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No. 399, January 24, 2010

The Forgetful Sherlockian
By Don Hobbs

Well, the dust has finally settled from all of the Sherlockian activities from last week’s Sherlock Holmes Birthday Celebration Weekend. The sleep deprivation is now just a memory along with other more pleasant ones. I was so pleased with my departure from Midtown Manhattan to my airplane seat in a record thirty minutes that I failed to mention the one huge faux pas I made last Sunday morning.

As I settled down into my airplane seat, preparing for the nap I was planning on taking during the flight home, I sat bolt upright in sheer panic. Suddenly I realized I had left the large bag of books I had bought in the hotel room. I remembered placing them neatly inside the Trader Joe’s shopping bag, completely filling it and then setting in the corner out of the way. Our room was so small that one night I rolled over a bumped the person in the next room by accident. In desperation, I called the hotel and explained my panic. They gave a reassuring promise that they would retrieve my forgotten booty.

I was sent a fax that required me to give the hotel credit card information, driver license information, names address of relatives dating back six generations along with some DNA samples and only then would they FedEx my bag-o-books. I felt like a kid at Christmas watching on of those mock radar screens tracking Santa Claus across the skies. I watched FedEx’s website, tracking my own Santa.  Picked up in New York City, Jan. 19, 2010 at 1:56 PM; departed FedEx location, Newark, NJ Jan. 19, 2010 at 9:49 PM; arrived FedEx location Memphis, TN Jan. 20, 2010 at 9:08 AM; arrived in Ft Worth, TX blah, blah, blah; on a delivery truck Irving, TX Jan. 22, 2010; and so forth until they arrived at my front door.

The hotel came through and late Friday afternoon, my wayward books arrived. I cannot remember the last time I was so relieved to see a Trader’s Joe’s bag. Of course, if I had remembered the books in the first place, I would not have to remember when I was so glad to see the FedEx with my books. Along with the books arrival came the next challenge that of figuring out the bibliographic information of some of the more obscure titles. One book in particular was De Waal C-3144. Ta apanta tou Conan Doyle: Serloc Holms is a Greek translation from 1973 but the contents was missing. I spent the next four hours translating the twenty-two stories in this book. If anyone is interested they are “LADY” “CARD” “BLAN” “3GAB” “SUSS” “SHOS” “THOR” “BRUC” “CREE” “COPP” “VEIL” “RETI” “IDEN” “BOSC” “ILLU” “LION” “REDH” “SCAN” “MAZA” “SPEC” “BERY” “FIVE”.

Another book in the bag was in Thai however, I bought it thinking it was in Malayalam. I did an internet search on comparative numerals before deciding that it was Thai. I took the book to my local Thai restaurant and the owner, Mr.  Hemtong Yasotornrat was pleased to help. This book was The Valley of Fear translated by Sai su Wan and published in 1986 in Bangkok by Prae Pita Ya. I updated The Galactic Sherlock Holmes with the information from these books and the thirty others I picked up in New York. There are still Arabic and Gujarati translations that I still need information on and have help working on them.

The next Galactic Sherlock Holmes 10.2 will be available next week, with updated
information on De Waal C-3415, Sherlock Holmes zenshû. This is the Japanese
translation of Barring Gould’s The Annotated Sherlock Holmes. I broke out the individual books in order to include their contents and page numbers. De Waal simply listed it as a Twenty-One volume set. Anyone interested can drop me an email at

Happy Collecting!!


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Past 2009 Columns

January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! A Sherlockian Potpourri

January 10, 2010
Sherlockian Nirvana

January 17, 2010
Sherlocking in New York City 2010

January 24, 2010
The Forgetful Sherlockian