How in the world is it already Day 4? But the 27th of December is a important day in the Sherlockian calendar, being as it is the date that the Commisionaire found something–not in a stocking, but in the crop of a lost-and-found goose. A “bonny thing,” Holmes called it, but it was also “a nucleus and focus of crime,” with “two murders, a vitriol-throwing, a suicide, and several robberies” to its credit. Hopefully the Countess of Morcar’s husband simply bought it from a jeweler’s. I assume she was happy to get it back.
We don’t see the Countess of Morcar in the canonical version of “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” but we do get a glimpse of her in the Granada episode. There, she was played by Rosalind Knight, a multi-faceted actress with seventy years of theatre, television, and film credits. She passed away earlier this month, and was remembered by her family as a woman with “‘immense spirit and sense of fun,'” although her Countess of Morcar seems to have been anything but. Indeed, she comes across as a woman who is thoroughly tired of Christmas–the shopping, hotel living, and probably all of the family she is buying for. So, let’s put on our deerstalkers and deduce: what would the Countess of Morcar like for Christmas?
She obviously has funds–it’s expensive to live in a hotel–but although she has bought quite a lot of gifts, she doesn’t seem to have family with her–and she certainly didn’t choose to stay with them. So….she might have difficulties with her children; or she is a woman who needs her space. But at one time, she was able to inspire such devotion in someone that he gave her the precious stone; and she loved him (let’s be generous and not think it was just the carbuncle) that she carried it with her to London and sneaks a peek at it when she is tired and stressed. If we really want to let our imaginations fly, we could infer that the fact that the stone remains unset indicates that the Countess is not supposed to have it–that she (or the person who gave it to her) came by it through less than honest means. Perhaps it came from someone other than her husband. Perhaps the Countess of Morcar has….secrets…….
So–a solitary person, who at the same time enjoys close companionship–and time alone. I would imagine she has a country house, with plenty of room to run, so what she truly needs for Christmas is–
I expect that even just one dog would make her next Christmas far more merry.
We actually did get a new dog for Christmas–so now we have two. His name is Benny and he is loudly snoring on my lap right now. I won’t offer a dog as a prize, however. Instead, tonight’s offering is:
It’s a used, illustrated copy, in good condition. The spine has faded, and the corners are worn, but it’s a nice curiosity for your book cabinet. If you’d like a chance to win it, then all you need to do is answer this question:
Who did James Ryder think would help him fence the Blue Carbuncle; why did he choose that person?
Day 3 Winner!!!
There were many responses, but T. Rick Jones won the drawing–and is our first two-time winner. As everyone knew, Conan Doyle’s sisters Annette, Connie, and Lottie all worked as governesses in Portugal; the money they sent home helped support the family, and provided funds for Arthur in medical school. Also, as Jim Bennett pointed out, ACD’s grandmother, Catherine Pack Foley, ran a placement service for governesses in Edinburgh.