Canon tale: The Adventure of the Crooked Man
Word count: 60
Sergeant to Colonel; impressive advancement
Through ranks, he achieved a distinguished career.
He married his sweetheart, the belle of the regiment,
Hiding his secret for year upon year.
Time passes by, but his conscience still haunts him;
A name, a betrayal, disturb from the past.
A charity mission, his wife's chance encounter,
And treacherous actions are paid for at last.
Title: Old Soldiers (the serialisation of the Private Journal of Dr Watson)
Meeting Henry Wood made me reflect on my own status as an old soldier, (one who still keeps his handkerchief in his sleeve). It reminded me of my good fortune and my dear Mary entirely agreed we should make a contribution to support Wood. I am confident it will not be returned for it was sent, “For Teddy, from friends.”
Rating: Teen (for a not-especially-funny testicle joke & blasphemous use of the Old Testament)
Summary: Holmes channels Dupin.
Author's Note: According to wikipedia, "the story of David's adultery sets up the context for the penitential Psalm 51. The final verse of the psalm is: "Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar."
“Rheumatism troubling you, Watson?”
“How’d you deduce that?”
“Association of ideas. After I spoke of David and Bathsheba, you shifted uncomfortably in your chair. The former violated the latter at the bath, which is where you seek relief for your afflictions, is it not? I forget, how does that penitential psalm of David’s end?”
I chuckled. “With bullocks on altars.”
Word Count: 60
Summary: A sequel of sorts to last year’s 60-word entry on this story.
“You look a sight better, Corporal Wood.”
The gnarled solder smiled, creasing his face even more. “My pension’s made all the difference, Doctor. I can’t begin to repay you for that letter you wrote to the Army Board.”
Watson waved away the man’s words. “Think of it as a salute from another wounded sub-Continental soldier. We understand each other, daihik*.”
* Hindi for “Corporal”
Author's Notes: “The door had eventually to be opened by a locksmith from Aldershot.”
Suggested Methods for Attempting to Unlock a Door
Mr. Sherlock Holmes: lockpicks, of course.
Dr. Watson: a powerful and carefully directed kick, just below the handle.
Inspector Lestrade: a shot from the contents of my hip pocket!
Mrs. Hudson: if you had all simply waited and asked… I had a spare set of keys for 221B in my biscuit barrel.
I hope each week you will read Dr. Watson’s delightful narrative and then go on to write a poem related to it in some way. All forms of poetry are permitted, and further down the page there is a selection you might like to consider using over the coming weeks.
And here, courtesy of my housemaid Rachel, is this week’s suggested poem to read—a suggestion inspired by the themes and subjects in this week's story. Hopefully you will enjoy the poem, and perhaps it may give you some ideas for a poem of your own or allow you to look at Dr. Watson's story in a new way.
by Emily Dickinson
Note from Rachel: For Mr. Henry Wood, his most courageous battles were surely those least recognized. In the struggle against loneliness, disability, and the loss of self-worth, he proved heroic.
Thank you so much to Rachel. And here is my suggested form to revisit this week: the Schüttelreim. (The link takes you back to a previous poetry page.)
But you do not have to use that form. Any form of poetry is welcome this week—and every week! Here are a few suggestions for you:
221B verselet, abecedarian poetry, acrostic poetry, alexandrine, ballad, beeswing, blackout poetry, blues stanza, bref double, Burns stanza, call and response, chastushka, cinquain, circular poetry, clerihew, colour poems, concrete poetry, Cornish verse, curtal sonnet, diamante, doggerel, double dactyl, ekphrasis, elegiac couplet, elegiac stanza, elfje, englyn, epigram, epitaph, epulaeryu, Etheree, fable, Fib, florette, found poetry, ghazal, haiku, In Memoriam stanza, Italian sonnet, jueju, kennings poem, lanturne, limerick, lyric poetry, mathnawī, micropoetry, mini-monoverse, musette, palindrome poetry, pantoum, Parallelismus Membrorum, poem cycle, quintilla, renga, riddle, rime couée, Schüttelreim, sedoka, septet, sestina, sonnet, tanka, tercet, terza rima, tongue twister poetry, triangular triplet, triolet, Tyburn, villanelle
Please leave all your poems inspired by The Crooked Man in the comments on this post. I look forward to seeing them!
It's almost midnight and Watson is surprised to find Holmes at his door with news of a case. Colonel Barclay of the Royal Munsters at Aldershot is dead. Was the blow to his head murder? Is his wife the guilty party? Or is there another man involved..?
If you haven't tried 60 for 60 before, full information - including our schedule - can be found on our profile. But in essence: you read ACD's story and then you write a 60 word story inspired by it! You don't have to post a story every week - just join in whenever you feel like it.
Each Sunday we will also have our weekly discussion post, where we discuss a topic inspired by the canon story. And there’s Mrs. Hudson's Poetry Page too - any poems written about this week’s story can be left as a comment on her post. Mrs. Hudson informs me that the poetry form being revisited this week is the Schüttelreim. And as always, her housemaid Rachel will be suggesting a poem for us to read, to give us added inspiration.
You can choose one activity, or have a go at everything. Or just come along and read the 60s! (And have a chat in the comments.) All options are absolutely fine.
Hope to see you on Sunday. But don’t worry if you can’t join us then - we stay open for posting and commenting all week!
Word count: 60
Draftsman's instruments assembled,
Paper smoothed on drawing board,
Pen and blotter placed by inkwell,
Project title underscored.
Lines precisely marked and measured,
Diagrams complete, precise.
Engineer in new employment;
Honest work at market price.
Four strong fingers grip the table,
Every detail's checked and scanned;
Missing thumb is barely noticed,
First assignment goes as planned.
Different fate if other hand...
Title: Colonel Warburton's Madness (the serialisation of the Private Journal of Dr Watson)
Although the case of Mr Hatherley’s thumb was the more dramatic of the two cases I introduced to Holmes, that of Colonel Warburton’s madness was in many ways more complicated and had its roots much further in the past. Holmes may have been ultimately bettered by the schemes of Colonel Lysander Stark, but I believe he admired Colonel Warburton more.
For anyone who is interested: The Grosvenor Square Furniture Van