Disguises and deceptions

Jefferson Hope's accomplice who came to claim the wedding ring

At my summons, instead of the man of violence whom we expected, a very old and wrinkled woman hobbled into the apartment. She appeared to be dazzled by the sudden blaze of light, and after dropping a curtsey, she stood blinking at us with her bleared eyes and fumbling in her pocket with nervous, shaky fingers.

“Old woman be damned!” said Sherlock Holmes, sharply. “We were the old women to be so taken in. It must have been a young man, and an active one, too, besides being an incomparable actor. The get-up was inimitable."

Deception practised on Professor Presbury by Sherlock Holmes

“Possibly there is some mistake. I heard through a second person that Professor Presbury of Camford had need of my services.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Rodger Prescott aka Waldron

“The previous tenant was a gentleman at large named Waldron. Waldron’s appearance was well remembered at the office. He had suddenly vanished and nothing more been heard of him. He was a tall, bearded man with very dark features. Now, Prescott, the man whom Killer Evans had shot, was, according to Scotland Yard, a tall, dark man with a beard. As a working hypothesis, I think we may take it that Prescott, the American criminal, used to live in the very room which our innocent friend now devotes to his museum.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Deception practised by Killer Evans on Nathan Garrideb

“He wanted to get our amiable friend out of his room — that is very clear, and, as the collector never went out, it took some planning to do it. The whole of this Garrideb invention was apparently for no other end. I must say, Watson, that there is a certain devilish ingenuity about it, even if the queer name of the tenant did give him an opening which he could hardly have expected. He wove his plot with remarkable cunning.’’ (Sherlock Holmes) Read More...

Deception practised by Sherlock Holmes on Killer Evans

“I used to have a correspondent — he is dead now — old Dr. Lysander Starr, who was mayor in 1890.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Killer Evans aka John Garrideb

aka John Garrideb. James Winter, alias Morecroft, alias Killer Evans.

Susan Stockdale - Housemaid

“One of them got into the house as servant.” (Isadora Klein)

Deception practised on Lord Cantlemere

Deception practised upon Lord Cantlemere by Sherlock Holmes.

“One moment, sir,” said he. “To actually go off with the Mazarin stone would be a more serious offence than to be found in temporary possession of it.”
“Sir, this is intolerable! Let me pass.”
“Put your hand in the right-hand pocket of your overcoat.”
“What do you mean, sir?”
“Come — come, do what I ask.”
An instant later the amazed peer was standing, blinking and stammering, with the great yellow stone on his shaking palm.
“What! What! How is this, Mr. Holmes?”
I took the liberty — the very great liberty, I admit — of putting the stone into your pocket at the beginning of our interview.”

Sherlock Holmes - Old sporting man

“Yesterday there was an old sporting man.” (Count Sylvius)

Sherlock Holmes - Old woman

“You‘ve seen me as an old lady, Watson. I was never more convincing. He actually picked up my parasol for me once.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Sherlock Holmes - Workman

“Yesterday he was out as a workman looking for a job.” (Billy)

Dr Watson - Dr Hill Barton

Holmes handed me a card upon which was printed:

‘Dr. Hill Barton, 369 Half Moon Street.’

“That is your name for the evening, Watson.”

“You may as well be a medical man, since that is a part which you can play without duplicity. You are a collector this set has come your way, you have heard of the Baron’s interest in the subject, and you are not averse to selling at a price.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Dr Shlessinger and his wife - Holy Peters

“The Rev. Dr. Shlessinger, missionary from South America, is none other than Holy Peters, one of the most unscrupulous rascals that Australia has ever evolved. His particular specialty is the beguiling of lonely ladies by playing upon their religious feelings, and his so-called wife, an Englishwoman named (Annie) Fraser, is a worthy helpmate.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Sherlock Holmes - French Ouvrier (Worker)

An unshaven French ouvrier in a blue blouse darted out from a cabaret opposite, with a cudgel in his hand, and struck my assailant a sharp crack over the forearm, which made him leave go his hold.
In the disguise of a workingman he had sat in the cabaret waiting for my appearance.

Sherlock Holmes - The Dying Detective

He was indeed a deplorable spectacle. In the dim light of a foggy November day the sick room was a gloomy spot, but it was that gaunt, wasted face staring at me from the bed which sent a chill to my heart. His eyes had the brightness of fever, there was a hectic flush upon either cheek, and dark crusts clung to his lips; the thin hands upon the coverlet twitched incessantly, his voice was croaking and spasmodic. Read More...

Letter dictated by Sherlock Holmes

Letter dictated by Sherlock Holmes, written by Colonel Valentine Walter and sent to Hugo Oberstein

“With regard to our transaction, you will no doubt have observed by now that one essential detail is missing. I have a tracing which will make it complete. This has involved me in extra trouble, however, and I must ask you for a further advance of five hundred pounds. I will not trust it to the post, nor will I take anything but gold or notes. I would come to you abroad, but it would excite remark if I left the country at present. Therefore I shall expect to meet you in the smoking-room of the Charing Cross Hotel at noon on Saturday. Remember that only English notes, or gold, will be taken.

Advertisement in Agony column of Daily Telegraph

Advertisement placed in the agony column of the Daily Telegraph by Sherlock Holmes.
To-night. Same hour. Same place. Two taps. Most vitally important. Your own safety at stake.

Deception practised on Mrs Warren

Gennaro Lucca rented rooms from Mrs Warren, but then left and it was his wife who returned to occupy the rooms.

"The first thing that strikes one is the obvious possibility that the person now in the rooms may be entirely different from the one who engaged them.”
"Was it not suggestive that the only time the lodger went out was immediately after his taking the rooms? He came back — or someone came back — when all witnesses were out of the way." (Sherlock Holmes)

Mr Henderson, Mr Lucas and Miss Burnet

“Henderson,” the inspector answered, “is Don Murillo, once called the Tiger of San Pedro.” (Juan Murillo)

Eduardo Lucas - M. Henri Fournaye

A comparison of photographs has proved conclusively that M. Henri Fournaye and Eduardo Lucas were really one and the same person, and that the deceased had for some reason lived a double life in London and Paris.

Return of the secret document to the despatch box

The box flew open. It was stuffed with papers. Holmes thrust the blue envelope deep down into the heart of them, between the leaves of some other document. The box was shut, locked, and returned to the bedroom.

Deception which Sherlock Holmes practised on the young lady in the telegraph office

“I am sorry to trouble you,” said he, in his blandest manner, to the young woman behind the grating; “there is some small mistake about a telegram I sent yesterday. I have had no answer, and I very much fear that I must have omitted to put my name at the end. Could you tell me if this was so?”
The young woman turned over a sheaf of counterfoils.
“What o’clock was it?” she asked.
“A little after six.”
“Whom was it to?”
Holmes put his finger to his lips and glanced at me. “The last words in it were ‘for God’s sake,’ “ he whispered, confidentially; “I am very anxious at getting no answer.”
The young woman separated one of the forms.
“This is it. There is no name,” said she, smoothing it out upon the counter.

Sergius - Professor Coram

"I would have you to know the whole truth. I am this man’s wife. He is not an Englishman. He is a Russian. His name I will not tell.” (Anna)

Sherlock Holmes' message to Horace Harker

“If you are going back to Pitt Street, you might see Mr. Horace Harker. Tell him for me that I have quite made up my mind, and that it is certain that a dangerous homicidal lunatic, with Napoleonic delusions, was in his house last night. It will be useful for his article.”

Holmes and Watson - Burglars

With our black silk face-coverings, which turned us into two of the most truculent figures in London, we stole up to the silent, gloomy house.

Sherlock Holmes - Escott

“I am a plumber with a rising business, Escott, by name.” Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Captain Basil

The fact that several rough-looking men called during that time and inquired for Captain Basil made me understand that Holmes was working somewhere under one of the numerous disguises and names with which he concealed his own formidable identity. He had at least five small refuges in different parts of London, in which he was able to change his personality.

Sherlock Holmes' sprained ankle

As we approached the forbidding and squalid inn, with the sign of a game-cock above the door, Holmes gave a sudden groan, and clutched me by the shoulder to save himself from falling. He had had one of those violent strains of the ankle which leave a man helpless.

Man on bicycle - Bob Carruthers

He always kept so far from me that I could not clearly see his face, but it was certainly someone whom I did not know. He was dressed in a dark suit with a cloth cap. The only thing about his face that I could clearly see was his dark beard. (Violet Smith)

He raised his bearded face, saw us close to him, and pulled up, springing from his machine. That coal-black beard was in singular contrast to the pallor of his face, and his eyes were as bright as if he had a fever.

Mr Cornelius - Jonas Oldacre

“He determines to swindle his creditors, and for this purpose he pays large cheques to a certain Mr. Cornelius, who is, I imagine, himself under another name.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Sherlock Holmes - Bibliophile

As I did so I struck against an elderly, deformed man, who had been behind me, and I knocked down several books which he was carrying. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Sigerson

“You may have read of the remarkable explorations of a Norwegian named Sigerson, but I am sure that it never occurred to you that you were receiving news of your friend.” (Sherlock Holmes)

Mycroft Holmes - Coachman

You will find a small brougham waiting close to the curb, driven by a fellow with a heavy black cloak tipped at the collar with red. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Italian ecclesiastic

I found that the porter, in spite of the ticket, had given me my decrepit Italian friend as a travelling companion. It was useless for me to explain to him that his presence was an intrusion, for my Italian was even more limited than his English, so I shrugged my shoulders resignedly, and continued to look out anxiously for my friend. Read More...

Sherlock Holmes - Harris. Dr Watson - Price

“One is Mr. Harris,(Sherlock Holmes, an Accountant) of Bermondsey, and the other is Mr. Price, (Dr Watson, a clerk)of this town,” said our clerk glibly. “They are friends of mine and gentlemen of experience, but they have been out of a place for some little time, and they hoped that perhaps you might find an opening for them in the company’s employment.” (Hall Pycroft)

Arthur Pinner - Harry Pinner

“When I was speaking to the other chap in London, at the time that he laughed at my not going to Mawson’s, I happened to notice that his tooth was stuffed in this very identical fashion. The glint of the gold in each case caught my eye, you see. When I put that with the voice and figure being the same, and only those things altered which might be changed by a razor or a wig, I could not doubt that it was the same man. Of course you expect two brothers to be alike, but not that they should have the same tooth stuffed in the same way.” (Hall Pycroft)

Instructions to Miss Harrison

“Miss Harrison,” said Holmes, speaking with the utmost intensity of manner, you must stay where you are all day. Let nothing prevent you from staying where you are all day. It is of the utmost importance.”
“Certainly, if you wish it, Mr. Holmes,” said the girl in astonishment .
“When you go to bed lock the door of this room on the outside and keep the key. Promise to do this.”

Mr Blessington - Sutton

“This so-called Blessington is, as I expected, well known at headquarters, and so are his assailants. Their names are Biddle, Hayward, and Moffat.” “The Worthingdon bank gang,
“Then Blessington must have been Sutton.”

Russian Nobleman and his son

“There were three of them in it: the young man, the old man, and a third, to whose identity I have no clue. The first two, I need hardly remark, are the same who masqueraded as the Russian count and his son, so we can give a very full description of them.”

Sherlock Holmes - Registration Agent

In the character of a registration-agent I had a most interesting gossip with his landlady.

Oranges and carafes

Holmes fell back until he and I were the last of the group. Near the foot of the bed stood a dish of oranges and a carafe of water. As we passed it Holmes, to my unutterable astonishment, leaned over in front of me and deliberately knocked the whole thing over. The glass smashed into a thousand pieces and the fruit rolled about into every corner of the room.

“You’ve done it now, Watson,” said he coolly. “A pretty mess you’ve made of the carpet.”

Sherlock Holmes - Nervous attack

My poor friend’s face had suddenly assumed the most dreadful expression. His eyes rolled upward, his features writhed in agony, and with a suppressed groan he dropped on his face upon the ground. Horrified at the suddenness and severity of the attack, we carried him into the kitchen, where he lay back in a large chair and breathed heavily for some minutes. Finally, with a shamefaced apology for his weakness, he rose once more.

William Derbyshire - John Straker

Alias of John Straker. A man with a very dashing wife with a partiality for expensive dresses.

Sherlock Holmes - Loafer

He hurried to his chamber and was down again in a few minutes dressed as a common loafer. With his collar turned up, his shiny, seedy coat, his red cravat, and his worn boots, he was a perfect sample of the class.

Hugh Boone - Neville St. Clair

I painted my face, and to make myself as pitiable as possible I made a good scar and fixed one side of my lip in a twist by the aid of a small slip of flesh-coloured plaster. Then with a red head of hair, and an appropriate dress, I took my station in the business part of the city, ostensibly as a match-seller but really as a beggar. (Neville St. Clair)

Sherlock Holmes - Old man in opium den

They (the words) could only have come from the old man at my side. Read More...

Hugh Boone - Neville St. Clair

Now for the sinister cripple who lives upon the second floor of the opium den.... Read More...

Hosmer Angel - James Windibank

With the connivance and assistance of his wife he disguised himself, covered those keen eyes with tinted glasses, masked the face with a moustache and a pair of bushy whiskers, sunk that clear voice into an insinuating whisper.

Sherlock Holmes - Nonconformist Clergyman

He disappeared into his bedroom and returned in a few minutes in the character of an amiable and simple-minded Nonconformist clergyman. His broad black hat, his baggy trousers, his white tie, his sympathetic smile, and general look of peering and benevolent curiosity were such as Mr. John Hare alone could have equalled. It was not merely that Holmes changed his costume. His expression, his manner, his very soul seemed to vary with every fresh part that he assumed. The stage lost a fine actor, even as science lost an acute reasoner, when he became a specialist in crime.

Sherlock Holmes - Groom out of work

A drunkenlooking groom, ill-kempt and side-whiskered, with an inflamed face and disreputable clothes, walked into the room. Accustomed as I was to my friend’s amazing powers in the use of disguises, I had to look three times before I was certain that it was indeed he.