Monthly Archives: October 2016

Going Underground…

From the Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

Dear Diary

As the three of us hurried towards the bridge, a plan was forming in my mind. In the distance, a number of men dressed in what I took to be German uniforms were gadding about here and there. I grasped the sleeves of my companions.

“Put your hands in the air and pretend you’re my prisoners.”

Dickie grinned. “Oh, what fun!” He patted his partner on the head. “Like when we were in panto in Barrow-in-Furness – remember?”

Arthur chuckled. “We could do our Wilson, Kepple and Betty act.” He promptly stuck his hands in the air and began to advance in single file, sliding his feet along in a sad rendition of the infamous sand dance. Dickie followed him and I took up the rear, brandishing the gun I’d taken from the soldier.

As we reached the other side of the bridge and came within a few feet of the nearest guards, one of them took a step towards me.

“Vot is ze passvord?” he barked.

I decided to take the initiative. “Vy are you speakink like zat?”

“Ve alvays speak like zis ven we are in Englandshire.”

“Very vell,” I said, and pointing at my companions, “I captured zees prisoners ven I vos out on patrol.”

The man eyed Arthur and Dickie with a degree of suspicion, then waved us on. “Take zem to our leader.”

We started forwards again, then the guard held out a hand to stop me. “Forgive me, but you haf very large breasts for an Oberleutnant.” He reached out a hand, presumably to fondle my chesticle area, so I rapped him sharply across the knuckles with the butt of my pistol.

“Ow. Zat hurt.”

“Zis is my disguise to fool ze English detectives. Now get out of my vay before I report you for sexual harassment.”

The man jumped aside and we hurried on.

Crossing the bridge, we were able to make out a lot of to-ing and fro-ing. Several men in overalls appeared to be unloading tools and equipment from the so-called ghost train which now stood stationary on the tracks. Most of the men were heading for a flight of steps at the side of the line.

“Follow those chaps,” I whispered to Dickie.

As we descended the steps, I could see the entrance to an underground tunnel of some sort. “What on earth d’you suppose this is for?” I muttered as we passed through into the interior.

“Probably a secret tunnel,” said Arthur. “I expect it’s part of some devilish plot.”

“Really?” I said. “That’s very astute of you.”

He shook his head. “No it isn’t – but I’m sure it’s exactly the sort of thing Mr Holmes is thinking right now.”

Just then, a door opened ahead of us and Holmes himself, together with my Johnnie and a bevy of storm troopers, marched out into the tunnel. Holmes saw me immediately and twisted his head away, no doubt in order to avoid drawing attention to us. However, my dear husband was less obliging and as soon as he set eyes on me, called out:

“Hello, darling! What are you doing here? And why are you dressed like a German soldier?”

All eyes turned towards us.

“Oh, I thought we’d just trot along and carry out a rescue mission,” said I, with only a hint of sarcasm.

My husband opened his mouth, then closed it. “Ah. Sorry.”

The soldiers pushed us all together and it was only then I noticed a small man behind Holmes. He looked strangely familiar, with his piggy little eyes and rather silly moustache. There was also something unsettling about his eyebrows. And then it came to me:

“He looks just like Adolf Hi –”

“La la la la laaaaaa!” Yelled Holmes. “La la la-la laaaa…”

The piggy-eyed man glared at him. “Vot are you doingk, Herr Holmes?”

Holmes shrugged. “Just had a sudden urge to sing, old bean.” He smiled sardonically.

“The little man nodded. “Very vell. You can zing for your zupper. Before we kill you. Mwah, hah, hah…”

I turned to Johnnie. “Did he just say ‘Mwah, hah, hah?”

My husband nodded. “I believe he did, darling.”

“Oh, no,” I said. “According to your casenotes, dear, there are only two villains who use that phrase, and one of them’s a dead vampire.”

As we stared at the piggy-eyed little man, his body seemed to grow upwards and straighten out, as if he’d simply been pretending to be small.

Johnny groaned. “Oh, bugger.”

Holmes rolled his eyes and let out a long sigh. “For fuck’s sake – not you again?”

Professor Moriarty nodded as he peeled off the moustache and smoothed his hair back. “Revenge, as they say, Mister Holmes, is sweet…”

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Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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Take Me to Your Leader…

From the Diary of Doctor J. Watson

As we trundled over the bridge, Holmes and I were thrown against the crate in front of us and I realised the driver of our vehicle had applied the brakes. Scrambling to our feet, we peered through the smoke. Ahead of us I was able to discern several shapes moving around near the track and as the smoke finally cleared and we jerked to a halt, we were left staring at the bum cheeks of what I supposed was the engineer.

The fellow finished tying his bootlaces and straightened up. Then, adjusting his trousers, turned round. On seeing us, his hands flew up in the air and he exclaimed in a heavily-accented voice:

“Vot is dis? Who der hell are you?”

Holmes lifted his hat. “Sherlock Holmes, at your service. This is my associate Dr Watson. You may speak freely.”

Before the fellow could utter another word, two soldiers in grey uniforms marched up to our truck and pulled out their weapons. The taller of the two took the lead.

“Ah, Mr Holmes Ve haf been expecting you.”

“Jolly good,” said Holmes, resting a hand on the man’s shoulder. “A bit of assistance, if you don’t mind.”

The man was too taken aback to object and helped us climb down.

“Now,” said Holmes. “Take me to your leader.”

The soldier glared at Holmes, then taking off his gloves, slapped his subordinate across the chops. “Oberleutnant – nehmen sie in den Führer.”

I glanced at my companion and whispered, “Look here, Holmes, that fellow’s German.”

“Yes. Annoying, isn’t it?” He smiled sardonically. “I do hope the main chappie speaks English. My European languages aren’t all they used to be.”

I coughed. “I did a bit of Latin at grammar school, if that’s any help?”

Holmes tutted and we fell into line behind the soldiers.

As we followed them down the track, I noticed a number of overall-clad chaps moving around here and there, carrying tools and timber back towards the edge of the bridge.

“What d’you suppose they’re up to?” I said.

“Answer me this, friend Watson,” said Holmes as moved away from the track and began to descend a flight of steps. “What is it that we British lack that our German counterparts have in abundance?”

I shrugged. “Black sausage?”

“Apart from that.”

“Well, nothing that I can think of.”

“Exactly, Watson.”

“Sorry old bean, you’ve lost me.”

As we reached the foot of the steps, we were led into an underground chamber. Holmes took my arm. “Why did we come over the bridge just now?”

“To get to the other side?” I suggested.

“And what service does the bridge perform?”

I frowned. “Well, to stop us falling into the river, I expect.”

“Precisely. For once, Watson, you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial.”

“Oh. Good.” I was no wiser.

The tunnel straightened out and I could see it had been carved into the rock with some degree of skill. Our escorts waved us to one side and opened a door in the wall of the tunnel.

“If you vouldn’t mind?”

Holmes smiled. And vot vould you do if ve vould?”

“You are a very cheeky man, Herr Holmes.”

Inside, we found ourselves in a sort of anteroom. One of the soldiers knocked on another door and said something in German. After a moment, he indicated we should go in.

The door closed behind us. With a soldier on either side and their guns still pointing at our heads, I doubted there was much room for escape. However, it was not that thought which occupied my mind at that precise moment, but rather the man sitting at a large desk directly in front of us.

Holmes raised his hat. “Good evening. And you are…?”

The little man at the desk sniffed and fiddled with his moustache. It was one of those silly little taches young comedians sometimes wear when they want to raise a smile.

The little man stood up and said something to the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant turned to us and said, “Herr Hitler vants to know if you’d like a cup of tea?”

I looked at Holmes. Holmes looked at me.

“Bugger,” I said.

“Seconded,” said Holmes.

The Watson Letters Vol 2 Not the 39 Steps JULY 2016 EBOOK VERSION
The Watson Letters Vol 2: Not the 39 Steps

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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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To the Bridge…

From the Diary of Mary Watson (Mrs)

Dear Diary

As my husband seemed to have left me in charge of a bunch of nitwits, I determined to commit to paper my own thoughts on this bizarre affair. Should Johnny elect to include my contribution when he records this adventure for posterity (or self-aggrandisement, whichever seems most apposite) , I suspect he will in any case don his Editor’s Hat and bring his own ‘manly’ personality to bear on my feminine scribblings. Nonetheless, I feel duty-bound to press my own account upon him in due course. If he chooses to ignore it, he will do so at his own peril!

Standing on the station platform, I watched the so-called Ghost Train thunder past just now, its flickering projector throwing an effective display of lights and so forth across the windows of the waiting room. Arthur and Dickie had urged me not to come out here on my own, but I was unable to resist viewing the spectacle for myself.

What I had not expected to see was my own dear husband and Mister Gobshite Holmes also aboard the vehicle. Lord only knows what the pair of them are up to! I shall be utterly vexed if anything happens to Johnny, for it will surely be the fault of that smarty-pants detective yet again.

(Note to Johnny – please edit out all derogatory references to Holmes – I shouldn’t wish to annoy the Great Cheese any more than usual).

After the train passed, Arthur’s face appeared in the doorway.

“Wouldn’t stand there if I were you, Mary – you might be taken for a prostitute.”

I ignored his remark and tugged his lapel, gently prising him out onto the platform. “And what say you to this strange affair, Arthur?”

He gazed at me, his dark eyes fixed on my bosom. “All sounds a big titty, I mean, a bit fishy to me.” He patted my arm. “Best leave it to our detective friend, eh?”

I sniffed. “I hadn’t taken you for a coward, Arthur.” I glanced sideways at him and was gratified to observe his face flush scarlet.

“Oh, what a cheek! I’ll have you know I fought in the Crimean War. Got a row of forty medals on me chest, big chest.”

“Yes. I’ve heard that song.”

His mouth opened, then closed. “You have, eh?” He waggled his head and grinned sheepishly. “Just my little joke, you know? Got to ‘ave a larf, ain’t yer?”

“So you’re a coward?”

“No, course not.”

“Excellent. Then I suggest you seize your lanky friend and the three of us take a walk down to the bridge.” I fluttered my eyelashes causing him to leap backwards (my wonky eye sometimes has that effect on men).

Arthur seemed about to argue, but instead he merely shrugged and nodded in agreement.

A few minutes later, Dickie, Arthur and myself were heading down the track. The smoke from the ‘train’ still hung in the air, obscuring our view of the bridge. However, a few yards further on, we were able to discern the outline of the vehicle my husband and Holmesy had hitched a lift on, though I couldn’t make out any human shapes.

“I do hope there won’t be any fisticuffs, “muttered Dickie, frowning.

“Oh, behave,” said Arthur. “Not a coward, are you?”

I glared at him and he had the good grace to blush.

“Anyway,” he went on, “we’ve got Mary to protect us.” He giggled and I gave him a playful dig in the ribs.

A we approached the bridge, Dickie pushed Arthur in front of him. “You won’t let them hurt me, will you?”

I’m not going in front – you go in front,” and the pair of them started pushing and shoving each other.

I stopped and looked at them. “For goodness sake, it’s only a bunch of Nazis.”

Dickie’s face turned pale. “Nazis?”

Arthur laughed and waved a hand in the air. “It’s alright, Dick, she’s just ‘aving a larf.”

“I wasn’t actually,” I said. “They are Nazis.”

“You’re bloody joking?” he squealed.

“I’m bloody not,” said I. “I heard Holmes say so.”

He sighed loudly. “Fine. Kill me now.” And he pulled his jacked open, baring his chest.

“Don’t be silly,” I said. “All we’re going to do is have a look and see what’s going on.”

“Oh,” said Arthur. “That’s alright then. For a minute I thought we might be in trouble.”

“You are ink trouble, mine friend.”

“Blimey, Mary,” laughed Arthur. “You sounded just like a German spy, then!”

“She did too,” nodded Dickie, grinning.

“I don’t do impressions, boys,” I said, turning to look for the source of the voice.

A dark shape emerged from the bushes at the side of the track. A man in a long black leather greatcoat, stepped towards us, his rifle pointed at my head.

“So, ve meet at last, Mr Holmes?”

“Who’s he talking to,” whispered Dickie.

“Not I,” said Arthur. They both looked at me.


The newcomer laughed derisively. “Hah, do not trying to fool me, Mr Holmes. You are vell known for your talent in ze department of disguise, I sink.”

“Oh, for fu – ”

“Mary!” Arthur’s mouth dropped open. “Language, please!”


“Stop zis silliness and take off your disguise.” The man with the gun shook his weapon at me.

“Oh dear,” I said, “I do believe the poor fool is serious.” I couldn’t help give in to a gentle titter.

The stranger’s face went purple. “Do not joke vis me, Holmes. Take off your disguise zis minute!” And with that, he stepped forward and grabbed my left breast. Now, while I am not averse to having my left breast fondled, I do generally draw the line when Nazis are involved. My fist made contact with the man’s face in less than a second and as I watched him fall unconscious to the ground, I congratulated myself on my recent decision to take a short course in hand-to-hand combat.

“Bloody hell,” said Arthur.

“Language,” said I, crouching down to take off the Nazi’s coat.

“I say, Mary,” said Dickie, “you’re not going to engage in sexual intercourse, are you?”

I paused and gazed up at him. “If I were, Richard, I doubt I should be doing it in front of you.”

“No, of course not.”

“Now, help me get his clothes off…”

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Posted by on October 6, 2016 in Detective Fiction


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