BLUE has always been one of my favorites. BLUE and HOUN. Both are full of atmosphere and settings I can relate to.
Each year at about this time I reread BLUE as part of my Sherlockain Christmas tradition.
It never becomes stale or fails to satisfy with our only filling of Sherlockain Christmas cheer.
I also get the feeling that Holmes is, for some reason, Canonically, at his most cheerful.
Was it Watson's visit? Was his career at it's peak? Although I am sure Holmes is sincere in his glad tidings in seeing his old friend, I feel there is more to it than we will ever know.
But throughout this case Holmes is simply in a great mood. And in good humor.
Almost every paragraph of Holmes' dialogue holds some little moment of light-heartiness;
". . .a(n) most unimpeachable Christmas goose.”
". . .to fulfil the
ultimate destiny of a goose, . . ."
For answer Holmes clapped the hat upon his
head. It came right over the forehead and settled
upon the bridge of his nose. “It is a question of
cubic capacity,” said he; “a man with so large a
brain must have something in it.”
When I see you, my dear Watson, with a week’s accumulation
of dust upon your hat, and when your
wife allows you to go out in such a state, I shall
fear that you also have been unfortunate enough to
lose your wife’s affection.”
We don't often see Holmes explain his deductions and observations in, I feel, such a light-hearted way.
“Eh? What of it, then? Has it returned to
life and flapped off through the kitchen window?”
“Very glad to see you. I dine at seven. There is
a woodcock, I believe. By the way, in view of recent
occurrences, perhaps I ought to ask Mrs. Hudson
to examine its crop.”
With the exceptions of James Ryder, Holmes deals with everyone in this story in an almost whimsical way; " Chance has put in our way
a most singular and whimsical problem . . . "
"If you will have the
goodness to touch the bell, Doctor, we will begin
another investigation, in which, also a bird will be
the chief feature.”
Some chronologists but Watson marriage before BLUE, so for those we assume Watson was with Mary for the Christmas Holiday.
Holmes we will never know how he spent his. But however, it seems to have lifted his spirits.
I can't help but feel this was a good holiday season for Holmes, even if we don't know what brought on his good cheer, and while John Horner may not have had a good Christmas day, at least his New Year was looking up.