Friday, April 11, 2014

The Sign of Five

Yesterday the Parallel Case of St. Louis met for the April meeting. This month, the story we discussed was the one for which we are named, The Sign of Four.

The weather was so mild and sunny that we decided to sit out on the patio and watch clouds go by as we ate. It was a small group today, just five people who met at Dressel's Pub. Later on, we headed to Big Sleep Books as per usual and started out our discussion.

In this story, Watson finds a wife while on the case with Holmes. The case involves two puzzles. A young woman, Mary Morstan, had been receiving fine pearls from a mysterious benefactor once a year after answering an anonymous query in the newspaper asking for her identity. Secondly, her father had mysteriously vanished one day after telegraphing her of his return to London after being stationed in India. Next, a letter arrives telling her that she has been wronged and has requested a meeting.

Relating to the Sign of Four we discussed what the canon would be like if Watson had never found a wife. Joe brought up that there's something special in the opening moments of each story where the two are lounging around in friendly company, discussing anything and everything. In these scenes we get to see glimpses of Holmes' multi-dimensional character rather than the calculating detective that clients see.

This story is one of the more action-packed ones with the chase through the Thames and Toby sniffing around for clues. This would have been one story that Gatiss and Moffat wouldn't have had trouble adapting, what with all of the running around in Doctor Who. And it's the only story that Watson directly kills someone.

We also discussed whether Watson was actually a good physician. I think that he probably wasn't, what with prescribing brandy for just about everything. Also, he seems to have awful bed side manner by the way he treats Thaddeus Sholto by calling him a hypochondriac and keeps getting annoyed at him.

And then we had to discuss our reactions to Series 3. We were all baffled by the revelation of Mary's true character (which I will not spoil.)

We did something a bit differently today. I had made up a quiz to pass out at my Moriarty panel, which our leader asked me to bring. I brought these posters as prizes, both ones that I got from 221B Con.

Joe gave us all magnets from the last Sherlock Holmes conference that the Parallel Case did in 2005 called "Holmes under the Arch". Here's a picture of it.


And Gordon gave us the most clever presents. We each received Five Orange....Peeps. (The Five Orange Pips). I'd never actually eaten peeps before in my life before this.

Some of us plan to drive to the conference in Bloomington, IN called "From Gillette to Brett" on September 12-14 , so if you're in the area and you want a ride, let us know!

I also have another movie night planned for Friday, April 18th.

I've been putting our events as well as other local ones on our Sherlockian calendar: LINK
and I've put up some useful links up on the webpage so we can all entertain ourselves while the next season of Sherlock comes out: LINK

With that, the meeting adjourned.