The Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle EncyclopediaThe Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Early Rivals to Sherlock Holmes

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Early Rivals to Sherlock Holmes is an article published in The Sketch on 5 april 1905.

Early Rivals to Sherlock Holmes

The Sketch (5 april 1905, p. 390)

The Academy has discovered in the works of Charlevoix, the Jesuit explorer of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, an Indian Sherlock Holmes, a dabbler in that practical employment of minute observation that made Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous creation as fascinating as he is fantastic, and proceeds to tell the story of the ingenious manner in which he furnished himself with a description of a thief he had never seen. "The thief, I know, is a little man," he said, "by his having made a pile of stones to stand upon in order to reach the venison... and that he is a white man I know by his turning out his toes when he walks, which an Indian never does... That his dog is small I know by its tracks; and that it has a short tail I discovered by the mark it made in the dust when it was sitting at the time its master was taking down the meat." This is excellent and interesting, but why, when finding parallels to Dr. Boswell Watson's Johnson, omit the worthy Arab of our School-Reader days, who described a straying camel unknown to him as blind in the left eye and minus a tooth or two, supporting his case by the fact that the missing beast had grazed only on the right side of the road, and where it had grazed had left little tufts of grass where it had bitten — to put it in an Irish but expressive manner — with no teeth? Surely so old and picturesque a friend should not be burked!