from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
From the diary of Doctor Watson
On waking this morning, I called on Holmes in the next room, to find that my companion had disappeared. It was only on returning to my room that I noticed a hastily scribbled note had been pushed under my door:
After we had escorted Dr Snodgrass home to his Lodgings and tucked the fellow up with a toasty Hotty and glass of H2O on his bedside table for the inevitable alcoholic thirst, I made my way, unbeknownst to you ( believing me snoring under the eiderdown in the next room), to Madame Marmalade’s Emporium, in order to winkle out some pertinent facts and relevant information….( she agreed to waive your Invoice on production of my Official Papers. I flashed her my Membership Papers for Theosophilus’ Smith’s Travelling Freakshow and Assocs, which seemed to placate her somewhat).
After some practised smarming and smooth-talking, I ascertained that Edgar had been a regular visitor to her Franchises, not to sample the wares, but to obtain ideas and suggestions for his short stories – as the other customers were a mine of information and gory details, being members of the shady and perverse stratum of Society, known as The Establishment; she kept me engrossed and enthralled for quite some time, revealing snippets and tales, which, if endorsed and tagged with names, would have brought down Public Figures and Influential Persons, over a wide and spreading radius of The Colonies.
As that may be, I was making my way towards our Hostelry, when I noticed a shadowy figure to my left, keeping to the verges, attempting to blend in with the darkness, keeping pace with my progress, albeit slightly behind me; on turning quickly round, the figure scurried back somewhat – I called out “Who goes there!” – and almost staggered back in surprise, as the familiar lanky length of Robert Louis Stevenson drew itself up to its full height – “Holmes!”, he ejaculated, “What the Devil are you doing here?!” – ” I could ask You the same question!” I emitted – “Let us immediately wend our way to my Lodgings, and rouse Dr Watson from his slumbers….we have much talking to do….”, and with that, we set off.
I washed and dressed hurriedly and made my way downstairs where I found my companion and the aforementioned RLS deep in conversation…