Path of the day -- continuing A Study in Scarlet: Part 1, Chapter 1: Mr. Sherlock Holmes
Ah, here we are, the laboratory of the Mind Palace of Sherlockitude. Sherlock Holmes's lab.
Yes, we did dally overlong at the Holborn, but one must dally a bit when food is concerned. But here it is, the lab where Sherlock Holmes did some of his best work. That tiny one that will come at Baker Street is cute and all, but this! This is a lab.
What do you think are in some of these bottles lining this lovely large and lofty chamber of St. Bart's Hospital?
I bet if we'd start opening them randomly, we could do some damage . . . mainly to ourselves, as there are surely things in here no facility a century later would just leave out in the open like this. And this great hall is perfect for what we get to see happen here, a place where two distinct agents can be mixed to produce marvelous effects.
Today, the greatest scientist in this lab is a man named Stamford, as he is mixing two of the most potent elements in the room, preparing to place them in an enclosed space for a certain amount of time . . . and then, never return to see the effects?
Okay, maybe Stamford isn't such a great scientist. Or maybe he just never published his work.
Have a seat on one of these tall three-legged stools and let's discuss Elsie the bull pup's former owner. She's certainly enjoying seeing her former master as we watch this scene play out, and Watson being oblivious to her presence seems normal to her. Aw, she wants you to pet her.
There is a thing Watson says here in the St. Bartholomew's Hospital lab that just doesn't sound "Watson" as we come to know him later. It actually sounds more "Sherlock." Here it comes, give it a listen:
"Oh, a mystery is it?" Watson is actually rubbing his palms together with glee. "This is very piquant. I am much obliged to you for bringing us together. 'The proper study of mankind is man,' you know."
I mean, come on, doesn't that sound like Sherlock? Watson, as he narrates his case chronicles to come, will be a very laid-back guy about the whole detective thing. But here he sounds like Sherlock Holmes.
And Stamford . . . Stamford's last bit is priceless.
"You must study him, then. You'll find him a knotty problem, though. I'll wager he learns more about you than you about him. Goodbye."
It sounds very much like Stamford has put these two mystery-loving kooks together and is doing an "Exit, stage right!" zoom away from them as fast as possible. And the fact we never hear from him or about him again does make one wonder what his true thoughts were on Watson and Holmes.
But sometimes, when mixing two volatile chemicals in the lab, one does want to get as far away from the scene of the crime as possible . . . .