The Old Woman The Old Woman
Another piece of Sherlock Holmes- fan fiction. The Old Woman

The Old Woman

I was sitting listening to a sermon as it wound its dismal way to a conclusion. The church was by and large empty apart from myself and a few others there was a nary a sound heard apart from the occasional flapping of a pigeon at stained glass window, echoing hack from an elderly parishioner or slight sandy rush as the pages of a hymnal were turned again and again. A young woman was seated near the farthest pew from the alter; I had noticed her during the homily. She wore a black coat. Her chestnut hair fell about her shoulders and her white gloved hands held the back of the seat in front of her to keep her composure.

After the ceremony ended I stood rooted, unsure whether or not to make an entrance. But I mastered my hesitation and strode towards her as she was fastening the ribbons of her hat under her chin, “Hello miss, my name is John Watson. Would it be too much to ask your own?” “Oh,” she said surprised. I noticed her fine goose down of hair on her delicate neck, and I was about to make further inquiries into her situation before she interrupted my gathering thoughts, “Not the Doctor Watson from the publications in the Daily?” Her enthusiasm gave me pause. “Well, I suppose…” “Then you must be the man acquainted with the peculiar Mr. Holmes?” “I didn’t realize that my summaries of events had garnered any interest. It is a small newspaper after all that.” “Indeed, but Mr. Holmes is a rather fascinating character, is he not?” “Suppose.” “I only ask because I have an aunt who has been behaving very strangely, and I would have gone to the police but I doubted that they would have taken an interest. Really if you might make an introduction for me with Mr. Sherlock Holmes perhaps he might shed some light on the situation.” “Indeed,” said I, not with agitation perhaps, but only with some exhaustion. I looked up at the vaulted ceilings of the church and breathed a sigh, “Of course. Shall we share a cab back to Baker Street?” “You are too kind, Doctor. My name is Hannah.”

Holmes sat with a bored expression on his face and a bottle of Kentucky bourbon in his hand. It was nearly empty, but if it produced an effect upon him it was impossible for me to discern from his reflective gaze. Neither did the cigarette held between his fingers give him an air of dishevelment.

Hannah seated herself across from him on the old couch and began after giving a respectful nod to the infamous detective, “Mr. Holmes, I thought you might be able to bring some clarity to my strange tale; it involves my aunt living north of the Thames in an upmarket neighborhood bordering some darker patches of our fair city. Her house, although stately, well furnished, and even attended to by various gardeners and maids is only a short jog away from a variety of public houses and strange pubs that sailors and other squirming lot have reason to frequent at all hours. As such there is no small amount of crime that she must confront on a daily basis. Even so, she has lived in the house for almost two decades and has never been affected by the spilling over flotsam and jetsam of the underworld. Actually, as I already remarked, her own few blocks are quite well to do, where her house sits I mean.”

While I admired her elegant figure seated comfortably in one of our chairs with something more than medical admiration, Holmes took a swig of bourbon straight from his bottle and flicked his gaze between the young woman and the windows like a skeptical hound. But he didn’t interrupt the woman’s story as she unspooled it, nor did he ask for further details by interrupting and that was to his credit as a gentleman; his silence gave me the impression that he was engaged by her tale in an abstract way as she continued, “I always stop in to see her once a month as she has begun to age. Her husband, my uncle, was killed in a boating accident on the Thames six years ago as he was disembarking, smashed between the hulls of a whaler and a merchant vessel, sadly. This was rather a rare occurrence as he was an accountant, and was only aboard the ship to count the inventories. He was quite an unruly personage as the case has it. He would frequent the seedy aspects of their neighborhood often, and was fond of drink and gambling. He met his end in any event. I always felt sorry for my aunt who is a meek soul, but their marriage seemed to stand in any event.”

“It is not your uncle’s death that brings you here today?”

“No sir. It is the way that she has been behaving of late that has caused me alarm. I should most likely have gone to the police if her behavior had continued to deteriorate, although she is nearly seventy years old. But when Mr. Watson approached me at Saint Mary’s I was pleasantly surprised and thought why not make a shorter route to a solution and here I stand before you now.”

“And what is the nature of her strange habits?” asked Holmes.

“A week ago I made my monthly visit to her apartment and found her in a manic state. She was scrubbing and polishing everything in the house, most of which was already clean. I could smell that she was cooking very aggressive dishes in the kitchen, additionally. I went into the kitchen and saw an incredible array of dishes being cooling or sitting under napkin coverings.”

“Yes? She was expecting company?” Holmes set the bottle on the floor and reached for his cigarette case leisurely.

“When I asked her whom she was preparing for she wouldn’t answer me, but became very irritated and prim. She has always conducted herself as a lady and her protestations rarely rise above the level of a pressed lip. But I could see that she was vexed beyond rationality, and it was a frustration that I had never experienced in her presence before. She only let me stay for about an hour before almost forcibly removing me from the house, a demonstration of brusqueness quite apart from my memory of her nature. But in that hour no one came to the door and it was getting on to about supper time. It seemed as though she were cooking for a ghost, or an army of ghosts. And I began to doubt her sanity quite reasonably.”

At this intelligence I became more interested in the problem and less so in the pointed and fragile looking chin of Hannah. I could see that Holmes too was letting this bit of data open the door of his mind just a tad to let some of the light of his genius shine out upon it.

“No one came to the door?” he asked.

“Not in the time that I was seated in the parlor watching her go about like a bird swirling down out of the sky. She kept checking the wall clock; she seemed eager that I should be out of the house before it struck the hour of seven. This is the last thing that I remember about my first encounter with her aberrant new patterns.”

“What happened next?”

“The next evening I returned although it was not my custom to visit her on consecutive evenings.”

“What did you do then?” I chimed in perhaps too innocently.

“Why she was back at her chores once more and even more frantically going through the motions if it can be believed. She was once more on her hands and knees scrubbing away polishing at the wooden end pieces of a chair, or straightening the portraits, and once more the smells of a veritable feast were wafting into my nose making me hungry, I daresay. But now the smells were so overpowering that I felt that there was a milieu of rot about the tableau that greeted me. It was nearly grotesque to watch her have this breakdown amidst the smells of cakes, meats, soups, breads. And I became nauseated by it.”

“Where does your aunt procure the funds to make such lavish dinner purchases on such a regular schedule?”

“She is quite wealthy, Mr. Holmes, and since her husband died she has had little to spend her fortune on. I asked her more probing questions about her behavior this second evening but she rebuffed me completely, and I noticed that she was very upset about the evening hour. As day became dusk I was afraid she may become nearly psychotic. Finally I let her show me out. The next evening I waited out on the street and didn’t interrupt her ritual but I could see her from the street.”

A silence had descended upon Baker Street then, nothing seemed to be moving outside such that I imagined I could hear a breeze rattle the shutters of the window pane on the third floor of our apartment houses. It gave me the chill of the tundra, of the Mongolian steppe as I always imagined it. It was a combination of ozone and dry air that deeply affected my curiosity. Along with the deeply flushed cheeks of Hannah I felt something that I usually kept in check swelling at the corners of my stomach lining. She was an attractive woman indeed.

Hannah’s story continued: “Her shadow was whipping back and forth as she made preparations for company that never arrived. There was never a guest that I could discern, Mr. Holmes, and yet she continued in these hasty and time consuming preparations as if her life depended on them. Do you not find that frantic behavior a bit strange? Of course it could only be the creeping madness of age, but it was so phantasmagoric that I thought you might tackle the issue with a more acute and dispassionate lens.”

Holmes sat looking at the young woman with half-interest now, but with his eyes I could see that he was scanning something in the newspaper at his heels with equal attention, thrown open to the Arts section of the Times of London.

“That is an odd behavior that she is displaying,” remarked Holmes, while eyeing me with perhaps some little suspicion. Of course I was always expected to be on my best behavior and had learned much in the way of chivalry and cordiality during my years of military service and apprenticeship as a physician. One woman in India, in particular, had given me some education in the ways of showing the proper attentions towards a lady. But I confess that Hannah’s, lips like the soft skin from a dewy rose, had me feeling dissonant. Of course Holmes would have surveyed my behavior without much trouble. He was a savvy reader of the human mind to be sure.

“I will look into this matter, Miss Hannah,” he said, “Tonight we shall meet you at your aunt’s house at six, an hour before the mischief should be upon her.”

With that he walked over and showed Hannah the door without much fanfare. And she was through the door and out onto the street. The old apartment lost its charm and seemed a bit dessicated and museum like in her absence but Holmes was smoking fervently now and my head tilted. Holmes rolled his eyes at me and struck a match to another cigarette. He offered me one from the case and I took it.

For the next few hours we lounged around. It was a Saturday afternoon in London and Holmes took up residence on the sofa; he had procured another bottle of bourbon seemingly from the folds of his long jacket. For my part there were some points about the human respiratory system that still had evaded my grasp as a resident and I was nervous about being called to form at surgeon’s meetings, so I sat in the corner and read medicine for the next few hours.

The hours fell away without my noticing them as they did whenever I was able to lose myself in study — always a privilege in my mind.

Holmes remained quiet on the sofa with his bourbon bottle dwindling. Eventually he took a long drink from a glass of water from a tray left by Mrs. Hudson.

We left the flat at five and a quarter. The sounds of horses being whipped, and men being ejected from the work houses and offices began filled the street with the busy noise of their commute.

 

We met Hannah at six sharp; we rang the bell, and gained entrance to the old woman’s house. It was certainly a tony lodging, with many stories, of rust color, and with a wrought iron fence and gate to keep passerby at their caution. It was just as Hannah had described it, just down the road a few blocks from shadier areas and there were a few dark looking fellows with their hats pulled low going to and fro among the wealthy set.

Her aunt was in a frantic state of cleaning and cooking as described and she barely noticed our company, perhaps because we were in the audience of her niece.

With nothing else to do myself I attempted to engage Hannah in conversation while I allowed Holmes to breathe in the data; but she seemed more taken in by the discourse transpiring between her aunt and the detective. I couldn’t make out the words that were spoken between them, but Holmes came over to me after a few moments and said “I believe that I will be able to help her, but I will require some privacy over the next several hours. Do you think that you could make yourself scarce. Perhaps you could take Hannah for a walk or to a cafe?”

“No walk for me” added Hannah; I have friends who are looking to meet in Portobello Road for some shopping near seven. You’ll have to excuse me, Doctor Watson.”

I won’t say that I wasn’t a bit disappointed at this news from Hannah, but it was merely the disappointment of rejection that I had learned so long ago as a schoolboy having lent so much mental energy towards her only to be declined in a refined and absolute fashion. It gave me succor, but only because I had a warrior’s blood. Thinking back on the highs and lows of a military career had not dampened my appreciation for the deeply emotional punctures of a woman’s disapprobation, it was the sweet sting of a rose thorn gaged in water. One of the many little digs at my bachelor ego. I had weathered many such slings and arrows as our English scribe might have said, a veritable beachhead of negativity during my years as a medical student with the voluptuous nurses caterwauling across the corridors of the hospitals with their voracious appetites, but never directed lustily in my direction. I sighed as I watched her cab turn a corner down the street towards her rendevous with friends.

When the clip clop of her cab had passed from my ear drums I turned and peered through the window of the kitchen at the players, Holmes and the old woman.

I stood there smoking a cigarette, watching as Holmes took a seat at the dining room table.

Before long I saw a young man came down the street, strolling lazily by the house and craning his neck like a bird at the passing phenomenon of London. He stopped and peered in at the table where Holmes was seated, having tucked into the lavish dinner that Hannah’s aunt had prepared for her mysterious guests with a hungry ferocity out of his character. I surmised that he was developing a character for the occasion. Holmes appeared to have finally engaged her in conversation; she was seated at the table with her elbows resting, her shoulders hunched with exhaustion as if in a Catholic confession.

The strange man was very smartly dressed in brown and black suit; he paused and gave a start at the vision of Sherlock and Hannah conversing on whatever topic Holmes had mooted at the dining table. The man stood there for some minutes studying them, before turning coldly and making a vicious scraping sound on the cobbles with his hard dress shoes. He jogged up to the door and rang the bell, jabbing with the end of his cane. He was young. Black hair tapering off with insouciant length.

I saw Homes use a calming hand to keep the aunt in her seat as he rose and excused himself from the table; he went to the door whereupon opening it the young man expressed surprise at Holmes’ presence, as if to teach the idea that he hadn’t been surveying the detective from the street for approximately a quarter hour. The subterfuge made my skin crawl, and I gripped my pistol and became grumpy under the barren limbs of a street tree, feeling the old aggressiveness of the Afghan campaign shutting down the machinery of my civilized persona and bringing back the sense memory and excitement of war.

It’s a funny thing how sometimes you forget the nature and extent of the compartments in your mind so that when suddenly the door is thrust open upon some aspect of your personality not touched upon in months, or even years, you are suddenly thrilled by a side of your nature that your environment has failed to bring out for a time. Not that it was a piece of you that you didn’t or shouldn’t have indulged, only that there was never a time or place for it.

When I was abroad in India and Afghanistan I forgot the London of reality; it existed only in my mind, a figment of my imagination dissipating, lacking the three dimensional texture of reality. It faded as the routines of soldiery and the elements of a foreign land molded me into something new.

But when I stepped off the train and filled my lungs with the London air after nearly six years of foreign terrain my memories of London surged back to the surface of my subconscious and I realized what I had forgotten, home. And I suddenly realized in what sense it had been taken from me over the past several years of service.

Sometimes I experienced this in reverse though when on a case with my exceptional roommate, Sherlock Holmes, the perils of the back alleys and violent tumbles through the night air flared instincts I developed as a doctor at war. It was an interesting way the brain had of molding itself to its immediate environment, suddenly blossoming afresh a fiery wildflower from an old bud. The sense memory of the campaign suffused by the adamant doggedness of the blood borne sleuth whom had made my acquaintance in Baker Street.

I crept towards the window to get a closer look, and when I got fairly close I saw Sherlock rise nonchalantly from the table and walk over, and lift the window a few inches before retaking his seat to let in the London draft. Without attracting too much attention I began to smoke a cigarette carefully next to the window, not drawing too deeply upon the tobacco so as not to produce a milk cloud. From here I could just make out the conversation being held in the kitchen, faintly audible above the hissing of the gas jets.

Holmes, “As I was just telling you we have a second new painting being delivered to the club in several weeks; this one is a canvas by a young Spanish royal whom is begging to gain some reputation;” he was adopting the stodgy and trailing off aloof accent of the upper class, equal parts world weary and disdaining. But there was also a note of interest in Holmes’ voice, as if his new friend held his attention despite the virtuosity of his personality.

“Oh yes?” replied the stranger innocently, “Perhaps I have heard his name?” I saw the villain bring a forkful of fish to his lips and cleanly deliver it unto his gullet.

“I shouldn’t think so, he is only just being discussed by some of the better collectors, although his commissioned works are fetching a good price at auction already. Six thousand for only one of our new paintings.”

“Are you quite certain I wouldn’t have heard of him? There is rarely an old family that does not have some reputation in my memory.”

“I’m certain, although as I mentioned we have just received a duo of his new works and we hadn’t planned on putting them up for sale but a man of your means may recognize an opportunity to make an offer, or perhaps you might only wish to view the canvases. As you expressed you are affiliated with the Swan House of Austria, and I am eager to get your opinion of our new acquisition.”

I didn’t hear Hannah’s aunt speaking up for herself or engaging in the conversation in any way, although during a pause in the conversation I heard him say to her, “Linda, could you be a dear and go upstairs to fetch the gold cigar cutter and perhaps a fresh bottle of red would go well. I feel as though I have eaten my fill. Would you care for a cigar, Mr. Enright?”

The stranger chipped in with aristocratic malaise, “I wouldn’t say no to it.”

When the smell of cigar smoke was wafting outside the window Holmes said, “Let us sally forth to the gallery and I will show you the pair of paintings. I am supposed to meet my man out in front of the house in twenty minutes and then we can ride along together.”

“Your man?”

“Oh yes, my slave, if you’ll pardon the expression. Thomas. Not really a slave of course although sometimes he acts the part I daresay.”

The alleged Mr. Enright chuckled, “Ah.”

“Yes just a college friend whom I keep around. He has bad debts and his wife left him. Therefore I like to give him a little income and generally have him see to little tasks.”

“Well I am eager to have a look at the paintings at any rate.”

“Very well,” remarked Holmes.

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I heard the place settings being cleared away and stomped out my cigarette on the ground not sure of what would come next, although I checked the chambers of my pistol and took some succor in the sheen of the jackets on my rounds.

The door swung open and I saw the stranger’s shadow next to Holmes drawing up against the pavement like an oil painting. They came down the steps and I was introduced to Mr. Henry Enright, playing my part of the abashed and perhaps somewhat slow hand with the aplomb of total presence of mind. Combat had inculcated this gift in me.

We climbed into a hansom cab and Holmes cleverly positioned the gentleman between us in the middle seat for the ride. Although he was tall he was also thin and I was just a little bit gleeful at the prospect that he should attempt to eject himself from the seat, such that I could reach for the pistol and club him across the face if it came to it; although I am ashamed to admit it.

Something about the way he answered the doorway, a neophyte to Sherlock’s presence, the dark ministrations of Hannah’s aunt over the previous weeks, the seriousness of Holmes’ ruse; it all added up to something seriously ominous, and I didn’t let the man’s smooth temperament fool my senses for a moment. This was a dangerous eel.

We made a turn after a mile towards Central London; I had some inclination of what direction we were heading in, but Holmes had gone cold on his side of the hansom, and I couldn’t make out the glass of his eyes, so dark had his brow consumed the light from his brow.

Our fellow traveler seemed a bit uneasy suddenly, a bit of perspiration peeked out from his scalp. Perhaps he too had the same suspicion that I myself was beginning to entertain.

But no one said a word.

Perhaps Mr. Enright realized as he sat between us, and as Holmes seemed to grow into a darker stature on his side of the cab, and as he sensed my own muscular and heavy frame against his, and even discerned my hooked claw-grip on the pistol in my pocket, that his game was running to closure.

He didn’t make a sound when we crossed through the gated entrance into Scotland Yard, although there may have been something of irony in the turn of his lips and the empty expression that suddenly flashed across his face.

His neck went a bit slack, and suddenly he had the appearance of a bird of prey, like an old vulture suddenly casting about for a fresh kill in an exotic environment.

It was full night in the Yard. Stars overhead.

I saw Lestrade swinging his keys next to an empty doorway looking bored but athletic; there was a man standing next to him, quite young and quite ugly and quite gigantic. Looked like Lestrade had impressed the cream of a London gang to my eyes. Well, the police could always use another ghoul on the payroll. The giant was bald and had scars on his face, and a very eager and mean expression on his face.

When we pulled the cab up Holmes kicked open the door and yelled “Lestrade, a word!”

Lestrade shoved his back off the wall lazily and approached the cab. When he reached the doorway he squinted up into the dark at the stranger’s face, “Don’t I know you from somewhere, lad?”

Mr. Enright turned with an unconscious piece of theater and remarked: “I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure.”

“Sure we know each other,” grinned up the eager yellow teeth of the constable. “You’re Sir Byron of the Devonshire family. Got in a bit of trouble with the working girls. Yes? I’ve had you on my mind at odd hours my love, be sure of that. Can’t believe Mr. Holmes has dropped you in my lap for a song, aye?”

With this insubordination the gentleman rose and place his hands forward, “Yes, you have me,” he said.

Lestrade chuckled and struck a match to a pipe, “Well as it could be he said,” and whistled at the ogre by the doorway who came over and place manacles on the outstretched hands of the stranger with the finality of a stupid grin. He led the stranger across the stone of the prison courtyard and through the abstract white light of the high doorway.

Holmes said little more but only redirected the cabman, “Take us back,” he admonished the driver who whipped at the black horse and hurried us at a gate out of the square and back into the traffic of the city.

“Well then?” I asked.

“Mr. Enright had enlisted Hannah’s aunt to draw in any gentleman who she had the reason and ability to do so. He preyed on her. Unfortunately the prospect of leading strangers into quarry and perhaps robbery and death seems to have set her nerves on end. I’m afraid she has gone quite mad over the past several weeks. Fear of Mr. Enright and of the prospect of murder, of course. The young nobleman fed upon her aged mind. Bedlam or a quick recovery I’m afraid for your prospective paramour’s loved one.”

“That’s a bit succinct,” I suggested.

Holmes remained quiet but only reached into his pocket and revealed a flask that he drew from and then handed over to me for sampling. A strong draft of vodka filled my nostrils and I filled my breath with it. My limbs, poised for combat, were suddenly released in a catharsis like bird flight from the eventuality of certain violent action. I knew this thrill. Surgery was the only placeholder for it. And alcohol one of the only palliatives. I took two strong drafts and a deep breath and calmed down thinking about Hannah and letting the image of her rich hair fade from my immediate memory. My hormones checked and the lukewarm moisture of London filled my consciousness as we traveled along the streets and passed the lights and commerce.

 

We finally reached the house once more and disembarked. I saw Hannah in the second story window fixing her hair and it filled me once more with hesitation and doubled longing. Holmes, of course, sensed my flight reflex and cocked an eyebrow. “Will you be entertaining Hannah this evening?” “I hadn’t made any definitive plans as all that; but why do you ask?” Sherlock breathed in a breath without judgment and said, “You should know that the only reason I decided to take this case is because I read in the Times that Sarasarte would play in the neighborhood only a fifteen minute walk from here at eight thirty. I intend to finish this flask, stop at a pub for a pint and a series of shots and then attend the concert. You are invited to join me, of course, unless you have made another arrangement in your mind.”

I stood rooted in place then like a dove who has heard a shotgun blast. I looked up at Hannah in the window, just returned from her errand in Portobello Road and I fancied, or felt, that I could feel the goose down hair on her neck. But this was Sarasate after all, and Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the most able detective in London. And then there was the prospect of a christening drink at a pub on the way. The exhaustion of medical school and residency suddenly filled my limbs and the understanding that I was still a debtor of my education. My teeth were set on edge at the crossroads. Holmes stood coldly in the evening air, waiting, I suppose, for me to assert the intricacies of my own mind. I looked at Hannah in the window and two words flashed across my mind in pure electric letters against a blank canvas, “Not yet.”

“Sarasate and the pub,” I said out loud into the evening air.

“Excellent,” said Sherlock.

And we made our way off into the evening with our spirits clenched for sensation, music, and death.

The End

 

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Author Image

Agent Smith

Agent Smith is moving to Singapore after he gets his cheap gold watch.

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  • Dee

    poor Watson, never getting laid

  • I_am_better

    Just one thing: I can’t recall Holmes ever drinking Kentucky bourbon. But let’s just put that in the artistic license part.

  • beechraft 1a

    It’s my take on the character.

  • beechraft 1a

    It’s also a reference to The Five Orange Pips and The Resident Patient in some ways.

  • beechraft 1a

    Also I drink whiskey so I put that in there. Holmes and Watson are both a composite of my own personality….obviously….well maybe not obviously. Anyway it’s just my Millenial take on it.

  • I_am_better

    Fair enough

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    that is so cool

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    stamp!

  • beechraft 1a

    Did I mention I hate liberals? Because I do.

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    I love this film.

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    P.S. this is the A material…………………

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  • Dee

    Emma Watson and John Holmes.

  • Slate_Fistcrunch

    I’d actually watch the hell out of that.

  • Tarmac492.1

    i love kentucky bourbon

  • Tarmac492.1

    backpage.com

  • Agent Smith
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  • Agent Smith

    then it goes The Pumpkin Patch then The Desultory Inn and then I suppose I should announce that the next story will be entitled East End

  • franks_television

    Didn’t have time to read yet but cool idea to do Holmes fan fiction.

  • franks_television

    He got married.

  • Dee

    that might be the very reason

  • Agent Smith

    I don’t need an editor.

  • Agent Smith

    It’s just very difficult to edit with these kinds of computer tools. It makes it hard…very hard actually. So….sorry about the typos. But let’s press on shall we?

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    Hey Kwon Nara!

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  • millenialsherlock

    Here is where we are with A Hot Day in London

    Holmes was sitting in a chair with a strange blue kimono on that apparently kept him well aerated to resist the sweltering London heat that descended upon all of our heads that week in July. It was a furious heat that rarely burned the London streets to this temperature such that the roads had begun to melt wreaking havoc. The yelling of the news boys was muted, however, out in the streets as they sheltered into the dark recesses of alcoves to avoid the stamping and suffering of the horses; the straw stuck to the hooves, and the slavering cantering, made onrushing traffic a veritable maw.

    I had a cold drink of lime mixed with water in my hand. Mrs. Hudson had been down to the ice man’s to make sure a steady supply of ice came up, at intervals of about three hours. She brought us tidings of Mr. Hudson who owned a small delivery service next door to where men were loaded the giant blocks of ice onto trams and carts. She seemed a bit frustrated with her husband, “He won’t keep his socks darned,” she mooted heavily. After she set down the ice bucket Holmes gave her an even stare and she left.

    Holmes seemed a bit weak that morning; even the detective seemed to wither under the heat, although I was always cautious to not make judgments about his behavior. His malaise might have been owing to the fact that for many weeks there had been little to interest him from the worlds of crime. He was smoking like an animal and drinking whiskey.

    I was thinking about heading to the clinic to work on patients’ folders, to get some work done on a Saturday morning when things would be quiet. God forbid I would ever have a private moment with my pen and some good data. Life as a medical student was a nonstop parade of interruption, if you want to know the truth of the matter it was a salve to my intelligence (not to beat my own drum) to have quiet moments to learn. The nurses dislike arrogant doctors but the trade-offs must be balanced.

    Holmes, however, had better ideas lurking about in his mind because just as I had resolved to rally he sank into a deep, feline stretch and coughed his way out of his stupor into a countenance of sobriety and then said, “Watson! I was thinking about taking a stroll through Hyde Park; if you would care to accompany me, I wouldn’t mind the fellowship.”

    Caught between a rock and a hard place I accepted the invitation. “We can stop off for a drink afterwards,” said Holmes, in an effort to cheer me up. He succeeded. “Very well,” he remarked, going to his bureau and opening it, pulling out a nice sheaf of pound notes, which he then pocketed. I had never asked about the state of his finances, nor had I ever seen him balancing figures in the flat. But he did have the peculiar habit of producing ungodly amounts of money or trinkets of unfathomable value when the case presented itself. By the look of the folded money I was at once surprised by the prospect of a jovial drinking lark. Suddenly the possibilities that I had been entertaining, of quiet study or lethargy in the oppressive heat, the dual notions that had been preoccupying the left and right pieces of my brain like a teeter totter were blown away like a breeze, and new horizons were opened up in my mind. “Hyde Park,” said Holmes, removing his kimono and grabbing his cane. “And the pub,” his eyes glimmered.

    We were in Hyde Park underneath a cloud of heat dropping down, swirling down like a falling leaf. Heat that confused the senses. Heat that made me feel the clamminess of my heartbeat. But it was a beautiful thing to be in Hyde Park with the grass green, leaves plush, the gravel under our shoes crunched as we made our way along speedily. There were gentlemen about their business, some taking in the scenery but most on pressing errands. Tall, aloof, concentrated energy. The ruffians knew better than to fall behind their heels to closely. Queen Victoria’s able bodied men. We walked along for twenty minutes without exchanging conversation. It wasn’t difficult because it was so hot. I kept quiet, enjoying the pleasant air. It wasn’t much to rival the days of Afghanistan, to be sure. But then I was dressed a bit more for the occasion then. When we came to a clearing at the end of a lane I saw a large party of my countrymen enjoying the Summer sky as well as they could. There were about forty or fifty women and men there milling about on the grass and so forth, mostly it looked like gentlemen who had met up in the park around the lunch hour to smoke and exchange pleasantries. (save the red sky for The Swiss Circumference) They had their top hats on and were grinning at each other and laughing.

    I noticed a man pushing something with a white tarp thrown over it across the grass. Holmes and I were separated from the crowd; Holmes had stopped and leaned against my shoulder a bit forcing me to nearly trip over back under the branches of an elm tree. I regained my footing and was about to make a quip about the detective’s balancing skills but Sherlock’s face began to redden and he lowered his head at an angle while his irises drifted up and out across the Hyde Park lawn. He cocked his head at the man who proceeded to throw off the tarp , and an explosion of gunfire filled the air. Loud, crackling, roaring gunfire as I had never heard before in my combat experience. I dove down and rolled behind a tree, and Holmes took off sprinting in the opposite direction. We waited low. listening to the report and hoping the bullets would not discover us. The noise and heat and the smoke were overpowering and I shut up my eyes and clenched my teeth as I had learned to do in such situations. As abruptly as the gunfire had begun it trailed off and the air became silent. I waited and counted to a hundred before opening my eyes and blinking back the violence, waiting for my composure to return and my pulse to trail off from its sonic avalanche. Blood rushing in my ears. The thrill of war.

    Holmes appeared out of thin air with rapier speed and his presence held the weight of planets. He pulled me to my feet and steadied me as he surveyed the field of dead gentlemen and white smoke. The sound of fire engines ringing was audible and constables were running across the field with bloodhounds lashing their tongues at the heat and braying with the lust of the hunt. Fox hunting. It always brought out the best in them. Perhaps I should not have had such a cold observation at that moment, and I steadied myself with my hand against the bark of a tree while Holmes unscrewed a cap from a flask and handed it to me. I took a draft and it warmed and cured me. “Let us evade this scene of horror, Doctor,” he suggested while he studied the aftermath. A faint moaning was heard but Holmes had me by the arm and was leading me back down the path. By the time we hit the edges of the park the sound of the sirens and dogs barking seemed even louder than what I had experienced back at the scene. “What about that drink?” suggested Sherlock with some enthusiasm.

    “Drink,” I said.

    “Perhaps first we should make our way to Haymarket, however, there is something I think you might wish to see. And in any event, I myself am curious about the outcome of a certain event taking place in the basement of the shoe polisher’s.

    “Event,” I said.

    “Well, it’s a boxing match, I suppose.”

    “Really?”

    “Yes,” he said, taking a draft from the flask and peering up into the sun skeptically. I noticed disapproval in his gaze, but whether it was for the horror show we had just witnessed or for my own shock and reticence it was hard for me to discern. But I mastered myself, somehow, and he nodded approvingly, still without taking his eyes off the summer sky.

    We jogged down the street to a streetcar and climbed aboard; people looked confused, as if they had detected the [fly blind] rising commotion…noises of increasing emergency…and off we went to Haymarket. [something…transition]

    When we arrived my senses were overstimulated completely. Dehydration, shock, adrenaline and confusion. I wanted to replay the events I had just witnessed in my mind, to converse about them with someone and to take a guilty pleasure in reliving the trauma over and over. But Holmes was a silent ghost next to me on the trolley, and I thought then that his disapproval may have been justified in some respects. Perhaps I had something of the romantic in me, although this realization stirred me almost to shame as it dawned upon me and as I moodily drank. But Holmes played the gentleman, kept a relaxed expression, and ejected himself with energy when we reached our destination. I lurched towards him out of the carriage mentally ready for the new experience, although my body sagged and cramped. As a doctor, I knew that shock and fever went hand in hand, and as I peered at the thrown open doors to the cellar of the shoe polishers, a bearded worker standing nonchalantly next to the black space, I considered this to be a possibly reckless use of my body. But Holmes was down the stairs like a cat. And I had to make up my own mind. I followed him.

    The air underground was sweltering. Men were sashaying around with the rhythms of fighting. Happy faces grinning and the smell of hot money and sweaty hands. The ring was cordoned off with a single blue rope. The floor was hard granite and boxes at the corners of the room and piled up towards the ceiling. Holmes pushed us to the front of the crowd and produced the sheaf of pound notes. A little midget with a cauliflower ear and a tiny cigar between his teeth popped up seemingly from nowhere. Holmes said, “Mr. Night,” and forced a stash of notes into the fist of the midget who nodded at the money then turned in my direction. “Who is the opposing party?” I asked him trying to choke back my inebriation and the pain ringing in my head. “That would be young Tully.” “I’ll take him for a fiver,” I said. Holmes couldn’t be right about absolutely everything. He just couldn’t, and it when it came to games of chance some of the last vestiges of doubts or perhaps underestimation of his abilities, nagged at my brain. We had only been flatmates for six months, and I had seen much that was impressive in the way of his problem solving abilities. But something about gambling fired my own ego a tad, no slouch or stranger to the tables or gaming halls of London. In fact, my reputation as a competent soul at cards gave me entree at some of the mid-tier clubs.

  • millenialsherlock

  • millenialsherlock

  • millenialsherlock

    Here is the new one. Already submitted for The Supernaughts.

    A Hot Day in London

    Holmes was sitting in a chair with a strange blue kimono on that apparently kept him well aerated to resist the sweltering London heat that descended upon all of our heads that week in July. It was a furious heat that rarely burned the London streets to this temperature such that the roads had begun to melt wreaking havoc. The yelling of the news boys was muted out in the streets. They sheltered in the dark recesses of alcoves to avoid the stamping and suffering of the horses. The straw stuck to the hooves and the slavering cantering made onrushing traffic a veritable maw.

    I had a cold drink of lime mixed with water in my hand. Mrs. Hudson had been down to the ice man’s to ensure a steady supply of ice came up at intervals of about three hours. She brought us tidings of Mr. Hudson who owned a small delivery service next to where men loaded giant blocks of ice onto trams and carts. She seemed a bit frustrated with her husband, “He won’t keep his socks darned,” she mooted heavily. After she set down the ice bucket, Holmes gave her an even stare and she left.

    Holmes appeared weak that morning; even the detective seemed to wither under the heat, although I was always cautious to not make judgments about his behavior. His malaise might have been owing to the fact that for many weeks there had been little to interest him. The criminal underworld of London had been muted of late. He was smoking furiously and drinking whiskey.

    I was thinking about heading to the clinic to work on patients’ folders, to get some work done on a Saturday morning when things would be quiet. God forbid I would ever have a private moment with my pen and some good data. Life as a medical student was a nonstop parade of interruption. If you want to know the truth of the matter it was a salve to my intelligence to have quiet moments to learn. The nurses dislike arrogant doctors but the trade-offs must be balanced. Stiff upper lip and what have you.

    Holmes, however, had better ideas lurking about in his mind, because just as I had resolved to rally he sank into a deep, feline stretch and coughed his way out of his stupor into a countenance of sobriety, and then said, “Watson! I was thinking about taking a stroll through Hyde Park; if you would care to accompany me, I wouldn’t mind the fellowship.”

    Caught between a rock and a hard place I accepted the invitation. “We can stop off for a drink afterwards,” said Holmes, in an effort to cheer me up. He succeeded. “Very well,” he remarked, going to his bureau and opening it and pulling out a nice sheaf of pound notes, which he then pocketed. I had never asked about the state of his finances, nor had I ever seen him balancing figures in the flat. But he did have the peculiar habit of producing ungodly amounts of money or trinkets of unfathomable value when the case presented itself. By the look of the folded money I was at once surprised by the prospect of a jovial drinking lark. Suddenly the possibilities that I had been entertaining, of quiet study or lethargy in the oppressive heat, the dual notions that had been preoccupying the left and right pieces of my brain like a teeter totter were blown away like a breeze, and new horizons were opened up in my mind. “Hyde Park,” said Holmes, removing his kimono and grabbing his cane. “And the pub.”

    We were in Hyde Park underneath a cloud of heat dropping down, swirling down like a falling leaf. Heat that confused the senses. Heat that made me feel the clamminess of my heartbeat. But it was a beautiful thing to be in Hyde Park with the grass green, leaves plush, the gravel under our shoes crunched as we made our way along speedily. There were gentlemen about their business, some taking in the scenery, but most on pressing errands. Tall, aloof, concentrated energy. The ruffians knew better than to fall behind their heels t-o closely. Queen Victoria’s able-bodied men. We walked along for twenty minutes without exchanging conversation. It wasn’t difficult because it was so hot. I kept quiet, enjoying the pleasant air. It wasn’t much to rival my days in Afghanistan, to be sure. But then I was dressed a bit more for the occasion.

    When we came to a clearing at the end of a lane I saw a large party of my countrymen enjoying the summer sky as well as they could. There were about forty or fifty women and men there milling about on the grass and so forth. Mostly it looked like gentlemen who had met up to smoke and exchange pleasantries. They had their top hats on and were grinning at each other and laughing. And they were all about to die.

    I noticed a man pushing something on wheels with a white tarp thrown over it across the grass.

    Holmes and I were separated from the crowd by a distance of a hundred feet. The detective had gone still, and he leaned against my shoulder a bit forcing me to nearly trip over back under the branches of an elm tree. But I regained my footing, and was about to make a quip about his balancing skills when Sherlock’s face began to redden. He lowered his head while his irises drifted out across the Hyde Park lawn. He cocked his head at the man, who proceeded to throw the tarp off , and an explosion of gunfire filled the air. Loud, crackling, roaring, rapid gunfire as I had never heard before in my combat experience. I dove down, and rolled behind the elm tree. Holmes took off sprinting in the opposite direction.

    I waited, listening to the report and hoping the bullets would not discover me. The noise and the heat and the smoke were overpowering, and I shut up my eyes and clenched my teeth fearfully while the bullets shattered the air.

    As abruptly as the gunfire had begun it ended, and everything became silent.

    Holmes appeared out of the smoky ether with rapier speed, and his presence held the weight of planets. He pulled me to my feet, and steadied me as he surveyed the dead gentlemen and white smoke. The sound of fire engines was audible, and constables were running across the field with bloodhounds lashing their tongues at the heat and braying with the lust of the hunt. Fox hunting. It always brought out the best in them. The digression of my thoughts was worrisome. I steadied myself with my hand against the bark of a tree while Holmes unscrewed a cap from a flask and handed it to me. I took a draft and it warmed and cured me. “Let us evade this scene of horror, doctor,” he suggested, while he studied the aftermath. A faint moaning was heard but Holmes had me by the arm, leading me back down the path to the entrance. By the time we hit the edges of the park the sound of the sirens and dogs barking seemed even louder than what I had experienced back at the scene.

    “What about that drink?” suggested Sherlock with some enthusiasm. “Drink,” I said. “Perhaps first we should make our way to Haymarket, however; there is a bout I want to see there in a half hour.”

    “Bout,” I said.

    “Well, it’s a boxing contest, I suppose.”

    “Really?”

    “Yes,” he said, taking a draft from his flask and peering up into the sun skeptically. I noticed disapproval in his gaze, but whether it was for the horror show we had just witnessed or for my own shock and reticence it was hard for me to discern. I controlled myself, somehow, and he nodded approvingly, still without taking his eyes off the summer sky.

    We jogged down the street to a streetcar and climbed aboard.

    When we arrived in Haymarket I was a mess. Dehydration, shock, adrenaline and confusion. I wanted to replay the events I had just witnessed in my mind, to converse about them with someone and to take a guilty pleasure in reliving the trauma over and over. But Holmes was a silent ghost next to me on the trolley, and I thought then that his disapproval may have been justified in some respects. Perhaps I had something of the romantic in me, although this realization stirred me almost to shame as it dawned upon me and as I moodily drank. But Holmes played the mother hen. He kept a patient expression, and ejected himself with energy when we reached our destination. The halting trolley scattered pigeons from the rails, and I lurched towards him out of the carriage, mentally ready for the new experience.

    As a doctor, I knew that shock and fever went hand in hand, and as I peered at the thrown open doors to the cellar of the shoe polishers, a bearded worker standing nonchalantly next to the black space to keep watch for bobbies, I considered this to be a possibly reckless use of my body. But Holmes was down the stairs like a cat. And I had to make up my own mind. I followed him down.

    The air underground was sweltering. Men were sashaying around with the rhythms of fighting. Happy faces grinning and the smell of hot money and sweaty hands. The ring was cordoned off with a single blue rope. The floor was hard granite. Crates at the corners of the space. Holmes pushed us to the front of the crowd and produced the sheaf of pound notes. A little midget with a cauliflower ear and a tiny cigar between his teeth popped up seemingly from nowhere. Holmes said, “Mr. Night,” and forced a stash of notes into the fist of the midget who nodded at the money then turned in my direction. “Who is the opposing party?” I asked him, trying to choke back my inebriation and the pain ringing in my head. “That would be young Tully.” “I’ll take him for ten pound,” I said. Holmes couldn’t be right about absolutely everything. He just couldn’t, and when it came to games of chance some of the last vestiges of doubts or perhaps underestimation of his abilities nagged at my thoughts. We had only been flatmates for six months, and I had seen much that was impressive in the way of his problem solving abilities. But something about gambling fired my own ego a tad, no slouch or stranger to the tables or gaming halls of London.

    Tully and Night came out of their corners like flat cold meat. Body shots. The first round ended with Night losing badly. But Night was a much larger fighter and more savage looking. I was surprised to see Tully beating him around the ears and loosening up around the middle. Holmes did not seem concerned, though. I had never seen him more relaxed. In the third round he kind of just shrugged his shoulders in the direction of Night as if to say, “End it before someone gets hurt,” and Night ended it, brutally. Holmes collected his winnings and we went out into the London evening for a bender.

    The next morning it was still blisteringly hot, but the malaise of the news boys had been replaced with their howling. It made me smile. London. Like a bloody whirlwind. The papers bleeding ink about yesterday’s slaughter in Hyde Park.

    I arose early in the morning as was my habit, even though we had been out for a lark until the late hours. After a drink of water I went out into the streets and purchased one of the papers. I peered up at the sky. The sweat was already beginning to coagulate on the undersides of my eyelids. One of the privileges of medical life was that I had easy access to showers. And in this heat I was fortunate enough to be able to scrub off the grime and ash whenever I wanted. I went to the clinic and bathed myself, breathing heavily and shaking off the hangover as best I could.

    When I arrived back in the flat Holmes was sitting behind his desk looking erudite and professional in black. It may have been a strange choice to wear black under the circumstances, but if it had any effect on him it didn’t come across. His concentration was total and fixed on the gentleman seated across from him who had a thin mustache and a fine suit on with muted colors. He looked nervous and was unspooling a tale, but in a hushed tone. Holmes waved me over to a desk and the man got pensive, “It’s alright Mr. Trappings, this is my estimable colleague Doctor Watson of Charring Cross Hospital. He is a surgeon of some reputation, although he may be young I can assure you that he is a trustworthy man and veteran of Her Majesty’s military. Please do not fail to divulge any details of your account due to his presence.”

    “Would you like a drink?” I asked the man quizzically.

    “Yes that would do,” he remarked, “strong as the weather if you don’t mind.”

    I was ruffled a bit by this command, but he was upper class. So I fixed him his drink – a strong Portobello Martini with a twist – and wiped the rim clean with fresh cloth, placed the ice into the liquid, and handed it over to the man, then sat down and concentrated on his account.

    Portobello Road martini

    “As I was just telling you Mr. Holmes, my work at the Foreign Office includes some sensitive data and I have a steady workload. For the most part I am happy in my job; I am a widower, however, and recently made the acquaintance of a young American woman by the name of Sherry McClintlock.”

    “And is your job at the Foreign Office somehow connected with the young lady?”

    “No, but I believe we have a special connection.”

    “And?”

    “Well, she has a brother who was in the Grand Army of the Republic who recently came to London. I met him once when I went to meet Sherry at a fish shop on the pier. He was a fiery, spirited man from Maine. At the time I would almost have thought him mad but I was perhaps over gracious in my charitable judgment owing to the fact that it was Sherry’s brother, and I was becoming deeply entangled with her in rapid fashion. She is quite beautiful.”

    “A whirlwind romance?” I mooted this choking back laughter; this was an upper class Tory after all, the stodgiest and most bloodless of the breed. To hear that he had become smitten with a young lady and to hear him say the words was amusing to me in spite of my hangover.

    “In a word,” said Mr. Trappings, who offered me the empty glass for a retopping.

    Holmes was silent as I went over to the ice and liquor.

    “Well,” said Trappings, “I suppose she’s an international arms dealer and manufactures the merchandise herself.”

    “Ah,” said Holmes.

    “Hmm,” said Trappings.

    I put the glass in his hands and said, “Gatling guns?”

    “I daresay,” said the man, taking a thick slurp from the glass and suddenly looking small. “I’m familiar with the gatling gun as I made my way through the G’s of the Oxford English Dictionary last spring. A weapon of epic destruction used in the American Civil War to extraordinary effect. But when I read this morning’s paper I just put the sums together and thought I might engage your counsel on the matter before going to the police. Perhaps you might help me resolve this difficulty without too public a showing.

    “She has an apartment in South Kensington that I have been renting for her. Here is the address,” Trappings picked up a pencil from Holmes’ desk and wrote it out in perfect script.

    “Ah,” said Holmes.

    The man finished the second drink, “Hmm,” said Trappings.

    “Get out,” said Holmes, “Watson show him the door.”

    The man rose then and went out. And I watched him round the banister and head down the steps.

    It was lunch time at that point and we set to some cucumber sandwiches and lemonade that Mrs. Hudson brought in for us.

    cucumber sandwich

    cucumber sandwich

    An hour later we were inside her apartment. It was a nice place with sunshine pouring in on the burgundy carpet making things hot house humid. It was a snug little spot, well furnished and heavy with books, antiques, and other knickknacks.

    Holmes found a key and I followed him down into a locked storeroom where we found her workshop. There were desks and pieces of iron bent into various shapes and of various sizes and weights. There were tools. There were polishing cloths.

    “Remarkable that a woman could have the strength for such labor as this,” I said.

    There was a small window and we saw a shadow pass by and pause, for some reason it gave me an eerie feeling and Holmes too seemed to pause momentarily and then the person had moved away from the window. Then we heard someone come to the open doorway then immediately turn and run.

    We both took off up the stairs and out into the street where we saw a blonde woman in a light red dress sprinting down the street. As soon as we hit the pavement two other dogs leapt off the walls in pursuit. Giant men loping at a huge gate after her. It may have been the burning heat, the hangover, or the cucumber sandwiches, but my mind went woozy; darkness swept over me. The last thing I saw was Holmes in his black clothes sprinting off as my vision telescoped and I passed out in the street. “Probably from dehydration,” was the last observation I made before the cold and wet grip of unconsciousness overtook me.

    I saw a bedouin man running towards me slowly. There wasn’t a bird in the sky or a sound emanating from anywhere. Total silence as he ran towards me and leaned down.

    Then I was back awake in the street with a beggar holding my shoulders and looking down with concern: “Too hot for a gentleman my lovely?” he asked. I leaned forward and coughed, and he slapped my back, “Oh, just a bit of the rum,” he said. I nodded and coughed, and he helped me to my feet. “I’m a doctor,” I said, but he just tapped his toe and held out his hand.

    I dug into my wallet and emptied it for him. “I’m a doctor,” I said again, exhausted. I leaned back against the a brick wall breathing deep, “Wait…” I said, as he walked off counting the notes. “Yes?” “Nevermind.” He kept walking.

    I went back to Baker Street and went for the bottle of port like a ravenous monster, with succor did I quaff back those first few glasses then fell onto the bed like a princess who just saw her prince.

    I felt the afternoon sun that was beginning to cool off the city just a tad. I fell asleep with a prostitute whom I had hired on my walk back.

    Holmes didn’t bother me for the rest of the afternoon or evening. But when I came out of the bedroom that night he was sitting there smoking his pipe. He seemed to be waiting. Holmes then did something strange; he went to his violin case and pulled out the expensive instrument then ripped it apart with his bare hands. It made me jump, such a show of strength. He broke it in two.

    “I say,” I remarked.

    Then he showed me his teeth and grinned, “I quit this case,” he said. He looked out the window and we heard Big Ben tolling.

  • millenialsherlock

    Alright, The Swiss Circumference….this was going to be the next story but I feel like I’m getting low-balled here….so…this is what was going to be the uh….next story….what I was working on. But I’m retired from the Sherlock Holmes thing. Hope you had fun.

    I was pretending to be asleep. Holmes was at the window studying a news clipping. All was quiet in the apartment. Grey rain pattered softly at the window. He had been studying the article all day, as a matter of fact. It happened this morning eating his eggs while we sat at the table. His fork suddenly stopped half way to his mouth while he was looking at the Times folded over on the table. He then went over to his desk and carefully cut the article out with scissors and held up the light paper with a concentrated and disturbed expression on his face. He had been reading the papers voraciously of late, owing to a recent wave of crime that had set the city on fire. Article after article, day after day of gristly robberies, murders, if Traitor’s Gate was still up and running there would have been a steady supply of bodies trembling up the Thames. The police were racing among the flock of citzens at any hour. Their carriages thundering through at all hours. Whistles blaring, shouts and arguments. Men spilling out of taverns and raising their fists up as men crowded about laughing and cheering. Holmes held the piece in his elegant fingers by the window while I rested.

    Holmes sees two birds about to collide out the window but at the last moment they turn out of each other’s way and fly off into the London rain. And it chills the room. Scary shit is about to go down in Switzerland.

    Holmes leaves…alone…Watson is by himself in the rain eating chips…crime…he goes to the hospital and performs a surgery on someone…

    Holmes tells Watson about how he beat the information out of a diamond guy. But not in those words, although Watson sees the bruised knuckles and Holmes kind of laughs under his breath…like a happy cat…

    Two weeks later Holmes returns tells the story…this will work well…maybe in parts…but we have a parallel story going involving Watson…like…two mysteries at once get solved…and as they are going about wrapping up the crime wave…to the root of the problem…Holmes tells him about what happened in Switzerland.

    That’s cool. We’ll do that.

    yeah the story is like a prism now…ok right…so now we make the switzerland story bleed over a little INTO the current mystery…but the current mystery is dark too…both stories are dark…almost as if they are competing with one another about what story can be the most awful…like a black arrow? That’s lame…..post-modern hijinks. That should suffice.

    [fly blind]

    Holmes in Switzerland, its grey farm country awful…peasant houses…people don’t want him…the mayor comes out to meet him and tells him to clear out in nice words….how did they know he would be there? Somehow he winds up in a barn basement and arrests an arch criminal…using the Swiss police….not the locals…somehow he coordinates this I don’t know how…maybe a night rider…he uses papal couriers…secret stuff….USES them…like they don’t know…he lies….but brings in the smart cops from Berne then like an eagle circling roman armies….he directs them to that basement to lay cuffs on the bad guy…

    2. The crime wave continues

  • Dee

    low balled? you are on the front page