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From a Window…

From the Diary of Dr WatsonPhone Box men.jpg 250x

It was dark when Hannay and myself arrived at his apartment. My companion’s initial enthusiasm (spurred by the knowledge of the gun in my pocket), had by this time dissipated somewhat. He began to display signs of anxiety – sweating profusely from every pore, an inability to get his key in the lock, visibly starting at the click of the light switch etc. I made myself useful by making a pot of tea while he hurried to the window and drew the curtains.

“Here we are, old bean,” I said, handing him a mug of Darjeeling. “This’ll perk you up.”

Holding the edge of the curtain open, Hannay took the cup but his gaze was fixed on the street outside. “They’re back again, see?” He turned to me, a look of utter fright in his eyes. “What the devil can they want?”

I shrugged and peered over his shoulder. In the street below, two rather dubious looking men were standing by a telephone box, looking up at the flat. I determined to put a brave face on it: “Looks perfectly innocent to me – just a couple of chaps having a quiet smoke.”

Hannay shook his head. “No, they’re after my plot.”

I blinked. “Your what?”

“My plot,” said he. “They want to steal The 39 Steps.”

I considered this for a long moment, debating the consequences of such a proposition. “Sorry, what?”

He uttered a sound that underlined his apparent pissed-offness. “Watson! Don’t you get it? It’s all about my book – The 39 Steps. They want to steal the plot.”

I began to experience a growing sensation of annoyance. “What, you mean this isn’t about some international spy ring? ”

“Spy ring? God no, it’s much, much worse.”

My blood ran cold. “You mean – they’re writers?”

“Of course they’re bloody writers, damn it. Ever since I came up with a cracking good idea for my new novel, everyone’s been after it.”

I sighed. “You’re an idiot. Sorry Hannay, but I’m going home.” I began to put on my underpants, my socks and my string vest. However, a knock at the door startled us both. “Who the fuck’s that?”

“It’s them!” Screamed Hannay, “they’re going to kill me.”

I pulled on my trousers. “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s probably just someone who’s lost their way and seeking directions.” I hastened to the door and pulled it open.

Standing before us was a moustachioed man wearing a frock coat. He leaned forward slightly and muttered, “Ostovich.”

“What?” said I. But our visitor spake no more. He pitched forward and fell in a heap on the floor. And that’s when I noticed the knife in his back…

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2016 in Detective Fiction

 

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The Spy at Night…

To Sherlock Holmes Esq from Doctor Watson

Dear HolmesPub Sign

As you appear to be ignoring my messages, I have taken it upon myself to investigate the matter I brought to your attention the other day. Since our old pal Bill Sikes is unwilling to inveigle himself any further in the affair, I sent a telegram to ‘Vicki’s Titties’ (a public house of dubious repute) arranging to meet with Mr Hannay and attempt some sort of intervention.

When I arrived at the aforementioned hostelry last evening, I alighted from my Hansom in a flurry of excitement. I hasten to say the excitement was not of my doing, but created by a group of young apprentices in the midst of a series of strange tasks: some bigwig by the name of Lord Shagger had demanded they ascertain the cost of performing an appendectomy on the cheap, and to this end they pinned me to the wall and fired a barrage of questions regarding surgical cuts etc. I brandished my Doctor’s bag and swung it to and fro til they spotted the old fiend Dr Knox across the road (still on the run in regard to that body-snatching phase of his).

As the yobs turned to chase after Knoxie, I scurried into the public house and located the landlord. He glanced around nervously and bade me make haste to an upstairs room where I found our client, Richard Hannay.

“Where’s Sherlock Holmes?” said he, with what I deduced to be a rather unhelpful degree of resentment.

I explained that Mr Holmes was engaged on another matter, but that I would do all I could to help. At this, he crumpled in a heap on the fireside rug and began to sob loudly. Feeling somewhat embarrassed at this show of unmanliness, I determined to explore my feminine side and knelt down beside him. Slipping an arm around his shoulder I must admit I found the experience of human contact rather comforting (as you know, Mrs Watson has been somewhat distant lately, following her fling with that Italian ice cream seller).

It transpires that Hannay cannot return to his own flat as one of his admirers is tormenting him with threats of libel etc. (I use this term loosely, since his melodramatic plots are nothing more than completely ridiculous and unlikely to provoke anything other than utter boredom). However, I persuaded him that it was foolish to stay away from his own home and that we should go there at once and face whoever (or whatever) awaits us.

In the end, I only managed to convince him to take my advice after showing him my trusty weapon. His eyes lit up on seeing it, and he begged me to let him touch it. I agreed to this, since I didn’t see any harm in letting him feel its solid shaft and hair trigger, so long as the damn thing didn’t go off in his hand!

Thus empowered, he became considerably animated and minutes later, we hailed a cab and set off for his apartment. Had I known what lurked in the shadows of that deadly spot, I might have taken more notice of Hannay’s concerns.

To be continued

Watson

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2016 in Detective Fiction

 

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A Timely Missive…

Hand-delivered by Urchin

Deer Docter WatsenBig Ben small

I am sure yule forgiv this intrushon inter your privat life, but I have come upon a situashon what you might be abel ter help with (or indeed, your pal Mister Holmes). As you knowe, I have lately been on the strayt and narrow after being a bit of a robber fer most of my lyfe, so have been involvd in doin some cleanin fer the gover ment. In fact, I have been cleanin the basement in the monument what is knowne as Big Ben. An while doin so I have come inter contact with a gentleman by the name of Mister Hannay.

Anyway, I will get to the point of this letter: Mister Hannay is a writer what is interested in writin crim books and books about villins an that, an he was arskin me what I thought about stuff. Well, whil we was talkin, he arsked how many steps there was up to the tower, so I said there were about four undred.

He was a bit upset at this and said “So not thirty-nine, then?”

“No,” said I.

“Bugger,” said he.

Anyway, then he said he would have ter go and I watched him goin off down the streete. Then I appened ter notice that two surly-lookin fellers was following him, so I hurried on down and catched up with him and took him inter a nearby pub.

The long and the short and the tall of it, Docter, is that Mister Hannay needs your help. I have enclosed the address at where he is stayin and have told him to expect you shortly.

I ope this were alright

Yours sinseerly

Bill Sikes

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Detective Fiction

 

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