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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Tankerville Club

Scion societies of the Baker Street Irregulars have some great names. The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis, the Speckled Band of Boston, and the Hounds of the Bakerville (sic) of Chicago spring quickly to mind. The Canonical origins of all those names is obvious.

Not so clear in that regard, perhaps, is the Tankerville Club of Cincinnati. I have mentioned this scion frequently on this blog because I have been a proud member since 1981. That what's the connection between that name and Sherlock Holmes?

Club founder Paul Herbert, BSI, often notes that the Tankerville Club is the only club mentioned twice in the Canon -- in "The Five Orange Pips" and in "The Adventure of the Empty House."

In the first of those stories, John Openshaw mentions it in this memorable exchange:

"I have heard of you, Mr. Holmes. I heard from Major Prendergast how you saved him in the Tankerville Club scandal."
"Ah, of course. He was wrongfully accused of cheating at cards."
"He said that you could solve anything."
"He said too much."
"That you are never beaten."
"I have been beaten four times -- three times by men, and once by a woman."
"But what is that compared with the number of  your successes?"
"It is true that I have been generally successful."
"Then you may be so with me."

Unfortunately, Holmes was not successful in saving Mr. Openshaw's life.

In "The Adventure of the Empty House," the Tankerville Club is listed as one of the clubs to which Colonel Sebastian Moran belonged, along with the Anglo-Indian and the Bagatelle Card Club.

What's your favorite name for a Sherlock Holmes society? 


  1. Doctor Watson's Neglected Patients

  2. Approximately 1980, "The Indicative Eggspoons" was proposed as a Canonical name for the Holmes Club at Wright State University in suburban Dayton, Ohio. (Recall Dr. Watson's pointing with his eggspoon at a magazine article he had been reading before sitting down to breakfast in "A Study in Scarlet.")