The Cardboard Box

Holmes reclines on a sofa while Watson sits in a chair, with a newpaper on the ground beside him

Basic information

Abbreviation: CARD (J. F. Christ, 1947)
Word length: 8,730 (C. E. Lauterbach, 1960)
First published: Strand Magazine, January 1893; Harper's Weekly, January 14, 1893

Discussion Questions

  • Given the preface, is Watson a reliable narrator?
  • It’s mentioned early in the story that Holmes’ nightmare would be to vacation alone, and he finds comfort in crowds of people. Why do you think that is?
  • Early in the story, Holmes accurately follows Watson’s train of thought by reading his body language. How would this skill help Holmes solve crime?
  • Holmes mentions he only wants to be “associated with crimes that present some difficulty in finding the solution.” How does this characterize Holmes?
  • After it’s revealed that Jim Browner is the culprit, we find that Mr. Browner’s hostility towards his wife was largely due to Miss Sarah Cushing. Is Mr. Browner still fully responsible for the crime?
  • How do you think Miss Sarah Cushing will continue to live after knowing what happened?
  • How would you answer Holmes’ final question to Watson: “What object is served by this circle of misery and violence and fear?”

Film Adaptations