By Al Gregory
(Mr. Gregory, one of four directors of Mrs. Hudson's Cliffdwellers in New Jersey, delivered
this toast at a Three Garridebs Luncheon, selecting a subject well-suited to Sherlockians)


In the eternal quest for evil in the world and in the Canon, we can do no better than to begin with the letter “S.” Was it not the slithery, slimy, sneaky, seductive, sibilant, serpent that started the fall of man?

As in the Bible, so in the Canon, our collection of esses is a fine one. We have Slaney, Small, and Stockdale; Stamford the forger, and Stark the counterfeiter. Then we note Stapleton who killed by a hound, and Straker who was killed by a horse. We note Sholto who stole treasure and Sylvius who stole the stone (Mazarin, that is). We have Shlessinger (Reverend, not Doctor Laura) who sealed his victim in a sarcophagus. And let’s not forget Straubenzee who made the air gun for Sylvius, and the swamp adder who slew a Stoner sister. These almost, but not quite, round out our list of serpentine sleazes and stinkers.

But all these ess-men are understandable if detestable. They all committed their crimes for money. There is a coherent, if abominable, logic behind their criminality. But one ess stands out before the crowd: one ess-man who killed not for love or money, not for sweetheart, swain, shillings or shekels, but for the sheer thrill of it. That ess-man was Selden the sicko; Selden the psychotic; Selden the sociopath; Selden the

The Hound Springs!

study in psychopathy.

And how did Selden die? The spectral and spooky Hound of the Baskervilles ran him off a cliff. And why did the Hound pick him for its prey, pray tell? It was because of the scent of Sir Henry on the suit that the sartorial Selden was sporting. Selden unwittingly wore the suit of death. If in most cases clothes make the man, here clothes killed the man!

I give you Selden, literally the most unsuitable man in the Canon!

Holmes & Watson overturn “Sir
Henry’s” body, only to find Selden

Mr. Gregory is the author of  "Cab 2704: A Transport of Delight,” an illustrated monograph which studies the history and role of hansom cabs in Victorian Britain and especially in the Sherlock Holmes stories. It is a signed numbered limited edition of 130. It also includes a register of all known Sherlockian vanity license plates in the US. It includes all quotes in the Canon which contain references to hansom cabs. This monograph is available at the cost of $12 postpaid in the US, and $14 postpaid to the rest of the world. Checks, in US dollars, should

be made out to Al Gregory and sent to:
118 South Prospect St
Verona NJ 07044