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The Case of Sherlock HolmesSecrets and Lies in Conan Doyle's Detective Fiction$
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Andrew Glazzard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431293

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431293.001.0001

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The Giant Rat of Sumatra

The Giant Rat of Sumatra

(p.218) Chapter 20 The Giant Rat of Sumatra
The Case of Sherlock Holmes

Andrew Glazzard

Edinburgh University Press

The late story ‘Thor Bridge’ opens with a celebrated passage in which Watson reveals the existence of ‘a travel-worn and battered tin dispatch-box with my name, John H. Watson, MD, Late Indian Army, painted upon the lid’ (Case-Book, 23) in the vaults of the Charing Cross branch of Cox and Co. bank. This was a real bank, founded in 1758 and which specialised as an army agency, responsible for army logistics and payments to officers and men: for its military customers it would have taken care not only of salaries but also of tax, insurance and bills, and it had branches across British India as well as the British Isles. For a former Indian Army doctor, therefore, it would have been a logical choice for placing an account, and its branch at 16–18 Charing Cross was, during the First World War, one of the busiest banks in the world, open all hours for men returning from the front.1 Its wartime expansion could not be sustained and it was taken over by Lloyd’s Bank in 1923, the year after ‘Thor Bridge’ was published in the Strand, although Lloyd’s later sold its Indian operations which eventually became Cox and Kings travel agent, and which flourishes to this day.

Keywords:   Gothic, Stories, Narrative, Saga, Language

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