Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk - Brad's summer reading list number 2

There are so many great little tidbits in STOC that even if you don't find the case a good one, there is plenty of material for any number of presentations.

The first being Watson is no longer at Baker St., he is married and he has set up in practice.
Just within the first paragraph are at least three topics that a good presentation could be formed around.

And then it just gets better.

The second paragraph offers at least two topics, along with a couple areas for supposition.

We find Watson at home, having just finished breakfast, either on his day off or waiting for his mornings clients to arrive.

Holmes arrives in the room, seemingly unannounced, in an, also seemingly, jovial mode. He briefly asks about Mary, which is suggestive in itself. From this opening conversation we can surmise that Mrs. Watson did not greet Holmes at the door (otherwise he would have asked Mary how she was doing) and that the Watson's must either employ a maid or the good doctor has a page boy handling the front door. A maid would indicate it was Watson's day off, a page would indicate time before clients. But we will never know.
The fact that Watson leaves a note for his neighbor would suggest the latter.
Another thing suggesting a working mornings would be Mary's absence from the breakfast table. Surely on a day off Mary would join Watson for breakfast and perhaps they would linger over coffee for a little while.

And although we have this little exchange of greetings, for the most part Holmes gets straight down to business. (Matter of fact, it comes right after Holmes asks about Mary.)

Holmes next inquiry into Watson's well being only comes after he has deduced Watson is up for more adventures.

As we have become accustomed to, we than have Holmes regale us with some fine deductions, which in this case seem rather superfluous for Holmes then once again returns to getting Watson to come along with him on the case he is involved with.

Holmes must have been pretty sure of Watson's situation before he arrived unannounced. (Suggesting he is keeping an eye on his good friend?)  Either that, or Holmes, on the way to the train station, was just going on an off chance Watson would be available.

After these deductions we then meet Mr. Hall Pycroft. Between Watson's description of Mr. Pycroft's dress, manner and speech we could easily come up with several other papers for presentation.
We are told Mr. Pycroft is probably from the cockney (within the sounds of Bow-bells) region of London, and his speech and dress suggest a modern young man. The paragraph describing Hall Pycroft also suggests the respect Watson holds for people of the area and his love of sports.
In the narrative that follows the introductions, one could easily do a paper on the Cockney language and on the words used by youth of a modern (Victorian) London.

Other interesting items that could provide papers are the business names used in the story and the addresses given.
Addresses from the location of Watson's office and home, to the addresses given by Mr. Pycroft.

The case is, at least for me, more about the things it doesn't say, than the things it does.

And although many of the cases end rather quickly, with little in the way of farewells, this case seems to end even more so with no glad tidings between our duo.

More readable for what is not present, than for what is.

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