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Monthly Archives: May 2014

On Bicycles and Doughnut Holes…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,
Further to our meeting at Baker Street, I have booked us on the 8:50 to Leicester tomorrow morning, which should get us there in time for an early lunch with Marshall Hall. We can go over the facts of the case, such as they are, on the outward journey, though I have already come up with a catchy title for it (should we succeed in solving the puzzle and its denouement be submitted in due course to The Strand magazine): The Extraordinary Case of the Green Bicycle Murder. Good eh? I’ve also telegraphed Hall to have Ronnie Light made available for your examination at some point tomorrow.

On a lighter note, my lady wife (despite your constant jibes) has set herself the chore of equalling Mrs Hudson’s crispy doughnuts. I dare not tell her this is a pointless task, but I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I nevertheless feign high praise upon my wife’s perfect holes. (You might like to bring along some of Mrs Hudson’s creations all the same, in case my good lady’s portals prove inedible).

I shall call for you in the morning in good time.

Yours, as ever

Watson

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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McRae’s Lament..

From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson –  I am impressed! – You are certainly beginning to use your grey matter in a manner fitting a true investigator  –  I offer my congratulations heartily, but with, of course, slightly grudging admiration, as you of all people know my inherent fear of having my accolades usurped…..even by my closest – doubtless you will say – only – friend.

Be that as it may, I have to reveal the true perpetrator of the jape as none other than our sometime collaborator Inspector McRae, whose intention, in his own words, was to “tak’ some of the air fae that windbag Watson” and “tak’ some o’ the stuffing oot ‘ees mealie-puddin’s” – whatever that may mean; he assured me it was all in good fun and held no malice aforethought whatsoever; however, with the intervention of time, I am beginning to suspect his intentions were not so pure, as a subsequent communication from his Office has hinted at a slight whiff of unhealthy hero-worship, and I am beginning to come to the conclusion that the whole incident was engineered in an attempt to weaken the strong bond which has remained steadfast and true through all our adventures and perils together, and which up till now, has managed to resist every attempt to rent said ties asunder.

However, we must put such petty matters aside to concentrate on more pressing situations – namely this case which you outlined briefly in your last missive; I shall therefore be at 221B this evening, poised and ready to receive your interpretation, fuelled by Mrs Hudson’s Premium Apple Turnovers, Mixed-fruit Muffins and Cockle Comforts – not to mention several pots of Builders’ Tea and a French Fancy to finish. Trusting your appetite is commensurate with the prospect.

Your friend, somewhat world-weary, SH.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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On the Further Uses of Modern Technology…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes
As you no doubt appreciated in writing such an emotion-tugging tale, my immediate thoughts on receiving it were that once again I had succumbed to the selfishness, self-loathing and utter desperation that clouds my judgment on hearing such desperate peril – I could not believe I had been so thoughtless as to consider for one tiny moment that you would hold me in anything other than the noblest and most honourable of estimations, a true friend of intimate and cherished acquaintance that could never be equalled by ordinary men.

I have never felt so low, Holmes, as I did in those moments when I feared that once again, I have betrayed your trust. Pause for effect. And then, Holmes, and THEN! I saw the light.

Throwing caution to the wind, I ran down to the nearest telegraph office and sent a telegram to The Tilted Wig, and do you know what? Within minutes I had a reply from the bartender (one Angus McCoatup) confirming that indeed Mr Sherlock Holmes and Inspector McRae have spent the previous few days in what I believe is commonly known as a ‘lock-in’ at that very same hostelry, downing samples of every alcoholic beverage in the place.

Hah! So you thought to confound me with another one of your puzzles, eh? Well, you certainly had me fooled, but then I realised that had you really been in that dire situation (as you claimed) you would have encountered two problems: firstly, unless your captors had confined you within a telegraph office I cannot imagine how you would have sent your previous message by telegram. And secondly, even you Holmes, would never have omitted to give precise instructions as to where your rescuers might find you.

Even so, I had my doubts and it wasn’t until I questioned the so-called Ghillie friend of yours and discovered him to be none other than that infamous music-hall comedian Fat Tommy McTrinder (he soon coughed up the truth when I plied him with a little of what he calls ‘the water of life’), and further confirmed that he has poor claim on being the ‘funniest man in Scotland’.

I should think you’ve had a jolly good laugh at me, Holmes, and for once I don’t hold it against you. However, I urge you to sally forth and make haste to Baker Street as an interesting case has come into our hands: it seems that a young woman has been shot dead in Leicester and the police have arrested some chap named Ronnie Light. Your old pal Edward Marshall (Upsadaisy) Hall is convinced of the man’s innocence and hopes we shall intervene in finding the real culprit. I have replied that we shall be in touch shortly.

Let me know when you are home.
Yours Waspishly, Watson

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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The Waspish Factory…

From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson – I shall refrain from commenting on your waspish and acerbic reply to my heart-felt and despairing missive, as it seems churlish in the circumstances.

You seem to have totally failed to take in to consideration the fact that these were desperate and utterly ruthless felons whom I was up against, as our friend Logan will attest, or he would were he not sitting here on the cold, damp clay alongside me, bound and gagged and chained as I am – in fact, we are chained together, closer than any normal bonds will have it; closer, it seems, than you and I at this moment – I fear your good lady wife has been dribbling her poison more assiduously in to your ear than before, in her constant efforts to sever the bonds which bind, and have bound us, for far longer than her wheedling charms have been applied to your person – in more ways than one, need I add.

Should you feel I am exuding more emotion than is usual, it may in part be due to the fact that my hopes of returning to 221B and Mrs Hudson’s Double-layered Pork and Apple Pies are receding with each passing hour. In short, I fear I may never again clap eyes on your bluff, down-to-earth, manly form again. Despite your many shortcomings, I did value your contribution to my Life and Practice. Logan also sends his best.

Your friend, in Dire Straits, SH. 

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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On the Uses of Modern Technology…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Holmes,

How on earth you expect any form of instant response, I really cannot imagine. I received your missive last evening via your Ghillie friend two full days (according to him) after you entrusted the message to his care! As you pointed out, he was somewhat the worse for drink and given that he had to make his own way from Balmoral (in Scotland) to Baker Street (in London!)… Really Holmes, I don’t know what you expected me to do.

As I appear to be the only member of the Holmes/Watson team who has any sense at the moment, I naturally sent an urgent telegram to our detective pal Logan McCrae, who, at least, is actually in Scotland, and I trust that by now he has executed a suitably last-minute rescue and you are now sitting in the snug bar of the Tilted Wig in Aberdeen.

I am sending this response (also by telegram – and very expensive it is too) to that very same hostelry, so I would urge you to reply via the same method, confirming your rescue etc.

I might also point out that had you bothered to be at home the other day when I called round as requested, instead of going off to some ridiculous and poncy soiree (Mrs Hudson’s words) with several rather dubious members of the royal family, none of this might have happened.

Let me know when you return to Baker Street and I shall call round to offer a full examination of your faculties.

Yours, rather wearily

Watson

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Balmoral Daze…

From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson –  If you are reading this, my Missive has finally reached its destination; however, my hopes are not high of such a successful outcome, as the Ghillie whom I entrusted with my desperate scribblings was, I fear, in a massive state of intoxication, and could barely propel his form in a forward upright motion; nevertheless, I shall attempt to enlighten you as to my whereabouts.

In all honesty, the chances of my being found alive are very slim, as my body’s vital fluids are being drained as I write, and the weakness and feebleness are now spreading by infinitesimal degrees towards my cerebral functions and I am finding it increasingly hard to keep my mind on the subject-matter in question. Should you, by the tiniest chance, have received this, and are digesting my words now, I beg you to follow my instructions to the letter, and arm yourself with your trusty piece, take plenty of ammunition, and use the skills garnered from your years in the wilds of the Hindustani foothills, as my jailers are hardened desperadoes, inured by years of callous acts of violence – Evil Incarnate – and would think nothing of adding yet another innocent victim to their back-catalogue of Carnage.

I am being held underneath Balmoral Castle – the entrance to this vast underground warren is at the back of the Cold Pantry next to the Housekeeper’s quarters – I will put my trust in your Physician’s deductive intuition and hope you can follow the trail before it has grown too cold.

Your friend, much weakened, SH.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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In Preparation for Apologies…

From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

I do hope this is not going to turn into another one of your ridiculous stories that ‘mysteriously’ cannot produce a shred of actual evidence to corroborate it?

I shall sally forth in the general direction of Baker Street after I’ve sampled another one of my wife’s hot muffins. Put the kettle on…

Yours, in hope of humble apologies…

Watson

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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