From: Wade T.Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri 01 Nov 2002 - 08:29:13 GMT
On Thursday, October 31, 2002, at 07:27 , Grant Callaghan wrote:
> part of his lecture included the idea that an awl shapes the hand of
> the shoemaker and some other oddities about people and their work that
> was revealed upon close examination.
"'Pon my word, Watson, you are coming along wonderfully. You have
really done very well indeed. It is true that you have missed
everything of importance, but you have hit upon the method, and
you have a quick eye for color. Never trust to general
impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details. My
first glance is always at a woman's sleeve. In a man it is
perhaps better first to take the knee of the trouser. As you
observe, this woman had plush upon her sleeves, which is a most
useful material for showing traces. The double line a little
above the wrist, where the typewritist presses against the table,
was beautifully defined. The sewing-machine, of the hand type,
leaves a similar mark, but only on the left arm, and on the side
of it farthest from the thumb, instead of being right across the
broadest part, as this was. I then glanced at her face, and,
observing the dint of a pince-nez at either side of her nose, I
ventured a remark upon short sight and typewriting, which seemed
to surprise her."
"Sherlock Holmes's quick eye took in my occupation, and he shook
his head with a smile as he noticed my questioning glances.
"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. "How did you know, for example, that I did
manual labour. It's as true as gospel, for I began as a ship's
"Your hands, my dear sir. Your right hand is quite a size larger
than your left. You have worked with it, and the muscles are more
"Well, the snuff, then, and the Freemasonry?"
"I won't insult your intelligence by telling you how I read that,
especially as, rather against the strict rules of your order, you
use an arc-and-compass breastpin."
"Ah, of course, I forgot that. But the writing?"
"What else can be indicated by that right cuff so very shiny for
five inches, and the left one with the smooth patch near the
elbow where you rest it upon the desk?"
"Well, but China?"
"The fish that you have tattooed immediately above your right
wrist could only have been done in China. I have made a small
study of tattoo marks and have even contributed to the literature
of the subject. That trick of staining the fishes' scales of a
delicate pink is quite peculiar to China. When, in addition, I
see a Chinese coin hanging from your watch-chain, the matter
becomes even more simple."
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."
"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. Can you not find the advertisement, Mr. Wilson?"
[And, this, from the Holmes meme-ory, if I may-]
"Well," [Holmes] said, "I say now, as
I said then, that a man should keep his little brain-attic
stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the
rest he can put away in the lumber-room of his library, where he
can get it if he wants it."
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Fri 01 Nov 2002 - 08:33:10 GMT