Tag Archives: Professor Moriarty

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.”

Ii 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 around 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…


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.”


Posted by on March 1, 2018 in Detective Fiction


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On the Rocks…

Diary of Doctor J. Watson

As the three of us hurtled downwards, I closed my eyes in the firm belief that Holmes was a complete chump and we would shortly perish in the icy waters. But then, knowing that my companion often made apparently foolhardy decisions only to prove a theory he already knew to be true, I opened my eyes again – just in case. And then something amazing happened:

A giant spoon-shaped object appeared out of nowhere and we fell into its ladle-like cavity with a thud. Or, three thuds, to be precise.

“Oh, my arse!” exclaimed Mary, rubbing her hindquarters.

Looking up, I saw that the giant spoon-shaped object was in fact a giant spoon and had emerged from the side of the iceberg like a mechanical arm. With a metallic grinding of gears and a juddering shudder, the thing began to retract itself and we disappeared through a hatchway into the darkness of the iceberg.

“See, Watson,” said Holmes, giving me a sardonic smile. “Something always turns up.”

I was about to reply, but as the hatch clanged shut, we found ourselves in total darkness. “Wish we’d brought Mary’s lamp,” I muttered.

“I dare say all will be revealed shortly,” said Holmes. And a moment later, a light came on above us.

Blinking in the sudden glare, we stared at our surroundings.

We were in a kind of workshop with a planked wooden floor beneath us and work benches around the walls. There was a door in the wall opposite the hatchway and as the giant ladle lowered us to the ground, the door swung open and a familiar figure hove into view, followed by another familiar figure.

“Ah, said Holmes. “The Grin Twins.”

Beside me, I heard Mary gasp and realised she had never met the Claw’s companion before. “My dear, this is Professor Moriarty.” I nodded to the evil genius. “Professor, this is my wife, Mary Watson.”

Moriarty moved towards us, his eyes focused on Mary. “My dear lady,” he gushed, proffering his hand. “How lovely to meet you at last.”

Taking her fingers in his, he gave her hand a gentle shake and I noticed a smile slide across Mary’s face.

“Delighted, I’m sure,” she said, though I was pleased to observe her tone was one of pure condescension.

“Ah, me,” said the Professor, giving a short laugh. “I should not have expected anything but disdain from the wife of a man who can barely dress himself without help. However, I’m glad to have met you, if only to have the pleasure of saying goodbye.”

Mary’s mouth dropped open. “Goodbye? But you just saved our lives.”

Holmes snorted. “Of course he did, because he wanted to be sure of our deaths. Isn’t that right Professor?”

“Alas, yes,” said the villain, with an evil grin. “And while I should be thrilled to spend a little time exploring your delicacies, dear lady, we do have to kill you all, and I promised Claw I’d let him do the honours.”

“What?” I spouted. “You scooped us into this ridiculous contraption only to commit murder?”

At this point, the Hooded Claw stepped forward. “Actually, that was my idea. You see, knowing the ineptitude of the lovely Captain Smith, we couldn’t rely on the ship sinking and the three of you, along with Mr Phogg, slipping into a watery grave. There was always the possibility of your being inexplicably rescued at the eleventh hour, so we took the precaution of making sure we could finish you off ourselves.”

“Really,” said I, my temperature rising. “And what about the twelve hundred other people on the liner? Are you going to kill them too?”

The Claw looked aghast. “Oh, no, we’d never do anything as meanspirited as that. No, some of them are bound to survive. The strong ones. The good swimmers. Of the others, well, freezing to death in the icy waters of the English Channel isn’t such a bad way to go, is it?”

“You absolute rotter,” I muttered. “I’ve a good mind to…”

But whatever I’d been about to say was lost, when a man was thrown into the room by the two would-be-nuns we’d met earlier.

“Phileas Phogg, I believe,” said Holmes, giving him a cheery wave. “My name is Holmes, this is my assistant Doctor Watson and his wife. You’re safe now.”

Moriarty guffawed. “Oh, Mr Holmes, you do make me laugh.” He nodded to one of the henchmen and another man was thrown into the room.

“And you must be Passepartout,” said Holmes. “I’d offer you tea, but as you can see, we’re somewhat indisposed.”

Passepartout and Phogg stumbled across the floor towards us as the entire room began to tilt to one side.

“Ah-ha,” said Moriarty, looking upwards. “We’re casting off.” He lifted his hat and smiled. “Duty calls, I’m afraid, but I promise to see you before you die. Adieu.” The Professor and his Hooded companion slipped out, slamming the door behind them, leaving the five of us looking at each other.

“Eeh, well,” said Phogg. “Ah’m rate glad to see thee, Mr Holmes, but Ah reckon us lot’re up Shite Street wi’ nowhere to go.”

“We may well be in the location of that particular avenue, Mr Phogg, but all is not lost.”

“You have a plan?” I said.

“I do,” said Holmes, “and it involves a small tube of lubricant and your wife.” Turning to Mary, he said, “So, if you could pop your clothes off…”

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Posted by on February 6, 2018 in Detective Fiction


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Three’s a Crowd

From the Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

Finding myself locked in a cramped cupboard below decks with my husband might be, in any other circumstances, an opportunity for a bout of adult fun, but squashed together with Mr Gooseberry himself, Johnny and I would have to forego that particular delight until later. Assuming, of course, the Hooded Claw didn’t kill us all in the meantime.

The darkness crowded in on us and I began to feel a little uneasy. “Come on, then, Holmsey,” I muttered, “light another one.”

Holmes let out a sigh. “Alas, dear lady that was my last Swan Vesta.”

I blinked in the darkness but could only make out the dim shapes of the fat-headed detective and the noble outline of my dear husband’s face. “Right then,” I went on. “Mary to the rescue. Again.” Undoing the buttons on my evening gown, I reached inside my corset and unzipped the secret pocket I’d sewn into the fabric for just such an occasion. Pulling out the emergency flashlight, I fastened myself up again before fitting the handle into its base.

“What’s that whirring noise?” said Johnny.

I didn’t bother replying, and instead began rotating the small handle. After a moment, the lamp flickered into life, illuminating our faces once more.

“Oh, I say, “said Holmes. “That’s rather clever.”

“It’s a clockwork lamp,” I said, unclipping the handle and sliding it into the small compartment in the base of the device. “Mycroft gave it to me.”

Johnny sniffed. “Did he, now? And what did you give him?”

I narrowed my eyes and showed him my don’t-you-fucking-dare face. He quickly changed the subject.

“At least we can see where we are,” he said, brightly. Turning around he tried the door but it was firmly locked from the outside.

Gazing at our surroundings, all three of us immediately understood the predicament we were in – the small compartment appeared to be a store cupboard of some description, with a stack of built-in metal shelves on one side and an area of about three-feet-square, just large enough to accommodate the three of us, on the other.

“Living in a box,” muttered Holmes. “Living in a cardboard box…”

“What’s that, Holmes?” said John.

“Just a music hall ditty I heard the other day.” Holmes slid his bony hands into his pockets and leaned against the wall behind him, humming a tune.

Crouching down, I examined the floor, but if I’d hoped for a handy escape hatch, I was disappointed. “Do you think they’ll come back?”

“Who?” said Holmes. “The baddies?” He shook his head. “No need – we’re out of harm’s way so they can safely continue with their evil plan.”

Johnny nodded solemnly. “To kill poor old Phogg.”

“Well…” the other man made a face. “Along with twelve hundred other people.”

I stood up and held the lamp to his face. “What d’you mean, Sherlock?”

“Simply this, Mary – after they bundled me in here, I heard two of the rogues discussing their strategy with the Claw. Apparently, they cannot risk killing Phogg by himself as it would be obvious, so they plan to crash the ship into an iceberg and blame our old friend Captain Smith.” He laughed gently. “After all, he does have a reputation for accidents at sea.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Johnny. “We’re in the English Channel. No icebergs for miles.”

“Ah,” said Holmes. “But this isn’t any old iceberg, Watson. This is an M21.”

“Oh, crap.”

I frowned. “What’s an M21?”

My husband took my hand. “You recall the details of Moriarty’s secret steam-powered undersea torpedo-ship?”

“Designed by the famous submarine boffin Bruce Partridger?” I nodded. “What’s that got to do with icebergs?”

Holmes interjected. “I’m surprised you didn’t hear about it, Mrs Watson, as you’re so well-in with my dear brother.” He gave a snort of derision before continuing. “Mycroft heard a rumour that Moriarty planned to use the Partridger blueprints to manufacture a series of gigantic sea-going icebergs that could destroy the British fleet.” He raised his head and gazed at a spot on the wall. “If I’m right, the Hooded Claw is in league with him and intends to sink this ship, making it look like a freak iceberg-type accident.”

“Oh my God,” I murmured. “And there are no lifeboats on board.”

“Indeed,” said Holmes. “Though even if there were, we wouldn’t be able to get to them.” He sighed. “No, Mr and Mrs Watson, I think we’re properly fucked this time.” He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his Meerschaum pipe. “Could I get a light please, Mary?”

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Detective Fiction


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Going Underground…

From the Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

Dear Diary

As the three of us hurried towards the bridge, a plan was forming in my mind. In the distance, a number of men dressed in what I took to be German uniforms were gadding about here and there. I grasped the sleeves of my companions.

“Put your hands in the air and pretend you’re my prisoners.”

Dickie grinned. “Oh, what fun!” He patted his partner on the head. “Like when we were in panto in Barrow-in-Furness – remember?”

Arthur chuckled. “We could do our Wilson, Kepple and Betty act.” He promptly stuck his hands in the air and began to advance in single file, sliding his feet along in a sad rendition of the infamous sand dance. Dickie followed him and I took up the rear, brandishing the gun I’d taken from the soldier.

As we reached the other side of the bridge and came within a few feet of the nearest guards, one of them took a step towards me.

“Vot is ze passvord?” he barked.

I decided to take the initiative. “Vy are you speakink like zat?”

“Ve alvays speak like zis ven we are in Englandshire.”

“Very vell,” I said, and pointing at my companions, “I captured zees prisoners ven I vos out on patrol.”

The man eyed Arthur and Dickie with a degree of suspicion, then waved us on. “Take zem to our leader.”

We started forwards again, then the guard held out a hand to stop me. “Forgive me, but you haf very large breasts for an Oberleutnant.” He reached out a hand, presumably to fondle my chesticle area, so I rapped him sharply across the knuckles with the butt of my pistol.

“Ow. Zat hurt.”

“Zis is my disguise to fool ze English detectives. Now get out of my vay before I report you for sexual harassment.”

The man jumped aside and we hurried on.

Crossing the bridge, we were able to make out a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. Several men in overalls appeared to be unloading tools and equipment from the so-called ghost train which now stood stationary on the tracks. Most of the men were heading for a flight of steps at the side of the line.

“Follow those chaps,” I whispered to Dickie.

As we descended the steps, I could see the entrance to an underground tunnel of some sort. “What on earth d’you suppose this is for?” I muttered as we passed through into the interior.

“Probably a secret tunnel,” said Arthur. “I expect it’s part of some devilish plot.”

“Really?” I said. “That’s very astute of you.”

He shook his head. “No it isn’t – but I’m sure it’s exactly the sort of thing Mr Holmes is thinking right now.”

Just then, a door opened ahead of us and Holmes himself, together with my Johnnie and a bevy of storm troopers, marched out into the tunnel. Holmes saw me immediately and twisted his head away, no doubt in order to avoid drawing attention to us. However, my dear husband was less obliging and as soon as he set eyes on me, called out:

“Hello, darling! What are you doing here? And why are you dressed like a German soldier?”

All eyes turned towards us.

“Oh, I thought we’d just trot along and carry out a rescue mission,” said I, with only a hint of sarcasm.

My husband opened his mouth, then closed it. “Ah. Sorry.”

The soldiers pushed us all together and it was only then I noticed a small man behind Holmes. He looked strangely familiar, with his piggy little eyes and rather silly moustache. There was also something unsettling about his eyebrows. And then it came to me:

“He looks just like Adolf Hi –”

“La la la la laaaaaa!” Yelled Holmes. “La la la-la laaaa…”

The piggy-eyed man glared at him. “Vot are you doingk, Herr Holmes?”

Holmes shrugged. “Just had a sudden urge to sing, old bean.” He smiled sardonically.

“The little man nodded. “Very vell. You can zing for your zupper. Before we kill you. Mwah, hah, hah…”

I turned to Johnnie. “Did he just say ‘Mwah, hah, hah?”

My husband nodded. “I believe he did, darling.”

“Oh, no,” I said. “According to your casenotes, dear, there are only two villains who use that phrase, and one of them’s a dead vampire.”

As we stared at the piggy-eyed little man, his body seemed to grow upwards and straighten out, as if he’d simply been pretending to be small.

Johnny groaned. “Oh, bugger.”

Holmes rolled his eyes and let out a long sigh. “For fuck’s sake – not you again?”

Professor Moriarty nodded as he peeled off the moustache and smoothed his hair back. “Revenge, as they say, Mister Holmes, is sweet…”

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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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A Curious Communication…

Folsom Crash Paper 350

To Sherlock Holmes Esq from Doctor Watson

My Dear Holmes

I trust you’ve heard about the ‘Moriarty’s Ma’ debacle at Scotland Yard? I can’t believe Lestrade thought it was a good idea to let the Evil Genius have visitors, but that’s what a public school education does for you, eh? At least the aforementioned villain had the decency to let me have transcripts of his recordings before disguising himself as his own mother and disappearing into the mists once again. My account of what I’m calling ‘Not the Thirty Nine Steps’ will be appearing in The Strand Magazine next week.

More interestingly, I had a curious communication from the daughter an old acquaintance this morning: it seems that my former school chum Henry Poste has popped his clogs after a typically ill-fated adventure charting the inlets of the California River. He and his good lady wife (who I never met) fell to their deaths after the wind dropped and the water-cooled glider aeroplane they were travelling in plummeted into the murky depths of Folsom Lake. He always was a bit of a risk-taker, so it’s no surprise, really.

However, their daughter Flora has found herself in a rather sticky situation, and it is she who wrote asking for assistance. Having stayed temporarily with an old friend, she accepted an invitation from distant relatives the Starkadders. Arriving at the oddly named ‘Cold Comfort Farm’ last weekend, she was given a reasonably warm welcome, and while family relationships appeared normal at first, two days ago she was wakened during the night by a ‘blood-curdling’ scream. It transpired that the Starkadder matriarch Aunt Ada Doom, had been stabbed in the heart and is, unsurprisingly, dead.

Reading between the lines, I suspect Flora is concerned that something sinister may be afoot. I suggest we take ourselves off to Sussex without further delay. At the very least, she promises we shall be well fed, and if things take a turn for the worse, we will be on hand to intervene.

I look forward to your speedy response.



Posted by on May 5, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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The Cutting Table…

Circular saw350

From the Diary of Doctor J. Watson

The next few hours passed like a blur as Holmes, Lestrade and I were trussed up and bundled into the back of one of those new-fangled ‘horseless carriage’ machineries and transported to the place of our execution. Had my focus not been drawn by our perilous situation, I might have admired the strange vehicle as it trundled through the dark streets of Edinburgh, clouds of noxious gas bellowing from its rear, accompanied by intermittent phart-like gurgling noises. A similar mode of transport chugged along behind, bearing Moriarty and the rest of the film crew.

We had been tied up and shoved onto the passenger seat of the vehicle, while the arsehole formerly known as Hannay sat at the wheel, casting the odd glance over his shoulder and grinning like the proverbial cat. Holmes sat beside me and (to my consternation), spent the whole journey attempting to engineer ‘a quiet smoke’. Having managed to extract his Meerschaum pipe from his top pocket using only his teeth, he gave me one of those ‘Would you mind, Watson?’ looks, and urged me to lean over his crotch to grasp his pouch with my own sturdy incisors and pull it out of his trouser pocket. How he succeeded in opening the small bag of Hard Shag, stuffing his pipe and lighting it using only his mouth and left ear, will forever remain a mystery.

Lestrade, on the other hand, was considerably less relaxed, screaming, “Arrrgggh!” and “Eeargh!” several times throughout the journey (in a surprisingly varied selection of tonal ranges). Thankfully, he eventually settled down and adopted a ‘fed-up’ expression.

We arrived at our destination in the early hours of the morning – a remote farmhouse on the outskirts of the city. In the dim light, I could make out two or three large barns. While Moriarty supervised, the three of us were manhandled off the motor vehicle and into the nearest of these, where we were made to stand in one corner of the building while the crew set things up. Once again, had I not been preoccupied with thoughts of my impending death, I might have enjoyed watching the proceedings: several large pieces of ‘set’ were arranged to resemble what I eventually realised was a representation of a stage play I’d seen at the Almeida a few months ago, entitled ‘Herr Batman Gets Cut in Half by Count Von Joker’, a piece of German-expressionistic theatre I hadn’t understood at the time, but which now made perfect sense.

“Don’t worry, friend Watson,” purred Holmes, still puffing on his pipe. “I have a plan.”

I snorted rather scornfully. “It’d better involve a bloody miracle then, or we three are about to be well and truly fucked.”

“Now, now, Watson, no need for that sort of talk. Stiff upper lip and all that.”

I didn’t bother replying as my attention was taken by the extended workbench that Moriarty’s henchman had manoeuvred into the middle of the ‘theatre’ set. Slotted in one end of the thing was a shiny circular saw, with a small steam engine fixed beneath. More worryingly, the parallel conveyor belts that ran the length of the table would ensure any item placed there would quickly be thrust towards the jagged, yet twinkling, teeth of the saw. I began to feel sick.

“Now gentlemen,” said Moriarty, tying a bloodstained apron around his waist. “Who’d like to go first?”

At this point, Lestrade gave way to his cowardly side. “It’s Holmes you want – do him, let me and the Doc go.” A familiar smell hit my nasal passages and I realised the poor chap had weed himself.

Hitchcock finished setting up the cameras and wobbled over to where we were waiting. “I assume you don’t want to rehearse this bit?”

Moriarty grinned. “I’d be happy to do a run-through, but I think Mr Holmes might find it a bit difficult. The first cut, as they say, is the deepest.” He broke into a hearty laugh.

Holmes gave him a sardonic smile. “Shoot me from the left, won’t you, Hitch? It’s my best side.”

At a signal from the Evil Genius, four henchmen dragged Holmes to the saw bench, untied the ropes that held him and strapped his manly form onto the despicable device. My companion now lay face up with his legs either side of the circular saw. It didn’t take an evil genius to work out what would happen when the machine screamed into life and the conveyor belt shunted the great detective towards his final problem.

“Wait!” I yelled. “Haven’t you forgotten something?”

Moriarty inclined his head and gave me a condescending smile. “Really, Doctor Watson? Don’t you think it’s time to give up?”

I knew I was grasping at straw-like articles, but I soldiered on. “Of course it is, any fool can see that, but I wanted to point out that you haven’t filmed the scene before this one – the one where you capture Holmes and bring him here.”

Hitchcock glanced at Moriarty. “He’s right, you know. We haven’t.”

Moriarty glared at me. “A small matter – we’ll use stooges dressed as you three. A couple of long shots should do it, I think.” He took a step towards me. “In any case, the punters won’t remember the penultimate scene, they’ll remember the last one: the one where Sherlock Holmes gets sawn in two. Mwah, hah, hah…”

The next few minutes passed in a blur (much like the earlier one), and I had to force myself to concentrate. As the circular saw started up and the set was lit, I saw Moriarty take up his position next to the staircase at the edge of the set.

“Action!” Hitchcock clicked his fingers and the next few seconds seemed to slow into some sort of slow motion that was very, very slow. I watched transfixed as Moriarty took his cue:

“And so, Mr Holmes, this is the end. I will be rid of your meddling forever. Goodbye.” He started up the staircase and moved along the gantry. The cameras tracked his progress as he looked down on Holmes, the conveyor belt juddering my friend’s nether regions ever closer to the saw.

Holmes, however, appeared unconcerned. “Do you expect me to talk?” he called.

“No Mr Holmes, I expect you to die.” Moriarty laughed again.

Holmes stared up at him. “But what about the plans for a top secret steam-powered undersea torpedo-ship designed by the famous submarine boffin Bruce Partridger?”

Moriarty sneered. “You cannot distract me from my purpose, Holmes.”

My soon-to-be-sliced companion chuckled. “You don’t know what they are, do you?”

Moriarty stopped. “I’ll have an abundance of time to peruse them, Holmes, after I’ve seen you in halves – preferably two.”

Holmes lifted his head and peered at the screaming blade. I detected a note of concern in his voice as he looked straight up at the ceiling and yelled, “I think we can safely say this would be a good time, dear brother!”

At that moment, it seemed that the whole roof of the barn was lifted away as if by some gigantic, unseen hand. The cold air gushed in and the whirling blades from the flying machines hovering above us filled the air with a great noise. Seconds later, dozens of hunky, leather-clad men descended into the barn on ropes, and in the melee that followed, Hitchcock, Buchan, Moriarty and his men were caught and tied up, Lestrade and I were set free and (most thankfully) the deft flick of a switch ensured that the circular saw juddered to a halt a mere three millimetres from the testicles of the great detective Sherlock Holmes.

“You took your bloody time,” barked Holmes to the man in the white suit.

Mycroft smiled and helped him up, then gazed around as his men dragged their prisoners into the centre of the barn. “You know me, dear brother, I like a dramatic ending.” He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Good thing we gave you that locating device, eh?”

Holmes stuck a hand down his trousers and fiddled around for a moment before pulling out a small metal box. “Your patented Telegraphical Steam Conduit.” He handed the device to his brother. “Indeed, as Watson pointed out, we’d have been fucked without it.”

Mycroft slipped the device into his own pocket. “I suppose you do still have the plans for the submarine?”

Holmes nodded. “Of course. In fact I never gave them to John Buchan at all – what he thought were the submarine plans was merely a design for a new type of exploding cigar I’ve been working on. Would have been rather fun if Moriarty had tried to build it.”

“So the plans are…?”

“In the safest place I could think of – inside Mrs Hudson’s knickers.”

Out of the corner of my eye, a sudden flash of Evil Genius tore towards my companion, his face fixed in a snarl of rage. I stuck out my leg and Moriarty fell in a heap on the ground.


“Tch,” muttered Mycroft. “Keep him under control, can’t you?” Two of his men hauled the Evil Genius to his feet and tied him up. Again.

As we climbed into one of the steam-powered gyrocopters, I slid in behind Holmes and half-listened to the idle bickering between the brothers. Another adventure at an end, I thought, allowing myself a satisfied sigh. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help wonder if all this might have been resolved more easily and with considerably fewer threats to human life. But then, it wouldn’t have been half so much fun!

As the machine rose into the early dawn, Lestrade rested his head on my shoulder. He stank of wee, but I didn’t mind – I was already thinking about the title for this adventure…



Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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