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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

At the Third Pillar from the Left

"Be at the Third pillar from the left outside the Lyceum Theatre to-night at seven o'clock. If you are distrustful bring two friends."
-- The Sign of Four

One of the great joys of traveling to England as a Sherlockian pilgrim is that we kept stumbling over traces of Sherlock Holmes when we least expected. On Wellington Street, just off the Strand, we happened onto the Lyceum Theatre. You probably recall that it was there, on a foggy September evening, that Mary Morstan, Sherlock Holmes, and Dr. Watson rendezvoused with Thaddeus Sholto's servant at the third pillar from the left.

Watson describes the scene:

"At the Lyceum Theater the crowds were already thick at the side-entrances. In front a continuous stream of hansoms and four-wheelers were ratting up, discharging their cargoes of shirt-fronted men and beshawled, bediamonded women."

According to my trusty Encylcopaedia Sherlckiana by Jack Tracy, the original Lyceum was replaced by the current structure in 1904.The new version still has pillars. I knew because we stood by the third one from the left just last month.

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