Sherlock Holmes, in describing Moriarty to Watson, said: “He [Moriarty] sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of each of them.”
Dr. Watson, in describing Holmes to his readers, said: "He [Holmes] loved to lie in the very centre of five millions of people, with his filaments stretching out and running through them, responsive to every little rumor or suggestion of unsolved crime.”
The Elizabethan poet, English barrister, Solicitor-General of Ireland and Member of Parliament, Sir John Davies (1569-1626), wrote in * The Immortality of the Soul* (XVIII): “Much like a subtle spider which doth sit In the middle of her web, which spreadith wide; If ought do touch the utmost thread of it. She feels it instantly on every side.”
The spider and the web appears to be a recurring theme.
Hint: If you have never taken time to watch a spider building its web, you may want to consider doing so. You will see a miniature engineering marvel taking place before your eyes.
(Jody Baker is a Chattanooga attorney, who specializes in Sherlock Holmes lore. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)