From Sherlock Holmes Esq to Dr J Watson:
My dear Chap! – how can I ever apologise for my behaviour in this instance….I know it will be scarce excuse for this unacceptable lapse of concentration, but I can only proffer it as an explanation, although you will doubtless deem it as unforgivable and I will be attempting to make up for it for years to come….Anyhow, all I can do is offer it up for your consideration, and take my punishment like a man.
The very hour I was due to relieve you of The Package, in fact as I was in the act of opening the front door of 221B, who did I find on the doorstep but our old chum Stevenson, who, elated at finishing his latest scribbling, was ready to open the door to Abandon and Licentiousness – “Come, you old dog, you! – let’s paint the town Red! – let’s fly in the face of Decorum and frequent the seedier side of this steaming cess-pit you call Home! – let’s float on the fumes of the Orient and commune with The Green Fairy!” – he let further ramblings issue from his lips, but by this point, my carefully-suppressed urges had broken free from their self-imposed shackles, and the next thing I remember was waking up next to the Drayman’s Nag with the most frightful hammering and pounding in what passed for my brain.
I do not tell you this in the hope of eliciting sympathy – it is merely by explanation. I did not even know how many days and nights had elapsed, but from your response, I can see it must have been a few. Again, I can only apologise, and hope you will eventually forgive my lapse. In answer to why the Desk Sergeant omitted to tell me what had transpired, I believe his concentration was distracted somewhat by your good lady’s deshabillement.
I will be with you forthwith. SH.