I am approaching my goal at the front of a long queue for the bar in the library room of the Yale Club, surrounded by leather-spined books with gilt lettering and by a certain rare species of literary enthusiast. Celebrants decked in tuxedos and satin and beadwork and kilts surround me, giddy smiles on our faces and bourbons deftly in hand. An occasion requiring equal parts passion and restraint, this cold January evening’s revelry — an enterprise not to be taken lightly. A long series of toasts must be made tonight, all other business being left to our monthly meetings; and our Buy-Laws (sic) dictate in absolute terms that “There shall be no monthly meeting.”
Who are these moustachioed gentlemen and stiletto-heeled ladies, you may wonder? We all of us have contracted the collection mania in its most acute form — especially on the subject of Mr. Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street. We are the Baker Street Irregulars, and our special study is that of the best and wisest man John Watson ever knew.