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The Poo of Fu Manchu…

From the Diary of Dr J Watson:

When I heard nothing from my illustrious companion followFront Door Arch with Crows Foot Hardwood Painteding the delivery of a certain publication, I began to experience a growing feeling of dread. (It put me in mind of the opening passage of a story by our old pal Poe – ‘The Balls of the Pants of Usher’ or some such thing). In any case, I determined to seek out my friend and reassure myself that he was in no danger and was in fact simply ignoring me. As usual.

However, my anxiety was not to be so easily exorcised, for as I approached the door to 221B Baker Street, I ran smack into Inspector Lestrade, who was exiting that very building with some haste.

“Lestrade, old fellow, what’s to do?”

The inspector’s usually pallid features were even more pallid than usual and he gripped my arm, pulling me to one side. “Watson, thank God you’re alive – after witnessing the…” and here he held a hand to his face as if he were about to experience his breakfast a second time. “I was about to fetch a doctor, but you’ll do. Quickly…” And he pushed me through the doors and up the stairs.

My companion’s rooms were untidy (even by his standards) and Holmes himself was lying on a makeshift bed in the centre of the room, his face a rather nice shade of scarlet. The hue was so fetching that it put me in mind of our first case together – ‘A Study in Deep Purple’ but my short reverie was indeed short-lived as a shriek from my friend’s beautiful lips jerked me back to reality.

“Arrrrggh!” He said.

“Holmes!” I shrieked.

“Watson!” Screamed Lestrade. “Control yourself, man.”

I knelt down by the bed and held a hand to my companion’s forehead. “Tell me what you know, Inspector.”

And he did just that. It seems that the pages of the book I had sent to Holmes had been infused with a strange potion. Holmes, being thorough as was his wont, had scrutinised the pages over the course of a few days and at the end of that time had begun to realise that in doing so he had actually poisoned himself. Calling for Lestrade, he was able to utter a few garbled phrases (mostly containing the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shite’) before lapsing into the coma that I now found him in.

During the next few hours, Lestrade and I were able to transport Holmes to Hardacre’s Sanatorium, ¬†which deals with many such strange cases. I collected my bag on the way, along with my old chemistry set and four pairs of latex gloves, and set to work to identify whatever it was that had laid out my companion in this way.

Late into that first night, I sat back from my studies and rubbed my head. Lestrade, who had stayed by Holmes’ bedside mopping his brow, cast me a hopeful glance.

“Any luck?”

I shook my head. “I haven’t been able to identify the exact quantities involved, but I’m certain of one thing – the pages of this book were drenched in the poo of Fu Manchu.”

“Oh, shit.”

I nodded. “Indeed.”

(To be continued)

Watson

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Posted by on November 29, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Baltimore (Final) Diaries (Again)..

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

From the diary of Doctor Watson

On waking this morning, I called on Holmes in the next room, to find that my companion had disappeared. It was only on returning to my room that I noticed a hastily scribbled note had been pushed under my door:

Watson
After we had escorted Dr Snodgrass home to his Lodgings and tucked the fellow up with a toasty Hotty and glass of H2O on his bedside table for the inevitable alcoholic thirst, I made my way, unbeknownst to you ( believing me snoring under the eiderdown in the next room), to Madame Marmalade’s Emporium, in order to winkle out some pertinent facts and relevant information….( she agreed to waive your Invoice on production of my Official Papers. I flashed her my Membership Papers for Theosophilus’ Smith’s Travelling Freakshow and Assocs, which seemed to placate her somewhat).

After some practised smarming and smooth-talking, I ascertained that Edgar had been a regular visitor to her Franchises, not to sample the wares, but to obtain ideas and suggestions for his short stories – as the other customers were a mine of information and gory details, being members of the shady and perverse stratum of Society, known as The Establishment; she kept me engrossed and enthralled for quite some time, revealing snippets and tales, which, if endorsed and tagged with names, would have brought down Public Figures and Influential Persons, over a wide and spreading radius of The Colonies.

As that may be, I was making my way towards our Hostelry, when I noticed a shadowy figure to my left, keeping to the verges, attempting to blend in with the darkness, keeping pace with my progress, albeit slightly behind me; on turning quickly round, the figure scurried back somewhat – I called out “Who goes there!” – and almost staggered back in surprise, as the familiar lanky length of Robert Louis Stevenson drew itself up to its full height – “Holmes!”, he ejaculated, “What the Devil are you doing here?!” – ” I could ask You the same question!” I emitted – “Let us immediately wend our way to my Lodgings, and rouse Dr Watson from his slumbers….we have much talking to do….”, and with that, we set off.

I washed and dressed hurriedly and made my way downstairs where I found my companion and the aforementioned RLS deep in conversation…

Watson

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Baltimore (Final) Diaries…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

From the diary of Doctor Watson

I should have realised that leaving Holmes to his own devices might result in my companion discovering the local liquor emporium and, just as I suspected, on arriving at “The Gibbet and Post”, there was my boon friend supping Jack Daniels as if his life was dependant on it.

A rather dull looking fellow was seated with him and clearly much further down the road to drunkenness than Holmes. The poor chap’s nose was almost on the table in his stupor, but as I pulled up a chair, Holmes grasped the fellow by the collar and hauled him upright.

Holmes smiled up at me. “Ah, Watson, about time you showed up.” He waved an empty glass in front of my face. “Get me some chores, please.”

Foolishly I fell into this all-too-familiar trap, uttering “What Chores?” To which he glibly replied, “Doubles all round, Watty!”

When I returned form the bar (bearing three glasses of ginger ale), Dr Snodgrass was once more alert. He stared straight at me and said, “I am positive that there was no evidence whatever of any such violence having been used upon Poe when I went to his rescue at the tavern.¬†However, one unusual fact was an item we encountered during his stay at the hospital – a pair of ladies undergarments hidden about his person.” And with that he closed his eyes and slid under the table.

“Did you bring your trusty revolver, old chap?” said Holmes, snatching a glass from my hand.

I nodded. “I did, but it looks as if I shan’t be needing it.”

Holmes downed his ale in one gulp. “Indeed not. We’ve been had, Watson.” He shook his head sadly. “Poe’s apparent last act was that of any writer worth his salt.”

I frowned. “Last act, Holmes?”

My companion helped himself to the Doctor’s drink before he went on: “It is clear that Poe was in poor health and that he foresaw his own death at the hands of the demon drink. But unknown to his friends and family, he in fact cured himself some weeks ago with the aid of Acme’s Patented Drink-Abstention Kit. And that, my dear Watson was why he chose to set us a mystery. You see, this whole thing…” he waved an arm around as if to encompass not only our immediate surroundings, but the whole of Baltimore. “The whole thing was merely a fabrication to entertain his many admirers and a leave them with a puzzle which will no doubt keep them guessing for years to come.”

“You mean…?” I gasped.

“Yes,” Holmes nodded. “Poe is not dead – but living under the assumed name of Mildred Flange in a small town in Pennsylvania, where he will no doubt sell clothes-pegs door to door.” He finished his drink. “I doubt if we shall hear of him again.”

Holmes would not be drawn further on the subject, so after lunch I set off for the Thomas Cook offices to book our tickets home.

Watson

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Baltimore Diaries (Again-illy)…

from Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:

Watson – I have been doing a little digging concerning D’bignose and his associates…I fear we have stepped in to a veritable Vipers’ Nest of Political Intrigue, Skullduggery and Matters which should not be brought in to the Public Arena. I fear poor Poe was getting too near to exposing these corrupt and, yes, evil people, masquerading as Public Citizens and Guardians of the Peace, and paid the ultimate price for his Investigations.

I believe our very Lives are in danger, also, and we must therefore proceed with the utmost Care and Caution, looking over our shoulders at every turn, and ensuring our finely-honed senses and famous Antennae are tuned to the highest setting.
Did you by any chance pack your Special Supplies and Artefacts, as they assuredly would prove themselves Extremely useful in this instance? – I trust you also have brought your Ancillary Bag, with its contents. I believe, Watson, that we have entered in to a Case, which may prove to be our most Dangerous yet, fraught with Terrible Happenings, and Frightful Peril. For once, your legendary Warnings of Doom may be well-founded, but before we can even attempt to start our enquiries, we must locate Barnaby and that Dolt of a Sergeant, who went off 2 hours ago – to “Reconnoitre the Locality” – doubtless we will find them legless and devoid of dignity in some Hostelry or other…or Worse.

Therefore, it falls to us to search the Area, without entering in to similar difficulties…I realise that will be fairly hard to accomplish, but attempt it we must….Meet me outside “The Gibbet and Post” in 30 minutes, ready to venture forth in to the fray.
Your friend, SH.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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Baltimore Diaries…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

From the diary of Doctor Watson

Our first port of call on arriving in Baltimore, was to visit Inspector D’bignose at the Police Department. The inspector went over his theories concerning the death of Mr Poe, while entertaining us with various anecdotes about his fellow officers. Holmes began to grow a little weary of these stories and at length advised our friend that perhaps he “might proceed to the actual point?”

The inspector then went on to tell us how between September 28 to October 3, his investigations could not prove conclusively whether Poe died by his own foolish behaviour, by an illness, by a gang of political hooligans, or at the hands of a cold-blooded killer. Though, he added, it was his own theory that ‘something wicked this way comes.”

Holmes smirked and muttered something along the lines of how Americans always quote Shakespeare at the most inappropriate times.

Inspector D’bignose flushed. “I was merely supposing, Mr Holmes, that whoever done for Mr Poe may still be out there.” He peered around suspiciously, as if a murderer might be lurking round every corner. “Waiting for his next unsuspecting victim.”

Holmes snorted. “I suggest we move on, Inspector. Watson and I will question Dr Snodgrass.”

And with that, Holmes turned on his ever-so-gallant heel and walked out into the street. After a moment he re-entered the room and coughed. “Where exactly can we find Dr Snodgrass, Inspector?”

The Inspector scribbled an address on a piece of paper and handed it to Holmes. After the latter had again departed, the policeman gave me a baleful stare. “Just between you and me, Doctor, I’d keep an eye out for your companion – if there is a killer out there, he might come a-knock knock knocking at your chamber door.”

I thanked him for his help and hurried off after Holmes, wondering if it was the Inspector himself who was responsible for the murder – if indeed, one had been committed.

To be continued

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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American Psycho Killer…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Holmes,

I know you’re probably a little bored at the moment, but I have something I think you’ll be interested in – yesterday morning I had a letter from an old pal of mine. Edgar Allan Poe, or Eddy Poo-Brain (as I used to call him) attended a school near the house of my Great Aunt Mimsy while I was holidaying in Hackney with her one year. I was surprised that Poe still considered us to be pals – the last time we met, I put him over the kitchen table and gave him a good licking for scaring my Great Aunt with tales of a diabolical raven who came tapping at her chamber door in the middle of the night. The poor woman hasn’t slept properly since.

However, I digress: shortly after reading his letter, I received a rather alarming telegram from the Baltimore police department. It seems that last week, Poe was found in a drunken state outside Ryan’s Tavern and was subsequently taken to hospital where he died a few days later. As if this news were not upsetting enough, the message went on to ask if Sherlock Holmes would be interested in investigating rumours that Poe did not, as was first thought, die of alcohol poisoning, but was in fact the victim of murder.

I’ll be happy to make the necessary arrangements should you wish to take on the case.

Yours Watson.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2015 in Detective Fiction

 

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