Punch, September 23, 1903
[It is rumoured that Sherlock Holmes, when he reappears, will figure in a series of stories of American origin.]
I met him in the Strand. It was really the most extraordinary likeness. Had I not known that he lay at the bottom of a dem’d moist unpleasant waterfall, I should have said that it was Sherlock Holmes himself who stood before me. I had almost made up my mind to speak to him, when he spoke to me.
“Pardon me, stranger,” he said, “can you tell where I get a car for Victoria?”
I told him.
“Do you know,” I said, “You are astonishingly like an old friend of mine. A Mr. Sherlock Holmes.”
“My name,” he said coolly.
I staggered back, nearly upsetting a policeman. Then I seized him by the arm, dragged him into an A.B.C. shop, and sat him down at a table.
“You are Sherlock Holmes!” I cried.
“Correct. Sherlock P. Holmes of Neh Yark City, U.S.A. That’s me every time, I guess.”
“Holmes!” I clutched him fervently to my bosom. “Don’t you remember me? You must remember me.”
“Name of——?” he queried.
“Watson. Dr. Watson.”
“Wal, darn my skin if I didn’t surmise I’d seen you before somewhere. Watson! Crimes, so it is. Oh, this is slick. Yes, Sir. This is my shout. Liquor up at my ex-pense, if you please. What’s your poison?”
I said I would have a small milk.
“Why, the last I saw of you, Holmes——” I began.
“Guess you didn’t see the last of me, sirree.”
“But you did fall down the waterfall?”
“Then how did you escape?”
“Why, I fell over with Moriarty. The cuss was weightier than me some, so he fell underneath. If two humans fall over a precipice, I calkilate it’s the one with the most avoir-du-pois that falls underneath. Conse-quently I was only con-siderable shaken, while Moriarty handed in his checks.”
“Then you weren’t killed?”
“My dear Watson, how——? No. Guess I sur-vived. But, say, how are all the old folks at home? How’s Sir Henry Baskerville?”
“Very well. He has introduced base-ball into the West Country.”
“And the hound? Ah, but I remember, we shot him.”
“No. He wasn’t really dead. He recovered, turned over a new leaf, and is now doing capitally out Battersea way.”
Just then a look of anxiety passed over my friend’s face. I asked the reason.
“It’s like this,” he said; “I’ve been in the U-nited States so long now, tracking down the toughs there, that I reckon I’ve ac-quired the Amurrican accent some. Say, do you think the public will object?”
“Holmes,” I said, “it wouldn’t matter if you talked Czech or Chinese. You’ve come back. That’s all we care about.”
“It’s a perfect cinch,” said Holmes, with a happy smile.
Unsigned story as printed; credited to P. G. Wodehouse in the Index to Vol. 125 of Punch.