe and Faye Eckrich

Diane Maginn

Janet McNichols

Ed Moorman

Cathy and Bill Reidesel

Helen Simpson

Gordon and Gelea Speck

In place of our usual meeting, we opted for a strictly social gathering with the hope of indu-cing some of our long suffering non-Sherlockian spouses to attend. Ten of us, including three spouses and our meeting host at The Big Sleep bookstore, met on December 11, 2004 at The Cheshire Inn for a very nice dinner and com-panionship. There was no formal program but some very interesting discussions rang out along the table during our meeting. Joe presented some party treats in the form of Tootsie Pops Spy Sticks with Sherlock Holmes adorning the case. (If you would like to find them, look in Wal-greens for the Sour Apple. There are actually four different ones, three beside the Holmes one, and they may be purchased individually. He had an Inverness cape and what was probably meant to pass as a deerstalker - certainly Sherlock Holmes.) Joe also passed out the newly printed registration forms for Holmes Under the Arch II and, of course, encouraged everyone to attend, which they promised to do. All except for Gor-don who decided to plan one of his many trips a-broad during that period. We will miss him, but probably not as much as he will miss us - and the conference.

For those keeping track, Joe was again asked to staff The Big Sleep for Helen on December 23, 2004 (she is a glutton for punishment) and this time he managed to actually get in. Fortunately, the weather was very cold and there was a minimum of customers, leaving him plenty of time to read. Well, what else would you expect someone to do in a bookstore?

FEBRUARY MEETING

The next meeting of PCofSTL will be at 7:30 P.M. on Monday, February 21, 2005, at Big Sleep Books, 239 North Eu-clid in the Central West End (314) 361-1600. The store is located between Lin-dell and Maryland Avenue on the west side of Euclid, two doors past the alley. The story for the evening is “The Gloria Scott”.

We usually meet for dinner and drinks before-hand, and we have gone back to our original place, Dressel’s, which is at 419 N. Euclid Av., around the corner from Llewellyn's, where we had been meeting. Everyone is welcome and re-servations are not required. It is also not neces-sary to have dinner. You can just join us for a drink and conversation. We generally arrive be-tween 6:00 and 6:30 P.M.

THE GLORIA SCOTT

“The Adventure of the Gloria Scott” first ap-peared in April 1893 in The Strand Magazine, 5, No. 28, pp. 395-406, with 7 illustrations by Syd-ney Paget, in England, and Harper’s Weekly, 37, April 15, 1893, pp. 345-347, with 2 illustrations by William H. Hyde in America. It was later in-cluded as the fourth story in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes published by George Newnes and Harper & Bros. in 1894.

Chronology: The leading chronologists date GLOR as follows:

Canon the first month of the

“long vacation” 1885

Ashley 1873/4

Baring- SEP/OCT 1872

Gould Sun JUL 12- Tue 4 AUG,

Tue 22 SEP 1874

Bell summer/autumn 1875

Blakeney 1873

Bradley/Sarjeant Tue 15 JUL 1873

Brend AUG/SEP 1873

Butters summer 1876

Christ late SEP 1876

Cummings 24 JUL-16 SEP 1875

Dakin JUL/AUG 1874

Donegal OCT 1872

Dorn Mon 8 OCT-Tue 6 NOV 1855

Folsom AUG 1873

JUL/SEP 1873

Hall summer 1875

Layng summer late 1870s

Thompson JUL-AUG 1874

Welch 6 NOV 1886

Zeisler summer 1876

Henry Folsom believes that this ‘long vacation’ occurred at the end of the academic year, “be-cause he would have left (or been expelled?) by the summer of 1874.” Baring-Gould believed it was Mr. Trevor’s holiday to which the long va-cation referred, not Holmes’s. In her Holmes & Watson (Carroll & Graf, 1995), p. 268, June Thompson followed D. Martin Dakin in resol-ving (most) of the chronological problems in GLOR by assuming that the reference to the Cri-mean War is a spurious Watsonian romantic ad-dition. Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary (Drake, 1972), pp. 108-109 cites manuscript evi-dence to support this reference as a later addi-tion. Klinger’s New Annotated Sherlock Holmes, I: 517-518 summarizes the key chronological an-chors: Holmes’s date of birth, the probable years of Holmes’s undergraduate career, Hudson’s “thirty years and more”, the Crimean War (1853-1856), and the Australian gold rush beginning in 1851.

University/College: Both GLOR and MUSG present tales from Holmes’s undergrad-duate life. Much ink has been spilled to identify his alma mater. In her “Holmes’ College Ca-reer”, Baker Street Studies edited By H.W. Bell (Penzler, 1995/1934), pp. 1- 34 (reprinted in her Unpopular Opinions, 1946), Dorothy L. Sayers identified Sidney Sussex as Holmes’s college. Christopher Morley also favored Cambridge in “On Peterhouse as Holmes’s Cambridge College (BSJ 3[3], July 1948, p. 296), and “On ‘Long Vacation’ as a Cambridge Term” (BSJ 3 [3] A-pril 1948, p. 172). Baring-Gould opined that Holmes attended both Christ Church, Oxford, and Gonville and Caius Colleges, Cambridge. In Sherlock Holmes (St. Martin’s, 1969), Trevor Hall identified Trinity College, Cambridge, as “Sherlock Holmes’s University and College” (pp. 56-85). The conclusion of Nicholas Utechin’s Sherlock Holmes at Oxford (Robert Dugdale, 1981) is indicated in the title.

DeWaal listings:

Various editions: C260-C266 (7 appearances)

Writings: C6808-C6823 (16 items)

Plot: Holmes reminisces about his stu-dent days. He spent part of the long va-cation with his only college friend Victor Trevor whose father was a J.P. Old Tre-vor dies of apoplexy and leaves a written confession that confirms some of Holmes’s brilliant if shallow deductions. The incident decides Holmes upon the choice of his career as a consulting de-tective.

Quotations: “The supply of game for London is going steadily up. Head-keeper Hudson, we believe, has been now told to receive all orders for fly-paper and for preservation of your hen-pheasant’s life.” “Rather grotesque than other-wise.” “He was the only friend I made during the two years that 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.” “It was the first [case] in which I was ever engaged.” “I had already formed [habits of observation and inference] into a system, al-though I had not yet appreciated the part they were to play in my life.” “It is simplicity itself.” “I don’t know how you manage this, Mr. Holmes, but it seems to me that all the detectives of fact and of fancy would be children in your hands. That’s your line of life, sir, and you may take the word of a man who has seen something of the world.” “And that recommendation, with the exaggerated estimate of my ability with which he prefaced it, was, if you will believe me, Watson, the very first thing which ever made me feel that a profession might be made out of what had up to that time been the merest hobby.” “Of all ghosts, the ghosts of our old loves are the worst.” “I spent seven weeks working out a few experiments in organic chemistry.”

Higher Criticism:

C.R. Andrews, in “Who Is Who, and When, in the Gloria Scott” (Illustrious Client’s Case Book, 1948), maintained that Victor Trevor was not a natural son but a stepson of Old Trevor.

George W. Welch, in “The Terai Planter” (BSJ, 6, #1, January 1956) pro-vided a fantastic interpretation of the e-vents of Donnithorpe: if Victor Trevor’s dog was so vicious then so was Victor; Welch traces his later criminal career.

In “Navigational Teaser, Etc.” (SHJ winter 1956, 3 [2]: 23), Ernest B. Zeisler points out that if the Gloria Scott sank in N. Latitude 15”20’ and W, Longitude 15”14’, then it sank in the middle of the Ferlo desert in Senegal. If it were 25”14’ W. Longitude then it would be in the Atlantic Ocean! (The various annotated editions discuss how the misprint occur-ed and can be corrected.)

In “Sherlock Holmes and the Fair Sex” in his Holmes & Watson: A Mis-cellany (Oxford University Press, 1953), pp. 41-43, Sir Sydney C. Roberts pro-posed Miss Trevor (“There had been a daughter…but she had died of diph-theria”) as the tragic first love of the youthful Holmes. Later, Thomas A. Dandrow, in “The Early Holmes’s Love Life” (NS, No. 22, 1985; pp. 12-13) ex-tended Holmes’s romantic interests to include Trevor père as well as both sib-lings.

In “Some Diggings Down Under” (SHJ 6 [2]: 49-51; 1963), Jennifer Chor-ley adjudged GLOR a “cock-and-bull story” and cited HOUN: “I beg that you will forgive me if I have seemed to play a trick on you.” (H.W. Bell also saw the entire tale as a Watsonian mercantile fabrication.)

In “Another Case of Identity” (The Vermissa Herald 7, #2, April 1973), John Hathaway identified the captain of the “Hotspur” as Jonathan Hornblower, a second cousin of Horatio. The officer’s name was omitted by Watson to protect the names of two of the British Empire’s greatest families: Hornblower and Wel-lesley.

In his Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Sources (McGill-Queens University Press, 1982), Donald A. Redmond cites the piracy of the penal brig Cyprus in 1829 as a source for the tale of the Glo-ria Scott, but except for the master of the rescue ship being named Hudson the connection seems quite thin. In “Five Pips for Gloria Scott” (pp. 44-51) he notes the nominal similarities between GLOR and FIVE: both stories have a Hudson, a Prendergast, and a Fordham.

In “The Norfolk Squires” (SHJ, Win-ter 1983; 16 (3): 69-73; and reprinted in In the Country of the Broads: An Investi-gation into “The ‘Gloria Scott’” and “The Dancing Men”; The Norfolk Visit of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, 22-24 June 1984), Margaret Bird not only locates Donnithorpe Hall in Norfolk but argues that Holmes came from the same region.

In “The Gloria Scott: Great Scott” (Parallelogram 1: 7, November 1992, pp. 53-54), Gordon Speck reviewed the state of the convict ships and the unlike-lihood of the sham chaplain’s ability to smuggle sufficient arms and munitions on board the doomed vessel. He conclu-ded that “The Crimean War itself did not corner the entire available supply of stu-pidity and incompetence; the survival rate from the Gloria Scott probably matched that of the 600 who rode into the Valley of Death.”

In The Infernal Holmes (Battered Si-licon Dispatch Box, 1999), Pat Accardo placed Hudson and Mereer in the 9th cir-cle (traitors to country), Wilson in the 8th circle among the impersonators and Jack Prendergast in the 8th circle among the examples of private fraud.

Several papers have attempted di-verse identifications of Beddoes as well as Hudson.

The Log of ‘The Gloria Scott’, The Writings of Robert N. Brodie, BSI, col-lected by Warren Randall (Battered Sili-con Dispatch Box, 1998) contains “The Ballad of the Gloria Scott” and the “Saga of the Gloria Scott” (p. 189); the latter has the refrain:

Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum,

Let’s cheer this ship with its convicts

Glum.

Jon Hall (SHJ, summer 2002, 25 [4]: 141) raised the question as to however did the villainous Hudson ever manage to track down ‘Trevor’ and ‘Beddoes’. Although Hall sees the adventure as true he questions the veracity of Old Trevor’s confession and interprets it as a Wat-sonian fraud. (Sidelights on Holmes, Ca-labash, 1998; pp. 9-14)

New Criticism: In his Memoirs and Ad-ventures, Conan Doyle noted the “Save for one school-fellow, James Ryan…I carried away no lasting friendship from Stonyhurst.”

THE BSI WEEKEND

The first hallmark of a good Sherlockian is to suspect ‘coincidence’. Actually, no, the first hall-mark of a good Sherlockian is to write a paper about any supposed ‘coincidence’ thereby provi-ding a rational explanation for what otherwise might be perceived as chance. This year’s birth-day weekend provided several examples of hap-penstance that seem to cry out for explication.

The evening before the BSI dinner CSI aired the murder of Dennis Kingsley (Sherlock Holmes). Dennis was the leader of a small (only four members) scion society who met weekly in full costume in what appeared to be a reproduction of 221b Baker Street in Kingsley’s basement. The suspects included Dr. Watson (a security guard who wanted to be Holmes), Moriarty (a graduate student in English history who worked as a short-order cook and lusted after Kingsley’s 1902 first English edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles), and, of course, Irene Adler (a cocktail waitress who didn’t want the group to dissolve when Kingsley left). Holmes’s death at first appeared to be a suicide – without a weapon: the ploy was taken from THOR. A blood stain was deliberately planted to confuse the police, but the fact that the rare Hound had two blood stains, one from a suspect’s paper cut and the other from Holmes’s splattered brains was never refer-red to as a ‘second satin’! The CSI investigator was oblivious to Conan Doyle: “I saw a Holmes movie once – by mistake.” It was an interesting but not quite “perfect puzzle”, not a “mystery worthy of the Master.” On the other hand, the breaking up of a Sherlockian society as the motive for murder….

The evening of the BSI dinner, HBO aired Writ-ten in Blood, a murder mystery starring Michael T. Weiss (“The Pretender”) - with a really bad haircut. He suspects that the police may be dea-ling with a serial killer who leaves Canonical clues at each murder site – the “Sherlock Holmes murderer.” The clues are really quite abstruse, and even after the fourth victim the authorities are reluctant to admit the existence of a serial killer.

Every year the BSI packet includes a copy of the January Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine with a Sherlockian cover illustration. This year’s issue, however, actually had some articles of Sherlockian interest (including a review of the new Klinger).

Finally, a December issue of The New Yorker in-cluded an article on the untimely demise of Ro-bert Lancelyn Green, who was remembered at the dinner. People felt that the description of the “game” provided in the article was accurate and sympathetic. PJA

FROM THE BOOKSHELF

by Joe Eckrich

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE AT THE CINEMA, A Critical Study of the Film Adaptations, by Scott Allen Nollen, with a foreword by Nicholas Meyer (Jeffer-son, NC: McFarland, 1994/2004, 1-800-253-2187,

www.mcfarlandpub.com).

First a word about McFarland Publishing for those not already familiar with the company. McFarland has been putting out well-constructed and, for the most part, well-researched and very interesting books on a wide range of subjects. One of their specialties is media: films, television and radio (one of my favorites on which I own a number of their books but not as many as I would like). In the last few years they have also published several books on Arthur Conan Doyle and quite a number of books on Jack the Ripper, two more of my interests. Unlike many of the Ripper books published recently, McFarland’s are less speculative than most and touch on subjects such as the contemporary newspaper accounts. The only downside to the McFarland’s books is cost, ranging from expensive to very expensive. How-ever, considering the research and depth of material that goes into most of their books, the prices seem quite reasonable, even if they do account for my not having them all. In order to compensate for this, over the past few years McFarland has produced paper editions of their most popular titles - well made, complete, and ranging from $25.00 to $35.00.

In 1994 McFarland published the hard-cover edition of the above book. Last year they came out with a $35.00 paper edition. Scott Allen Nollen has also writ-ten such McFarland titles as The Cinem-atic World of Laurel and Hardy (1989), Robin Hood (1999), Robert Louis Ste-venson (1994) and Boris Karloff (1991). He has been a fan of Doyle and Sherlock Holmes since first seeing Rathbone’s Hound of the Baskervilles on television and then going out and obtaining all of the Holmes and all Doyle stories he could find. That he was obviously hook-ed shows in this volume that covers not only all of the Holmes films (including foreign ones) but also films based on Doyle’s non-sherlockian works, such as The Lost World (as Meyer says in his in-troduction “shot five times and never once correctly”), The Adventures of G-erard and even the unsuccessful at-tempts to bring The White Company to the screen.

The book begins with a lengthy biogra-phy of Doyle, “Doctor, Detective, Mis-sionary and Knight”, followed by a dis-cussion of the early stage productions either written by Doyle or based on his works. Next, the early silent films are covered, including a 1915 production ba-ed on his novel The Firm of Girdlestone, and two film adaptations of Brigadier Gerard (1915 and 1916). The Ellie Norwood films are followed by John Barrymore’s portrayal, then chapters on The Lost World and on the Fox Movie-tone sound reel of Doyle in his garden speaking about Holmes and Spiritualism. This chapter, titled “Conan Doyle Speaks”, begins with a discussion of a few other films based on Doyle’s non-sherlockian works, such as The Fighting Eagle starring Donald Crisp and based a-gain on The Adventures of Gerard, and a documentary, “Is Conan Doyle Right?”, focusing exclusively on Doyle’s spiritu-alist pursuits. From there, the book moves into the various sound films (pri-marily Holmes) films, with particular emphasis on the Rathbone/ Bruce films but without slighting the others of the 1930s and 1940s.

Each chapter contains interesting and well-researched (there’s that word again) background on the films and the perfor-mers, much of which will be new to m-ny readers. All of the later (primarily Holmes) films are covered up to and in-cluding Without a Clue (1988) and the Brett series. The book is eminently rea-dable and highly recommended to both the Sherlockian and Doylean, particu-larly if your interest runs to films.

I should mention that, although I recei-ved a complimentary review copy, I had long ago purchased my own hardcover copy when it was first published in 1994. The paper edition is a less expensive way to enjoy the same book.

THE DATE BEING...

11 FEB The Occupants of the Empty House meet in Du Quoin at Alongi's Restaurant to discuss GREE.

21 FEB PCofSTL meet at 7:30 P.M. at The Big Sleep Bookstore to discuss "The Gloria Scott".

11 MAR The Occupants of the Empty House meet in Du Quoin at Alongi's Restaurant to discuss SIGN.

08 APR The Occupants of the Empty House meet in Du Quoin at Alongi’s Restaurant to discuss FINA/ Hiatus/EMPT.

18 APR PCofSTL meet at 7:30 P.M. at The Big Sleep Bookstore to discuss “The Musgrave Ritual”.

20-22 MAY Holmes Under the Arch II: The Site of the Four

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The Parallelogram is published by PCofSTL for its members and other interested Sherlockians. Membership dues are 15.00 per calendar year and include The Parallelogram as well as other mai-lings. The price of a subscription alone is $15.00 per calendar year (six issues per volume). Canadian subscriptions are $18.00 per calendar year and overseas subscriptions are $21.00 per calendar year (US funds only). The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual contributors and do not re-flect official PCofSTL policy. Submissions, let-ters, and other inquiries may be addressed to the Managing Editor:

 

 

Parallel Case of St Louis's contacts,

Joseph J. Eckrich, BSI
914 Oakmoor
Fenton, MO 63026
636-861-1454
jeckrich@sbcglobal.net

or to the Editor:

Pasquale Accardo
2302 Cardiff Place
Richmond, Virginia 23236
804-276-2316
paccardo@chva.org

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