It is not easy to contradict the fables of Dr. Doyle. His stories are so ingrained in the public mind and in those who have endeavored to write in the Doyle style that telling the truth as opposed to “Fake News,” is a might job. I can only say that what I am telling you comes from unimpeachable sources that were alive when Holmes was alive.
Let us assume that Holmes spent some of his years after Eton at some college or university. We are certainly not sure that happened, but we do know from newspaper reports of certain public happenings that a person in their early twenties was involved.
The story now told, does not necessarily begin or end in the London of the latter part of the 19th Century, otherwise called the “Victorian Age.” Revolutions of the kind in Paris, the molding of Germany and Italy into a single entity and beginning of the end of monarchial Europe highlight those years.
Holmes, or whatever he called himself in those days, was involved in so many of those incidents. His name will not be found in any historical records or personal journals. There will be no Doyle or Dr. Watson to chronicle Holmes involvement in important historical events.
Let us begin with a simple happening. By reading newspaper reports of the day, one can always sense that there was more to the story that was either left out deliberately or censored by some government or other. The only way to know these things is by speaking to someone who was actually there.
Chief Inspector Simon Cogen worked for Scotland Yard in the 1880’s and 1890’s. He was not the model for Inspector LeStrade. Cogen was a man of considerable skill and integrity. One can look up his record in the annals of the Yard and see his successes. His one failure was to capture that famous slasher, “Jack the Ripper.”
Cogen worked day and night to find this horrible person, but the only thing that happened was more murders in the Whitechapel section of London. One evening, trying to retrace the Ripper’s escape for a particularly ghastly killing, he spied a man leaning against the wall on one of Whitechapel’s many dark alleys. At first he thought that is might be Jack, however upon closer inspection, he realized it was someone he knew.
Cogen had seen his face many times in the local press. What he did not understand was why he was lurking around Whitechapel. He certainly did not live near there. He sauntered over to the famous gentleman and extended his hand. The man shook Coben’s hand with a warm and convincing strength. Coben inquired if the gentleman was there for any reason so that he could be of help.