As the Vultures Gather…

20 Jun

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

(delivered by hand by Ex-Major Tom, formerly of Bowie Street Barrac1500_scene-from-the-birds1ks)

Thank you for your telegram, which I received yesterday morning, but I have to inform you that such matters as disgruntled librarians are the least of our troubles.

As your messenger will have no doubt confirmed, myself and Tippy are at this very moment trapped in the schoolhouse on Seagull Lane (together with an agitated teacher and several screaming children), surrounded by thousands of birds – the dreadful creatures can be seen gathering on telephone wires, tops of walls and in the trees surrounding the playground.

But I digress – Tippy arrived in my hotel room shortly after your telegram and had begun to tell me of your ‘adventures’ (you cad, Holmes, how could you?), when a boy appeared with a message from Miss Florence Machine, a teacher at the very same building of educational instruction in which we are now trapped. Her message was addressed to Messrs Holmes and Watson and simply read:

“Come to the school at once. The Eagle has landed.”

On our arrival, it was plain to see that our formerly-feathered-friends, were gathering in great numbers all around the school. Even as Tippy and I made our way as quietly as possible and with the utmost care to the front door, the activity of the birds became more blatant. The creatures clearly have a leader – a large eagle who has perched himself rather worryingly on top of the children’s swings. Once again, I am reminded of a certain acquaintance of ours whose features seem indelibly part of that noble bird’s dominion. Yes, Holmes, I know it’s ridiculous but I am convinced that Moriarty is somehow a part of this whole bird-related episode.

Urging the teacher and children to withdraw to the uppermost floor of the building, it was at this point I noticed a flashing light from a house in the distance. At first I thought I was imagining it, but then I realised someone was transmitting Morse Code. Scribbling down what I could grasp of the sender’s message, I soon deciphered it. However, since it concerns the cleavage of a certain barmaid at the Hog’s Head Arms, I have no need to reiterate the contents of that message. I whipped out my own make-up mirror (I’ll explain later) and began flashing in the direction of Major Tom.

Thankfully the Major quickly grasped the details of my predicament and signalled that he would contact you as soon as humanly possible. I think he was a little annoyed at my insistence on sending such a lengthy communication when I could more easily have condensed it into a few words, but I know how you like to be informed of all the relevant details.

In short, Holmes, please come quickly.

Yours, somewhat upset,


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Posted by on June 20, 2015 in Detective Fiction


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