Monday, 24 March 2014

The Adventure of Passages--His Last Bow, Week 7

Although this story is very short, and we don't get all the usual Sherlock deductive skills and drama, it has plenty of interesting passages. We came in to have the German spy-barons give us the background in the first half, and in this half, we see the capture.

"Across the cover was printed in golden letters Practical Handbook of Bee Culture. Only for one instant did the master spy glare at this strangely irrelevant inscription. The next he was gripped at the back of his neck by a grasp of iron, and a chloroformed sponge was held in front of his writhing face."

I like this quote, because it's where our dynamic duo first shows itself, and I can just picture Bork's face, pleased with himself in his hour of victory, then seeing the book about bees, temporary confusion, and the he's grabbed by Watson and knocked out.

"'I feel twenty years younger, Holmes. I have seldom felt so happy as when I got your wire asking me to meet you at Harwich with the car. But you, Holmes - you have changes very little - save for that horrible goatee.'
'These are the sacrifices one makes for one's country, Watson,' said Holmes, pulling at his little tuft. 'Tomorrow it will be but a dreadful memory. With my hair cut and a few other superficial changes I shall no doubt reappear at Claridge's tomorrow as I was before this American stunt - I beg your pardon , Watson, my well of English seems to be permanently defiled - before this American job came my way.'"

This quote is one of my favorites because it shows how much Watson missed Holmes and working with him. Also, I thought the bit about the goatee is funny, and how Holmes feels his English is "defiled" from playing the part of an American for so long.

"Mr. Von Bork: you are a sportsman and you will bear me no ill-will when you realize the you, who have outwitted so many other people, have at last been outwitted yourself. After all, you have done your best for your country, and I have done my best for mine, and what could be more natural?"

This quote is nice, because, like in the other Holmes stories, Sherlock bests someone who is also good at deduction and influence, yet respects Holmes for doing it. However, I feel, this passage sums it up better that in the other stories.

"'There's an east wind coming Watson.'
'I think not, Holmes. It is very warm.'
'Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.'"

This passage is just before the end to the story, and just like in the other stories, Watson at first fails to see the meaning behind Holmes's words, taking the "east wind" literally instead of as the metaphor for the Germans coming to attack England.



  1. I like all the passages you chose--especially the first one.....I would like to read Holmes' book as bees have always been a fascinating fear for me.

  2. These are excellent quotes, Jarod. I especially like the one where Watson just takes Bork DOWN. He's no sissy, that's for sure.