The Muse of History

I enjoy watching my idols (Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of course) through the eyes of others. It forces me to think about them instead of just reading as if I were watching the adventures scroll before my eyes.

That being said, I may be completely out of my mind to start up with something that involves, however indirectly, The Adventure of the Wisteria Lodge. It was dates 1892, a Hiatus year, but Baring-Gould pins it as 1894 so I believe I'm going with that number. It wasn't released until 1908 anyway.

As time wore on, Holmes' attitude towards the police grew slightly more complimentary. Or at least, slightly less contemptible. Baynes is the only policeman in Canon to have outwitted Holmes, and Holmes was impressed by the man. In one brief encounter, he managed to give Baynes compliments no other policeman ever received. The era was changing, as Doyle's own private detective work was letting him soften his attitude to usual police procedure.

Also changing were some of the views in procedure among Scotland Yard.


Clea Lestrade didn't know why it was, that unpleasant or otherwise momentous news always struck right around suppertime. Wasn't the world supposed to be slowing down and giving weary families their hard-earned time alone?

Once she made the mistake of complaining about that out loud, within earshot of her brothers.

"Good time to bother someone, Clea." Bartram grunted. "You know they got to be home then."

Clea stared, about to express her feelings about that form of rudeness, when she caught on that the remaining five of her brothers were in obvious agreement.

"I suppose I hadn't thought it all the way through, Bartram." Clea decided to drop the subject, and if there was a strained look in her eye, her brothers were too caught up in themselves to pay much notice. As usual.

Events transpired much later (and with greater than normal drama and fanfare for the Cheatham clan), that Clea was indirectly proven the reason for her complaint. The first six months of her marriage, she was certain her family thought Geoffrey was avoiding them.

While she couldn't fault Geoffrey for the urge (she herself experienced the need for familial exile before it turned into fratricide), she did feel poorly about the mess. After a ten-hour day at the Yard doing things Clea occasionally desired ignorance of, he would have just enough time to wash up and put on a clean suit before they could go out of the evening.

Clea didn't know if Geoffrey was some sort of magnet for strife, or if she had just been oblivious for most of her life (but she suspected it was a little of both). Either way, an ordinary evening out had decent odds of being anything but normal.

There was the spring gala at the Opera House, when the man collecting tickets at the window took one look at Geoffrey a hair before Geoffrey saw him. Whilst he was caught in the act of gulping for air, Geoffrey was lunging across the ropes and shouting for a Constable that Clea was willing to swear she hadn't noticed in the crowd. At the least, it wasn't a complete loss of an evening; he missed the first part of the show but Geoffrey felt that was the usual fair outcome of telling a Director the man they just hired was a convicted murderer. They did get season tickets out of the mess, and Clea was disposed to feel better about the eight-shilling asset by the time they returned home.

A bit of an inconvenience, but also, a decent enough reward for the inconvenience. When she thought about it carefully, she decided a little bother in the beginning was like bread: It all turned out right for the extra attention. A good lesson, she decided. Good enough.

She did not know then, or ever, that the experience also planted seeds of thought in her mind, to slowly percolate until ready to come out.

Anyway, those thoughts would return later; much, much later, to bear interesting fruit.