Sherlock Holmes Is A-Mouldering In His Grave

The bees are long dead, John and Mary more recently, and his fame, such as it was, is a long-banked fire he warms himself on on short winter days. Time has stolen his height and his appetite, and most days he sits quietly by the southern window watching the sun move across the valley. He boasted once to John that he neither knew nor cared if the sun revolved around the earth or the earth around the sun, as neither case could affect the solution of a crime; now, however, he cannot watch a sunrise without thinking of it.

They must have been young, then, but it was all so long ago he cannot conceive of what youth must have been like. He remembers the anxiety and the desperation of his idle times, but not the pith of the experience—remembers it as a story to be told. How it felt to be so despairingly understimulated that he would rather throw himself from the top of the falls than not eludes him. He is as precise with dates and times and distances as ever, but without the vital interest in humanity that once drove him, those points of data are as sterile and drily pleasing as a railway schedule.

He had not expected to live so long, to so far outlast not only the dead but even himself. He does not begrudge the passing time, but he cannot bring himself to care about it, either.