The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
First published in: The Strand Magazine, April 1892
Time frame of story (known/surmised): Autumn (given) of 1887 or 1888 (given by age and birth year of client). First half of October, as indicated by hotel bill. A few weeks before Watson’s marriage.
H&W living arrangements: Sharing bachelor quarters at 221B Baker St.
Opening scene: Letter from Client. H&W review newspaper accounts of case. Client arrives at 221B and is interviewed by Holmes. After client departs, Holmes tells Watson he has solved the case.
Client: The Noble Bachelor, Lord St. Simon. Referred to Holmes by Lord Backwater.
Crime or concern: Client’s wife disappeared shortly following wedding ceremony.
Villain: None. The least sympathetic character in the story seems to be the client himself.
Motive: Bride departs having discovered an earlier husband whom she believed was dead, is in fact, alive.
Logic used to solve: Circumstantial evidence (the trout in the milk) and knowledge of similar cases.
Policemen: Inspector Lestrade, who does not distinguish himself in his detecting.
Holmes’ fees: Not mentioned in story.
Transport: Holmes traveled “thither” by unspecified means.
Food: A quite epicurean little cold supper was laid out upon H&W’s table. There were a couple of brace of cold woodcock, a pheasant, a pate de foie gras pie with a group of ancient and cobwebby bottles. Holmes had ordered this from a confectioner in anticipation of being joined for supper by his noble client, the bride, and her husband.
Drink and Vices: Holmes had a whisky and cigar after questioning St. Simon. Extra tumbler and cigars offered to Lestrade when he came to see Holmes shortly after.
Other cases mentioned: The problem of the Grosvenor square furniture van.
Some previous dealings, arrangement, or relationship Holmes had with Lord Backwater.
Notable Quotables: “They often vanish before the ceremony, and occasionally during the honeymoon; but I cannot call to mind anything quite so prompt as this.”
“It is very good of Lord St. Simon to honour my head by putting it on a level with his own,”
“I believe that the folly of a monarch and the blundering of a minister in far-gone years will not prevent our children from being some day citizens of the same world-wide country under a flag which shall be a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes.”
Other interestings: In this story, H&W have a page-boy.
Holmes does a put-down his snobby client by mentioning previous client “of the sort” was a King.