The Langham Hotel is marked
at the very top of the map
For many years he had adopted a system of docketing all paragraphs concerning men and things, so that it was difficult to name a subject or a person on which he could not at once furnish information. In this case I found her biography sandwiched in between that of a Hebrew rabbi and that of a staff-commander who had written a monograph upon the deep-sea fishes.
HolmesÕs index of abstruse knowledge turns up several times in the stories.

"Let me see!" said Holmes. "Hum! Born in New Jersey in the year 1858. Contralto—hum! La Scala, hum! Prima donna Imperial Opera of Warsaw—yes!"
Today the term "contralto" usually refers to the lowest female voice, below the soprano and alto. Here, it probably means that Irene Adler was an alto, or mezzo-soprano. La Scala, or Teatro alla Scala, is a world-famous opera house in Milan, Italy. The Imperial Opera of Warsaw is fictional. A "prima donna" is a female singer who plays starring roles.

     Holmes laughed. "It is quite a pretty little problem," said he.
     "But a very serious one to me," returned the King reproachfully.

Holmes sometimes forgets the human element while chasing down a solution.

St. JohnÕs Wood can be seen in the upper-left-hand corner of this map
You will find me at the Langham under the name of the Count Von Kramm."
Founded in 1865 as a grand luxury hotel, the Langham has been restored and is in operation again today. It a short walk from there to Baker Street, which is northwest of the hotel: up Regent Street, right on Oxford, and right again on Baker Street.

"You have carte blanche."
The French equivalent of a "blank check."

"There are three hundred pounds in gold and seven hundred in notes," he said.
As with everything else the King does, this is overkill. Three hundred pounds would equal more than $100,000 today.

"…Briony Lodge, Serpentine Avenue, St. John's Wood."
St. John's Wood is a section of London not far from Baker Street, but the street address is fictional. The neighborhood was notorious for housing a number of "kept women."

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