from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Thank you so much for your visit yesterday, and for the half-ounce of Goode Hard Shag, which I enjoyed several times last evening (so much so, that my old pipe was fairly throbbing by the time I eventually went to bed). As you anticipated, I found myself much recovered this morning and lost no time heading homewards into the arms of my loving wife. Mrs Watson, however, has abandoned me for a period of weeks as her cousin Sir Jasper Fforde has once again come down with the dreaded lurgy (more likely the demon drink, I suspect), and will require my wife’s ministrations until Thursday next.
My Gloucester colleague Dr Foster has been seeing to my caseload, so my surgery is distinctly empty for the rest of the week. This, together with my missing wife and the lack of any Hard Shag, left me at somewhat of a loose end and eventually I had no alternative but to go through my correspondence. As luck would have it, I discovered among said correspondence a missive from my old school chum Tubby Tippy Hedren who has requested our assistance down in Cornwall where she has been having a few problems with the local population of starlings. Apparently, these and several other species have been inexplicably attacking village residents and she wonders if you and I might be able to shed some light onto the affair.
If nothing else, she’s offered to put us up at the village hotel for a few days and I was thinking it might be good for you, Holmes, to take some sea air?
I can make all the arrangements if you are amenable.
Let me know soon, old thing