Saturday, May 12, 2018

May Meeting: The Cardboard Box

May found us back for another great meeting!  We're still at the Schafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, but as our membership has grown over the past year, we've officially moved the larger meeting room at the library.  (Sorry to those of you who waited in an empty room for 20 minutes for us!)

This month, Rob, Michael, Chris, Paul, Bob, Anne, Elaine, Joe, Nellie and Adam were in attendance to discuss "The Cardboard Box" on what we learned was the 84th anniversary of Christopher Morley announcing the formation of the Baker Street Irregulars in the Saturday Review of Literature.  But first, we started out with announcements:

A few Sherlockians in the Kansas City area are looking to get a group of like-minded folks together to discuss Holmes.  If you know of any Sherlockians in the Kansas City area, please email us at parallelcasestl at gmail dot com and we can help some Sherlockians get together!

Rob was interviewed on a recent episode of I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere and discussed Sherlockian activity in St. Louis, Holmes in the Heartland, teaching Sherlock Holmes, and his book The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street.

Elementary has returned for its sixth season and the two episodes that have aired so far led Joe and Elaine to announce that they were pleased with them, but curious to see how this season of the show would play out.

Entertainment Weekly reported that the third installment of the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes franchise would debut on Christmas Day of 2020.

HBO Asia has aired three episodes of Miss Sherlock, and they are available to view with subtitles on various websites here in America. 

Red Nose Day is a charity that is working to wipe out child poverty and they've recently recruited quite a few helpers from the BBC's Sherlock.  You can bid on a trip for two to London and breakfast at Speedy's Cafe with Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott and Steven Moffatt, served to you by Una Stubbs.  After breakfast, Louise Brealy will take you on a tour of Sherlock filming locations and the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

The next anthology from Chris Redmond is coming soon.  "Sherlock Holmes is Like..." allows 60 different authors to compare Sherlock Holmes to different people from history, literature and pop culture.

Elaine has been reading The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delaney.

The manuscript for "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" sold last month for $312,500 to an anonymous buyer.

For people who enjoy bath bombs, Pin Bomb has a Blue Carbuncle bath bomb that includes an enamel Sherlock Holmes pin.

Scintillation of Scions is happening next month in Baltimore, Maryland.  This conference has been going on for many years now and regularly receives great reviews from participants.

From Gillette to Brett V registration is now open, and a few Parallel Case members have already booked their spots!  This is the first Gillette to Brett conference in five years in Bloomington, Indiana, and speakers include Jeffrey Hatcher, Leslie Klinger, Ashley Polasek, David Stuart Davies, Lynette Porter, Nicholas Utechin and Terence Faherty.

The Norwegian Explores of Minnesota and the the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Libraries have announced their next conference to be held on August 9-11, 2019, titled Dark Places, Wicked Companions, and Strange Experiences.

And speaking of conferences in August....  Holmes In the Heartland is coming this summer!  August 10-12 will be a weekend full of Sherlockian and St. Louis fun!  Check out the Holmes in the Heartland page on our website for the full rundown of events.  Registration will open soon....  Very soon!

And then it was time to dive into our discussion on The Cardboard Box!

We started out talking about the history of this story's publication.  Originally published in The Strand in 1893, it was withheld from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes due to its scandalous nature, but was later included in His Last Bow.

William Baring-Gould places this story on August 31, 1889, 2 years before FINA and 8 years into the Holmes and Watson partnership.

Our story opens on a "blazing hot day in August" in Baker Street where Watson is out of money and can't travel to escape the oppressive heat.

Holmes doesn't seem to mind the heat, and anyway, Watson says he wouldn't be able to talk Holmes into a trip anyway as he has not interest in nature.  This led to a discussion on how true of a statement this is.  Holmes discusses nature in NAVA and later retires to Sussex to keep bees.  Did he eventually tire of the city or is Watson in error here?

Besides, Holmes "loved to lie in the very center of five millions of people, with his filaments stretching out and running through the, responsive to every little rumor or suspicion of unsolved crime."  This sentence reminded more than a few of us of Holmes description of Moriarty in the middle of his web.

While Holmes and Watson lie around Baker Street, Holmes appears to read Watson's mind in a passage that would later be cut and pasted into "The Adventure of the Resident Patient."  Doyle's writing here is full of fodder for scholarly papers: Edgar Allan Poe, General Gordon, Henry Ward Beecher, the Civil War, and where exactly Watson's war would was.

Once Holmes and Watson are out of Baker Street and onto investigating a mysterious package containing two severed ears, we see more similarities between stories.  The knot that holds the package together was reminiscent of the know in ABBE, and the man who addressed the package used a J-Pen, also mentioned in GREE. 

This led to a discussion on brown paper that was commonly used in England to wrap packages.  Chris wondered if this story could've been inspired by Jack the Ripper mailing body parts around this time.  Nellie told us about a class she once took on shipping hazardous materials and if this shipment would've passed muster.  Michael informed us that the first use of corrugated cardboard that is typically used for shipping was in 1890, which made some of us question the date of 1889 that Baring-Gould lists for this story.

Holmes notes that the ears are obviously not a pair, and the group hoped that even Lestrade had figured that much out.  At this point, Michael produced a fake ear to be passed around, and it eventually ended up being tossed around the group as the meeting went on!

After Holmes had investigated the package, he went inside to interview its recipient, Susan Cushing, even though Lestrade had already met with the woman.  Here Elaine noted that Holmes was much better than Lestrade at getting information out of Susan.  Adam said it was because Holmes had gone to the woman, instead of the numerous clients that come to Baker Street and the lack of patience he often has with them.  Michael noted the positive reinforcement that Holmes used during his interview and Chris pointed out that this scene shows that Holmes can have tact with people, although he chooses not to use it many times.

After his interview, Holmes goes to Wallington to meet with Ms. Cushing's sister.  But when he arrives, he finds that the woman is very ill.  Rob lamented that it's always brain fever in these stories.  Michael pointed out that when men in the Canon are under stress, they act out.  But when women in the Canon are under stress, they are susceptible to brain fever. 

After their trip to Wallington, Holmes and Watson have lunch, where Holmes tells the story of how he obtained his Stradivarius and then it's off to Scotland Yard.  Once there, Holmes has a telegram waiting for him, and can give Lestrade the name of the culprit behind this case.  He wants no mention of his name tied to such an easy case.

Once they are back in Baker Street, Holmes cites Watson's publications of A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four.  Rob pointed out that SIGN was published in 1890, which is another blow against Baring-Gould's chronology.

While discussing the case, Holmes describes Lestrade as "as tenacious as a bulldog when he once understands what he has to do and indeed it is his tenacity which has brought him to the top of Scotland Yard," and later says that the Yarder is "obtuse but resolute."  Rob wondered if G. Lestrade is the other side of the coin to Mycroft Holmes.

At this point, Watson has guessed that Jim Browner is behind the grisly package.  We stopped to talk about this point, and no one at the meeting could come up with another time in the Canon where Watson comes up with the answer before it is revealed to him.

Holmes tells Watson that he is correct, and goes on to expound upon the importance of human ears and their differences from one another.  Joe pointed out to us that two anonymous articles about the shape of human ears were printed in The Strand around this time and wondered if they could be reprints of Holmes' monographs about the shape of ears.

The package at the center of this whole investigation was meant for Sarah Cushing, not her sister Susan.  When Sarah read about it in the newspaper, she came down with her case of brain fever.  Two days later, Lestrade has found Jim Browner as his ship docked, and was happy to take credit for Holmes' plan.

Here we have Browner's confession to the tale.  He married the third Cushing sister, Mary, but Sarah was in love with him.  When he rejected her, she came to hate him.  This volatile mixture between them led Browner to return to alcoholism and Mary to take on a man on the side.  Nellie noted that Sarah's disposition probably had a lot to do with why she was single herself and wondered if her illness was punishment enough for the events she put into place.

One day, Browner followed Mary and her new beau, Alec Fairbairn, as they took a boat ride into the fog.  Anne and Elaine both raised the question: why were they rowing a boat in the fog?  And no one had a very good answer for that.  Elaine cited the essay on this story from About Sixty and said that she felt that Browner was an unreliable narrator at this point.  Browner had probably made up the boat in the fog story and had actually performed a calculated murder instead of the heat of the moment tale he confessed to.

So, Mary Browner and Alec Fairbairn are dead.  Sarah Cushing has a nervous breakdown.  Jim Browner is arrested and confesses.  But we never learn what Browner's punishment was or how Susan Cushing took the news of her murdered sister.  End of story.

After our group analysis of the story, Nellie asked about adaptations.  "The Cardboard Box" was the last story broadcast for the Jeremy Brett series, and we discussed the fitting nature of Brett's last lines as Holmes: "What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear?  It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable.  But what purpose? That, is humanity's great problem, to which reason so far, has no answer."

Michael shared a quiz on "The Cardboard Box" created by Kansas Sherlockian Scott Turner, to which Joe took top honors for before we called it a day.

Remember, keep your eyes peeled for Holmes in the Heartland registration.  And our next meeting will be July 21 to discuss "The Yellow Face."  Come at once if convenient!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March Meeting Recap

On Saturday, twelve members of The Parallel Case of St. Louis met to discuss "Silver Blaze."  Rob, Srini, Adam, Michael, Paul and his son Andrew, Elaine, Stacey, and Jenn and Frank Callahan were there to welcome new members, Ann and Bob Schmidt.  Before we got started with discussion of this month's story, we had our usual book giveaways and news.

Sherlock Gnomes opens on March 23.

The sixth season of Elementary will start on April 30, with 21 episodes.

Holmes, Doyle and Friends will be in Dayton, Ohio next weekend.

221B Con will be in Atlanta, Georgia on April 13-15.

From Gillette to Brett V will be in Bloomington, Indiana on October 5-7.

The Baker Street Experience is the newest app for Amazon Alexa devices.

The Folio Society announced that they would be issuing a version of The Adventures and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes with all new illustrations.  The public was asked to vote for their favorite illustrator. 

Opera Theatre of St. Louis will be hosting Opera Tastings at restaurants throughout the St. Louis area this month. 

And..... Don't forget about Holmes in the Heartland right here in St. Louis on August 10-12!

After the news, it was time to jump into this month's story, Silver Blaze.

Our story starts out with an abrupt and short scene at Baker Street.  Holmes and Watson are soon in a first-class train carriage on their way to Dartmoor to see a man about a horse and a dead man.  Before we could even get into the mystery, the group found itself in a discussion about Pullman cars and how far Holmes and Watson traveled for cases.  The question was posed, "Is Dartmoor the farthest that they travel in the Canon?" (In SILV and HOUN)  After some discussion and googling, we decided that although Dartmoor was pretty far from Baker Street, DEVI and FINA had Holmes and Watson traveling further.

We then talked about the missing horse, Silver Blaze.  Most of the folks in the room were unfamiliar with the betting odds that Holmes recites to Watson.  Elaine explained the odds to us, which led to Adam telling us the fact that horses run races in different directions in England and America.

We considered how some characters and groups are mentioned in different stories, but are never major players, such as gypsies, Lord Backwater, and the Duke of Balmoral in this story.  And another appearance in this story that will still be seen for years and years afterwards is Holmes' ear-flapped travelling cap!

The suspect in this case is Fitzroy Simpson, and Stacey was quick to point out that Fitzroy is a terrible name because it means "illegitimate son of the king."  Not really something to brag about.  We also agreed that Simpson's behavior on the moor towards John Straker's wife was flat out creepy.

The stable boy on guard had been drugged with opium in his curried mutton.  Michael wondered if said mutton might have come from one of the lame sheep in the pasture.  Ann, a knitter, argued that lame sheep could still grow wool, so they would've still been useful.

Speaking of opium, Michael and Srini discussed the analysis that would have been used at this time to discover the opium in the stable boy's dinner.

Once Holmes and Watson reach Dartmoor, Holmes is interested in what was in the dead man, John Straker's, pockets and is then off to look at the scene of the crime.  Frank shared his view that Holmes should have at least looked at Straker's body.  He said that Holmes and Watson should have been able to tell if the deadly blow to Straker's head had come from Simpson's walking stick, or if it was shaped like something else (like a horseshoe).

We discussed the dressmaker's receipt and the cataract knife found in Straker's pocket, although the more squeamish people in the group were NOT interested in discussing the finer points of Victorian cataract surgery.

It was also noted that buying a dress for a woman was a ploy that was used twice in this story.  Simpson offers a new dress to Straker's wife led to him being a suspect for murder.  And Straker's receipt for the dress he bought his mistress played a major part in Holmes solving the mystery.

Holmes asks for Watson's opinion more than usual throughout this story.  Watson's discovery of a second set of horse tracks also saved Holmes quite a bit of time in tracking down the missing racehorse.

Once Holmes has found the missing horse, he leaves for London with one of the most famous exchanges in the Canon:

Inspector Gregory: "Is there any point to which you wish to draw my attention?"
Sherlock Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Inspector Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Sherlock Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

We spent a few minutes talking about dogs in the Canon, how Holmes seems to really understand dogs, and what ever happened to Watson's bull pup.  Andrew made the observation that this dog got famous among Sherlockians for doing nothing.

Dartmoor is described in a pleasant way in this story, with Doyle telling us that the air is "clean."  But when most Sherlockians hear the word Dartmoor, HOUN is usually the first thing that comes to mind, where Doyle described the same Dartmoor air as "foul."  We considered if it was Doyle's artistic license at work here or if Dartmoor could have such a difference from day to day.

And then came the discussion about the actual horse race.  There was some debate on whether or not Holmes actually bet on the race that Silver Blaze ran in and his actions in disguising the horse.  Rob shared Doyle's own quote about this story from his autobiography: "I have, for example, never been a racing man...   My ignorance cries aloud to heaven.  I read an excellent and very damaging criticism of the story in some sporting paper written clearly by a man who did know, in which he explained the exacg penalties which would have come upon everyone concerned if they had acted as I described.  Half would have bee in jail and the other half warned off the turf forever.  However, I have never been nervous about details, and one must be masterful sometimes."

That wrapped up a fun and insightful talk on Silver Blaze.  Our next meeting will be on May 12 to discuss The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.  Come at once if convenient!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis

Last Saturday, The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis hosted their annual meeting.  Unlike previous years, this meeting was an afternoon one, and not held at the Lemp Mansion.  That's because this year's annual meeting was the unveiling of the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection at the St. Louis Public Library's Rare Books and Special Collections Room.

The meeting started at 2 p.m., but many of us were able to come to the library early for a guided tour of some of the great things the St. Louis Public Library has to offer.  We were told all about the history of the original library and updated on the renovation completed on the branch just a few years ago.  The docents showed us the different rooms and collections throughout the building as well as informing us about small details all throughout the building that most patrons walk by without ever noticing!

The Noble Bachelor meeting commenced with Randy Getz calling us to order with a toast to her majesty, Queen Victoria, followed by a toast to Sherlock Holmes by Michael Bragg.  Randy then took a moment to remember Barry Hapner, BSI, a very early member of the Noble Bachelors who passed beyond the Reichenbach in the past year.

We were then treated to two great presentations relating to the Sherlockian Research Collection by Mary Schroeder and Bill Cochran, the two most influential people behind St. Louis's new collection.  Mary told us how the collection had started and was originally housed at McKendree University's library in Lebanon, IL and how it eventually made it's way to St. Louis.  Bill's speech told the story of how he was able to acquire a complete run of Baker Street Journals to be added to the collection and what an invaluable resource they would be to present and future Sherlockians.

Randy then took to the podium to present Rob Nunn with The Noble Bachelor of the Year award, and Rob was asked to speak about the upcoming Holmes in the Heartland weekend.  When Rob was done, it was time for Randy's annual "Gassy-Gean" remarks, this year focusing on the importance of libraries throughout society and in the Sherlock Holmes Canon.

This year's keynote speaker was Anne Posega, the former head of Special Collections for the Washington University Library.  Her speech, "The Clues Between the Covers: What You Can Deduce from Special Collections," was an intriguing and insightful talk on how library special collections are acquired, handled and used by the public.

After Ms. Posega's speech, we adjourned to the Rare Book Room, where the special collections librarians had some highlights of the Sherlockian Research Collection on display, as well as other highlights from their varied collections, such as a first printing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, an early Audubon Society print, and a miniature book that one would have to use a magnifying glass to read.

But not only were books and materials on display in the Rare Book Room, but we noticed a few musical instruments set up.  The assembled crowd was treated to a performance of Mendelssohn's "Song Without Words" by Anna Allen on violin and Gail Robins on piano.  After that, Randy Getz and Tom Baynham performed a spirited rendition of "My Gallant Crew" from Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore for the audience.

The official program concluded with Chritopher Robertson reciting Vincent Starrett's 221b, and the assembled members spent time after that perusing the collection and socializing with one another.  It was another successful Noble Bachelors meeting, and a pleasant Sherlockian gathering for all involved.  We all walked away from the day's events satisfied and looking forward to our next Sherlockian gaterhing in St. Louis!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Holmes in the Heartland

After announcing Holmes in the Heartland last month, we are ready to share some of the exciting details of what The Parallel Case of St. Louis plans to make an annual event!

We will kick off our weekend with a Welcome to St. Louis night on Friday, August 10th.  Participants in the weekend can enjoy our Blues Carbuncle and 221BBQ event upon arrival to town.  We will take a group tour of The National Blues Museum and enjoy dinner at Sugarfire Smokehouse in downtown St. Louis.

Saturday will find us at the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library for a big day of Sherlockian discussion.  The St. Louis Public Library is home to the new St. Louis Sherlockian Collection, a growing collection of Sherlockian research available for use by anyone in the Rare Books and Special Collections Room.  The theme for the day's talks will be "A Curious Collection" and relate to collecting and books.  Our keynote speaker is the perfect fit for such a topic: Tim Johnson, curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collection at the University of Minnesota.

Joining Tim at the speaker's lectern that day will be a curious collection in their own right: 
Mary Schroeder, founder of the St. Louis Sherlockian collection and longtime St. Louis Sherlockian
Bill Mason, BSI, author of "Pursuing Sherlock Holmes" and former Head Light of the Beacon Society
Tassy Hayden, fan fiction writer and co-host of the wildly popular Three Patch Podcast
Brad Keefauver, BSI, blogger at Sherlock Peoria and author of "The Elementary Methods of Sherlock Holmes"
Don Hobbs, BSI, owner of the largest foreign language Sherlockian book collection

After the speaker program, we will all get together for dinner and socializing outside of the library.

For those able to stick around on Sunday, we will have high tea at St. Louis' London Tea Room and then be treated to a tour of the Becker Medical Library on the campus of Washington University.

We have more to announce, and will do so as soon as they are confirmed, so keep your eyes on the Holmes in the Heartland webpage for updates!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Meeting Recap and an Announcement

Our January meeting yesterday continued The Parallel Case's streak of great meetings!  Regulars Rob, Randy, Nellie, Joe, Ed, Paul, Peter and Stacey were joined by new members Adam and Cathy as well as a visit from one of St. Charles friends, Andrew.  Our meeting room was at max capacity!

Before we started our discussion of The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, we started with Sherlockian news as usual.  And this month, we had a big announcement!

The Parallel Case of St. Louis is proud to announce our new Sherlockian conference, Holmes in the Heartland!  Mark your calendars for the weekend of August 10-12 and plan on spending a weekend in St. Louis to enjoy everything from blues, BBQ, tea and history all while learning about Sherlock Holmes from local and visiting speakers!

Registration for our conference will open in May, and more news will be released soon.  But mark your calendars, and come at once if convenient!

Other news items were discussed after we had our usual giveaways that included bookmarks, books and comics this month.  Joe filled everyone in on the events of the BSI Birthday weekend in New York last weekend and all of the Sherlockian activities there.

New media interpretations of Sherlock Holmes were discussed, including Sherlock Gnomes, opening on March 23 and the Burger King toys available with the movie,

the announcement of the Enola Holmes movie series starring Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things,

HBO Asia's new take on the classic stories with Miss Sherlock,

and Elementary's return on April 30.

Randy discussed the upcoming Noble Bachelors of St. Louis event at the St. Louis Public Library next month.  If you are interested in attending, please contact him this week.

Andrew gave a quick recap of the previous night's Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn meeting, and announced that their next meeting will be on February 16.

Rob promoted his blog, Interesting Though Elementary, and encouraged everyone to join him in reading as much of the Canon as they can in 2018.

We closed out the news section announcing the next meeting date for March, and found out that half of the people in the room couldn't make it!  So, our next meeting has been moved to March 3 at 1:00. 

Please note the change and plan to join us then!

It was then time to get into the story!  COPP starts off with Holmes lamenting there's nothing to do and how bored he is, muttering the famous line, "Crime is common.  Logic is rare."  We noted it was nice that he didn't mention cocaine with this bout of boredom, though.  The story also gives us call backs to SCAN, IDEN, TWIS, NOBL, and BLUE. 

Violet Hunter shows up to ask Holmes' advice and his crabbiness has completely disappeared by the end of her introduction.  Violet's story led to an insightful discussion on the importance of long hair to women in Victorian times.  Long, luscious hair was seen as a sign of status and good health, and although hairstyles are more diverse today, women with short hair were generally considered to have something wrong with them in Holmes' day.

Violet's story also leads Holmes to muse twice that a sister of his would never accepted such a situation, a line that would launch thousands of speculations about the great detectives, family tree.  And as he frets over Violet's predicament, we get another famous line, "Data! Data! Data! I can't make bricks without clay!"

Once Holmes and Watson are summoned to visit Miss Hunter at the Copper Beeches, we are treated to Doyle's masterful scene setting as our two heroes travel by train.  Doyle paints a beautiful countryside that Watson enjoys, only to have Holmes bring him back to earth by stating that the country is worse that even the most vile alleys in London. 

This led to a good discussion about how Holmes views the world.  He has seen too many crimes and behavior to appreciate a plaintive scene.  His demeanor is one that can see many hidden aspects that the average person wouldn't pick up on.  We discussed how all of us have our own form of that.  Former firefighters look at houses as possible dangers, IRS agents view money and numbers differently than most folks, and teachers see kids as the type of students they would be in a classroom.

Doyle's use of imagery was also compared to Charlotte Bronte's and other Victorian writers.  Nature is used to set the scene that everything is great, when behind the walls of manor houses, drama and intrigue unfold.  This method is often employed in Gothic novels.

Once Holmes and Watson meet up with Miss Hunter, we noted how her characterization of the master of the house, Rucastle, and the married servants, the Tollers, were a great ploy to lull the reader into suspecting something other than the truth.  Rucastle is the classic con artist, asking for one thing, and then one more thing, and just one more thing, until he has pecked away and gotten the whole situation that he could never ask for up front. 

Although Violet spends a lot of time talking about Rucastle and the Tollers, Holmes has solved the case by paying close attention to what Violet says about their son, and announcing that someone has been imprisoned in the house.  This led us to appreciated Holmes' early use of psychology in his detection and we noted how Doyle was always on the cutting edge of detection methods, whether it was psychology, fingerprints, or microscopes.

Holmes, Watson, and Miss Hunter go to rescue the trapped person, only to find out that she, Rucastle's daughter, has already escaped with the help of the Tollers.  Discussing the ramifications of Rucastle imprisoning his own daughter led to a long discussion about inheritance crimes, the lack of legal protection for women in financial matters, brain fever, and the ability to imprison your own family members for a myriad of reasons until fairly recently.  Although Jephro Rucastle may have been a despicable person, we weren't sure if he would've been able to have been convicted of a crime.

But Rucastle does try to stop Holmes and Watson by letting loose his dog, Carlo, which we said is probably the most abused dog in the entire Canon.  Nellie pointed out that COPP has many similarities to The Hound of the Baskervilles, not just the large dog, and we talked about if Doyle had this story in the back of his mind as he created HOUN.

In the end, everyone except for Rucastle and his wife live happily ever after.  Watson hoped that Holmes would stay interested in Violet Hunter, but to Watson's disappointment, Holmes is back to his focus on crime.

Thanks again to everyone who came out.  There was a lot of great discussion from everyone there and we hope to see you at our next meeting on March 3 to discuss Silver Blaze!