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The Start of a Beautiful Friendship (1) : Dr Watson is looking for rooms in London, and an old colleague suggests someone who might be able to help him.
The Start of a Beautiful Friendship
Part one

From ‘A Study in Scarlet’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Dr Watson, an army surgeon invalided out of the Royal Berkshire Regiment in the Second Afghan War (1878-1880), is looking for rooms in London. Fortunately, he runs into young Stamford, a colleague from his days at Barts, and Stamford knows someone wanting a flatmate to go halves on the rent at 221B, Baker Street.

SHERLOCK Holmes seemed delighted at the idea of sharing his rooms with me. “I have my eye on a suite in Baker Street,” he said, “which would suit us down to the ground. You don’t mind the smell of strong tobacco, I hope?”

“I always smoke ‘ship’s’ myself,” I answered.*

“That’s good enough. I generally have chemicals about, and occasionally do experiments. Would that annoy you?”

“By no means.”

“Let me see — what are my other shortcomings. I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days on end. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I’ll soon be right. What have you to confess now? It’s just as well for two fellows to know the worst of one another before they begin to live together.”

* Sir Raymond Priestley mentions ship’s tobacco as a popular smoke among his fellow-explorers on Scott’s Antarctic Expedition of 1910-1913, and describes it as ‘vile’, driving him from anywhere men were smoking it. Apparently, Dr Watson had acquired the enthusiasm on his journey home from India; but it was a fad, and his tastes soon changed in Holmes’s company, as ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’ record. Many years later, when the detective called on Watson in his new marital home, he remarked ‘Hum! You still smoke the Arcadia mixture of your bachelor days then!’

From ‘A Study in Scarlet’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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