Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
The Times They Are Changin’

Just over two weeks ago, Ginger and I had our regular date night and movie. This Saturday, we watched Sherlock Holmes Faces Death. How’s that for a pleasant title of a film…even a mystery movie? Dr. Watson is helping a friend who works at the Musgrave Estate, which is a WWII makeshift hospital. There are three Musgraves living there. Geoffrey and Phillip, who are brothers, along with their sister, Sally. Unfortunately, Geoffrey and Phillip are soon found dead having been murdered.

Enter Sherlock Holmes. He comes to the Musgrave Estate to determine why the Musgrave brothers had been killed. Holmes uses the Musgrave Ritual, which is played out on a room size chess board. In the process of the chess game, Holmes finds the Musgrave crypt where the murderer wrestled away Sherlock Holmes’ gun and uses it to kill Holmes. Nonetheless, Holmes has already determined who the killer is and filled his gun with blanks. It was his clever way of getting a confession out of the murderer without being killed himself.

As a result of the murder of her brothers, Sally is told by Sherlock Holmes that she is the sole beneficiary of an old land grant of 80,000 acres, which is worth millions of dollars or rather British pounds.

Sally has inherited a fortune.

Sally realizes, if she wishes to acquire the family’s great wealth many people living on her inherited property would have to leave their homes. Instead of that, she destroys the land grant document. Sally does the right thing from an ethical or moral position. The movie ends with Dr. Watson and Sherlock driving away from the Musgrave Estate.

“The old days of grab and greed are on their way out.”

Holmes thinks about a feeling that he has about England due to people like Sally.

There’s a new spirit abroad in the land. The old days of grab and greed are on their way out. We’re beginning to think of what we owe the other fellow, not just what we’re compelled to give him. The time’s coming when we shan’t be able to fill our bellies in comfort while other folk go hungry or sleep in warm beds while others shiver in the cold; when we shan’t be able to kneel and thank God for blessings before our shining altars while men anywhere are kneeling in either physical or spiritual subjection. And God willing, we’ll live to see that day.

Ginger and I enjoyed the movie, which was released in 1943, which was the same year that I was born. The first thing that Ginger mentioned was about Sally and her boyfriend, who was an American officer. “They seemed like a nice young couple, Captain Vickery and Sally.”

I nodded but asked about whether Ginger liked the murder mystery.

“Well, I could figure out that the first suspects weren’t the murderers. It was too early in the movie for any of the usual suspects to be the murderer. What did you think of the movie?”

My response was that I grew up loving to watch these old black and white Sherlock Holmes films. I enjoy them all. Then I put the dishes in the dishwasher, and Ginger and I went to bed to get our beauty rest.

The next morning, Ginger and I went for our walk at the end of the Lake La Mancha. It had been snowing a great deal during the night and still there was a light snow coming down. Ginger loves to chase after the snowflakes.

Every once in a while, she would pause, as if thinking. However, at the time I didn’t say anything.

Then Ginger inquired about the closing scene as Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes leave the Musgrave Estate and return to 221B Baker Street in London. “What Mr. Holmes said was nice and optimistic, don’t you think. There is a new day raising. People aren’t out to make money for themselves. They want to help people. Sally did that.”

I agreed but that was then, and we are living in the now. Donald the Dumb and his minions are into themselves as far as money is concerned. They don’t like nonwhites. The village idiot wants people like Norwegians and certainly not people from Haiti or Africa. He doesn’t like Mexicans nor Muslims either, because they aren’t from Norway.

Ginger’s retort was interesting. “You know that sometimes in history, we see people like our fake president acting like a racist and xenophile before they wake up to reality. I think the movie last evening was a metaphor for our times. There needs to be more people like Sally.”

Still questioning Ginger, I made a comment about needing many more Sally’s speaking out.

Ginger responded, “You are always talking about the song, The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round people

Wherever you roam

And admit that the waters

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be drenched to the bone

If your time to you

Is worth savin'

Then you better start swimmin'

Or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin'

Come writers and critics

Who prophesize with your pen

And keep your eyes wide

The chance won't come again

And don't speak too soon

For the wheel's still in spin

And there's no tellin' who

That it's namin'

For the loser now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin'

Come senators, congressmen

Please heed the call

Don't stand in the doorway

Don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside ragin'

It'll soon shake your windows

And rattle your walls

For the times they are a-changin'

Come mothers and fathers

Throughout the land

And don't criticize

What you can't understand

Your sons and your daughters

Are beyond your command

Your old road is rapidly agin'

Please get out of the new one

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin'

The line it is drawn

The curse it is cast

The slow one now

Will later be fast

As the present now

Will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin'

And the first one now

Will later be last

For the times they are a-changin'

Then Ginger added, “Mr. Holmes said, ‘The old days of grab and greed are on their way out.’ Hopefully, our fake president will stop grabbing women and money.”

I added, “God willing, we’ll live to see that day.”

PS Since it had snowed a great deal, I drove Ginger and I to where the road ends at the moors at the end of Lake La Mancha. I parked the car, and we walked around the undeveloped area. Actually, I walked, and Ginger ran. Ginger would return for a treat, and we’d talk about the movie. Finally, I told Ginger that we needed to get home. She jumped into the back seat of my car. I attempted to turn around in the deep snow and got stuck. Out there at the edge of the moors in no man’s land, we were stuck in the snow.

Ginger said, “Hey, I have an idea. I’ll get behind the wheel, you get out, and push the car as I push on the gas.” I appreciated Ginger’s offer, but I declined her suggestion. Instead, I tried to get unstuck by doing what got us stuck in the first place.

Then from a distance, I saw a car several hundred yards away driving towards us. The guy reached us and said that he’d help, and, in a couple of minutes, my car was free from the snow bank. I told him that I appreciated his help and explained why I was out at the moors with Ginger. I gave him my card with my website’s address and told him the date when my essay about the film, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, would be posted. In return, he gave me his card. I thanked him again, and he drove off. I returned to the car where Ginger wanted to read his business card.

“Frank R. Martinez, III Attorney at Law,” said Ginger. “Frank R. Martinez III was really a nice guy to help us. So, that is what attorneys at law do during snowy days. They drive around helping stranded people and their dogs.”

I replied to my appreciative Irish Setter that lawyers do help people stuck in the snow and help them with other problems facing them. With that, we returned home. However, if you get stuck on snowy days or have other problems, this is his card.

This is the video, Sherlock Holmes Faces Death.

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