From the Diary of Doctor Watson
It wasn’t until Hannay and myself had boarded the 18:47 to Edinburgh (having avoided the usual ticket-buying process) and squeezed ourselves into the toilet compartment on the Flying Scotsman, that it occurred to me we’d neglected to do anything about the body.
“What’s wrong,” whispered my companion. “You eager to get moving?”
“Not that – we forgot Scudder.”
He blinked several times. “You think we ought to have brought him with us?”
“No, of course not,” I chided, slapping his stupid face. “But we should have bundled him into the laundry chute or something.” I cursed my own stupidity and idly wondered how Holmes would phrase his chastisement on my lack of forethought. “Never mind, I don’t suppose the body’ll be discovered for several days.”
At that point I became aware of a newsvendor touting his wares on the platform. At first I couldn’t make out what he was saying – it sounded like ‘Cliff Richard’s Stash of Meth in Bed on the Escarpment’, but that didn’t make sense. I leaned past Hannay, pulled down the window and the vendor’s chilling message rang out clearly above the noise of the station: ‘Stiff Found Stabbed to Death in Famous Author’s Apartment’.
I looked at Hannay. “That’s torn it.”
“Oh God – you don’t think the police will board the train suspecting we’re headed for a sleepy Scottish village?”
I considered this for a moment. “No, but I think they might board the train suspecting that you’re headed for a sleepy Scottish village.” I chuckled. “They’re hardly likely to suspect me, are they?”
His face fell floorwards faster than Mrs Watson’s underwear on a Friday night.
“Don’t worry, old chap,” said I. “I’ll put them right.”
He pouted like a spoilt child, then began to smile as the newsvendor’s next words came to our ears:
“Police search for Missing Murderer Doctor Watson. Sherlock Holmes Outraged.”
I said nothing and spent a few minutes in quiet contemplation, assessing the viability of my plan. Just then, the train began to move and I dared to think we might have escaped any police intrusion, at least for the time being.
But our safe haven was destined not to last – as the train lurched forward, the toilet door thudded open and a familiar face hove into view.
“Ah, Doctor Watson,” murmured Inspector Lestrade. “Sorry, old bean, but you’re under arrest.”
To be continued.