One night–it was on the twentieth of March, 1888–I was returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. As I passed the well-remembered door, which must always be associated in my mind with my wooing, and with the dark incidents of the Study in Scarlet, I was seized with a keen desire to see Holmes again, and to know how he was employing his extraordinary powers.
What did Watson mean by “wooing”? Was he referring to his wooing of Mary Morstan? Or was there a different meaning of “wooing” in Victorian times?
(I tried to create this thread in the Individual Short Stories sub-forum. But it says, “This forum is empty” and I couldn’t create a new topic there.)
"Never mind your usual petty puzzles of the police-court." – Mycroft Holmes
(First, I moved your post. I’m not sure what was going on with the Individual Stories sub-forum, but here you go.)
Regarding “wooing:” The chief definition according to the OED is to court, and that would make sense regarding Mary and SIGN and whatnot. The only other option that I could even fathom is “To make solicitation or entreaty; to sue for; to ‘invite’, ‘call’” — so he could possibly mean that he used to come here to solicit Holmes’ help or to call upon Holmes, but I don’t think that’s likely. I think his mind is on his lovely lady.
I do like how he humble-brags his past writings, though. “Oh, when I look at the front door, I remember my awesome novel, have you read it? Oh, and I also remember meeting my woman, back when I wrote that other novel. Have you read that one? I wrote it. And sold it. For money. So BAM.”
“Oh, you can't help that," said the cat. "We're all mad here.”