Literary Views

The Adventure of the Dying Detective

Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:05 am
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The Adventure of the Dying Detective    


     This short story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle features Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes.

     On one November day in the second year of Dr. Watson's marriage he receives Mrs. Hudson and is told of the sad condition to which his friend Sherlock Holmes has sunk.

     Upon viewing his friend, Dr. Watson learns first hand of the terrible contagion which has afflicted him.  After pleading with Holmes about fetching a doctor of tropical diseases Watson turns for the door.  Whereupon Holmes springs to the door and proceeds to lock it.  He makes the condition on Watson that he is to stay two hours.  After pacing the room and examining its contents Watson is told to seek out a particular gentleman who may be an expert on Holmes's condition.  Watson is to convey to the gentleman Holmes's condition of a dying and delirious man.  Watson proceeds to the gentleman's home, and after an interval of negotiation Watson decides to push his way in to see the man.  Watson mentions his friend's name and a conversation about Holmes's illness ensues.  The man agrees to visit Holmes in his rooms. 

     Upon arriving at Holmes's rooms the two exchange words regarding a man's death.  The gentleman then asks Holmes to think back and ponder what may have caused his illness.  The conversation then turns to an ivory box that came by post.  The story continues on with the two exchanging words ending finally with Holmes complimenting Watson on his medical talents.

     I was quite impressed by this particular short story.  I believed Holmes' character and storyline to be on par with what you would expect from just such a story.  His dramatic portrayal of a 'dying detective' was quite fearsome and Watson was a very handy friend to have around.  He plays his part quite nicely.  The story may or may not illustrate why the two are indeed so beloved.

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