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Baron von Herling was the Chief Secretary of the German Legation in Great Britain on the eve of WWI. He was the superior of Von Bork, the German spy who tangled with Sherlock Holmes in "His Last Bow".

"His Last Bow"[]

On August 2, 1914, anticipating an imminent war, Baron von Herling visits one of his most trusted agents, Von Bork, in his house on the chalk cliffs near Harwich. He informs the agent that the political situation makes it likely von Bork will be back in Berlin within a week, and compliments him on the quality of his work, saying that it has received notice at the highest levels of government. Von Bork tells the baron that his wife has already left for Flushing in the Netherlands with some of his papers, but asks von Herling to provide the embassy's protection for for the rest. The baron confirms that von Bork will be granted diplomatic immunity, but muses there is still some possibility that a war will be averted. He states that Britain may leave France to her fate for lack of a treaty. Furthermore, Germany's success in fomenting unrest by supporting Irish nationalists and suffragettes may leave Britain unable to respond in spite of their treaty with Belgium.

Von Bork shows the baron the collection of secret documents stored in his safe, which include detailed accounts of Britain's military capabilities. He tells von Herling about his newest and most successful agent, an Irish-American named Altamont with a palpable hatred of the English. He invites the baron to wait a while longer, as the agent is expected to arrive later that night. However, von Herling insists he must return to the embassy quickly because of the critical diplomatic situation, and leaves for London shortly afterwards.

Unfortunately for von Bork and the baron, soon after Altamont arrives he takes von Bork captive and reveals himself to be a disguised Sherlock Holmes. He admits to feeding the spy false information, and working for the British government to dismantle the German ring. As Holmes and Watson take him into custody, Holmes taunts von Bork by inviting him to send for Baron von Herling once he arrives at Scotland Yard, to demand his place in the ambassadorial suite.

Appearance[]

Baron von Herling was a huge man, "deep, broad, and tall". He had a slow and heavy manner of speaking, which had been his main asset in his political career.

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