After providing the piece below to Julie and Mitch, I acquired from a used books dealer in Sydney the biography of Richard Hughes that had been published there in 1982, two years before his death in 1984 at the age of 78. First notice of a Far Eastern scion society of the BSI appeared in Vincent Starretta€™s Chicago Tribune column of September 14, 1947.
One of the cultural highlights of the Japanese Occupation, indeed, was the foundation, in 1948, of a still-flourishing Tokyo Chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars by Japanese, British, American, Australian and New Zealand students of Sherlock Holmes.
The historic founding meeting of The Baritsu Chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars was held at the Shibuya residence of Walter Simmons, Far Eastern representative of the Chicago Tribune, on 12 October 1948.
It was unanimously agreed the society should be named The Baritsu Chapter, in reverent reference to the use a€” rather misuse, as later established by the Chapter a€” of that word by Holmes in The Adventure of the Empty House when, explaining his return from the dead, he credited his escape from Professor Moriarty to his knowledge of a€?baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling,a€? which enabled him to hurl the master criminal to destruction in the Reichenbach Fall. In addition to Count Makino, another notable absence from this initial meeting was Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida, who pleaded urgent cabinet business and an appointment with General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander, as reasons for a last minute cancellation of his attendance. The Chief Banto elected that night was Richard Hughes, who continued to rollick in the role until his death in 1984. But in truth, the expansive Hughes became The Baritsu Chapter, during those first years in Tokyo, and later, for the remainder of his life, in Hong Kong. Hughes swaggered across the landscape of the Far East, and his London Sunday Times editor, the novelist Ian Fleming, gave a vivid account in his 1964 book Thrilling Cities of what it was like to have Dick Hughes for a guide on a a€?businessa€? trip to Hong Kong, Macao, and Tokyo. So it came as a surprise to many people when they learned, some years after his death, that from the 1950s on, Richard Hughes had been an agent of the Soviet KGB.
And it came as a great surprise to the KGB, no doubt, to learn that in fact Hughes had been not theirs, but a British double-agent actually working for MI6, and feeding the KGB disinformation all those years. Richard Hughes, Chief Banto of The Baritsu Chapter, Far Eastern scion society of the BSI, did so for years.
As a schoolboy, a€?On the long walk back home, Hughes would make up stories for the other boys and tell them of the latest adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
In November 1920, when Hughes was sixteen, a€?Conan Doyle came to Australia to lecture on spiritualism and Hughesa€™ father was involved in the arrangements for the visit. In his first newspaper job, in 1936, a€?One of his chores was to review mystery stories and he assumed the by-line a€?Dr Watson, Jnra€™.
In 1939, with a mysterious disappearance in New Zealand in the news, his editor, a€?in a frivolous mood, said to Hughes: a€?Dr Watson, Junior, youa€™re a great authority on crime. In early 1944, while a war correspondent, a€?Hughes brought out his first book, a modest little volume called Dr Watsona€™s Casebook: [Studies in Australian Crime], which dealt with some of the great mysteries of the world. After the war ended, Hughes was assigned to Tokyo, where his a€?lifelong love of Sherlock Holmes reached some sort of fulfillment in 1948 when he and other aficionados formed a Tokyo chapter of the Baker Street Irregulars. And there is more in the book, including Hughesa€™ anger at Communist Chinese attacks upon the Sherlock Holmes stories, some back-and-forth with Adrian Conan Doyle over whether Sir Arthur was Sherlock Holmes himself or not, Sir Arthura€™s spiritualism, Sherlock Holmes as one of Hughesa€™ favorite a€?cultural disputationa€? topics over the several decades he was stationed in Hong Kong (hea€™d have loudly approved of Robert G.
Hughes delightedly quoted the final few words, spoken after Sherlock Holmes had revealed himself to surprised readers as the counter-spy Altamont who had outwitted the German Von Bork a€” a€?the most astute secret service man in Europe.a€? It was one of Hughesa€™ favourite Holmes stories.
But, the biography continues, this was not an unusual accomplishment for Hughes: a€?His friends tried him on other Sherlock Holmes stories. Some of the contents of this seventh volume of BSI Archival History, taking the form here of occasional papers, were prepared originally as talks for annual dinners of The Five Orange Pips, who provided a suitable audience for historical discoveries for which the world was not prepared, or at any rate not yet complete to my satisfaction. This was particularly true of chapter four of this volume a€” for my money, the most interesting discovery about the BSIa€™s beginnings in some time.
That meant doing it in a scant two months, over the holiday season, if it were to appear upon the January weekend. This volumea€™s title, a quotation from the chapter of The Valley of Fear entitled a€?Lodge 341, Vermissa,a€? seems appropriate to me for many reasons. I hope readers will enjoy these papers, and perhaps find them useful to research of their own as I continue with mine. As always, I owe thanks to many people and institutions for assistance and support in researching the contents of this collection, and helping me to prepare them for publication in two hurried months.
Ray Betzner, Peter Blau, Steve Doyle, George Fletcher, Andy Fusco, Tim Johnson, Jerry Margolin, George McCormack, Julie McKuras, David Musto, Steve Rothman, Philip Shreffler, Paul Singleton, Dan Stashower, Bill Vande Water, and David Weiss helped provide information and materials for this book, and I appreciate their time, knowledge, efforts and generosity.
Many libraries were also sources of information and primary source materials: The Library of Congress, the Free Library of Philadelphia, the New York Public Library, the Pentagon Library, the library of the Century Assoc-iation of New York, the University of Minnesota Librarya€™s Sherlock Holmes Collections, and the libraries of Georgetown and Yale Universities. The public records office of Bethel, Conn., and the registrara€™s office of New York University provided valuable, if confounding, data about Edgar W. Finally, my thanks to Sigerson and The Pips for their attention, encourage-ment, and discretion over the ten years that some chapters in this volume have been in making their public appearance. Toasts were important from the very start of Baker Street Irregularity, even before there was a BSI. Elmer Davisa€™s Constitution & Buy Laws for the BSI, as noted, were published in Christopher Morleya€™s a€?Bowling Greena€? column in the Saturday Review of Literature of February 17, 1934.
First, in Buy Law 1, after the words a€?an annual meeting shall be held on January 6th,a€? the words or thereabouts had been inserted. As for the term a€?Conanical,a€? this change was actually introduced at the 1940 BSI dinner, the one annual dinner in history attended by a Conan Doyle, to wit Denis. A few other changes in the 1944 Profile by Gaslight version of the Constitution & Buy-Laws were editorial, such as adding the words a€?of Literaturea€? to a€?Saturday Reviewa€? in Qualification B of Buy Law 3. More striking yet, the possibility of women in the BSI was quietly struck from this new appearance of the Buy Laws.
Seventeen thousand copies of Profile by Gaslight had been sold between 1944 and 1948, bringing public attention like never before to Sherlockiana and the BSI.
The Constitution & Buy-Laws have been reprinted here and there at other times since then, usually muddling the matter further.
In 1998 newly installed BSI management produced a fourth official version of the Constitution & Buy Laws, in a leaflet prepared by Ray Betzner (a€?The Agony Column,a€? 1987) for members of the public requesting information about the BSI. Restoration of a€?published in the Saturday Review of January 27th, 1934a€? (Betzner said a€?Saturday Review of Literature,a€? which is not as Elmer Davis wrote it, but oh well) still leaves us in violation of our Constitution & Buy Laws, for the toasts drunk at the official annual dinner are NOT those published in the Saturday Review on that date. The toasts missing from BSI annual dinners have, as much as the others, a€?their own overtones for all genuine Sherlockians,a€? as Christopher Morley put it in the Book of Genesis. The query about his identify was a€” as Bill Hall will tell you a€” the original, first, quickie, abbreviated examination for eligibility to membership in the pre-natal Baker Street club. 1 See Steven Rothmana€™s compendium of Sherlockian Morleyana, The Standard Doyle Company (Fordham University Press, 1990), pp.


4 See the dinner photograph in a€?Entertainment and Fantasya€?: The 1940 BSI Dinner, 1998a€™s BSJ Christmas Annual, pp. 5 More than a few correct solutions to the Sherlock Holmes Crossword, appearing in Morleya€™s column in the Saturday Review of Literature on May 19, 1934, as a membership exam for the BSI, had come from women. 6 Since that remark calls for explanation: the sole deficiency of Shrefflera€™s book was the absence of chronology as a vital Irregular discipline. Falstaff reborn, a man-mountain of wit and magnanimity, of Shakespearean eloquence and Rabelaisian humour, at home in the company of the kingly and the very common. When the KGB had approached to recruit him as a spy, he had contacted Ian Fleming, who had been in MI6 during the war.
The codename he chose for himself in this double-agent work on behalf of Her Majestya€™s Government was ALTAMONT. His father had started him on Conan Doylea€™s hero and his love for the sardonic Holmes was to grow stronger over the years. To his intense delight, Hughes was entrusted to pick up Conan Doyle from his hotel and take him in the family Oakland to the theatre where the great man was to lecture.
When there was a dearth of mystery stories he would make them up and review imaginary books, much to the bewilderment of Sydney booksellers. Why dona€™t you go over to New Zealand and solve this mystery for us?a€™ Hughes replied: a€?Certainly.
The pseudonym was Dr Watson Jnr and he dedicated it a€?in reverent and humble tribute to the master, Sherlock Holmes, the greatest and the wisest man I have ever known.a€™a€? (p. As the foreword below states, a breakthrough in regard to the chapter entitled a€?The Friendly Sons of St.
It was broached to the Pips in 2001, but the smoking gun did not come to light until the final days of last October. It has been a rush; and for any betraying signs of that which escaped notice to survive in this volume, my apologies.
Conan Doyle, the founder of our feast, shed new light upon the schemes of the BSIa€™s hated rival on the Surrey shore, his badly-sprung offspring Adrian Conan Doyle. I have left more or less untouched a personal aspect that was part of papers composed originally for the edification of The Pips, regarding the tribulations, triumphs, and stalemates of historical re-search. I benefited es-pecially from knowing the late Miriam a€?Deea€? Alexander and the late Ronald Mansbridge, to whom this volume is dedicated. They were reprinted unofficially in Anthony Bouchera€™s novel The Case of the Baker Street Irregulars in 1940, and then in January 1944 as one of Vincent Starretta€™s extremely rare a€?Sherlockianaa€? leaflets from the hand-press of his friend Edwin B.
At the Pentagon where I spent many years, public statements are subjected to security review before release, and changes may be made for reasons of accuracy or of policy. A glance at Smitha€™s minutes for the 1944 BSI annual dinner, a few months before publication of this version of the Buy Laws, shows that these were the toasts drunk on that occasion.2 And no doubt it was also to spare readers the need to look up the old reference.
It arises, you will recall, in Qualification A of Buy Law 3, about special meetings of the BSI.
Whata€™s more, the one to Colonel Sebastian Moran a€” decorated soldier, intrepid big-game hunter, superlative exec to the Napoleon of Crime, and high-tech assassin, in short the sort of man whose abilities are appreciated where I used to work a€” did reflect a very special role in the making of Baker Street Irregularity. When, in the course of luncheon at Christ Cellaa€™s or elsewhere, some acquaintance would hear about the Sherlock Holmes society and ask how to get in, he would be asked a€?Who was the Second Most Dangerous Man in London?a€? If he could answer that one, he might get asked others if anybody present wanted to ask them. I move the restoration of the original and true text to all future official appearances of the BSIa€™s Constitution & Buy Laws, and also restoration of the missing Constitutional Toasts to the official annual dinners in January. They were named as solvers in subsequent issues, and one or two were even cozened by Morley, but none of them were admitted to the BSI. He omitted same because he was unaware, he told me, of any treatment of suitable length demonstrating the art and science of canonical chronologinalysis. He was an Australian whoa€™d become virtually the dean of the foreign correspondent corps in East Asia, based in Hong Kong and before that in Tokyo. But The Baritsu Chapter continued to grow, and lives on today at least in the hearts of some, for Hughes over the years made many deserving individuals (even some undeserving, such as this seriesa€™s editor) members of the society. Watson, Jnr.a€? to sign mystery book reviews for the Australian press, and a 1944 collection of Australian true-crime accounts, Dr. In Macao, Hughes introduced Fleming to the syndicate that ran the vice there, took him to the a€?very besta€? brothel in town, and there taught him how to lose at fan-tan, while telling the girlsa€™ fortunes.
In a short time, Hughes had received instructions to accept the KGBa€™s offer (but to demand double, so it would take him seriously), and pass along the data that MI6 would provide from time to time. Young Hughes told the author how he used to tell his school mates some of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Ia€™d be delighted.a€™a€? He did so, and came to conclusions contrary to those of the police, and wrote the news story a€?in true Sherlock Holmes stylea€? a€” and was soon proven correct. Vitus,a€? about what Elmer Davis based his BSI Constitution & Buy Laws upon, prompted me to put it together hastily for the BSIa€™s 75th anniversary, in large part out of past papers for Five Orange Pips dinners. Once that item was in hand (appropriately enough, the day of the Pipsa€™ dinner), I decided to put together this volume to mark the 75th anniversary of the Baker Street Irregulars. As others know, the way is generally long, usually difficult, often frus-trating, and occasionally bitter. Frank Houdek and Tim Spencer of E Clampus Vitus kindly disclosed some secrets of their Lodge to me, and I hope are not compromised by this grateful acknowledgment. The BSIa€™s Buy Laws have been amended many times over the years, usually unremarked by the membership (seen but not observed, Sherlock Holmes might say), and only one of those times seems to have had even a semblance of procedural legitimacy. Smitha€™s minutes of that night say: a€?The first order of business under the Constitution was the drinking of the canonical toasts.
This was his first BSI dinner, and he was some distance down the table from its head.4 As his own minutes say, a€?Mr.
The so-called deluxe edition of the book, whose 1500 copies more than sufficed to satisfy the market for it, contained a a€?Note on the Baker Street Irregularsa€? by Edgar W. Qualification A begins: a€?If said two [members] are of the opposite sexes, they shall use care in selecting the place of the meeting,a€? and so on.
Smith backing up what I am about to suggest, but my surmise is that the BSI heard from many people wishing to join after reading Profile by Gaslight, and that quite a few of them were women.5 And that reference to the opposite sex in the BSI was quietly eliminated from the next public appearance of the Buy Laws as a result.
Baring-Gould (a€?The a€?Gloria Scott,a€™a€? 1952) gave a faulty version to the public in an introductory chapter to The Annotated Sherlock Holmes a€” unofficial, but broadcast very widely over the years that followed.


It was an attractive product, that leaflet, and doubtless an improvement on the response to public inquiry under the previous rather testy regime.
See chapter 6, a€?The Sherlock Holmes Crossword,a€? in Irregular Memories of the a€™Thirties. I had originally gotten in touch with him when I saw an essay of his in 1974, in the Far Eastern Economic Review, entitled a€?Confucius, Lin Piao a€” and Sherlock Holmes,a€? in order to reprint it in Baker Street Miscellanea. Watsona€™s Case Book: Studies in Mystery and Crime (dedicated a€?in reverent and humble tribute to The Master, Sherlock Holmesa€?).
It was dedicated a€?In memory of Dee Alexander and Ronald Mansbridge, two treasured correspondents who were there.a€? Miriam a€?Deea€? Alexander had been Edgar W. As we proceed, pray ask yourself at strategic intervals whether any of these amendments were for the better or not. The first official publication occurred ten years after the original appearance of the Constitution & Buy Laws, in Edgar W.
Revision of this Constitutional requirement was, however, adopted, viva voce, and amendment to the Constitution hereby imposed, in that it is required hereafter that the toast shall not be canonical but Conanical.a€?3 This was intended as a salute to that nighta€™s prickly visitor and his dear dead Daddy, for all the good it did subsequent relations between the BSI and the Conan Doyle Estate. Watsona€™s Second Wife.a€? In short, half the Constitutionally mandated toasts were ignored at that dinner, the first in four years, and one of the toasts proposed was altered in meaning as well as wording. Qualification B alludes to said members being excused from the strictures of Qualification A if they are clients of the Personal Column of the Saturday Review.
He seems to have taken his version of the Buy Laws from Vincent Starretta€™s new chapter about the BSI in the revised edition (University of Chicago Press, 1960) of The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. But by now you should not be surprised to hear that it perpetuated this irregular tradition of tampering with what should be Sacred Writ. Hence the membership of people like Don Marquis, Frank Henry, Bucky Fuller and other friends of Chris Morleya€™s who couldna€™t be annoyed with studying the Sacred Writings. Watsona€™s Secreta€? by none other than Christopher Morley, in his collection of essays Streamlines (Doubleday, Doran, 1936), so we live in hope of a second edition of Shrefflera€™s book, not only containing Morleya€™s essay but correcting the first editiona€™s faulty version of Elmer Davisa€™s Buy Laws.
He readily gave permission for that, and in the correspondence that followed, made me a member of The Baritsu Chapter, the BSI scion society (really a society of its own) that he had co-founded in Tokyo in 1948. Smitha€™s second Irregular Secretary at GM Overseas Operations during 1949-49, and in her old age had a memory for detail about her boss, his family, and his Irregular friends that was remarkable.
Rich, editors emeritus extraordinaire, proofread it for me, but under the same pressure of time, and any errors that survive in this volume were made by me. Nicholas Utechin commissioned a€?The BSI at Seventya€? for the Sherlock Holmes Journal in 2003, and Roger Johnson, his successor as editor, urged its inclusion here. Morley always had a casual, not to say cavalier attitude toward these things, since he considered the BSI his personal property and plaything, to do with, or to do nothing with, as he pleased.
This appearance referred to canonical toasts which shall be drunk, without identifying them in either Buy Law 1 or a footnote. As a matter of fact, by God, I doubt like hell if Bill Hall could ever have passed a really probing quiz in those early days. Decades of covering war and peace in the Far East made him acquainted with the great men and villains of many nations. I hope its revelations about the BSIa€™s beginnings and early years will compensate for its faults.
First, the four toasts previously provided by footnote in Profile by Gaslight were now moved, with undue and illegitimate formality, into the body of Buy Law 1.
Then Baring-Goulda€™s version of Buy Law 3 split the difference between the 1944 and 1948 official appearances by retaining Qualification A but omitting Qualification B. His defense, when threatened with inquiry, was to roar (and I use the word deliberately a€” ROAR), a€?Dona€™t put me to the question!a€? Ask him and dare him, for me, to deny it. He had sparred with all of them without ever giving an inch, while living life to the fullest. Ronald Mansbridge (a€?A Case of Identity,a€? BSI) when he died in September 2004 was closing in on his 101th birthday which would have occurred on November 11th that year. Central Intelligence Agency, in my experience the one unfailingly reliable part of that peculiar institution.
And even if so, it is the only change to the Buy Laws we shall consider of which that could possibly be said. Seventeen years after Baring-Gould, Philip Shreffler (a€?Jefferson Hope,a€? 1974), in his otherwise near-perfect anthology The Baker Street Reader (Greenwood Press, 1984),6 unwittingly passed along this faulty Starrett version of the Buy Laws to another generation of readers. Starrett remarked in 1960 that a€?our constitution and buy laws, written by Elmer Davis, is a unique document that readers may care to see in full,a€? but that has long been a damn sight harder than it ought to be.
Walter Simmons, the Far Eastern representative of the Chicago Tribune, and one of Hughesa€™ greatest friends, hosted the first historic lunch,a€? and so on about The Baritsu Chaptera€™s adventures, drawn from the chapter about it in Hughesa€™ 1972 book Foreign Devil: Thirty Years of Reporting from the Far East. At the time of his death Ronald was the sole living survivor of the last BSI annual dinner at Christ Cellaa€™s old speakeasy in 1936, and the first Murray Hill Hotel dinner in 1940. A  I learned something from every man I met or exchanged emails with, and Lou taught me a few words in Spanish.A  Ole! We can take a little walk, maybe get our feet wet, and then lie on a blanket and listen to the waves. I do the same thing myself, when the mood strikes.A  And how about this for being an "in tune with women" kinda guy?A  A few days after I had ordered myself 2 new green dresses and several in black to add to my collection from a mail order company named Newport News, he sent an email asking:A  "So, what are you wearing right now?
A  For Christ Sake!!A  How about saving the Taxpayers a buck?A  In addition to that $6 million you've already blown by hovering and covering me, and scheduling a proper Face to Base meeting in your office; at my convenience? Dramatic, but no drama.A  Short black skirt, or long black dress?A  Heels or boots?A  Camo, or commando? Until then, as in the end,there is much more to come.A A A  Once Upon a Time, a little mushroom popped through the moss covered ground of the Southeast Alaska Rainforest.
Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?



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