As I sat last night around our pool, umbrellaed drink at hand, contemplating my own retirement I began to think about discussions of Watson's retirement or lack there of. . . . (screeching sound of a needle on a record)
Wait, I have a 9 year old. She is not about to let me sit around a pool and relax with an umbrellaed drink.
Actually it was on my way to work this morning, contemplating my own retirement, that I had the thought.
We know a little about Holmes' retirement at or around 1904 to study his beloved bees. And that on occasion he would come out of retirement to work on a case.
And we have always accepted that LAST (around 1914) was Holmes' last case, or at least the last published.
By 1917 we are told that Holmes was long retired, making him about 63 years old. (Hey, wait, that's about how old I will be when I retire!)
Around 1903 we learn that Watson is remarried, and we hope has a family. But we will never know if indeed he did have a family. I don't believe he ever did for I think it would have been mentioned.
Did he stay in practice and continue writing, much like the beloved vet, James Herriot.
Did he celebrate his writing career or was it never the main focus of his life?
Or when not at home or at work did he retire to his club?
Like Doyle did he take up golf?
Or did he die shortly after LAST?
It could be argued that the preface to that series of stories could have been written or reedited by someone other than Watson. We know LAST probably wasn't written by him.
And if Watson wasn't going to write the last story, why would he write the preface the way he did?
The last sentence of the preface could suggest that he had died before the edition of combined stories was complete, "Several previous experiences which have lain long in
my portfolio have been added to His Last Bow so as to complete the volume."
Had Watson rejoined his old service? Although probably to old for front line service he may have found away to once again serve, and something could have happened to him.
What became of Watson after LAST?