Daily Express, Tuesday, October 20, 1903

Poem 18

(By P. G. Wodehouse)



Welcome, Holmes, alive and hearty! 1
You’ve escaped from Moriarty, 2
And your talents to the public
You’ve consented to restore.
If you’re solving nothing bigger,
I should like to see you figure
On the problem of the Parrot
And his “Food will cost you more.

Leave the man who steals and forges
To pursue his shocking orgies:
For a while permit the cut-throat
To imbrue his hands in gore:
Let the Hooligan arrest shun,
While you probe this puzzling question:
What’s the reason why the Parrot
Says “Your food will cost you more”?

Can he think it influences
Any person in his senses?
Do you fancy that he does it
Just because he loves to bore?
Do you hold I’m wrong in saying
That his mind must be decaying,
And that that is why he dodders
With his “Food will cost you more”?

Is my reasoning defective?
Come, oh! excellent detective,
Come and exercise your genius,
As you used in days of yore.
For our heads are all revolving
Through our vain attempts at solving
The strange problem why the Parrot
Cries, “Your food will cost you more.



Under the heading “Sherlock Revived: The Great Detective Never Died”, the Daily Express of 30 September 1903 had carried a report of Arthur Conan Doyle’s new Holmes story, “The Adventure of the Empty House”, which appeared in the October issue of The Strand Magazine (on bookstalls from late September).


While not giving any details of the plot of the new story, the Daily Express quoted extensively from Holmes’s account of how he escaped from Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.