McMurdo’s Camp

-S&D in His Last Bow


On a bleak and windy day towards the end of March in the year 1892. Holmes received a telegram while he and Watson sat at their lunch. The matter remained in Holmes’ thoughts, for he stood in front of the fire afterward with a thoughtful face, smoking his pipe

Holmes client, Mr. Eccles was about to tell his story to when Insp. Gregson of the Yard, and Insp. Baynes of the Surrey constabulary arrived to arrest the client. Holmes suggested that a brandy and soda would do no harm. The visitor then gulped off the brandy, and the colour returned to his face

During dinner with his host, Garcia, Eccles saw the servant hand Garcia a note, after which Garcia seemed even more distrait and strange than before. He gave up all pretence at conversation and sat, smoking endless cigarettes, lost in his own thoughts.

Holmes wrapped it up by explaining the details of the chaotic case to Watson, over an evening pipe.


Before leaving for Croydon Holmes changed his dressing-gown and filled his cigar-case.

Holmes and Watson had a bottle of claret with lunch at a decent hotel in Wallington. Holmes talked of violins and Paganini for an hour or so, narrating with great exultation how he had purchased his own Stradivarius, which was worth at least five hundred guineas, at a Jew broker’s in Tottenham Court Road for fifty-five shillings (a savings of over 497 guineas).

After giving Lestrade the solution, H&W chatted over cigars that night in their rooms at Baker Street.

Jim Browner, the killer, was a sailor. He broke the pledge; and would always take drink when he was ashore, and a little drink would send him stark, staring mad. It was a bad day that ever he took a glass in his hand. The gap between he and his wife became wider and wider. The wife’s lover contributed to this decline.


The mysterious lodger, who turned out to be a woman, smoked cigarettes in her quarters. She used MATCH to light them.

No Drinkin’ in this story.

S&D in BRUC:

Mycroft telegraphed his plan to visit Sherlock in the matter of Cadogan West, who had been found dead on the Underground. Holmes sat up at attention, his pipe halfway to his lips.

At Goldini’s garish Italian restaurant, Holmes and Watson drank coffee and curacao, and smoked the proprietor’s cigars, which were less poisonous than one would expect.

As Holmes lay on his “death-bed” he asked Culverton Smith for a match and a cigarette, speaking in his normal manner, not the weak voice of an invalid. He had missed his tobacco more than he missed food and water.

Following the masquerade, Holmes had some biscuits (cookies, to modern Americans) and a glass of claret (red wine of Bordeaux) in the intervals of his toilet.

At the end, Holmes told Watson: “When we have finished at the police-station I think that something nutritious at Simpson’s would not be out of place.” (It’s a good bet a little more claret was in order there, too.)


After the encounter with Holy Peters and delays with the warrant, Sherlock Holmes was too irritable for conversation and too restless for sleep. Watson left him smoking hard, with his heavy, dark brows knotted together, and his long, nervous fingers tapping upon the arms of his chair, as he turned over in his mind every possible solution of the mystery. During the night he prowled about the house.

No drinkin’ in this one.

S&D in DEVI:

While on a visit to the Cornish peninsula, and shortly after breakfast, Holmes and Watson were smoking together, preparatory to their daily excursion upon the moors. When a visitor told of a new mystery, Holmes took his pipe from his lips and sat up in his chair like an old hound.

After the initial crime-scene investigation, when asked what he would do next, Holmes said, “I think, Watson, that I shall resume that course of tobacco-poisoning which you have so often and so justly condemned.”

Back at the cottage, Holmes broke his complete and absorbed silence, and sat coiled in his armchair, his haggard and ascetic face hardly visible amid the blue swirl of his tobacco smoke, his black brows drawn down, his forehead contracted, his eyes vacant and far away. Finally he laid down his pipe and sprang to his feet.

During the time after the second death incident, Holmes spent some of his time smoking and dreaming in the cottage.

Dr. Leon Sterndale, the great African explorer and lion-hunter, appeared as a result of Holmes’ summons. He took his cigar from his lips and gazed sternly at Holmes.

Holmes explained the events in the house to Dr. Sterndale, who had stood on the lawn outside smoking a cigar and watching what occurred within.

After releasing Dr. Sterndale, Holmes lit his pipe and handed Watson his pouch. “Some fumes which are not poisonous would be a welcome change,” said he.

There was no drinkin’ in this story.

S&D in LAST:

The two famous Germans, Von Bork and Baron Von Herling, stood beside the stone parapet of the garden walk, smoking cigars, the ends of which glowed like the smouldering eyes of a malignant fiend.

In England, Von Bork played the part of a hard-drinking, night-club, knock-about-town, devil-may-care young fellow.

When shown the contents of the safe, Von Herling put down his cigar and softly clapped his fat hands.

Von Bork kept a bottle of Tokay, to humor Altamont the spy (Holmes), who had a nice taste in wines. Altamont had seemed to be a touchy fellow and needed humouring in small things.

A half-smoked, sodden cigar hung from the corner of Altamont’s mouth, and as he sat down he struck a match and relit it.

After subduing Von Bork, Holmes and Watson drank some more of the Imperial Tokay. It was a remarkable wine, from Franz Josef’s special cellar at the Schoenbrunn Palace.

(Tokay or Tokaji, is a famous Hungarian sweet wine made from grapes ripened almost to raisins on vines, growing in the Hegyallya district. The wine is delicate in flavor, brownish-yellow when new, and changes gradually to a greenish tint as it grows older. The top variety is the Tokay Essentia, or Essence, also known as Imperial Tokay.)

At the end, Holmes offered a cigar to the captive Von Bork, who declined.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: