When Sherlock was Puzzled
We saw many curiosities at the Victoria & Albert Museum when we last visited London. One of the most curious was the Puzzle Padlock devised in Germany c. 1770. Much more intriguing than today's dull padlocks or combination locks, however safe they may be.
Have you wondered if the incredible Sherlock Holmes was ever stumped by a particularly curious puzzle? Dr. Watson, Sherlock's "Boswell" or "blogger" as he's been called, naturally focused on Sherlock's successes. The good doctor explains:
"Not so much for the sake of his reputation--for, indeed, it was when he was at his wit's end that his energy and his versatility were most admirable--but because where he failed, it happened too often that no one else succeeded, and that tale was left forever without a conclusion." (from "The Yellow Face" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Lest Sherlock seem too perfect, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle provided his famous character with several flaws, pride being at the top of the list. Because of his intelligence, observational and deductive skills, Sherlock was unmatched as a detective in his times. He was naturally proud of succeeding where so many others had failed.
In "Five Orange Pips", however, Sherlock admitted he'd been beaten four times, three times by men and once by a woman. His clients actually died in two cases "Five Orange Pips" and "The Adventure of the Dancing Men". In "A Scandal in Bohemia", Irene Adler slipped away with her photograph which the King of Bohemia had hired Sherlock to retrieve. The great detective seriously humbled himself in "The Yellow Face" when he requested John Watson whisper "Norbury" in his ear if he ever got "a little overconfident" in his powers or commitment to a case.
Seems to me that we all need someone to whisper "Norbury" in our ear when we become too full of ourselves.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18)
Thanks for not being perfect, Sherlock.