McMurdo’s Camp

-S&D in The Return


Holmes, who had been believed dead, appeared to Watson unexpectedly. Watson fainted for the first and the last time in his life. A gray mist swirled before his eyes, and when it cleared he found his collar-ends undone and the tingling after-taste of brandy upon his lips. Holmes was bending over the chair, his flask in his hand. Holmes then sat down, and lit a cigarette in his old, nonchalant manner.

Holmes described Moriarty’s fall into the abyss, and Watson listened with amazement to the explanation, which Holmes delivered between the puffs of his cigarette.

Following the arrest of Col. Moran in the empty house, Holmes and Watson returned to Baker St., where despite the draught from a broken window, they planned to spend time over a cigar reviewing the case.


A client, the excited and unhappy John Hector McFarlane, called upon Holmes, who offered him a cigarette, pushing his case across.

After pondering the case, Holmes took no sleep that night, but in the morning, his chair was littered with cigarette-ends and with the early editions of the morning papers.

Watson set a match to the straw, and driven by the draught, a coil of gray smoke swirled down the corridor, while the dry straw crackled and flamed.


There was no smokin’ and no drinkin’ in this one.


Holmes went down to Charlington Heath to inquire at the country pub, and encountered Mr. Woodley, who had who had been drinking his beer in the taproom.

At the end of the investigation, while hearing an explanation of the motives from Carruthers, Holmes rose and tossed the end of his cigarette into the grate.


Thorneycroft Huxtable, M.A., Ph.D. called at 221B late one morning, and fell exhausted, prostrate, and insensible upon the bearskin hearthrug. Holmes and Watson sprang to their feet, and Holmes hurried with a cushion for his head, and Watson with brandy for his lips.

While at the school investigating, Holmes brought a large ordnance map of the neighbourhood, and began to smoke over it, occasionally pointing out objects of interest with the reeking amber of his pipe.

After tracking the missing bicycle, Holmes sat down on a boulder and rested his chin in his hands. Watson had smoked two cigarettes before Holmes moved again.

After finding the body of the German-master, Holmes went to the door of the Fighting Cock Inn, where Mr. Reuben Hayes was smoking a black clay pipe.


In the cabin of the murdered Black Peter Carey, a sealskin tobacco pouch containing strong ship’s tobacco was found by the police, even though Peter smoked very little, and had no pipe.

Carey was an intermittent drunkard, and when he had the fit on him he was a perfect fiend. It was no unusual thing for him to bawl and shout when he was in drink, which was the case the night he was harpooned. There were a bottle of rum and two dirty glasses upon the table at the death secne. Also in the cabin was a tantalus containing brandy and whisky. (A tantalus is a lockable stand or case for decanters of alcoholic drinks, especially spirits.) The decanters were full.

Neither Holmes, Watson, or any of the others in the little drama did any Smokin’ or Drinkin’.


Disguised as Escott the young workman, with a goatee beard and a swagger, Holmes lit his clay pipe at the lamp before descending into the street.

During the burglary, Holmes and Watson entered a room in which a cigar had been smoked not long before. The next room too, was heavy with tobacco smoke.

Then Milverton almost walked in on them. They discerned the pungent reek of a strong cigar. Milverton sat down and was blowing smoke rings.

The morning after the remarkable experience, Holmes and Watson had breakfasted and smoked their morning pipe.

No Drinkin’ in this one.


Insp. Lestrade called upon Holmes and Watson one evening, and after some casual remarks, he fell silent, and puffed thoughtfully at his cigar.

There was no Drinkin’ in this story, either.

S&D in 3STU

Upon hearing of the incident involving the stolen test papers, Bannister, the servant, was very much upset. He collapsed into a chair, and was given a little of the universal palliative (brandy) to help revive him.

Holmes feared the landlady might evict the two of them, because of Watson’s eternal tobacco and irregularity at meals.


It was a dark and stormy night, and Stanley Hopkins, the young promising detective, came a’calling. Holmes invited him to draw up and warm his toes, and gave him a cigar. Dr. Watson had a prescription containing hot water and a lemon, good medicine on such a night. No mention if the prescription had any other ingredients.

After hearing the basics of the case from Hopkins, Holmes lit his cigar and leaned back in his chair.

Professor Coram was partially bed-ridden. His hair and beard were white, save that the latter was stained with yellow around his mouth. A cigarette glowed amid the tangle of white hair, and the air of the room was fetid with stale tobacco smoke. His hand was stained with yellow.

He offered Holmes a cigarette. They were especially prepared by Ionides, of Alexandria, who sent the professor a thousand at a time, a fresh supply every fortnight. (This works out to about 3½ packs a day, at 20 units per.)

Holmes lit the cigarette and shot little darting glances all over the room. He paced up and down one side of the room whilst the old professor talked, smoking with extraordinary rapidity. It looked like he shared the host’s liking for the fresh Alexandrian cigarettes. He then took another cigarette from the box — his fourth — and lighted it from the stub of that which he had finished. Slightly later, Holmes took yet another cigarette. It pleased the professor to see anyone appreciate them so. Holmes continued to walk up and down for some time, lost in thought and consuming cigarette after cigarette.

Later during a stroll in the garden, Holmes told Watson that his solution depended upon those cigarettes that he had smoked.

After lunch, the eternal cigarette smouldered in the professor’s mouth. With Holmes accusation, the professor blew a cloud from his lips.

During Anna’s confession Professor Coram helped himself to yet another cigarette, and then puffed at it.

Holmes had dropped his ashes all over the space in front of the suspected bookcase, and determined the missing wife was hiding there.

This was the only Holmes story in which the smoking was purposeful.

S&D in MISS:

About nine o’clock in Cambridge, a cold supper was ready upon the table at the Gray’s Inn. After his needs were satisfied, Holmes lit his pipe.

There was no drinkin’ in this adventure.


When interviewed after her husband’s murder, Lady Brackenstall said of the three intruders, “they had drawn a bottle of wine which stood there. Each of them had a glass in his hand.”

During the crime scene investigation, Holmes noted the three glasses were grouped together, all of them tinged with wine, and one of them containing some dregs of beeswing.

(Beeswing: [BEEZ-wing] Named for its translucent appearance, beeswing is a flaky deposit sometimes found in older, bottle-aged wines, particularly port. Such wines are usually decanted, thereby eliminating the residue. © Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE WINE LOVER’S COMPANION, by Ron Herbst and Sharon Tyler Herbst.)

Back in London after the crime-scene investigation, when dinner was over, and the table cleared, Holmes had lit his pipe and held his slippered feet to the cheerful blaze of the fire.

Then Captain Crocker, the killer, arrived and Holmes offered him a cigar

After the altercation that resulted in the death of Sir Eustace Brackenstall, Captain Crocker opened a bottle of wine and poured a little between Lady Brackenstall’s lips, and then took a drop himself.


H&W were visited by the Prime Minister and the European Secretary. After the illustrious visitors had departed Holmes lit his pipe in silence and sat for some time lost in the deepest thought

That day and the day following, Holmes ran out and ran in, smoked incessantly, played snatches on his violin, sank into reveries, and devoured sandwiches at irregular hours.

No drinkin’ in this one.

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