Jody Baker: Dr. Watson Paints Pictures With Words

Thursday, November 22, 2012 - by Jody Baker

Among the many pleasures found in the study of the Canon is getting to know Sherlock Holmes as a person and as a friend. Another friendship is the relationship with Dr. John Watson. (Some Sherlockians are so fond of their friend Watson that they become aggressively angry when they are reminded that Conan Doyle once referred to him as “the rather stupid friend” of Sherlock Holmes.) The depth of these friendships bind us to a lifetime of pleasure when, from time to time, we retreat from the reality of life to spend some quiet time with them in their world.

In our excursions into the world in which they live we find that  Dr. Watson presents that world with realism. We even feel the forces that surround us when we step through the written page into their world. Where else could you find a more descriptive passage than this picture written by Watson, using a pen for his brushes and words for his paints:  

"It was a wild, tempestuous night, towards the close of November. Holmes and I sat together in silence all the evening, he engaged with a powerful lens deciphering the remains of the original inscription upon a palimpsest, I deep in a recent treatise upon surgery. Outside the wind howled down Baker Street, while the rain beat fiercely against the windows. It was strange there, in the very depths of the town, with ten miles of man's handiwork on every side of us, to feel the iron grip of Nature, and to be conscious that to the huge elemental forces all London was no more than the molehills that dot the fields. I walked to the window, and looked out on the deserted street. The occasional lamps gleamed on the expanse of muddy road and shining pavement. A single cab was splashing its way from the Oxford Street end.” [GOLD]

Though Conan Doyle was Watson’s Literary Agent, I don’t think he ever read his writings.

With best wishes to all,

Respectfully submitted,

Inspector Baynes

(Jody Baker is a Chattanooga attorney, who specializes in Sherlock Holmes lore. He can be reached at josiahbaker@bkhcw.com.)


Stokes Book Is A Visual Stroll Through Hamilton County's Past

It's not surprising that the demand for the Stokes Pictorial History book required a third printing.  This outstanding publication provides the chance for our generation to take a visual stroll through Hamilton County's past. The journey is an unique opportunity to gain new appreciation for those who pioneered the development of our beautiful community.  Bill Knowles (click for more)

David Carroll: Y’all Know Anybody Who Speaks Southern?

I haven’t had my hearing checked lately, but maybe I should.  After all, I was a disc jockey for about 10 ears, and I kept those headphones cranked up high.  Each year, when we have our reunion of old disc jockeys, the voices keep getting louder, but I think most of us are reading lips by now.  It’s like that old joke about a couple of guys, both hard of hearing.   ... (click for more)

Robber Who Was Shot At Rossville Boulevard Car Lot Dies; No Charges To Be Filed

Police said a person who was shot during a robbery attempt at a car lot at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday has died. Police said the shooting has been ruled a "justifiable homicide" and no charges will be brought against 27-year-old Alan Miller. The shooting in which the robbery victim shot the suspect was at Miller Auto Sales. (click for more)

Man Charged In Shooting On Sixth Avenue Had Been Shot Himself Last Week; Police Say Incident "Part Of Gang War"

A man charged with attempted first-degree murder on Sixth Avenue Court on Thursday afternoon was shot himself earlier this month. O'Shae Kadaris Smith, 20, of 2114 E. 12th St., is also charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was one of two people shot on Rawlings Street on March 16. Kendre Allen, ... (click for more)

Southside Smacks Raiders, 13-11, On Wiley's Walk-Off Slam

Southside High School, located in Fort Smith, Ark., didn’t travel 600-plus miles to waste a scintillating comeback against Cleveland on Friday in the Pounder Classic at Central High School. Spotting the Blue Raiders a 7-0 first-inning lead, Southside tied the game in the sixth and then shocked Cleveland with a six-run rally in the last of the seventh – Tanner Wiley, breaking ... (click for more)

Tennessee Fires Basketball Coach Donnie Tyndall

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  – Tennessee has fired men’s basketball coach Donnie Tyndall. The decision was made based on information the university received during the NCAA's investigation of another institution. The university concluded that Tyndall will likely be held responsible for serious violations of NCAA rules that occurred during his tenure as head men's basketball ... (click for more)