From the Diary of Dr J Watson:
The next day Holmes and I made our way to the rendezvous as described on the invitation. I must admit to feeling some degree of trepidation as we approached the hill above the village. Following the path up to the summit, we caught glimpses of the bizarre structure ahead of us and then, emerging into the clearing, we gazed upon the thing itself, as it stood proudly on the summit, gazing out across the bay.
“My God, Holmes,” I exclaimed. “It’s…it’s…it’s…”
“Yes, Watson,” muttered my companion. “It’s me.”
I was struck by a curious mix of terror and admiration as we beheld the strange sight before us. The Wicker man must have been more than thirty feet high, it’s features cleverly shaped into a form I was only too familiar with. “Holmes – it’s you!”
“You have a gift for repetition, Watson,” said Holmes. “Indeed, a good likeness, though currently unfinished, I think.” He peered around the clearing and raising his hand pointed to a lone figure standing some yards from the wicker structure. “Our adversary, I believe.” And with that he strode forward.
Hurrying after him, I kept my gaze on the man before us, struggling to make out his face. As we approached, the stranger lifted his head.
“My God, Holmes,” I began, but my friend held up a hand.
“For a writer, Watson, you appear to be somewhat in short supply of suitable expletives.”
“Sorry, Holmes, what I meant was – Fucking Hell.”
Holmes nodded and turned to the stranger. “Mrs Moriarty, I believe?”
The woman in black nodded as she tore away the whiskers, beard, moustache and false nose. “Yes, Mr Holmes and I am here to take my revenge on you for the death of my husband.” With a quick movement, she snapped her fingers and a horde of swarthy individuals jumped out of the bushes and surrounded us, throwing ropes and chains around our feet and hands. Moments later, they were carrying us to the wicker figure and in an instant, I understood what Holmes had been referring to – we were to be encased in wicker and bound to the effigy’s legs. We were, in short, its feet.
As our captors lashed our struggling forms into place, I glanced at my companion. “Er Holmes…I hope this was part of your plan…”
Holmes gave me a sardonic smile. “Have faith, Watson.” And with that he began manipulating his mouth in such a way that for a moment I half-expected him to pull one of his famous ‘gurning’ faces, but then I saw the short metal tube emerge from his puckered lips and a second later he blew through that same tube with all his might. As I expected, there was no sound, but suddenly the paws of a gigantic hound were upon us, its slavering jaws biting and tearing at our bonds amidst shouts of anger from the gang.
As we fell to the ground, the yells of the villains reached a crescendo as Scooby Doo rounded them up, while Shaggy shouldered his blunderbuss and aimed it at the baddies.
“Just in the nick of time, Mr Rogers,” said Holmes, dusting himself down. “Though I’m sure we could have tarried a little longer.” He turned to the woman in black, who was splayed on the ground with one of Scooby’s massive paws in the middle of her ample chest.
“Time to unmask the real villain, I think.” And Holmes stepped forward and grasped the woman’s hand.
“My God, Holmes,” I began, then “Sorry. I meant, heavens to Betsy, it’s Bertha Mason, the mad woman in the attic!”
“Yes,” said Holmes, revealing the horrendous burns that ran up and down the woman’s arms. “The unfortunate Mr Rochester’s former wife who everyone assumed had died in the fire at Thornfield Hall.”
I frowned. “So, not Mrs Moriarty, then?”
Holmes laughed. “Of course not, Watson. You see, if you had read the invitation properly you would have understood the message.”
“Sorry, Holmes, what…?”
The great detective sighed. “Colonel Sebastian Moran is an anagram.” He paused. “I see this information has not enlightened you Watson, so I will expand. It is an anagram of ‘collarbones emanations’ which is of course completely meaningless, or to put it another way…”
“Entirely mad.” Said I.
Holmes nodded. “And since Bertha Mason is the only entirely mad person I have ever come across who might bear a grudge against me, it follows that only she could be behind such a meaningless venture. Clearly, she was able to fool Moriarty’s former associates, but unfortunately her obsession with fire has been her downfall.”
“But Holmes, this case began because Shaggy enlisted our help..”
“Indeed,” said Holmes, with a curious smile. “Bertha seems to have become a little mixed up in her literary associations, thinking that our colleague Scooby Doo was in fact, the Hound of the Baskervilles.”
“Ah,” I said.
“You don’t understand, do you?” Said Holmes as we walked away.
“Can’t say I do, to be honest, Holmey.”
“Never mind, Watson, never mind.”