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Icebergs Away…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

Our journey back to England was uneventful, save for the half-hour or so we spent pulling our fellow passengers out of the sea to the relative safety of the iceberg. Watching the SS Doncaster sink into the murky waters was a little disheartening, but at least no-one died. (This last observation came from Holmes when I happened to mention we’d be free of Moriarty and Co who, as they had not appeared among the survivors, must surely have drowned. He pointed a bony finger past the sinking wreck to a small rowing boat manned by four individuals. The vessel appeared to be heading towards France).

“I fear Moriarty is not so easy to get rid of,” said Holmes, stuffing a lump of hard shag into his pipe. “One of these days his murderous plots will run according to plan, and you and I shall be properly buggered.”

“And what about the Claw?” I said. “D’you think he’s teamed up with the Prof on a full-time basis?”

Holmes shook his head. “I doubt it – the man has his own axe to grind. I suspect we’ve annoyed him sufficiently to want to seek some degree of revenge.”

I nodded thoughtfully. The idea of having yet another villain to worry about didn’t sit easily with me. If it were merely my own silly neck on the line, it wouldn’t be so bad, but I fear I should never recover if anything happened to my poor defenceless Mary. As this thought swam around my brain, I glanced over at her and noticed Passepartout’s hand caressing my wife’s hindquarters. Whirling round, she jammed two fingers up his nostrils and wrestled him to the ground.

“Try that again, you little twerp and I’ll shove my hand where the sun never shines.”

The Frenchman grinned up at her and croaked, “Yes please.”

Mary shook her head in disgust and giving him a kick in the ribs, went off to join Holmes at the helm.

A few hours later we tied up a little downriver of East India Docks in an effort to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. The other passengers happily disembarked and paraded over to the Happy Fiddler public house, the proprietor of which, thanks to Holmes (who had helped him out with a delicate family matter), was happy to re-open his doors, despite the late hour. The Captain and his crew were less keen to leave us, but Holmes was able to persuade them to go by threatening charges of dereliction of duty and failure to apprehend a gang of villains.

The darkness aided our clandestine operations and we were able load a few provisions onto the iceberg and wave a hearty goodbye to Phogg and Passepartout shortly before dawn.

As the three of us stood on the dock, it occurred to me that we faced a long walk home. I mentioned this to the Great Detective, but he simply clicked his fingers and a whirring sound above our heads told me a steam-powered gyrocopter was about to land.

“How on earth…” I began. My companion smiled.

As the machine thumped gently to the ground, a familiar figure emerged from the cockpit. Mycroft Holmes waddled over to us, shook my hand and gave his brother a dig in the ribs before wrapping his arms around my wife.

“How bloody lovely to see you again, my dear,” he said, jiggling her up and down.

Mary blushed considerably and pushed him away, though I sensed she was happy to see him.

“I was just saying,” I said, taking Mycroft’s arm. “How on earth–”

“Did we know you were here?” he finished, giving me a cheeky wink. “Elementary my dear Motson. I took the liberty of installing a tracking device in your wife’s vagina.” He grinned.

My mouth hit the ground with a dull thud. “Wha…wha…wha..” I stammered.

Mycroft laughed heartily and punched my shoulder. “Relax, Kitson, I’m joshing with you. In fact, Mary’s clockwork lamp sends out a rather clever electronic signal when it is activated. It was picked up by one of our gyrocopters. We’ve been following your progress ever since the SS Mangochutney encountered the iceberg.”

“I see,” I said, feeling somewhat small and insignificant.

“So you’re going to take us all home, then?” said Mary, a wide smile lighting up her face.

“Not I,” said Mycroft. “But my chaps here will drop you off shortly.” And with that, he set off towards the Happy Fiddler, shouting, “Mine’s a G and T.”

Clambering into the machine, the three of us huddled together and settled down for the short flight to our respective homes. A few minutes later, Mary and I alighted at the corner of our street in Marlborough Hill, then watched as the craft lifted into the air again and disappeared into the dawn.

Walking across to the corner and down to our garden gate, I slipped an arm around Mary’s waist. “Happy to be home?”

She nodded. “Well, it’s been fun, but yes, I am happy to be home.” Then looking up at me, a frown furrowed her brow. “You know what, darling – we don’t have any keys.”

Automatically, I slipped my hand into my outside pocket. “Bugger. Lost with everything else, I suppose. Have to rely on the old key-under-the-plant-pot routine.” I moved towards the front door and for the first time realised that someone was sitting on our doorstep.

“Who the heck are you?”

The lad grinned up at me. “Telegraphical message for yer, Doctor.” He jumped up and handed me a slip of paper.

“Bit early for that sort of thing, isn’t it?” said I, opening the communication.

“Yes sir, but the feller insisted that you get it soon as possible, like.”

“And what man was that,” said Mary, stroking the lad’s arm.

“Oh, some Yankee feller. Said he’s staying at the Horse and Trollop down the road.”

And with that, he got up and ran off into the street.

“What’s it say, Johnny?” said Mary, peering down at the message.

I sighed. It was another case. One that would put our lives in danger yet again. But this time, the consequences of locating the perpetrator might be far worse than anything Moriarty or the Hooded Claw could dream up.

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Posted by on June 10, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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Between a Ship and Hard Place…


Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

I had been feeling rather pleased with myself after that last hand of poker with Mister Phogg and his funny little manservant – it’s not often I’m left holding several winning hands without the aid of the old Ace-down-the-knickers trick. The only disadvantage was that Phogg and his companion had already seen me naked, so it was small recompense to watch the pair of them dropping their trousers at the sight of my royal flush. As it turned out, seasoned travellers like Phogg always keep their cash in their underpants, (which is just as well, since the sight of two flaccid members only served to make me giggle).

My delight at pocketing a wodge of cash, however, was short-lived. On returning to the cabin Johnny told me of the threat that still hung over us. My dear darling positively trembled as he spoke and I realised the excitement of recent hours had taken its toll. Realising he needed to be kept busy, I urged him to assess the cabin for weapons while I pottered about making two mugs of Camp Coffee, a beverage that always helps calm his nerves.

Then it was simply a case of wait and see. But we didn’t have to wait long – when the chainsaw slashed through the roof of the cabin, I almost wet myself, but Johnny grabbed me and dragged me into the passage where a brace of villains and henchmen blocked our exit. Luckily, Big-Nose Holmes blew a hole in the wall and under cover of the smoke from a flare gun, hauled us through another cabin and into the corridor beyond. With Moriarty and his men close behind, we hurried up the next stairway to the upper deck and a moment later found ourselves outside.

In the distance, I could see the SS Mangochutney silhouetted against the dark sky, as it ploughed its way towards France. It was listing a little to one side, and I couldn’t help feel a pang of regret that we hadn’t been able to continue our journey as planned.

As we reached the stern of the ship (or the Big End, as I called it), we huddled together beside the railings, waiting for the inevitable attack. When Moriarty and his crew hove into view, Mister Phogg summed up our situation with a grim announcement: “Eeh Christ, we’re fucked now.”

“On the contrary,” said Holmes, with that irritatingly sardonic smile of his. “We’re exactly where we need to be.”

I was about to sigh heavily and point out the absolute shitiness of our circumstances, when the detective raised an arm. He pointed one slender finger at something looming into view on the starboard side (or it may have been the port, I’m not sure). We turned as one and saw a strange sight – a massive white object had risen up alongside the liner and a second later, a tremendous screeching noise prompted all four of us to cover our ears.

As the metallic grating sound eased off, I realised what had happened. “Oh, no, not again.”

Johnny nodded sagely. “That bloody iceberg’s come back. Now we’re sunk.”

Holmes made a tutting noise. “For God’s sake, Watson, yet again you see but you do not observe.”

My husband pouted. “Really, Holmes? So what am I missing this time? It’s a bloody great steam-powered iceberg torpedo-ship. Probably manned by hundreds of henchmen all ready to cut our throats. And once again we’re bloody sinking. Am I right, Holmes?”

Sensing Johnny’s ire was up, I slipped my hand into his. “Calm yourself, dear, you know what Sherl’s like when he’s worked something out.” I turned to Holmes. “Well?”

Holmes cast an eye towards Moriarty and co, who had already halved the distance between us and them, but were still a good hundred yards away. In that same instant, the villains saw the iceberg, understood the Great Detective’s intention and sped along the deck towards us.

In a sudden movement, Johnny pulled something out of his pocket and hurled it at the group of baddies. The miniature harpoon gun ornament struck Moriarty right on the nose, causing a torrent of blood to spurt out. His chums halted their pursuit, clamouring around their leader while The Claw waved his hook at us menacingly.

With a degree of urgency, Holmes muttered, “Well done, Watson, now follow me and don’t spare the horses.” He set off at a pace, the five of us scampering after him in the direction of the iceberg.

In an instant, I saw his idea and realised I should have known it all along – I’d witnessed the crew of the iceberg myself and seen that there were in fact only four crew members: Moriarty, The Claw and the two henchmen. There was no crew – the iceberg was adrift.

It took less than five seconds to jump over the railing and drop down onto the flat top of the vessel, where Holmes and Phogg found the main hatch, heaving it open so we could all climb inside.

Shouts of ‘Bugger’ and ‘Damnation’ echoed behind us but a moment later the hatch clanged shut and we stood on a platform containing a large ship’s wheel, a big chunky gear lever and a big green button.

Holmes banged his fist on the button and a low rumbling shook the iceberg as the machinery thrummed into life. Throwing the gear-lever into first, Holmes grabbed the wheel as the iceberg lurched forward and the rest of us grabbed whatever we could to steady ourselves as we pulled away from the ship.

Phogg and Passepartout found the periscope and sliding the small screen into place were able to give us a limited but adequate view of the outside of the vessel. By twisting the thing around, we could see the SS Doncaster disappearing into the distance, while out front, the sea stretched away before us.

“Set a course for England, Watson,” said Holmes as he took command of the helm.

“Aye, aye, sir,” said Johnny, grinning.

“Hold on a minute,” said Phogg. “What abaht our round t’world trip? Ow are we supposed ter make our connections from Blighty?”

Holmes gave him a sidelong look. “Don’t be an arse, Phogg. We both know this was never about going around the world – you did it for a bet and you lost.”

“But sir,” butted in Passepartout, “The Hooded Claw is still after Mister Phogg.”

Holmes nodded slowly. “More than likely. Though as you have now commandeered this vessel, I should imagine finding you again would be quite a task.”

“What?” said Phogg. “You mean…we should keep the iceberg?” He looked at Passepartout and the little Frenchman’s eyes lit up.

“I don’t see why not,” said Holmes. We certainly don’t want it.”

We all settled into a comfortable silence for a few minutes, then I slipped a hand around my husband’s waist and snuggling up to him, whispered, “Go on, then – you know you want to.”

“Want to what, darling?” he said with feigned innocence.

“You know what. The line.”

Johnny sighed. “Oh, alright.” He turned to Holmes. “But Holmes, what I still don’t understand is how–”

“How the iceberg came back up to the surface?” The big-nosed detective smirked. “Elementary Watson. It’s a simple matter of ballast and buoyancy. Like all secret underwater torpedo ships, a safety mechanism was built into the system to enable the vessel to re-float itself should a minor disaster – such as sinking – occur. I’m sure you’d have noticed it yourself if you’d bothered to study the Bruce Partridger blueprints during our Edinburgh adventure.” He smirked again.

Johnny nodded. “Of course. I remember now.” He glanced at me and his cheeks had the good grace to flush with embarrassment.

It occurred to me that Holmes had dismissed, with his usual nonchalance, the suggestion of Phogg still being in danger. Perhaps I was just being a silly woman again, but I couldn’t free myself of a feeling of trepidation. It haunted me all the way back to England, creeping through my bones like a disease. Somehow, somewhere, I knew the Hooded Claw would darken our particular doorsteps again very soon.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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A Slice of Watson…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

As Holmes had predicted, it was a mere forty-five minutes later that the Evil Genius struck again.

I’d arrived back at my cabin just as Mary emerged from Phogg’s, a huge smile on her face. I waved an admonishing finger at her. “You did it again, didn’t you darling?”

She giggled girlishly. “Well, he’s got tons of cash, so why not?” Holding up a wodge of the aforementioned booty, she flapped the wad in my face. “Care for a game of Snap before bed? If you win, you can be on top…”

I shook my head and ushered her into the cabin. “Unfortunately, my dear, this game does not involve playing cards.”

“Very well,” she muttered with a sigh and began to undo her dress.

I closed the door and pulled over a chair to wedge beneath the handle. Turning back to my wife I noted she had stopped undressing.

“Oh, shit,” she said. “It’s not over, is it?”

I repeated what Holmes had told me.

Mary sat down heavily on the bed. “Better have some coffee, then.” She set about heating a kettle of water on our portable stove while I did a quick assessment of the cabin and its accessories.

Within a couple of minutes, I had ascertained that in terms of weapons we had very little at our disposal. Our meagre arsenal consisted of a camping stove, two mugs, a half-bottle of milk, a miniature harpoon gun ornament and a soap dish. Everything else had been abandoned on the SS Mangochutney.

“Where’s Holmes?” asked Mary.

“Back in his cabin by now.” I rubbed my chin the way the Great Detective often did. It didn’t help. “All we can do is sit tight and hope we’re up to the challenge when it comes.”

Mary nodded solemnly.

We sat together on the bed, ruminating on what our fate might be. We had hardly moved from the spot when the sawing began.

“What’s that?” said Mary, looking at the roof of our cabin.

I followed her gaze and a moment later the curved end of a chainsaw sliced through the ceiling. Jumping up, I dragged Mary over to the other side of the room, pulled the chair free and yanked open the cabin door. I’d half expected the Claw or the Professor to be waiting in the passage, but a quick glance up and down proved it was free of villains.

“This way, darling,” I said, taking Mary’s hand. Rushing to Phogg’s cabin door, I was about to knock rapidly in a manner that would indicate a sense of urgency, when the door opened and Phogg and Passepartout leaped out to join us.

“What the bloody ‘ell’s goin on, lad?” yelled Phogg.

“The Claw’s back,” I said, and indicated they should follow us.

Racing along the passage towards the stairs to the upper deck, it occurred to me that sawing through our cabin roof was an odd thing to do. If the Claw wanted to kill us all (which seemed probable), it’d have made more sense to lure us out of our cabin.

“Oh, bugger,” I said. At the same moment, I saw Moriarty’s two henchmen appear at the far end of the passage. Whirling round, I was greeted by the grinning visage of the Evil Genius himself.

“Going somewhere Doctor?” Moriarty laughed maniacally and swung his arm up as the chainsaw screamed into life again. “Slicing tonight,” he yelled, waving the murderous instrument up and down.

A sudden blast made us all jump in surprise and a second later the passageway had filled with coloured smoke.

“This way,” yelled a familiar voice, and a hand reached out and grabbed my sleeve. Pulling my companions along with me, I jumped through the hole that had appeared in the wall and was greeted with a not-totally-unexpected sardonic smile.

“Don’t hang about, Watson,” said Holmes, helping us through into the cabin beyond.

A shout of annoyance echoed behind us as we felt our way through the haze, across to the open door opposite and into a smoke-free passage.

“What now?” I gasped.

“Buggered if I know,” said Holmes. “That was our one and only flare gun – good idea, by the way – so I suggest we head upwards and hope for the best.”

Hurrying to the end of the corridor, we started up the stairs to the upper deck, the thumping of running feet and screaming chainsaws close behind.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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Between the Devil and the Coast…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

Standing on the deck of the SS Doncaster, Holmes and I watched silently as the burly chaps from the rescue boats hooked up the wreck of the Mangochutney and began to haul their listing cargo towards the French coast.

“Well,” said I. “Suppose that puts paid to Phogg’s round-the-world trip, eh?” After our recent escapade, Phogg and his Parisian companion had retired to their cabin with my wife for a few hands of poker before bed.

Holmes sniffed and stifled a yawn. “Apparently not. By his calculations he’s only lost twenty-four hours, and as he had already allowed two days for minor catastrophes, his rendezvous in Calais and subsequent connections are still valid. The only issue, as I see it, is that The Hooded Claw is still tracking him.”

“But surely,” I said, “the Claw has drowned?”

Holmes sniggered in that irritating way of his. “Don’t be a fool, Watson.” He turned his beady little eyes on me. “You don’t believe Moriarty is dead, do you?”

I considered this and let out a sigh. “No, I suppose not.”

“Precisely – the Evil Genius has evaded death on numerous occasions, therefore it follows that anyone associated with him will likewise avoid expiration.”

“Then our mission is not over.” I chewed my lower lip. “So, we follow him to Calais, by rail to Brindisi, Italy and steamer, then…”

Holmes shook his head. “I think not. Moriarty may be an malevolent mastermind, but he has one fatal flaw – he hates French food.”

I rolled my eyes. “Of course – we simply serve him up a plate of L’Escargot and he’ll run a mile.”

“You really ought to avoid sarcasm, Watson, it is not your forte. No, in fact what I am talking about is that the Claw and or Moriarty will make another attempt to halt Phogg’s progress – before we reach Calais.”

“Oh, bugger.”

“Indeed.” Holmes checked his pocket watch, nodded to himself, then pulled out a small apparatus from his waistcoat, extended it several inches and held it to his eye.

I had to admire his preparation – it had never occurred to me to include a spyglass in my luggage, let alone my waistcoat pocket.

“Yes,” muttered my companion. “I estimate we have approximately three hours before another attack.”

“My God,” I said, “and we have no weapons. Better have a word with the Captain – he’s bound to have a set of flare guns at the very least.”

“No, Watson. We have already fallen into one trap. I suggest we retire to our cabins as if nothing at all were amiss.”

“What? Are you mad?”

Holmes smiled sardonically. “Quite possibly, old friend, but that is not the issue. We must endeavour to present an air of calm composure and make no move that might alert them.”

I glanced around quickly. Apart from a few couples taking the evening air, the deck was deserted. “You don’t think –”

“That they are already aboard? Of course, don’t you?” Holmes leaned closer. “I hardly need remind you to stay awake, Watson. I imagine our enemies will make their move shortly after midnight, so have a care.”

As I made my way to my cabin, an unhappy sinking feeling began to make itself known in my lower decks. Whatever was about to happen, I knew Moriarty and co would not take any chances this time – when the attack came, we would all be fighting for our lives.

Again.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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A Hairy Situation…


Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

As if it wasn’t bad enough to be left hanging there by one hand, gripping a six-inch lever, naked and cold, desperate for a pee and in all probability about to drop back into the clutches of Moriarty and his henchmen, I was about to be the victim of yet another catastrophe.

At that very moment, an horrendous metallic screeching assaulted my delicate ears. In all the confusion and madness of the last few minutes, I had forgotten about the SS Mangochutney. The great liner must, of course, still be sinking, disgorging hundreds of poor passengers into the freezing sea.

“Fuck me!” screamed Moriarty, his eyes as wide as tea-plates.

Still clutching the lever, I twisted round to look up at the wall behind me. As if to remind us of its plight, the prow of the ship had smashed into the iceberg, gouging a hole in the vessel’s side as if it were a tin of tuna fish. Seconds later, the sea gushed in through the twenty-feet long laceration, gallons of water pouring down the steeply-sloping floor towards the evil villain and his equally evil companions.

A lurching sensation in my stomach served to emphasise the horror of my situation and I felt my bowels loosen in the way my dear Johnny’s own bowels have often loosened when I’ve surprised him with my womanly demands at the breakfast table. (Oh, how I wished at that moment my concerns were nothing more than the cleaning of my husband’s trousers.)

The irony was not lost on me – we had leaped from a sinking ship into a sinking iceberg and already the sea had half-filled the room we were in, lapping around my naked thighs.

Staring downwards, I was rewarded in some small way by the sight of four disembodied heads bobbing around in the water like four disembodied heads.

I almost felt sorry for the Professor, Mr Claw and their stupid-faced henchmen, and had it not been for what happened next, I might have offered a few words of sympathy.

My husband told me later it had been the force of the liner smashing into us that had dislodged the bolts holding the air vent in place, for directly above my head, the very section that had a few minutes earlier held my pert little bottom, collapsed from its housing and fell away, crashing on top of the four bobbing heads in a rather satisfying manner (I had quickly discarded any thoughts of sympathy).

“Tally-ho, old girl,” called a familiar voice.

Never have I felt so overjoyed to see the round, moustachioed little face of my own dear Doctor Watson. Leaning though the gap made by the ripped vent, he threw down a length of twine, the end of which landed on the bench near my free hand. Reaching out, I grabbed it firmly, then letting go of the lever, proceeded to concentrate all my efforts in climbing hand-over-hand, up the oddly-hairy rope towards my husband. And even in my relieved state, hauling myself towards the grinning faces gazing down at me, I recall wondering where on earth they had acquired such a convenient means of escape. It was only later, in the comfort of our cabin aboard the SS Doncaster, that Johnny admitted that he and Holmes had knitted the cord themselves utilising two pencils and the entire body hair from Mr Passepartout.

Within minutes, my companions were pulling me through the hole into the room above. Johnny threw his coat around me and hugged me for several minutes until Holmes reminded us of our still-sticky situation.

“No time for that, Watsons, make haste, make haste.”

The rip in the side of the iceberg had continued its ripping yawn upwards into the space we now occupied, but the sea had not yet risen to that height. Holmes and Phogg were already clambering up the wall by means of the benches that were welded in place, giving us the means to climb up to the huge rent in the side of our most recent place of confinement.

Holmes was through first and reached down to help the rest of us clamber through and onto what was now the sloping side of the iceberg. Above us, the SS Mangochutney had somehow righted itself. Far above our heads I could make out several individuals throwing down rope ladders towards not only myself and my friends, but the remaining passengers who were still flailing around in the sea.

I won’t bore you with the full details of our rescue and subsequent transfer to the SS Doncaster, but I feel I should mention that I did feel a pang of sorrow as we stood on deck and watched the tip of the iceberg (otherwise known as Moriarty’s secret steam-powered undersea torpedo-ship), disappear below the waves.

As Johnny and I retired for the night, a feeling of liberation washed over me, knowing that our adventure with the Hooded Claw was over at last.

Naturally, I was wrong.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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Mrs Watson Drops in…


Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

Whatever possessed me to disrobe in front of everyone, I cannot say. It must surely have been one of those moments when my mind was somewhere else entirely (though I have no desire to explain where, dear reader, so you shall have to use your own imaginations). Suffice it to say that had I been about my senses, my evening gown would not have dropped to the floor like a wet rag and my feminine articles might have remained unstared at.

Nevertheless, I could never have slid my lithesome body into that dark hole while fully dressed and since neither my husband nor that big-nosed detective could have taken on such a task with all their manly flab and muscle (though I should have enjoyed casting my eye over the naked forms of Passepartout or his hunky master), it was clear that any chance of escape was down to little old me.

No sooner had I slid into the vent and shuffled along a few yards, than I began to hear voices. Listening for a moment, I discerned they were coming from somewhere below me. Sliding over onto my back, I continued along the passage until I came to a sort of junction. One section seemed to slope downwards and the other veered off to the left. It was from the descending passage that the voices now grew louder, so squirming round, I heaved myself into the new section and shuffled along a few feet, my weight carrying me downwards rather more quickly than I’d have liked, due to the steep angle.

It was at this point that the section of vent I was lying on gave way and my hindquarters fell through the hole.

The first thing I noticed was that the voices had stopped. Then a gruff-sounding fellow shouted, “Bloody Norah, there’s a naked woman in the air vent.”

It didn’t take a genius to guess he was referring to me, so with as much decorum as I could muster, I turned myself around and dropped through the hole onto a piece of rough matting, which I instantly picked up and wrapped around myself.

“Mrs Watson,” said a voice behind me.

I turned and stared up into the dark hooded eyes of Professor Moriarty. I had to admit for an evil villain, he was a rather dashing sort of chap.

“Couldn’t resist, eh?” he said with a low chuckle. He turned to the Hooded Claw who was standing next to what I assumed must be the control desk – a big table with lots of knobs and levers sticking out of it. “See, Claw?” he said. “One look and they’re mine, mwah, hah, hah…”

Fluttering my eyelids, I let out a series of girlish giggles, but in reality I was taking in my surroundings: Two henchmen stood behind the professor, their dull faces reminding me of Inspector Lestrade after three bottles of Newcastle Brown Ale. The pair looked as if a brain cell between them would have been one too many. They were no match for me. Flicking my gaze from the men to the various dials and levers, I did a quick calculation as to which ones might earn me the most brownie points. Then, turning my attention back to Moriarty, I gushed, “Oh, please, it’s not you I want…” I swivelled my head towards the Claw and stretched out a hand, stroking his shoulder seductively.

“Oh,” he said, with a look of lecherous excitement. “You are trying to entice me with your womanly willies?”

Moriarty groaned. “It’s wiles, you stupid man.”

Claw’s mouth dropped open and he waved an accusing finger at the Professor. “Don’t call me stupid. I told you never to call me stupid.”

The other man sighed. “See what I have to put up with?”

Feeling that I’d lost my chance, I was about to remove my hand from the Claw’s shoulder when he looked at me and smiled. I made a sudden decision – I would go ahead with my plan. If it failed, at least I could say I’d tried.

Running my hand up the villain’s neck, I caressed his face, teasing his evil laughter-lines with my fingernail. “Oh, you’re just a big old softy, aren’t you Mister Claw. I bet all that evily-weevily stuff is just a show, isn’t it?” I let go of the rough matting, revealing my nakedness once more. As I’d hoped, the Claw’s eyes slid down to stare at what my husband likes to call my ‘box’. At the same moment, a sideways glance told me Moriarty’s gaze had followed that of his murderous friend. I had them. With a deft movement, I grabbed the nearest leaver and thrust it forward. The whole room, and therefore the iceberg, lurched drunkenly and a moment later the floor dropped away as the whole vessel pitched forward diagonally.

Though my choice of levers was a random one, I couldn’t have chosen better. Both Moriarty and the Claw, having nothing to hold on to, fell over and slid along the floor towards the doorway. Their two henchmen followed suit and the four of them toppled over and fell in a heap against the now sloping wall. Luckily, I was still hanging onto the lever and was able to stop myself from joining the motley crew. The only thing I had to do now, was work out how to save my companions…

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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She Vent That-a-way…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

“For God’s sake, Holmes,” I said. “This is hardly the time for levity.”

“Indeed,” said my big-nosed companion. “For once, Watson, you are half right. In point of fact it was not levity, but levitation I had in mind.”

“Levi…” I began, but Holmes cut me off with a raised finger.

“This is not the time for antagonism, Johnny. As the Professor pointed out, we are shortly to be disposed of, so I would urge you to, as our Yorkshire friend here would say, ‘shut tha bloody trap, lad’, and allow me to expand on my strategy.”

Phogg chuckled and patted the great detective’s arm. “Eeh, that were a rate good impression o’ me, Mister ‘Olmes – I almost thought I were talkin to meself. D’you do anyone else?”

“I’m not one to boast, Phogg,” said Holmes, modestly, “but my rendition of ‘Throw Another Chair Leg on the Fire, Mother’ by Miss Pamela Ayres, is said to be uncanny in its authenticity. However, we must press on. Mary?”

Turning to my wife, I saw that my darling had slipped out of her evening gown and was now standing in front of us stark naked. Not having looked upon her unclothed form for some time, and in such unforgiving light, I was taken aback and, I’m ashamed to admit, the shock caused me to temporarily relax my bladder.

“Oh, Johnny,” murmured Mary, stepping towards me. Grasping my jacket, she fastened the buttons, thereby hiding the worst of my embarrassment. Then turning to Holmes, she gave him a mock salute. “I assume you do have some lubricant?”

“Of course,” said he, “I never leave Baker Street without a tube of Johnson’s Marital Emollient, but if I’m right, I think we may proceed without it. Look here…”

And with that, he dropped to the floor and rolled under one of the workbenches. I crouched down beside him and watched as he pulled at a section of mesh that ran along the length of one wall.

“Some sort of vent, eh, Holmes?” I said, prostrating myself on the ground next to him.

“One of the few details I recall from the blueprints of the secret steam-powered undersea torpedo-ship, is the necessity of air vents.” He tugged at the mesh and it began to come away from the wall, revealing a dark but narrow space beyond – a space just large enough to accommodate an unclothed woman.

“Phogg, Passepartout,” I hissed. “Give us a hand here.” The two men knelt down beside me and all four of us slid our fingers into the gap and pulled the mesh out of its meagre housing, tearing it clean away.

“Now, Mary,” said Holmes, “d’you think you can squeeze yourself into that hole?”

Mary sank to her knees beside me and peered under the bench. “I should think so, but what will I do when I’m in there?”

“That, I’m afraid,” said Holmes, “I can’t help you with. But I imagine the vents will lead to a central system from which the whole iceberg can be controlled.”

“I see,” she said, nodding.

As she crouched there beside me, I couldn’t help noticing she was trembling. Whether from the cold or the desperate mess of our situation, I couldn’t tell, but I felt a warm glow growing in my belly. Then I realised I’d wet myself for a second time.

As Mary slid herself into the air vent, I wondered if we’d ever see each other again. Glancing at my companions, I saw the look of concern in all of their faces. Except for Passepartout, whose gaze was firmly fixed on Mary’s buttocks. I gave him a smack across the back of his head and he, eventually, had the good grace to avert his eyes.

When Mary had disappeared from sight, we all got to our feet. “What now, Holmes?” I said.

He shrugged. “Now, we place our trust in that amazing and wholly exceptional naked woman we know as Mrs Watson. And just hope she doesn’t fuck things up.”

I sniffed. “Couldn’t make things any worse.”

Holmes lifted a hand to silence me. “Hark! Here that?”

We all dropped once more to our knees and strained to listen at the air vent. For a moment all we could hear was the chug-chug of the iceberg’s engines, then in some distant part of the vessel came a yell of consternation.

“What did he say?” I whispered.

Holmes looked at me. “Sounded like – There’s a naked woman in the air vent.”

“Bugger,” said I. “Bugger, bugger, bugger.”

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2018 in Detective Fiction

 

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