In the adventure of Charles Arthur Milverton it occurs to me that not only Dr John D Watson implicates himself as a burglar and to aiding abetting a murderer but Sherlock Holmes also.
In publishing the adventure he risks his own and Holmes arrest, prosecution and potentially penile servitude as they did not actually pull the trigger on Milverton.
Watson also compromised the Lady who does pull the trigger. Whether the shifty nasty individual deserves every bullet and her heel in the king of the Blackmailers face or not. But then we must look at the lives whom the lady and Holmes has stopped from getting tarnished by Milverton. Who shows himself as purely Mercinary during his negotiations with Sherlock Holmes inside 221b Baker Street.
Having achieved his mission and destroyed the letters that would destroy the Lady Eva’s marriage, the intent of the burglary is only that. Acknowledging that nothing was taken of value. But the description of Watson with his confession written years later should be enough to sign his own arrest warrant.
It surprises me therefore that Holmes allows Watson to publish this investigation on those grounds. As a search of 221b Baker street might also reveal the safe breakers kit that Holmes shows to Watson.
If he were arrested confession would surely follow for Holmes. As he is and has no choice but to be one of the most honest men in Great Britain. His integrity would leave him little choice. As to whether he identifies the murderess. I cannot speculate but I doubt it. Therefore he’d hang for her honour.
I ask you what you think of this, I know that i examine this under the microscope of modern techniques. But in Sherlocks time they did not need much. Although the need for Warrants for the arrests, is mentioned on several occasions