From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:
Watson – As I sit here, chilled to the bone and still suffering somewhat from the after-effects of our wild night with our friend McRae, in Aberdeen’s saltier establishments, I am filled with conflicting emotions; my already somewhat bludgeoned cranium, having suffered another glancing blow, can scarce cope with the series of images and feelings which are conducting a bare-knuckle match inside its confines.
I know you believe me to be nigh inviolate to these things, but I have to preserve a façade of invincibility to convince you of my immunity to life’s slings and arrows in order to encourage confidence in my abilities. Nevertheless, I am, at root, a mere Mortal, like all the other Souls struggling to make sense of this World of confusion and Pain, trying to unravel the twisted strands of Good and Evil, vying for supremacy, oblivious to the Casualties left behind in their wake.
However, you will be wondering where I am, no doubt, at this moment, as you perform your ablutions and take your first repast of the Day – you will scarce believe that as you feed your face with Kedgeree and Smoked Kippers, washed down with several cups of steaming Darjeeling that your friend and fellow-Investigator sits on the dank and foetid earth, several feet under the grounds of our Host’s Large and sprawling Pile, chained to an iron post, listening to the sound of his own innards complaining loudly of their hollow emptiness.
I trust the Ghillie on to whom I pressed this note, wrapped around several coins of the realm, will have delivered this to your good self; nevertheless, I am not as naïve to believe that this will not happen until the coins have been exchanged for several large glasses of whatever poison the fellow chooses to imbibe – if he is anything like the average fellow, I look forward to another night in this hell-hole.
Your friend, somewhat worse for wear,