An anonymous triple parody, from the Bridgeport (Connecticut) Evening Farmer, January 29, 1910, though it can be found in other newspapers across the country at about the same time.
The modern Sexton Blake climbed through the kitchen window, followed by his faithful ally, Bunny–or was it Watson?
“Ah,” exclaimed Blake, surveying the surroundings. “I find that his wife is away!”
“And how long has she been away?” asked his ally.
“Exactly thirty days.”
“And how on earth are you able to tell that?”
“My dear fellow, by the unwashed dishes and cups and saucers. There are ninety of each in all, which shows that he has used three a day for thirty days and left them for her to wash when she comes home–same as we all do. Simplest thing in the world, my dear fellow; simplest thing in the world!”
Two of the characters being mocked may be obscure to modern readers
Watson is obvious — Sherlock Holmes’ chronicler and assistant.
Bunny Manders is from E.W. Hornung’s Raffles stories, where Bunny fills the same role for A.J. Raffles, cricketeer and society thief, that Watson fills for Holmes.
And Sexton Blake — detective, spy, man of action and mystery. Star of over 4,000 stories published between 1893 and the 1970s, almost none of his adventures in print, so he’s largely forgotten today. Blake would have been largely unknown in the United States at the time as well — few Sexton Blake stories were reprinted on these shores — making him an odd choice to parody.