Holmes is hired by Sir James Damery to do anything he can to stop the forthcoming marriage of Violet Merville, daughter of a famed General, to Baron Gruner, a known philanderer and womanizer who has been known to seduce - and perhaps even dispose of - well-to-do women on the Continent. The young woman is madly in love with him and will hear nothing against him. It's also apparent that Sir James is acting as an intermediary for someone else, whom he refuses to reveal. The Baron is soon onto Holmes' attempt to discredit him and he is not above hiring ruffians to get rid of troublemakers. Homes recruits one of the Baron's discarded women to try and convince Miss Merville of her ill-advised romance but it is only when he learns that Gruner has a diary does he find the weapon he needs.
Did You Know?
Repeated references are made to "oil of vitriol." This is the old name for sulfuric acid, in this case thrown in the faces of women to disfigure them. See more
In one scene, Baron Gruner is listening to a recording of a baritone singing the "Madamina" aria from Mozart's "Don Giovanni", and the singer is backed by a full orchestra. Such recordings were impossible to make in the nineteenth century, when the story takes place. Until the advent of electrical recording (i.e., using microphones) in 1925, singers and instrumentalists had to stand around a large horn to make recordings, and the use of a large orchestra would have distorted the sound. Special "chamber music" arrangements had to be made of orchestral pieces to prevent distortion and overload. Recordings were made on wax cylinders then, not discs, and the quality of sound was far worse than demonstrated in this episode. See more
Oh. Oh, my dear. My dearest. I warned you; I said, "Do not go too near the edge."
Why did you push me, Baron?
My dear wife... you, you're dreaming.
No. Dying. Dying.
Oh, my darling.