Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The eternal mystery

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, died on this day in 1930.

"What is the meaning of it, Watson?" said Holmes, solemnly, as he laid down the paper. "What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear?It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what end?"

On Monday morning, the game was afoot. Sully, on his stool, was in a brown study.

“Let’s look at the facts in the matter,” he said, as Henny Cavanaugh, three seats away, yawned and lit up a cigarette. “Jimmy, give me another one.”
...“Have I stated the facts plainly enough?” he asked, squinting at Cavanaugh.
“What are you talking about?” Cavanaugh blew smoke from both nostrils and ordered a beer.
“The man, as I’ve pointed out, has no irregular habits. No distinguishing characteristics. Nothing to draw attention to himself. Therein lies the mystery.”
Cavanaugh coughed and yawned again.
“Don’t you see? How could anyone, in plain sight for so long, go completely unobserved? A purloined letter. I’m afraid the mystery, my dear chap, is in our selves.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?” Cavanaugh said.
“You make a piss-poor Watson, you know that?
                     --Chapter 14, The Misforgotten.

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