The Boxes of John H.Watson, M.D.
It was with great excitement that I first learned of a deed box that had been deposited in the vaults of one of our great London banks nearly one hundred years ago, and somehow left untouched and forgotten for most of that time. My friend at the bank told me that this box had stencilled on it in white paint the words “JOHN H. WATSON MD” on the top, with the initials “JHW” and the legend “TO BE LEFT UNTIL CALLED FOR” on the side.
Though Watson is a common name, and John even more so, any medical doctor of that era bearing that evocative name surely must recall an association with that most famous of detectives, Mr Sherlock Holmes, who was at the height of his career in the decades immediately preceding the depositing of this box in the bank’s vaults. The legal proceedings by which I eventually gained custody of the box are technical, and a very little interest to anyone except a lawyer (and it seems to me that even the most dedicated lawyer would find little of interest!).
On my opening of the box, I discovered a treasure trove – treasure, that is, for all who have followed the exploits of Sherlock Holmes and have been tantalised by the hints dropped by Watson concerning the cases about which he had written, but had never published.
I chose to include tales which show hitherto unsuspected aspects of Holmes, some of which have been hinted at earlier by Watson.