From Dr Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
As you no doubt appreciated in writing such an emotion-tugging tale, my immediate thoughts on receiving it were that once again I had succumbed to the selfishness, self-loathing and utter desperation that clouds my judgment on hearing such desperate peril – I could not believe I had been so thoughtless as to consider for one tiny moment that you would hold me in anything other than the noblest and most honourable of estimations, a true friend of intimate and cherished acquaintance that could never be equalled by ordinary men.
I have never felt so low, Holmes, as I did in those moments when I feared that once again, I have betrayed your trust. Pause for effect. And then, Holmes, and THEN! I saw the light.
Throwing caution to the wind, I ran down to the nearest telegraph office and sent a telegram to The Tilted Wig, and do you know what? Within minutes I had a reply from the bartender (one Angus McCoatup) confirming that indeed Mr Sherlock Holmes and Inspector McRae have spent the previous few days in what I believe is commonly known as a ‘lock-in’ at that very same hostelry, downing samples of every alcoholic beverage in the place.
Hah! So you thought to confound me with another one of your puzzles, eh? Well, you certainly had me fooled, but then I realised that had you really been in that dire situation (as you claimed) you would have encountered two problems: firstly, unless your captors had confined you within a telegraph office I cannot imagine how you would have sent your previous message by telegram. And secondly, even you Holmes, would never have omitted to give precise instructions as to where your rescuers might find you.
Even so, I had my doubts and it wasn’t until I questioned the so-called Ghillie friend of yours and discovered him to be none other than that infamous music-hall comedian Fat Tommy McTrinder (he soon coughed up the truth when I plied him with a little of what he calls ‘the water of life’), and further confirmed that he has poor claim on being the ‘funniest man in Scotland’.
I should think you’ve had a jolly good laugh at me, Holmes, and for once I don’t hold it against you. However, I urge you to sally forth and make haste to Baker Street as an interesting case has come into our hands: it seems that a young woman has been shot dead in Leicester and the police have arrested some chap named Ronnie Light. Your old pal Edward Marshall (Upsadaisy) Hall is convinced of the man’s innocence and hopes we shall intervene in finding the real culprit. I have replied that we shall be in touch shortly.
Let me know when you are home.
Yours Waspishly, Watson