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Sherlock Holmes, A Play, wherein is set forth The Strange Case of Miss Alice Faulkner was the popular dramatization of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, by William Gillette, the Holmes for the generation before Basil Rathbone.
The Miss Faulkner whose strange case is the story of this play was the sister of an unnamed girl whose heart was broken by a disastrous liaison with an unnamed foreign gentleman. The affair ruined that girl's brief life, and Alice has the evidence to prove it. She was taken in by a couple of confidence artists named James and Madge Larrabee (calling themselves Chetwood for the purposes of the scheme), who bought an Old Dark House in London to keep her and her poor old mother in and a desk safe to lock the documents in. But they couldn't twist the documents out of her before Sherlock Holmes got on the case.
With the timely cooperation of Forman, the butler, Holmes rescues Miss Faulkner and the package from the house, but yields the package to her on account of her possessive attachment to them. Larrabee's old friend, the Cockney crook Sid Prince, places him in contact with Professor Moriarty, king of all criminal enterprise, who agrees to arrange Holmes's downfall for no fee at all. Holmes, knowing that Larrabee intends to trade him a counterfeit version of the package, hatches a plan of his own, risking his life to obtain the counterfeit package and swindle Alice into willingly giving him the genuine one. It's a dirty trick to play on such a nice girl, he knows.
- Baker Street Regular: Billy, the page boy.
- Batman Gambit: Holmes risks his life to negotiate the purchase of a MacGuffin from the villains, not letting Alice know he knows it's a fake in order to manipulate her into surrendering the real MacGuffin to the Count and Sir Edward, who congratulate Holmes for pulling off this ingenious scheme.
- Death Trap: The Gas Chamber at Stepney, personally inspected by Moriarty. Holmes finds it easily escapable.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Professor Moriarty.
- Distressed Damsel: Alice Faulkner.
- Gentleman Snarker: Holmes really outdoes himself in this regard.
- It Works Better with Bullets: While Moriarty's back is turned, Holmes unloads his revolver so he won't have to worry if Moriarty should suddenly try to use it on him, which he does. Hilarity Ensues.
- Sherlock Scan: Performed by Holmes on Watson, as usual, and before that on "Mr Chetwood."
- Suspiciously Specific Denial:
Larrabee: "He wanted to know what there was about the safe in the lower part that desk that caused me such horrible anxiety! Ha! ha! ha!"
Madge: "Why, there isn’t anything. Is there?"
Larrabee: "That’s just it! Ha! ha! ha! There’s a safe there, but nothing in it."