From the Diary of Doctor Watson
I’m happy to report that my host appeared to have returned to normal this morning, though his irritating habit of talking in rhyme was unaffected by his recent clock-bound ordeal. Zellaby munched toast while regaling me with the details of a telephonical message he took whilst I was still at my toilette.
“Lestrade, a message he did send
And called to say he can’t attend
So you will have to take the reigns
In things concerning child-er-ens.”
I have to admit my annoyance showed itself a little more than I intended when I replied thus:
“If you don’t stop this rhyming stock
I’ll shove you back inside that clock!”
Zellaby’s mouth took a downward turn. “Sorry.” He went on to explain (without poetic license) how Inspector Lestrade has been called away on a matter of some urgency – apparently Scotland Yard are having a bit of bother with the Krazy Twins and Lestrade is the only one the mad pair will negotiate with.
This was a bit of a blow, as I was banking on Lestrade’s help. However, needs must and I soon came up with a plan to lure the children to the schoolhouse on the pretext of seeing a moving picture. I could then lock them up until we can come up with a long-term solution.
Zellaby, however, shook his head. “I am afraid, Dr Watson, that will not be possible. You see, the Children won’t trust you. They will know what you’re thinking before you’ve got anywhere near them. Look what happened to Mr Holmes.”
“Then I shall resort to my trusty revolver and shoot the lot of them.” I helped myself to another slice of toast and a large dollop of quince jam.
My companion shook his head. “Again, they will see your plan and make you turn your feeble weapon on yourself.”
“Then what on earth are we to do?”
Zellaby left the room for a moment and returned a few minutes later carrying what looked like a small nuclear bomb.
“My God,” I gasped. “What on earth is that?”
“It’s a small nuclear bomb,” explained the old man. “Oh, don’t worry, it’s not terribly nuclear – only enough to blow the schoolhouse to smithereens.”
I threw my napkin on the table with as much disdain as I could muster. “Then I don’t see..”
Zellaby interrupted and explained that he had invented the bomb for just such an occasion and that since his recent brain operation (which included inserting a large metal tea plate in his head) his thoughts cannot be so easily picked up by the Children. “Therefore,” he continued, “I am the obvious choice to lure the demonic creatures to their fate.”
“But how will you escape?” I cried.
He shrugged. “I won’t.”
As I sit here in this very ordinary railway carriage, I cannot believe the events of the last 24 hours. Poor Zellaby did indeed lure the Children to the schoolhouse on the pretext of watching a moving picture called ‘The Last Temptation of Christopher Biggins’ and he also managed to detonate the bomb, killing everyone within a five mile radius.
Fortunately, I had managed to get Holmes out of the Asylum and into a small hotel in the next village before the balloon went up, and while it is a terrible shame that several hundred innocent people died, we are at least rid of those pesky kids.
Holmes is sleeping now, wrapped up in a blanket and snoring loudly. It’ll be nice to get back to Baker Street again.