By Dennis E. Power


In the early 1990's Hurlston Manor in Western Sussex underwent a complete renovation to be turned into a managed care facility for the elderly. Upon the death of its owner Reginald Musgrave, esquire, in 1931 the manor had been closed and was long abandoned. As new electrical systems were being installed, a small room next to what had been the library was discovered. The door to the room had been wallpapered over and so had been hidden from view. The room contained a small desk, the drawers of which were filled with handwritten ledgers.


The papers were the account books, ledgers, scrapbooks, journals, and scattered writings of Reginald Musgrave (1854-1931), the last lord of the manor.


These papers were quietly donated to the West Sussex Historical Society by the new owners of the manor, The West Sussex Geriatric Care Facility [1]


When the papers were examined by the Historical Society, it became apparent that Musgrave had been a fan of the renowned detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes, as some of his scrapbooks were devoted to Holmes’ exploits. Further investigation of the Musgrave writings made this rather obscure find of inestimable historical value.


Reginald Musgrave had not merely been a fan of Sherlock Holmes, he had been an acquaintance of the great detective. Reginald Musgrave had been depicted under his own name in the Sherlock Holmes story, "The Musgrave Ritual."


Beyond that, Musgrave had written memoirs about his life-long friendship with Sherlock Holmes. Once the relationship between Holmes and Musgrave and the existence of the memoirs was announced to the public, a distant branch of the Musgrave family from the northern section of England demanded possession of the Musgrave papers. The Historical Society refused, stating that the two branches of the Musgrave families had been separate since the 16th century and so the requesting branch did not have any claims to the property.


The ensuing lawsuits prevented the papers from being thoroughly examined and prepared for publication by the West Sussex Historical Society and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. As the lawsuits went to court, another suit was filed that moved to have the papers declared a hoax or an unauthorized pastiche of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; this lawsuit was filed by the estate of Conan Doyle. The entanglement of lawsuits effectively kept any serious research from being done on the Musgrave documents. The documents could not be published or viewed by the general public, but they could be examined by legitimate scholars. [2]


Hoping to further its case, the estate of Conan Doyle was able to have George Alec Effinger deemed a legitimate researcher. He was, in fact, searching for material to use in an upcoming anthology of Sherlock Holmes pastiches. Once the Wessex Historical Society realized what his purpose was, they denied him visitation. Effinger was left with partial information from the

Musgrave papers. He used what little information he had gleaned to write up the short story that he entitled "The Musgrave Version.”  [3]


As written "The Musgrave Version" was more of a teaser for a fuller adventure than a satisfying Holmes adventure. The first section told of Musgrave's long friendship with Holmes and how Musgrave had been treated unfairly in Watson's account of "The Musgrave Ritual.” [4] "The Musgrave Version" took place in 1875 while Holmes and Musgrave were still students at Cambridge.  It showed the initial meeting between Sherlock Holmes and the mysterious Chinaman named Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. Ch'ing Chuan-Fu wished to hire Holmes to retrieve a brass-and-enamel box of some value.


The story ends at that point with the teaser:


Just that simply began our globe spanning series of adventures: the dreadful partnership of the League of Dragons, between this very same Dr. Fu Manchu and Professor James Moriarty: the long harsh trek across Europe to Fu Manchu's fortress stronghold within the Forbidden City itself, our escape, our rescue, and our mad voyage aboard the submarine Nautilus, our meeting with the maniacal Dr. Moreau and his giant rat of Sumatra which John H. Watson transformed into the hound of Baskervilles, the murders that Holmes solved in San Francisco and the frenzied, failed journey to rescue General George Armstrong Custer from his own murdering officers.


The court cases over the Musgrave papers dragged on for years. The judges finally ruled that the Musgrave family had a legitimate claim to half of the papers, yet they also bore the responsibility for the property taxes for the manor since the death of Reginald Musgrave in 1931. The Musgrave family agreed to sell their half of the Musgrave papers to the West Sussex Historical Society for a reduction in their payment of accumulated property tax. To spite the Historical Society, the Musgrave family kept a couple of the papers as "heirlooms.” It was widely believed that they were waiting for an opportunity to sell them at an inflated price on the open market.


In 2001, George Alec Effinger was once again offered the opportunity to write a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Learning that the Musgrave papers were now available for public viewing at the West Sussex Historical Society, he believed that this would be a good opportunity to complete the adventure Reginald Musgrave had alluded to in the story Effinger had called "The Musgrave Version"


Effinger soon learned that those papers that he had previously seen detailing that adventure were among those the papers taken by the Musgrave family. The Musgrave family did not allow anyone to see their papers. Effinger resigned himself to writing something else. He looked through the rest of the papers to see if there was another Musgrave and Holmes adventure he could use. In the papers dated 1927, he found another Musgrave and Holmes’  adventure. Musgrave had to read it several times to make certain he understood it correctly.


This adventure began almost exactly as "The Musgrave Version" with Holmes being hired by Ch'ing Chuan-Fu to find a brass and enamel box, but diverged greatly from the earlier published story and lacked mention of Professor Moriarty, Captain Nemo, and Doctor Moreau. It was also more detailed and told of Holmes and Musgrave's trip to China, what occurred there, and their trip back home.


Effinger privately believed that the Conan Doyle estate was correct, that Musgrave had written unauthorized pastiches that had been taken as authentic cases of Sherlock Holmes by Holmesian scholars. The two versions of Musgrave's story represented different drafts of the same tale, the later version having excised the more fantastic elements such as Captain Nemo and Dr. Moreau to make a more realistic narrative.  While still containing fantastic elements, the second draft was closer to the mystery fiction typical of Holmes and Fu Manchu stories.


In both "The Musgrave Version" and "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows," a fellow student at Cambridge named Ch'ing Chuan-Fu wishes Holmes to solve a mystery.


In both accounts Ch'ing Chuan-Fu tells Holmes and Musgrave that Ch'ing Chuan-Fu was a name he used in England, his true name was Fu Manchu. If this is so, he must have recently started using that alias. Fu Manchu was a nom de guerre, a false Chinese name to hide his true name, at this time probably from the Western governments. Although it may have also been intended to hide Ch’ing from the Chinese Imperial Court because of recent problems he had with a governor-general of one of the imperial provinces.


In "The Musgrave Version," Fu invites Holmes to his apartment near Cambridge and tells him about the investigation. Fu then invites Holmes and Musgrave to visit him at his home in London. The tale then ends but for the teaser mentioned previously.


At the outset of "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows,” Holmes already knows about brass-and-enamel box which had been stolen from Fu, wished returned and wanted Holmes to find it. Holmes traveled to London accompanied by Reginald Musgrave to discuss the case further with Fu Ch'ing Chuan-Fu's London home.


The argument could be made then that "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" is a continuation of "The Musgrave Version,” picking up where the earlier story left off. However, the action in “The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" that follows once Holmes and Musgrave enter Fu's London home does not in the least resemble Musgrave's description of the events that occurred after leaving Fu Manchu's apartment in "The Musgrave Version.” Beyond this, the Musgrave Papers also contained corroborating evidence that some of the events described "The Musgrave Version" did occur. 


Once in London Holmes and Musgrave visit Ch'ing Chuan-Fu's home. He told them that his problem of the box had almost resolved itself. Fu led them to the basement where he had a torture chamber. A man hung on the wall in shackles. Musgrave was knocked unconscious. Musgrave awakened to find that he had been carried upstairs and placed a small gray blanket. The house had been stripped of all its furnishings. Musgrave inspected the house and the prison below the house but saw no sign of the prisoner or Holmes.


Two men named Mayfield and Powers entered the house and questioned Musgrave. They claimed to have had some involvement with the affairs of Dr. Fu Manchu. They claim that Fu Manchu was the very Genghis Khan of Crime. They also stated that dacoits were in the pay of Dr. Fu Manchu and had come to London with him.


They left the deserted house and almost immediately.  Shortly thereafter, Musgrave, Mayfield, and Powers were accosted by dacoits. Farther down the street, Holmes fought against four dacoits. He defeated three with the Japanese martial art Baritsu, but the fourth dropped a glass ball filled with an anesthetic gas. The gas overwhelmed Holmes and the dacoits captured him. [5]


According to Mayfield, the name of Fu Manchu was widely known and feared from Arabia to Tibet. Musgrave, Mayfield, and Powers chased after the kidnappers, traveling through the Mediterranean, to Suez, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, Bombay, Burma, and finally to Peking. Mayfield said that the brass box had contained the Celestial Snows—rare alkaloid compounds that could be used to relieve suffering.


Arriving in Peking, they boldly entered the residence of Fu and were captured by Fu and his guards. They were led into a warren of subterranean passages beneath Fu's fortress home and into a prison beneath. Chained to a wall was Holmes, a prisoner of Fu Manchu, and he had been broken by his mistreatment and narcotics in his food.


Musgrave and the others were also imprisoned and given short rations. They were informed that they had been sentenced to death by order of the Empress but that Fu was working to have these sentences removed. They were so informed of this by Fu's servant, a tall, muscular Arab named Ali al-Salaam.


Fu Manchu had a puzzle for Holmes to solve. He wanted Holmes to discover who was in league with the European "pirates." To aid Holmes in solving the mystery, Fu gave him many of the powders from the box containing the Celestial Snows, one of which, according to Musgrave, was cocaine.


Fu Manchu filled Holmes in on the backgrounds, characteristics, and mannerisms of those he suspected might be part of the conspiracy to overthrow the rule of Madame Tzu Hsi, the Dowager Empress. Fu needed Holmes’ outside perspective to catch the perpetrator because he was too close to the problem.


Fu Manchu wished for Holmes to discover the identity of the traitor at the Empress Dowager's court. Holmes felt that once the solution was given, their lives would be forfeit. Ali al-Salaam told Holmes not to worry; he was also a spy for the British and had been in contact with the British Legation.


After reviewing the evidence and interviewing Prince Kung, the Chief Eunuch of the Palace and the Dowager Empress, Holmes concluded that the Empress was the traitor. Fu Manchu refused to believe this and would not have Holmes’ solution translated for the Empress, but rather told the Empress that Holmes ascertained that An Li the Chief Eunuch was a traitor. Holmes was informed of this by Ali al-Salaam.  Al-Salaam was taken from the room by some of Fu's soldiers for this perfidy.


Fu believed that Holmes had failed to solve the puzzle properly and that a conspiracy between Prince Kung and An Li had existed. Fu would have sentenced Holmes and his companions to death, but he was interrupted by bombardment of his fortress palace. A pile of debris buried Fu, and his soldiers thought he was dead. Prince Kung and a regiment of English solders had come to rescue the English prisoners.


In 1908 Musgrave received a letter from Holmes in which he enclosed a copy of a letter from Fu Manchu. Fu Manchu admitted that Holmes had been correct. The Dowager Empress had indeed created the secret societies and had been plotting against her own dynasty. Fu also took responsibility for the Boxer Rebellion; if Fu had listened to Holmes that tragic incident might have been avoided. He gave Holmes a major clue to help him create an elixir of life. This clue being that the active ingredient was the honey from a certain type of flower; however, Fu did not know which flower was needed.


Effinger copied the story, edited it, and had it published. It appeared as "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows,” My Sherlock Holmes, ed. Michael Kurland, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003.


Yet the scholar of Woldnewtonry must ask questions about the validity of Musgrave's accounts. Were they, as the Doyle estate and author Effinger believed, merely pastiches? Was there any truth to them at all? If there were some truth to them, were they two episodes or just one? If only one, which was the truth?


A few months ago in the latter part of 2003, the Musgrave family did indeed release the pieces that they kept as "heirlooms" on the open market. However, the book My Sherlock Holmes had debuted a week before the sale and so the documents released by the Musgrave family were deemed by most to be works of fiction by an unpublished author. The author may have been the person upon whom Conan Doyle based his Reginald Musgrave character. The Musgraves did not get their expected windfall, and the pieces ended up at the West Sussex Historical Society after all.


One of the pieces that the Musgrave family had held back was a second draft of The Musgrave Version in which Musgrave had added more details to his and Holmes’ trip to China and their return home. In the folder containing this work were also a few odds and ends; a canceled ticket for a Paris-to-Berlin train ride dated November 1875, a receipt for a boarding house in San Francisco in May of 1876, a newspaper clipping concerning the death of George Armstrong Custer, a playbill for a production of Othello at the New York Orpheum Theater for September 1876.


This would seem to imply that the earlier story (“The Musgrave Version”),  despite its fantastic elements, was closer to the truth than the second version (“The Adventure of the Celestial Snows”).


“The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" reads like a pastiche of both a Holmes and a Fu Manchu adventure, which may have been Musgrave’s intention. The depiction of Fu Manchu in "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" as a very powerful and well known, world renowned Asian villain seems to be more based on how he was depicted in the Rohmer novels rather than on the real Fu of 1875. In 1875 Fu's true status and position in the Si-Fan was rising but not yet pre-eminent.


There was a Lord Mayfield associated with the British Legation in China, but he was not a roving commissioner. A Willard Powers was also attached to the British diplomatic corps stationed in China. [6]  The characterizations of Mayfield and Powers in "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" also owe more to Rohmer than to reality and were based on Dennis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie, albeit a bit lampooned.


Reginald Musgrave had been a college friend of Holmes at Cambridge, but his perceived their friendship to be much closer than Holmes did. Holmes states:


Reginald Musgrave had been in the same college as myself, and I had some slight acquaintance with him. He was not generally popular among the undergraduates, though it always seemed to me that what was set down as pride was really an attempt to cover extreme natural diffidence. In appearance he was a man of an exceedingly aristocratic type, thin, high-nosed, and large-eyed, with languid and yet courtly manners. . . .Once or twice we drifted into talk, and I can remember that more than once he expressed a keen interest in my methods of observation and inference. [7]


Holmes’ account of his relationship with Musgrave does not make it appear as though they were bosom companions. Yet Musgrave insists that they were. It is interesting also that rather than blame Holmes, who related the above passage to Watson, Musgrave makes it appear as though Watson was putting words in Holmes’ mouth. This sounds as if Musgrave were jealous of Watson's relationship to Holmes, of a close friendship that Holmes and he truly never had. If Holmes’ statement that Musgrave possessed "languid and courtly manners" was Holmes' tactful manner of stating he believed Musgrave was a homosexual, then Musgrave's attachment to Holmes may have been for other than his stated reasons. This may have been one of the reasons why once they had returned to England Holmes kept his distance from Musgrave. "For four years I had seen nothing of him until one morning he walked into my room in Montague Street." [8]


In "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows,” Musgrave casts himself as something of a hero who braved a dangerous world to rescue his friend, only to discover that friend, Holmes, a chained-up drug addict in the prison of an Oriental fiend. While it is possible that this occurred, other evidence seems to indicate that Musgrave memories were influenced by other factors, including wish fulfillment.


Although "The Adventure of Celestial Snows" was mostly fictional, it was not entirely fictional and did shed some light on what transpired when Holmes and Musgrave arrived in China.


A reconstruction of the journey that Holmes and Musgrave undertook and events that befell them in 1875 to 1877 is still not completely possible, but a preliminary outline can be constructed. For our purposes, we believe that the events detailed in the published version of “The Musgrave Version" with its allusion of further events represents the basic outline of the journey Musgrave and Holmes took prior to ending up in China. It also denotes their return trip home despite the fantastical nature of some of these events. This version of events is corroborated by the longer unpublished draft of "The Musgrave Version" along with various smaller bits of evidence as receipts, train tickets, etc., that the Musgrave family had held back. The events that transpired in China are described, with some embellishment and some misconception, by Musgrave in "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows."


As the school year came to a close in 1875, Sherlock Holmes was contacted by a fellow student, a Chinese man by the name of Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. At this time Ch'ing Chuan-Fu—or to use his real name Shan Ming Fu—was a rising prospect in the secret society known as the Sublime Order of the White Peacock. He had been given the delicate mission of creating an alliance with a brilliant but amoral Westerner whom the Sublime Order felt could be a good ally in their plans for Europe. Under the guise of getting another academic degree from an occidental university, he was sent to England to make contact with the Westerner. Enrolling in Cambridge under the name Ch'ing Chuan-Fu he soon made contact with the Westerner with whom his superiors in the Sublime Order planned to ally.


The Westerner was James Moriarty, to all outward appearances a professor of mathematics of good birth but with a tarnished reputation due to past scandals. What was not generally known at the time was that the professor was conversant with the English underworld. It was in this capacity that the Sublime Order wished to utilize the professor's services. Moriarty was then composing his great work The Dynamics of an Asteroid while supplementing his income as a consulting criminal. In the course of his research for his mathematical paper, he had traveled in 1871 to Siberia to verify some information in the Tunguska region. [9] During this Siberian trip, Moriarty discovered an artifact in a cairn—six interconnected rings with a Chinese ideogram on each. He kept the small object in a brass-and-enamel box. When he made inquiries as to its possible origin and meaning in London's Limehouse district, he was shortly thereafter contacted by the Sublime Order of the White Peacock, one of the groups that would later comprise the Si-Fan.


Although they claimed the object was worthless, the Sublime Order informed Moriarty that it had a great religious significance and offered to buy it for a large sum of money. Rather than sell it, James Moriarty proposed an alliance between the Sublime Order and his nascent organization, if only for purposes of intelligence and trade.


The Sublime Order may not have known that James Moriarty had been recruited by the British Secret Service during his college days [10] or that he was a servant of the Nine. [11] However, they did know through one source that Moriarty was one of the last of the Capellean adoptees [12] and so may have had access to technology not readily available to most organizations.


The alliance between Moriarty’s organization and the Sublime Order was named the League of Dragons.


This alliance was nearly ended as soon as it began when the brass-and-enamel box was stolen from Shan Ming Fu's possession. There was evidence left behind that Moriarty had stolen it back, yet he claimed not to have done so. Shan Ming Fu did not believe that Moriarty was involved, but Shan Ming Fu could not be involved in an attempt to retrieve the box by either his superiors or the Moriarty organization.


Shan Ming Fu knew that he had to retrieve the sacred object and salvage the alliance as an obligation to those who had entrusted him with this task. The Sublime Order had saved him from disgrace and humiliation when he had been dismissed from his post as the advisor to the Governor-General of Honan.


By 1872 Shan Ming Fu began to realize that the Self-Strengthening Movement; Imperial China's program to modernize while retaining as much of the traditional culture as possible was doomed to fail.[13]. The imperial government exerted little central control and most of the actual governance, military commands, and financial requirements of China were performed by the governors-general of the provinces. Although they all claimed fealty to the imperial government, in essence these were autonomous states. China's government and therefore its efforts at modernization were diffuse and did not follow any coherent program. Shan Ming Fu predicted that the problem would escalate and China would become a collection of smaller states that could more easily be taken over by Western nations. So while the Self-Strengthening Movement seemed to promise to make China equal to the West, it would ultimately cripple the nation and hand it over the very enemies it had been designed to defeat. Shan Ming Fu began to wonder if the Self-Strengthening Movement had been corrupted by Western influences. Despite its façade of uplifting China, the Self-Strengthening Movement was dragging the nation down to ruin through the old adage of divide and rule.


Shan Ming Fu composed a document outlining a plan to salvage the Self-Strengthening Movement and provide the imperial government with the wherewithal to consolidate its power while adhering to the principles of the Self-Strengthening Movement. However, the imperial government not only failed to act on his plan but the Governor-General of Honan took offense at the document and had Shan Ming Fu dismissed from his service.


Shan Ming Fu was both humiliated and angered at his abrupt dismissal by a petty-minded power-hungry official. He was contacted by a member of his Tong and asked to work directly for them for remuneration and possible reinstatement to government service. He had been chosen for this task because of his recent efforts to reform the government. He was told he would have a bright future in the Sublime Order of the White Peacock.


In 1873 he was sent to Tibet, where he entered the monastery of Rache Churan [14] along with another member of the Sublime Order of the White Peacock student called Fo-Hi.[15] It was here that Shan Ming Fu learned the basic techniques of hypnosis, telepathy, and other mental disciplines that would aid him in the years ahead.


Having achieved a sufficient degree of mental discipline within a year of study, Shan Ming Fu was judged suitable to carry out a delicate mission for the Sublime Order of the White Peacock.


Shan Ming Fu had learned of Holmes’ success in solving mysteries despite great danger, as in the case of the Thuggee Rathe [16]. The matter of the stolen brass-and-enamel box was a rather delicate one and Ch'ing Chuan-Fu could not be seen as being directly involved. He would use Holmes as an unattached agent to retrieve the stolen object.


Sherlock Holmes was assisted by Reginald Musgrave in this investigation. Musgrave was a passing acquaintance who was interested in Holmes’ methods of observation and inference. Ch'ing Chuan Fu told Holmes that the brass-and-enamel box was a gift from James Moriarty, but that evidence pointed to Moriarty as having stolen it back. Ch'ing claimed not to believe this and asked Holmes to try to find the whereabouts of the box. 


After a few weeks Musgrave became bored with the progress of their search and went on a European holiday to celebrate his graduation. In the course of his investigation Holmes became aware that Professor James Moriarty was not the innocuous professor of mathematics that the public believed him to be. While it was generally known he had a bit of a checkered past from a long forgotten sexual scandal, it was not generally known that the Moriarty family was deeply entrenched in various forms of corruption.


The professor's uncle Jerrold Moriarty worked with Mycroft Holmes at the Foreign Office and he too was corrupt. Sherlock Holmes discovered this when his investigation of Professor Moriarty began to coincide with his brother's investigation of the nefarious activities of Jerrold Moriarty. Sherlock aided his brother in this investigation, which resulted in the suicide of Jerrold Moriarty and the prevention of a British-sponsored resurgence of the Confederate States of America. [17]


Sherlock Holmes discovered that the theft had indeed been set up to look as though agents of James Moriarty had stolen the brass-and-enamel box but it was another group unconnected to Moriarty that had stolen the box.[18]


However as Holmes’ investigation deepened, he found that thieves of the box belonged to an organization run by a man named Dawkins. Dawkins had very tentative ties to the Moriarty organization but had his own network of thieves, which he had inherited.[19] Holmes believed that Moriarty had indeed arranged to have the box stolen through proxies but had arranged matters so that the theft would appear to be a crude frame job. Dawkins men had been found dead, strangled to death and stabbed through the heart by what appeared to be a Thuggee strangling cord and a Cossack “kindjal” dagger. 


It was not until November of 1875, directly after the events of Mycroft's investigation into the Moriarty family that a clue as to the whereabouts of Ch'ing Chuan Fu's brass-and-enamel box turned up. It had been spotted by Musgrave while on holiday in Paris, and he wired Holmes who traveled to Paris immediately.[20]


The thieves were Russians of both Cossack and Polish origin and two men who seemed to be Indian origin.


Given a letter of credit to pursue the case, Holmes and Musgrave followed the thieves from Paris, across the German states, and finally to Krakow. As they made their way across Europe, the thieves were attacked several times by men from various European nations, from India, and from the Orient. By the time that the thieves had reached Krakow only the Cossack and one of the Indian men survived.


Holmes and Musgrave approached the Cossack and the Indian with an offer to buy the brass-and-enamel box. Holmes also expressed curiosity at their rather odd alliance.


The Cossack answered the second question first. They had been shipmates but had taken indefinite shore leave when they learned that the Tomb of Khlit had been violated. Khlit had been the ancestor of the Cossack, whose name was Andrii Bulba. The Indian had traveled with Andrii Bulba because of the sacredness of the object that had been taken from Khlit's tomb.


Holmes and Musgrave learned of the origin of the object that they were pursing and how Moriarty had acquired it. The Cossack and the Indian had a special loathing for Moriarty for he had nearly killed them and their captain. They told Holmes a fantastic tale, which Musgrave at first dismissed in his memoir, of how their Captain was Prince Dakkar, otherwise known as Captain Nemo. In the 1860s James Moriarty had worked with Prince Dakkar to built two submersible vessels, the two prototypes for a fleet. Moriarty had sabotaged the engines of one of the vessels, killing most of the crew. Prince Dakkar and a few others had survived but were sickened nearly unto death by the fumes from fuel that drove the engine. Moriarty had sailed the oceans using the submersible for piracy until his poor piloting drove it into a maelstrom in 1868.


Andrii Bulba had met Prince Dakkar in 1863 during the Polish uprising against the Russians. Andrii Bulba was the descendent of a famed Cossack warrior Taras Bulba through his son Andrii and a Polish woman Andrii had wed. [21] When Dakkar gathered a crew comprised of men fighting against oppression in many lands, Andrii Bulba had joined immediately. The Indian, Rajit Ghote, was a member of the Thuggee cult and joined Dakkar to ensure the freedom of his religion, which the British oppressors had outlawed.


Erroneously believing that Ch'ing Chuan-Fu was an honorable man, Holmes believed he would not accept a gift that had been stolen. Holmes and Musgrave agreed to accompany Andrii Bulba and Rajit Ghote to Siberia to return it to the Cairn of Khlit. [22]


However, neither Moriarty nor Ch'ing Chuan-Fu wished to give up possession of the six rings, and at the cairn Holmes, Musgrave, Andrii Bulba, and Rajit Ghote were set upon by two sets of bandits—Russian thugs hired by Moriarty and a group of Mongols hired by Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. To elude their attackers the men split into two parties: Holmes and Bulba in one party and Musgrave and Ghote in the other.


Bulba was seriously wounded, but he and Holmes managed to kill off most of their attackers and scare off the rest. Holmes carried Bulba to a village where he could be attended and followed the trail of Musgrave and Ghote. Amidst signs of a great struggle he found Ghote's bloody, frozen body, a note pinned to his chest by a knife. In English it read "Please visit me in Peking, Ch'ing Chuan-Fu."


Holmes traveled to China as rapidly as possible. He made contact with the British Legation in Peking to discover the whereabouts of Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. Most of the legation had never heard of him, but one of the older members—a Lord Mayfield—had heard something about the other name Holmes associated with Ch'ing Chuan-Fu, that of Shan Ming Fu. Shan Ming Fu had written a paper to reform the government system that had met with disapproval from the provincial governors-general but with approval from the Dowager Empress. Shan Ming Fu was associated with outer provinces such as Honan rather than the Forbidden City. His brother, however, did reside in Peking. Holmes went to call on the brother and found Shan Lan Fo's home, a large building that had once been a fortress. The door was ajar and Holmes entered the building. He was surrounded by sword-wielding guards who took him captive. Shan Ming Fu told Holmes that he had incorrectly predicted his arrival in Peking by a few days.


Shan Lan Fo was then in upper China doing research on a supposed lost tribe called the T'sao, and Shan Ming Fu borrowed his home for this purpose.[23]


Holmes was led to a basement where an abandoned dungeon had been fitted with new, modern manacles and chains. Chained to the wall was a dirty unkempt figure wearing a fleece lined coat. It was Reginald Musgrave who had been kept on a starvation diet. [24]


When Shan Ming Fu asked for the rings of Di-Cang, Holmes knew what Shan Ming Fu was talking about. Shan Ming Fu informed Holmes that Musgrave had already been tortured and had revealed what they knew of the rings of Di-Cang. Holmes believed that the object of six interlocked rings was a representation of the rings of Di-Cang. Di-Cang was one of the four great bodhisattvas of Chinese mythology. Di-Cang was often depicted as a monk carrying a metal staff with six jingling rings on it in his right hand, which he uses to open the gates of the various hells and liberate the damned.[25]

Shan Ming Fu told Holmes that his deduction was correct but that these rings were the real thing and when connected to the staff of Di-cang, they could open the gates of hell and raise the dead.


Fu wished for Homes to give him the rings.  Holmes did not have them on his person and told Shan Ming Fu that they had been put back in the cairn of Khlit. Shan Ming Fu did not believe this and attempted to get the answer from him by various physical and psychological tortures, including starvation, drugging, the water torture, and being placed in a room with hungry rats.


Shan Ming Fu stated that they would subject Reginald Musgrave to the death of a thousand cuts if Holmes did not give the rings over. Fu rejected that Holmes’ suggestion that Holmes should be allowed to leave and retrieve the object. He believed that Holmes would escape and inform the British authorities. Fu told Holmes to write a note to one of the members of the British legation with whom he had met and ask him to bring the rings to Fu's house. Taking the note was a trusted servant of Fu, Ali al-Salaam. He returned with Willard Powers of the British Legation who gave the rings to Holmes who then handed them over to Fu. Ali al-Salaam revealed to Holmes that he was also a spy for the British and that he was keeping the British Legation well apprised of their situation. The British were, however, loathe to interfere and set off another conflict between Britain and China.


Fu, however, told Holmes he had one more task for Holmes to perform before he could regain his freedom. As related in “The Adventure of the Celestial Snows" Fu wished to use Holmes’ deductive reasoning and objective viewpoint to examine who might be a traitor, plotting to overthrow Ch'ing Dynasty and working with the British.


The exact circumstances are unknown, but apparently Holmes did indeed conduct translated interviews with members of the imperial court, including Prince Kung, Empress Tzu Hsi, An Li the Chief Eunuch, and a few others. After the interview process, Holmes came to the conclusion that the Empress Tzu Hsi was going to betray her dynasty, was working with secret societies in China against the West, and yet also cozening up to the West. In Musgrave's version of events, Fu refused to accept the reality of this revelation and instead fingered the Chief Eunuch as the traitor.


Holmes was informed of these events by Ali al-Salaam, who was angrily sentenced to death by Fu. Ali al-Salaam was dragged out of the room to his certain doom.[26]


However, the Dowager Empress was known by those close to the court to be personally power hungry and yet self-destructive when it came to her dynasty. Personal power was all that mattered to her without a great deal of dynastic foresight. She dominated her son during her time as his regent. By the time he came of age and became the Emperor, his mother's reign had come to an end. To keep her power she selected a wife and four concubines for him, to keep him so busy that she could rule for him. After a few years, the emperor died of venereal disease in January 1875 and Tzu Hsi became ruler once again. However, the Empress still was not totally free to rule, for her son's favorite concubine was pregnant and if she delivered a boy, the boy would be the new emperor and his mother the dowager empress. She would not let this happen, so mysteriously the concubine died before giving birth. Many historians conjecture that this was done at the request of Tzu-Hsi. Other historians simply believe that the concubine was mentally unstable and this caused her to take her own life. With the death of her son and his pregnant concubine, the Dowager Empress had her three-year-old nephew, Kuang Hsu, who was not in direct line of succession to the throne, named as the next heir emperor with her as his regent.


Although the Dowager Empress' direct power was concentrated in an area near the Forbidden City, the actual governance of the country was by the provincial governors-general. Her indirect power, however, was more far reaching. She did have a great deal of influence on national policies and the economy of China because of her control over international relations and trade with foreign nations. As with her other administrative appointments and decrees there was a great deal of corruption attached to her decisions, which were made to personally empower or enrich her or her cronies, often at the expense of China as a whole.[27]


It is likely that the Sublime Order of the White Peacock were quite aware of the Empress Dowager's avaricious and duplicitous nature and hoped to exploit it by using her has a figurehead. Yet they needed to discover people who were close to the Empress and would actively try to thwart their efforts to revitalize China. Sherlock Holmes' outside observations allowed them to examine how deeply the eunuchs would oppose them. To make an example and demonstrate to the courtiers of the imperial court where the power now lay, Fu declared the Chief Eunuch a traitor so that he would be executed. This plan also instilled in the Dowager Empress the belief that the Sublime Order of the White Peacock could be trusted whereas those closest to her could not be.


When the imperial party had departed from Shan Lan Fo's home and Shan Ming Fu was alone with his two prisoners, he told them that unfortunately they now knew too much and would have to be eliminated.


Just then, an explosion rocked the prison and debris from the ceiling collapsed onto Shan Ming Fu, who was buried beneath the rubble. They saw that Fu was not dead but did not feel constrained to aid him. Holmes and Musgrave made their way clear of the prison. Holmes and Musgrave stopped to retrieve the six rings of Di-Cang from where Shan Ming Fu had secreted them. Holmes did not believe that the rings were an actual divine object, but concluded that Moriarty or the treacherous Ch'ing Chuan-Fu could use them to rally opposition to the British Empire; hence depriving Moriarty and Ch'ing Chuan-Fu of them would be a service to Britain.


Holmes and Musgrave were discovered by a joint force of Chinese and British soldiers led by Prince Kung and Lord Mayfield. Lord Mayfield died of a heart attack as they were exiting the house of Shan Lan Fo. [28]


Knowing that Shan Ming Fu was still alive, Holmes felt that it was best that they leave China as soon as possible despite the British Legation's promise to keep them safe from retaliation from Shan Ming Fu.


Holmes and Musgrave had only traveled as far as Toku before they were set upon by agents of Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. They were rescued by a dead man, at least one thought to be dead by the world.  Their rescuer was Prince Dakkar, otherwise known as Captain Nemo, thought to have died in 1869.[29] Nemo took Holmes and Musgrave aboard the Nautilus. 


Nemo had known that Andrii Bulba had gone to rectify Moriarty's violation of Khlit's tomb. Although Nemo did not care that much about Khlit or the desecration of his tomb, he was enthusiastic about getting even with Moriarty and so aided his Russian crewmember in retrieving the object. When Nemo learned of the possible alliance between Moriarty and the Sublime Order of the White Peacock, he used all possible means to break this alliance.


Moriarty had stolen one of his submarines, destroyed the plans, and left Nemo for dead from radiation poisoning. He had then used Nemo's name and ruined his reputation.[30] Nemo also wished to work against the Sublime Order because its allies had betrayed him by inducing Dakkar to turn against the Nine Unknown and the Capelleans and then abandoned him, having no intention of supporting his idealistic crusade against war.


Andrii Bulba had sent a message to his captain about Holmes’ trip to China to rescue Musgrave. Captain Nemo had further intelligence from the man known as Ali al-Salaam.[31]


Nemo had the brass-and-enamel box containing the rings of Di-cang flushed through the exhaust pipe of the Nautilus and onto the ocean's floor rather than let either Ch'ing Chuan-Fu or Moriarty ever have the chance of regaining it. 


When the Nautilus surfaced to take supplies from a tropical island, Nemo insisted that Holmes and Musgrave take the chance to stretch their legs. Nemo marooned them on this island so that they could not tell the world that Captain Nemo and the Nautilus still existed.  Rather than killing them outright, he marooned them on Noble’s Island, which could sustain life.


Nemo was unaware that someone else had taken up residence on the island, this person being Dr. Moreau. Dr. Moreau was at this time in the early stages of his vivisectional and transmutational experiments to evolve animals into humanoid form. One of his first successes was to increase the size and intelligence of a rat and give it a form roughly akin to an anthropoid ape. He tried to pass these experiments off as a species of giant rat from Sumatra. At this time Moreau had regular supply ships come to call. Although Musgrave expressed horror at Moreau's experimentation, Holmes convinced Musgrave to express admiration. [32]


Moreau was anxious for his unwelcome visitors to be on their way so he could return to his serious research. Holmes and Musgrave were also anxious to return to England. They left Noble's Island on the next available supply ship [33] and from there traveled to the next port of call, San Francisco, California.


Musgrave and Holmes needed money to finance their passage back home. Using the name William Escott, Holmes became an actor working in a company engaged at the Orpheum theatre and other theaters in San Francisco. In San Francisco Holmes and Musgrave became involved in two murder investigations, both of which involved the Chinese.


One of the actors in Holmes’ company became distraught because he had learned that his paramour had died from opium poisoning. Although she was a Chinese girl working in a parlor house, he had truly loved her and wanted to buy her from her master. However, her master had kept upping the price and dangled her forever out of his reach.


Escott asked to accompany the young actor to the mortuary where he examined the body. He found that she had been strangled to death. The first suspect was the master of the girl, but this theory proved to be incorrect; the girl had continued to be a good money maker for him so she was a valuable commodity rather than a liability at that point. As it turned out the actual murderer was the actor's brother, who believed that the girl had bewitched his brother and was ruining his life. The police declined to charge him with murder since the victim was Chinese. [34]


Escott was approached by two Chinese merchants, who asked him to investigate the delicate matter of the death of Jeanne Bonnet, also known as Little Frog Catcher. Bonnet had been found dead in her shack. Bonnet was an odd figure even for San Francisco. She had grown up a tomboy and was arrested dozens of times for wearing male attire. She visited local brothels as a male customer and fell in love with a woman named Blanche Buneau. Bonnet formed an all-girl gang composed of former prostitutes who had escaped from their bordellos, bagnios, and cribhouses. The women swore off prostitution, had nothing to do with men, and supported themselves by shoplifting and other petty thievery.


This all came to an end when Jeanne Bonnet was found dead with a bullet in her heart. Most people, including the police, believed that she had been killed by one of the procurers whose girls she had rescued. However, because of her background the police did not care to investigate this crime.


Some anti-Chinese elements were, however, starting rumors that a Chinaman had killed Jeanne and trying to make her into a tragic figure so that they could whip up more anti-Chinese sentiment.  Since Escott had attempted to get justice for Chuan Jing Jia, the murdered Chinese prostitute, the Chinese merchants wondered if he might take this case.


Holmes took the case and quickly ascertained that the police were in essence correct that the procurers had arranged to have Jeanne killed. There were also Chinese persons involved, but the ulterior motive for the crime had been one of the oldest motives in the world, jealousy. Jeanne had fallen in love with a girl who had recently joined her coterie, a Chinese girl. This did not set too well with Jeanne's lover, Blanche Buneau. In a jealous rage she had accepted the procurer's contract on Jeanne and killed her.[35]


William Escott was seen performing in the Orpheum and was offered a part in a New York company production of Othello. He took the job because one of the incentives that he had negotiated was a train ticket to New York for himself and his dresser, who was Musgrave.


While enroute to New York, William Escott and a few others made a side trip from to go view the site of the Battle of Little Big Horn. Upon looking at the remains of the battle, Holmes made a snap deduction, later recanted, that Custer had been betrayed by his own men.[36]


However despite what Musgrave stated in his memoirs, they had no foreknowledge of the impending massacre nor did they race to attempt to stop it.


As a school mate Reginald Musgrave was suitable acquaintance to Holmes, but as a traveling companion he left much to be desired. After Escott's turn on the New York stage, wherein Holmes solved a murder or two [37], Holmes and Musgrave returned to England where Holmes took great pains to distance himself from his traveling companion. Musgrave, however, continued to think of himself as Holmes’ best friend even after the appearance of Dr. John Watson.


Although they were not truly all that close, Holmes did correspond sporadically with Musgrave. The last occasion seems to have been in 1908 when Holmes related the letter he had received from Shan Ming Fu, now calling himself Fu Manchu. Fu Manchu had congratulated Holmes on the accuracy of his deduction concerning the Empress. Fu Manchu told Holmes that if he had not been so blind that the Boxer Rebellion could have been avoided. As recompense Fu Manchu offered Holmes clues to an elixir of youth, the key ingredient was honey made from a certain flower.


The aim of the Boxer Rebellion was to be the vanguard of the military expulsion of Europeans from China, which its supporters hoped would be the start of a popular uprising. Many secret societies had been formed in opposition of the imperial government, the Boxers or "The Righteous and Harmonious Fists" among them. But after the defeat of China by Japan in the Sino-Japanese War of 1895, the Europeans had seen China as even weaker than previously thought and thought the nation was a melon prime for carving up.


Realizing that China was truly doomed as a nation, the Emperor Kuang-hsü consulted with learned political scholars such as K'ang Yu-wei, who outlined a program to modernize China's society and make it into a constitutional monarchy. The reforms were set in motion in 1898 but only one province had the reforms implemented. The Dowager Empress led a coup d'etat, reversed the reforms, placed a conservative government in power, and began to support the reactionary elements.


The Sublime Order of the White Peacock and Shan Ming Fu probably supported the Emperor's reforms, but after the Dowager Empress once again took control they lent support to the Boxers, realizing that win or lose the rebellion would probably bring about the end of the Ch'ing dynasty. However, the Dowager Empress survived the aftermath of the rebellion and held onto her power.


1908 was a very interesting year for Fu Manchu to have written this letter to Sherlock Holmes. In 1908 the Emperor Kuang-hsü died. The Dowager Empress chose the Emperor's nephew, P'u Yi, to succeed him, giving her yet another child to be regent over.  But she died on the same day as P'u Yi was installed. P'u Yi was the last Emperor of China and the last of the Dowager Empress dynasty.


1908 is also, according to some sources, the year that Shan Ming Fu stopped used his temporary identity as Hanoi Shan and began using Fu Manchu, the name by which he would be most known. Hanoi Shan was, according to the true-crime accounts of H. Ashton-Wolfe, in Warped in the Making and The Thrill of Evil, a criminal mastermind of Asian origin. [38]


Fu Manchu's purpose in giving Holmes the clue about the missing ingredient of the Elixir of Life may not have been entirely altruistic. Fu Manchu may have known that Holmes would pursue the clue of the bees and save him time and trouble in research. He may have reasoned that he could always steal the formula later.


When Sherlock Holmes interfered with Fu Manchu's plans in the winter of 1914, the fact that Holmes was still working on the elixir and close to discovering the secret was probably one of the reasons that Fu Manchu spared his life.[39]


This information from the Musgrave papers brings up the question of why Fu Manchu did not use Holmes’ royal jelly formula, which was completed in 1921. Instead Fu Manchu had to create his own Elixir of Life in 1929. [40] The answer seems to be that Fu Manchu had an allergic reaction to the royal jelly that would have killed him; it took him eight years to create a derivation that would work on him. As it turned out this derivation was better for it restored youth as well as prolonged life. However, the dosage was higher and it had to be taken more often to maintain a youthful age.


Dr. Fu Manchu's clue to Sherlock Holmes, whatever the reason it was given, would turn out to be a two-edged sword. While it enabled Fu Manchu to create his elixir of youth, allowing him to live on and continue his struggle against Western imperialism, it also allowed his enemies to remain youthful and continue to oppose him, such as Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes, James Bond, Dennis Nayland Smith, and Dr. Petrie.


Shan Ming Fu never forgave James Moriarty's betrayal of him, taking it as personal affront that he had stolen back the brass-and-enamel box. He blamed Moriarty for his loss of face within the Sublime Order. In 1898 Shan Ming Fu was in London laying the ground work for the Si-Fan's London base of operations and learned that Moriarty possessed something extremely valuable, a metal or mineral alloy that could cut off the force of gravity, making a vehicle or vessel completely weightless.


Shan Ming Fu stole the substance—called cavorite after its discoverer—and planned to use it to build a dreadnought that would devastate England. However, Moriarty used a group of dupes with extraordinary abilities to steal the cavorite back. Fu did find pleasure in seeing the Professor fall upwards in an uncontrolled ascent. After this, another Professor Moriarty claimed leadership of Moriarty's organization but Fu Manchu determined that it was not the same person. His old adversary seemed to be dead. [41].



[1] Hughes, Algernon, "Old Documents Found In Soon To Be Home For The Aged" West Sussex Observer, 10 Aug. 1990:15


[2] Civil Court Records of West Sussex County, 1991, 1993, 1994.


[3] Effinger, George Alec. "The Musgrave Version." Sherlock Holmes in Orbit. Ed. Michael Resnick. New York: Daw Books, 1995.


[4]  The Musgrave Ritual actually took place early in Holmes career as a consulting detective, prior to Holmes having met Watson. The events and all its pertinent details, including the description of Musgrave were recounted to Watson by Holmes. Musgrave conveniently overlooked that when he made Watson the scapegoat for his portrayal.


[5]  The use of this device is intriguing in itself because one has to wonder if Fu Manchu actually had such a gas-filled glass ball, although Rohmer did not mention it so far as I recall. If Fu Manchu did have such a device then he anticipated Doc Savage by some fifty-five years or so. If Fu Manchu did not possess such a device, one wonders where Musgrave came up with the notion. Is it possible that he later witnessed an early unrecorded adventure of Doc Savage's in which the glass ball was used and inserted its use into his record of this adventure? The Musgrave papers so far examined contain no mention of such an adventure, even one that might have been transmogrified into Sherlock Holmes adventure.  One is led to suspect Effinger’s hand.


[6] His grandson, Nigel, would later become one of the pre-eminent agents of the British Secret Service.


[7]  Doyle, Arthur Conan. "The Musgrave Ritual." The Strand Magazine May 1893


[8] Doyle, “The Musgrave Ritual,”


[9] It was during this period that Moriarty impregnated a Russian woman, who gave birth to the child who would eventually be known as Grigori Rasputin. That Rasputin was the son of Moriarty was established in John T. Lescroart’s Rasputin's Revenge, New York: D.I. Fine, 1987.


[10]  Moore, Alan, and Kevin O’Neill.  The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1, No. 5.  America's Best Comics, 2000.


[11]  As established in Philip José Farmer’s Lord of the Trees, New York: Ace, 1975.


[12]  As established in Philip José Farmer’s The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, New York: Daw, 1973.


[13]  For more on the Self-Strengthening movement see   or


[14]  Rache Churan appeared in The Hand of Fu Manchu, Chapter 28.


[15]  That Fu Manchu and Fo-Hi were both members of the same tong—called the Sublime Order of the White

Peacock—was established by Rick Lai in “The Brotherhood of the Lotus,” Nemesis Incorporated, No. 28, December, 1988.


[16]  For more information see Rick Lai’s The Secret History of Captain Nemo and the film Young Sherlock Holmes .


[17]  Hodel, Michael P. and Wright, Sean M. Enter the Lion, Playboy Press: New York, 1980. Interestingly the authors Hodel and Wright state that Jerrold Moriarty was the father of Professor James Moriarty and his brothers. However, further research by Philip José Farmer (Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life) Rick Lai (“The Secret History of Captain Nemo”) and Win Eckert (“The Malevolent Moriartys”) has demonstrated this was not the case and that Jerrold was Morcar Moriarty's brother. It may be that Hodel and Wright were hinting at an incestuous relationship between Jerrold and Morcar.


[18]  Many of the revelations about this case are new since the Musgrave estate only allowed George Alec Effinger to publish teasers from the memoirs of Reginald Musgrave, intending to publish the entire memoirs themselves. However, problems with the estate of Watson’'s agent have placed that particular publication on indefinite hold.  Therefore they kindly allowed me to share some more of the information in the memoirs.


[19]  Dawkins was a protégé of Fagin, and as a child Dawkins had been known as the Artful Dodger as seen in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.


[20] Unfortunately Musgrave never wrote the specifics of how he had spotted the brass-and-enamel box or even how he recognized it as the one belonging to Ch'ing Chuan-Fu. One clue among the effects in the Musgrave effects was a brass token stamped with the words Joyeux Nuits espionner trouer. This seems to be a token a French brothel, The Nights of Joy. The phrase espionner trouer seems to refer to spy room or peephole room, which was hidden hallway equipped with spy holes through which customers could pay to watch what was transpiring in the various rooms. It is possible that Musgrave paid for such a service and saw the box and or overheard conversation about it.


[21]  See Taras Bulba by Nicolai Golgol.


[22]  Khlit the Wolf was a Cossack active through the 16th century. He had once rescued the Chinese emperor from treasonous imprisonment, and at that time was given or otherwise acquired this artifact. His life was documented by Harold Lamb in various short stories appearing in Adventure magazine. For more information, see “Khlit” in Jess NevinsThe Pulp Heroes <>.


[23]  Shan Lan Fo may have been depicted in August Derleth's "The Lair of the Star-Spawn" as Dr. Fo Lan. For his relationship to Shan Ming Fu please see Rick Lai's Fu Manchu Vs. Cthulhu.


[24]  This is quite the reverse of what Musgrave claimed in his account "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows."


[25]  Di-Cang entry, Knappert, Jan. The Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern Mythology & Religion, Shaftesbury: Element, 1993


[26]  Holmes would later learn that Ali al-Salaam had not been keeping the British Legation apprised of Holmes’ and Musgrave's captivity. Ali al-Salaam was not a servant of Shan Ming Fu but rather one of his mentors. He was also known as Rashiel the advisor to the Wadi (Leader) of the Assassins. For more information see my articles “The Demon: Skull Face, Lord of the Dark Face” and “The Devil Doctor.”  Although the Wadis came and went, Rashiel remained. The combined assault of British and Chinese troops on Shan Ming Fu's headquarters at this crucial moment seems to have been an exceedingly fortunate turn of events for Holmes and Musgrave. So fortunate in fact, it is quite likely that it was pre-arranged by Shan Ming Fu and Ali al-Salaam to give verisimilitude to the story he had woven for the Dowager Empress.


[27] Empress Dowager Tzu Hsii <>


[28]  In "The Adventure of the Celestial Snows,” Musgrave makes it appears as though Mayfield had a personal confrontation with Fu Manchu, his archenemy of many years, and that Mayfield was overpowered and killed by Fu Manchu. As shown earlier in 1875 Fu Manchu was not that well known, outside of certain circles so Lord Mayfield probably had only scant knowledge of him, if any.


[29]  As depicted in Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island.


[30]  For a fuller version of this clash between Moriarty and Nemo, please see Rick Lai's The Secret History of Captain Nemo.


[31] Ali al-Salaam or Rashiel was playing an even larger game than perhaps even Shan Ming Fu knew for he had also kept in contact with Prince Dakkar, one of James Moriarty's mortal enemies.


[32]  Musgrave's allusion to one to the Giant Rat of Sumatra is just one of many such that exist in the canon of Holmesian literature. In "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire,” Holmes made an allusion to an unpublished adventure of his: "Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson," said Holmes in a reminiscent voice. "It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared." There have been many other works that purport to tell the story of the "giant rat of Sumatra,” such as Rick Boyer's The Giant Rat of Sumatra, The Unconsuming Fire by Andy Lane, Sherlock Holmes and the Story For Which The World Is Not Yet Prepared by Stephen E. Pierce, and The Giant Rat of Sumatra by Daniel Gracely, to name a few. The Shadow of the Rat by David Stuart Davies in which the bubonic plague and rats are a central theme may be related in some fashion to events in The Holmes-Dracula File by Fred Saberhagen in which the Giant Rat is a bubonic plague infested rat. A recent book Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra by Alan Vanneman, presents a sentient rat ruling some subhumans. This may be related in some fashion to the creatures on Moreau's Island but further research is needed to ascertain a direct connection.


[33]  Moreau's next visitor, some years later, would be Edward Prendrick, as depicted in The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.


[34] So far as we can ascertain, record of  this murder investigation by Holmes only exists in the memoirs of Reginald Musgrave. The San Francisco newspapers were quite silent about the whole affair. 


[35]  Musgrave's description of Jeanne Bonnet's life as a cross-dressing lesbian, her career as a gang leader of women, and her odd death are supported by historical facts; however, Holmes involvement in the investigation of her death and his solution to the crime cannot be verified by outside sources.


[36]  There are also legends surrounding the Battle of Little Big Horn that the Sioux and Cheyenne were aided by the mysterious figure known as El Head who had used his powerful mental powers to confuse Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his men. For more information on El Head please visit The El Head Homepage


[37] As seen in Sherlock Holmes and the Hands of Othello by Alexander Simmons.


[38] Ashton-Wolfe, H. Warped in the Making Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1928, The Thrill of Evil, Boston Houghton Mifflin Co. 1930 For information on the Fu Manchu/Hanoi Shan connection please see the article, “The Devil Doctor.”


[39]  Cay Van Ash, Ten Years Beyond Baker Street, New York: Harper Row, 1984.


[40]  One wonders why Fu Manchu was not approached by the Nine to join them. As it turns out he had been approached early in his career but did not wish to be bound to any organization whose goals would not necessarily coincide with his. He also feared that the Nine's elixir was addictive and once someone joined they could not leave the group.


[41] Moore, Alan, and Kevin O’Neill.  The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume 1, No. 5.  America's Best Comics, 2000