I have been living beneath the strange man who lives upstairs, nigh on ten months now. There is much comings and goings at all times of the night, and although I have reported such extravagances to the authorities, I have been informed that Mister Holmes is a singular man and as such, is prone to eccentricities.
Mrs Hudson, his housekeeper (if indeed that is what she is) – is to be found, on a regular basis, lying at the bottom of the stairs with an anatomy book and a bottle of gin.
Mister Holmes has a gentleman caller by the name of Doctor Watson, who seems a smidge too normal to be an acquaintance of the mad man. Still this world welcomes many types.
The other evening, I answered the door, as Mrs Hudson was slightly inebriated and Mr Holmes was nowhere to be found.
I was a little miffed and answered the door, abruptly.
“Yes!” Said I.
At the door was a six-foot tall woman, with a great deal of facial hair for one, I would assume, so delicate. She had the most brutish shoulders, but I attempted not to stare as the poor soul, who has probably been a victim of such wickedness throughout her pitiful life.
When all of a sudden, in the deepest of deep tones, comes a voice:
“It is I,” says the woman.
“Who is I?” Asks I.
“Why, it is me, Sherlock, your neighbour and friend from the top of the stairs,” says she.
Then on closer inspection, I see that it is indeed, Mr Sherlock Holmes in what can only be described as an excellent disguise.
“Well done,” says I.
“For what?” Asks the genius, that is Holmes.
“Why, the disguise, “I add.
“What disguise? Oh this. I was out with Mister Oscar Wilde and I had nowhere to put my key,” says Sherlock, as he runs up the stairs giving one the certain impression he is being pursued.
And talking of being pursued. Last Thursday I happened to look out of the window on to a sunny Baker Street when I see Mister Holmes running as if Old Nick was chasing him to the very heart of Hell. When I see that indeed he is being chased by the biggest hound I have ever set eyes upon. Mister Holmes keeps running, back and forth, back and forth, and each time he passes, he shouts one word that I may understand.
The first time he passed, the word was ‘Throw’ and the next time, a few minutes later, ‘The’, then even later still, ‘Dog’, followed by ‘A’, then ‘Bone’.
‘Throw the dog a bone’, was his secret message. How clever. I shouted on Mrs Hudson but she was in the process of drinking herself into oblivion, so I picked up the first bone I found in Mister’s Holmes’ parlour. Later I found out that it was a treasured dinosaur bone, still it stopped the dog.
Apparently the huge dog had been following Holmes and Watson since their little outing to the south-west of England. I helped Mister Holmes up the stairs as he was particularly flustered and looked as if he might collapse at any moment.
When we entered the parlour, once more, Dr Watson was sitting doing nothing much, other than looking at his fingers.
I helped Mr Holmes to a seat. “Why there you are Holmes,” said Watson, quite eagerly. “Have you ever noticed Holmes that each person’s finger has a different pattern – and may actually differ from all others in this world,” said Watson, smugly.
“And your point is?” Asked a rather angry Sherlock.
“Well, it could be used to solve crimes and such,” he said, even smugger.
“Yes, Holmes,” said an expectant Watson.
“Do shut up,” said Holmes, obviously having had enough of the little doctor.
One night last weekend, Holmes and Watson did invite me out (not with Mister Wilde) but to help them solve a crime.
We entered the unsavoury East End of London, upon a dark and foggy night, on the chance that we might apprehend a devious fiend. From all accounts, he was short of height but carried a step-ladder with him, in order to do dastardly deeds – one of which was to unzip ladies’ dresses. Naturally the dress would fall and everyone would give a cheer. Each time, he carried out such an outrage, he left a card with the motto:
“You have just met Jack, the Zipper.”
As Mister Holmes says, he must be caught and we are just the men to do it.
bobby stevenson 2016