OF THE BABY NAME TOBIAS
Inspector Tobias Gregson is a Scotland Yard inspector who figures in some of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series: A Study in Scarlet (1887), The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter (1893), The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge (1908), and The Adventure of the Red Circle (1911). Holmes himself describes Tobias as “the smartest of the Scotland Yarders”, but his general opinion of Scotland Yard is so low that this is faint praise, indeed. We the readers, however, are more inclined to like Tobias, for he is tall, blonde, blue-eyed and quite engaging. He is constantly on the alert to out-perform his fellow detective, Inspector Lestrade, but he feels no animosity for Holmes; rather he admires the intelligence of the great man, and feels more comfortable when Holmes is on the case. This is a rather endearing trait, and we feel it is just a little churlish of Holmes not to return the compliment. It is Dr. Watson who applauds Tobias’ courage, as well as remarking that he is a pretty cool customer, with a quiet and businesslike air about him. We’re more inclined to accept Dr. Watson’s assessment of Tobias’ character, because, after all, we all know what Mr. Holmes was smokin’!
A Jew named Tobit goes blind after some birds poop in his eyes (no, we’re not kidding) which causes him so much despair, he prays for death. At the same time, but in a separate faraway place, another woman named Sarah also prays for death. Her despair is caused by a lust demon who keeps killing her husbands on their wedding night before she can consummate her marriage (she has seven husbands, and the evil demon kills them all). Married seven times and still a virgin! God hears their separate prayers and sends Raphael, the angel of healing. Disguised as a man named Azarias, Raphael accompanies Tobias (Tobit’s son) on a journey to retrieve money for his father. Along the way, a giant fish jumps out of the water and nearly kills Tobias (no, we’re still not kidding), but with the aid of Raphael, the fish is killed and they remove the heart, liver and gall bladder for future medicinal needs. At the end of their travels, Tobias meets Sarah and they fall madly in love and marry. Not to be discouraged by the fate of her other seven husbands, Tobias (with instruction from Raphael) burns the fish heart and liver so the smoke drives the evil husband-killing demon away. Sarah and Tobias then return to Tobit and rub the fish gall bladder in his eyes which miraculously restores his eyesight. Everyone is happy and no one is praying for death anymore. God is good!