, 3:21,
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Date: 18 Oct 2012

Significant others

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal creation was, of course, the violin-playing, cocaine-addicted genius Sherlock Holmes; but the great detective had an extensive supporting cast: the dependable but oft-baffled Dr Watson, the long-suffering Mrs Hudson, and a host of lesser characters, some more contemptible than others.

In the very lower echelons was one adversary, described by Watson [1] as ‘…a little black man … with a great, misshapen head and a shock of tangled, dishevelled hair. His … thick lips were writhed back from his teeth, which grinned and chattered at us with a half animal fury.’ This frightening figure hails from the Andaman Islands, and represents a people ‘naturally hideous, … fierce, morose, and intractable’, who ‘may perhaps claim the distinction of being the smallest race upon this earth. … They have always been a terror to shipwrecked crews, braining the survivors with their stone-headed clubs, or shooting them with their poisoned arrows. These massacres are invariably ...