“revealed it to the victim” [SPEC]
Recall in "The Red-Headed League" how Sherlock Holmes was able to infer a number of facts about Jabez Wilson, leaving the pawnbroker astounded:
“Beyond the obvious facts that he has at some time done manual labour, that he takes snuff, that he is a Freemason, that he has been in China, and that he has done a considerable amount of writing lately, I can deduce nothing else.”Mr. Jabez Wilson started up in his chair, with his forefinger upon the paper, but his eyes upon my companion. “How, in the name of good-fortune, did you know all that, Mr. Holmes?” he asked.
When Holmes went on to explain his observations and conclusions, Wilson became more cynical:
Mr. Jabez Wilson laughed heavily. “Well, I never!” said he. “I thought at first that you had done something clever, but I see that there was nothing in it, after all.”
Sherlock Holmes, who prided himself on his ability to surprise people with his deductions, was taken aback and even suggested to Watson that like so many magicians, he shouldn't reveal his tricks:
“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining. ‘Omne ignotum pro magnifico,’ you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid.”
We of course know that there isn't "nothing in it after all," but that it takes a considerable effort to train oneself in observation and deduction, as Sherlock Holmes did and as did Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle's instructor Dr. Joseph Bell.
Perhaps the boys of Baker Street Elementary are learning some lessons as well...
Baker Street Elementary follows the original adventures of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, as they and their friends work through the issues of elementary school in Victorian London. An archive of all previous episodes can be viewed at www.bakerstreetelementary.org.