from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:
Watson – I do hope you have recovered sufficiently by now from your recent gastric problems to be prepared to accompany me on an investigation, should such be required; I have received word of a somewhat worrying situation which has arisen, which, if released into the public arena, could shatter the Careers and Reputations of several prominent Citizens, my own self included.
The person or persons behind said Scandal-in-the-Making is, unfortunately, so far unknown, but I have a few suspicions based on certain peculiarities in the syntax and grammar used in the Threatening Notes which have been sent to the individuals involved. I have to inform you that we will be joined on this case by our old friend Tom Barnaby, but unfortunately of course, this means his rather annoying and irritating Sergeant will also be included in the package. I know you and this gentleman have unfinished business to settle, but I strenuously advise you to rein in your horses
and act like a Gentleman, as fisticuffs and scabrous language would only add to the rancorous feelings and intrude negatively on our dealings.
I realise this will involve much self-control on your part, but I trust that the Mindfulness and Mystical Meditation Weekend which your good lady forced – sorry – invited you to accompany her, over the New Year Period, will have helped you greatly in this respect – you must not adopt your usual sneering attitude to the ways of our Oriental cousins, as I myself, as you know, have reaped huge benefits from my studies and practices in these areas; in fact I go as far as to credit them with a goodly part of my success in solving some of our more inscrutable outings; therefore, I will expect to see you, prepared to adopt a demeanour of complete aplomb, ready to meet our colleagues with the utmost professionalism and civility, keeping any private and personal disputes well-tucked-away and set-aside.
Your friend, SH.
NB Watson – Just received your missive, therefore I have telegraphed Tom Barnaby, and he will be delighted to accompany us to Baltimore – the other matter can be left simmering on the stove – a few days here nor there will make much difference.