The View from Sherlock Peoria (275)
September 16, 2007
Professor Moriarty Blows!
Okay, maybe it’s just late and maybe I just need a column. A rant will do as good as anything to fill up column-space, and what can a good Sherlockian rant about? How about Professor Moriarty, the arch-nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, the man who removed him from the public eye for nearly a decade, and the biggest failure in the annals of evil? Yeah, how about Moriarty!
Have you ever actually read the couple of dozen lines that Professor Moriarty has in the Holmesian histories and considered them from a villainous point of view?
“Tut, tut! I am quite sure that a man of your intelligence willsee that there can be but one outcome to this affair.”
Okay, one outcome . . . give us a hint, Professor.
“You have worked things in such a fashion that we have only once resource left.”
And that would be . . . what? What are you telling us, Professor?
“I say, unaffectedly, that it would be a grief to me to be forced to take any extreme measure. You smile, sir, but I assure you that it really would.”
Okay, Moriarty is going to go all “extreme” on Holmes. Woo.
“This is not danger. It is inevitable destruction.”
Are you going to have him killed, Professor? Is that what you’re saying?
“You must stand clear, Mr. Holmes, or be trodden under foot.”
Aw, c’mon! You’re living in the era of Deadwood, Professor! Let’s have some blunt criminal talk, here. “Get out of London or die, Holmes!” Is that so hard to say? “I’ll kill you if you do one more thing, Holmes!” Direct, to the point.
Professor Moriarty must have put a lot of stock in menacing presence and that oscillating head business, because on words alone he sure wasn’t cutting it. He sounds more like Holmes’s gay stalker as much as the guy running the whole of the London underworld.
“I know every move of your game. You can do nothing before Monday.”
This is where it just gets silly. It’s Friday. Moriarty is giving Holmes the weekend to lay off. What does he think Holmes is waiting for, the city clerk’s office to open? Crime-fighting doesn’t wait until the next business day! Moriarty sure isn’t showing us how he got to be where he is.
I mean, this is a criminal genius? A man who seems to think rambling on and on about vague “destruction” is more effective than a short detailed description of how you’ll die painfully for messing with him? Some may say it was the Victorian era, a kinder gentler time of manners and propriety. We’re talking criminals here, people. You know, the folks that don’t stick out their pinky when they’re slugging down shots of gin at the whore-house? There wasn’t even any danger of the conversation being recorded, as recording devices hadn’t been invented yet, so Moriarty had every reason to speak plainly.
Moriarty. Sheesh. Put him up on Reichenbach with James Ryder and let them slap-fight to the death. If Moran had half a brain (which we see from “Empty House,” he doesn’t seem to, as cheating at cards is his big idea of a criminal caper), he’d have popped this guy and taken over London crime long before Holmes entered the picture. In fact, I’m surprised that Isadora Klein didn’t take them both out.
But I digress . . . which I guess this entire rant was all about, anyway. Just do me a favor and give the Prof a close eye next time he crosses your page. See if he lives up to his reputation.
Your humble correspondent,