16th February, 6 Comments
By John Watson
The new Sherlock Holmes film has revived a minor controversy that has puzzled students of The Canon for quite a while. This is brought about by the existence in the film of Gladstone, a young bulldog.
In A Study In Scarlet when Holmes and I first meet at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London and we are discussing whether we could share lodgings, we each list our shortcomings. Amongst mine I mention that I kept a “bull pup”.
Many have pointed out that this “animal” is never mentioned again. The reason for that is that no such “animal” existed!
The bull pup I referred to was my army revolver. Such short-barrelled, high calibre revolver is often referred to colloquially as a “bull pup”.
As some others have realised, a domestic pet was impossible on Afghanistan, illegal on the Orontes, inappropriate for a private hotel, and invisible in Baker Street!