On 2 occasions Conan Doyle, has Holmes using a dummy as a decoy first in the adventure of the empty house, in which after revealing he had not died at the Reichenbach falls, Moriarty’s lead henchman, Colonel Sebastian Moran a crack shot, who’s bag of tigers is unmatched, has a high power air rifle capable of firing pistol rounds, and had in fact killed a man threatening to expose Moran as a card cheat.
Colonel Moran and Moriarty get several mentions during the canon of the official books, and so does the alleged air gun.
Holmes uses the dummy as a target for Moran, who does indeed shoot the dummy before being detained by Holmes and Watson, as Lastrade arrives.
The second time Holmes employs a dummy, in the adventure of the Mazarin stone, Holmes expects an attempt on his life again, but then doubles the decoy, after stopping Count Negretto Sylvius from killing the dummy, he replaces the dummy with his live self to locate and retrieve the Mazarin stone, arresting Sylvius and his confederate.
This is just another product of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant imagination and what he has Holmes doing in the Mazarin stone and the dying detective, in which he has Watson hidden listening to the confession would so easily be done by recording devices nowadays.
But I have mentioned before the discoveries in Forensic science that Conan Doyle is already aware of,
- Finger prints
- Shoe prints
- Identifying blood
But then forensic science as well as technology has come so far, in SHERLOCK Watson’s diary is replaced with an online blog.
Mobile phones and apps announce the return of Holmes.
The muddy streets that Holmes uses to tell him so much have been replaced with tarmac and concrete.
And I have asked this before, but I wonder what the 19th century detective would make of the London of today, with it’s sky scrapers and busy airways.