Sir Nigel Loring is a famous, battle-hardened condottiere and as unworldly as Mr Pickwick. He leads his band of thieving, murdering scum (but hearts of oak, really) on a mission that gets most of them killed but from which he escapes without the least diminution of his self-belief. And, no, it's not a satire on the officer class but an example of the kind of literature that sent tens of thousands of young men into battle in 1914 thinking they were going to have fun.
Would we remember Doyle if it weren't for Sherlock Holmes? Almost certainly not.