McMurdo’s Camp

-S&D in The Memoirs


The news of Silver Blaze was the one topic of conversation over the length and breadth of England. For a whole day Holmes had rambled about the room with his chin upon his chest and his brows knitted, charging and recharging his pipe with the strongest black tobacco

While on the train to Exeter, with Reading far behind them, Holmes offered Watson his cigar-case. Watson accepted one, and lay back against the cushions, puffing it.

The lads on guard duty at the stable were allowed to drink nothing but water.

The dead horse-trainer had an ADP brier-root pipe in his possession, but did not smoke it.

After the race they washed the face and leg of Silver Blaze in spirits of wine (alcohol), revealing the disguise (but nobody drank any).

After whirling back down to London, Holmes, Watson, and Col. Ross went to 221B to discuss the remaining details of the case and to smoke a cigar.


There was no smokin’ or drinkin’ in this case, but there were some references. Holmes’ client called while Holmes and Watson were out, and left behind his pipe, a nice old brier with a good long amber stem.

Holmes’ client, Mr. Grant Munro, was a hop merchant (hops are an important ingredient in the brewing of beer).


Holmes’ client, after receiving a job offer from Mawson & Williams’s, was sitting doing a smoke that very evening after he had been promised the appointment.

After Sherlock Holmes heard his client’s story, he cocked his eye, and leaned back on the cushions with a pleased and yet critical face, like a connoisseur who has just taken his first sip of a comet vintage. (Note: no actual comet vintages were consumed in this case.)


Introducing records of an old case to Watson, Holmes spread out the documents upon his knees. Then he lit his pipe and sat for some time smoking and turning them over.

Holmes had visited the home of his college friend, and one evening, shortly after Holmes’ arrival, they were sitting over a glass of port after dinner. Holmes’ powers of observation and deduction became the topic of conversation, and Holmes made some deductions about his host’s father’s background. They then went into the billiard-room for a quiet cigar.

The next day, a stranger showed up and startled the host, who made a sort of hiccoughing noise in his throat, jumped out of his chair, and ran into the house. He was back in a moment, and Holmes smelt a strong reek of brandy as he passed. Later, when they entered the house, he was stretched dead drunk upon the dining-room sofa.

The stranger was given a position in the household, but became abusive. The maids complained of his drunken habits and his vile language.

After the mutiny the convicts pulled out from the locker a dozen of brown sherry. They cracked off the necks of the bottles, poured the stuff out into tumblers, and were tossing them off.


Reginald Musgrave called upon Holmes, sat down, and lit the cigarette which Holmes had pushed towards him. No other smokin’ and no drinkin’ in this one.


At 11:45 the night of the killing, Mr. Alec was smoking a pipe in his dressing-gown.

Holmes helped himself to a dash of the Colonel’s brandy after being assaulted by the Cunninghams.


One night a few months after his marriage, Dr. Watson was seated by his hearth smoking a last pipe and nodding over a novel. Holmes called at 11:45 p.m., and observed that Watson still smoked the Arcadia mixture of his bachelor days. Holmes agreed to smoke a pipe with Watson, with pleasure. So Watson gave him the pouch, and Holmes seated himself opposite Watson and they smoked for some time in silence

Holmes went down to Aldershot to the crime scene. Having gathered the facts, he smoked several pipes over them, trying to separate those which were crucial from others which were merely incidental.

No drinkin’ in this one.


Holmes’ interest was keenly aroused by his client’s tale. His face was as impassive as ever, but his lids had drooped more heavily over his eyes, and the smoke had curled up more thickly from his pipe to emphasize each curious episode.

The killers smoked two cigars apiece while confronting the Resident Patient in his quarters before killing him.

There was no drinkin’ in this one.


After returning from the Diogenes Club to Baker Street, Holmes and Watson found Sherlock’s brother Mycroft sitting smoking in their armchair.

When Holmes, Watson, and Gregson entered Latimer’s house, they found on the table two glasses, an empty brandy-bottle, and the remains of a meal.

Watson revived the Greek Interpreter, Mr. Melas, with the aid of ammonia and brandy.


Watson came to see Holmes as the result of an inquiry from an old friend, and Holmes offered him some tobacco from the Persian slipper.

After Tadpole Phelps recited his story to Holmes, he sank back upon his cushions, and his nurse poured for him a glass of some stimulating medicine.

At the end, after regaining possession of the treaty, Tadpole was so limp and exhausted with his own emotions that Holmes and Watson had to pour brandy down his throat to keep him from fainting.

Tadpole was not a smoker.

After the ham and eggs at the wrap-up breakfast, Holmes rose, and lit his pipe.


Holmes came to see Watson one evening and closed the shutters; he was worried about air-guns. He then lit a cigarette, and drew in the smoke as if the soothing influence was grateful to him.

No more episodes of smokin’ or drinkin’ were ever recorded in Holmes’ life.

(Up to then) Perhaps more later – see EMPT.

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