Some months had passed since I had heard from Sherlock Hunt. He had been on one of his frequent travels abroad, trying to locate a mythical beast.
Meanwhile, London was living in fear. A new killer had appeared in the streets of the East End by the name of Jack the Kipper. Stories of his gruesome murders filled the tabloids, including graphic descriptions of how he would disembowel his victims. The Kipper preyed on prostitutes and women of ill morals, so actually I wasn't scared at all.
I bought a copy of the Daily Grub and beneath a crude erotic cartoon of a topless lady, I espied a story with the headline "Kipper throws another red herring - Sherlock Hunt floundering".
The article explained that Jack the Kipper was so named because he suffered from narcolepsy. It also clearly indicated that Sherlock was back in London. Keen to catch up with my mentor, I dashed to Baker Street as quickly as I could.
I knocked on the door. It was the first time I had visited Mr Hunt uninvited. Knowing his violent mood swings, I prepared myself for an angry greeting.
"Where the fahk have you been?" he bawled as I stepped inside. His hand reached out and grabbed my genitals firmly.
"I might ask the same of you," I gasped, wincing.
"Yes, you might!" he growled. "I detect a certain tumescence in your trousers, which I can only conclude must be due to elevated blood flow. Did you run on your way here, or are you just pleased to see me?"
"Both," I said, impressed by his powers of deduction.
"So you want to know where I've been. I travelled to distant Afghanistan, following a winged fire-breathing monster."
"Ah!" I said. "Chasing the dragon again. Did you catch him this time?"
"No, I was too wasted." He let go of my penis and grabbed his own. "Do you know what we should do?"
"We should go down the East End and get ourselves some high quality prozzies. We can bang them, and look for leads on Jack the Kipper. Let's take that new underground railway everyone's been talking about."
We walked to Baker Street Underground Railway Station, clearly visible by the column of smoke rising from it. It was not easy to descend the steep steps through the heavy black air. Soon we reached the platform where a steam engine lay a short distance from the edge.
"Mind the gap," called out a guard as he saw us approach.
"Mind the fahking gap yourself," said Sherlock, pushing the overbearing attendant onto the tracks below.
The atmosphere inside the carriage was as full of steam and coal smoke as the platform. Sherlock took out his pipe and began to smoke, making the fug even thicker.
Nearby I heard the dim but extraordinarily irritating sound of music. A few seats away through the mist I saw an aristocratic young gentleman who had brought a three-piece string quartet to entertain him on his journey. He seemed completely unaware that the noise he was making might disturb other passengers.
I was mildly annoyed, but Sherlock was fuming. I was about to ask the gentleman if he would keep the volume at pianissimo, but before I could, Sherlock Hunt had defenestrated the entire band and their instruments.
"Inconsiderate scum!" he muttered.
The train pulled off, and in a matter of minutes we were on the other side of London, surrounded by Eastenders. Sherlock led the way to Dirty Den's Opium Brothel, a fine establishment with a filthy reputation.
"Hello dahling," cooed the old but rather attractive woman who greeted us. Her face was painted with thick layers of lipstick which only slightly distracted the eye from her canyon-like cleavage. She recognised Sherlock immediately. "Back for more?"
"Yes," he said. "I'll have Susie the Slag, Wendy the Wench and three kilos of your finest opium."
"And for your friend?" she said, pointing to me.
"Oh no, thanks. I'm engaged," I said.
"Nonsense!" said Sherlock bawdily. "Let's get you some top klunge. Give him Harriet the Whore."
"Harriet's not here. She's gone off with some old geezer."
"Harriet's not here?" Sherlock looked shocked. "But she's always here. She never does outcalls. Something smells very fishy."
"It is a brothel."
"No, something else. Watson, I think Jack the Kipper might be up to his old tricks again. We must make haste." He picked up the bag of opium. "Right, let's say one hour - no, two. Oh, fahk it! Three hours here, then we go and find Harriet. She could be in danger."
I am ashamed to admit I cannot recall much of what happened next. My mind was clouded by bucketloads of opium, and a young woman called Molly the Mouth who did things to me I didn't think were biologically possible. I wondered briefly if I should perhaps cancel my engagement and run away with her.
About nine hours later, Sherlock and I had almost recovered our senses. We found ourselves in a dark alleyway interviewing Harriet the Whore about what she knew of Jack the Kipper.
"Tell us," slurred Sherlock, swaying from side to side in his drugged stupor. "Where is he?"
"I don't know. I don't know nuffink," said the clueless concubine.
"You don't know nothing," repeated Sherlock. "Then you know something?"
Sherlock put his hand around her neck. He squeezed gently at first and urged her to speak, but she said nothing.
"Did you shag him? Did you?" I had become familiar with Sherlock's interrogation methods. Most of them involved some form of mild torture - "the best way to get a confession" as he had astutely observed.
I didn't see what happened next, but it appeared that Sherlock had been throttling her a tad too tightly, and the woman fell to the ground dead.
"You killed her," I cried.
"My methods might be harsh, but they're fair. Dying in police custody is no worse than dying of old age."
"What do we do now?"
"If she met the Kipper, she might still be able to give us some clues. Now where would he hide them?"
He thought for a minute. "I know! In her intestines!"
With that, Sherlock took out a knife and cut the young woman's body open. He plunged his hands into her abdomen and removed her entrails.
"Look at that! Her guts are all over the road, just like Jack the Kipper would do. We must be getting close to a clue." He began searching the bloody organs, clearly intoxicated.
At that moment there was a sharp whistle and a group of policemen came running towards us.
"Allo, allo, allo! What's all this then? Caught another victim of the Kipper, Sherlock?" It was Police Chief Dickson, a long-time nemesis of Hunt's. "It's a bit suspicious that you've been first on the scene of every Jack the Kipper killing? With your knife out too."
Dickson reached for the knife and Sherlock handed it over. Sherlock was in trouble. Here was the Chief of Police accusing him of murder.
He responded, "I might have been here before you and your bumbling bobbies, but that's because I'm close to finding the identity of Jack the Kipper. And I now know who he is."
The police looked at him in shock and anticipation. "Tell us!" they urged.
"Inspector Dickson, are they not your fingerprints on the blade you hold in your hand?"
"And were you not also on the scene of all the Kipper killings?"
"Dickson. Are you not a regular user of prostitutes? And before you say no, denying it will only make it worse."
Dickson looked confused and did not reply.
"Most damning of all, is it not true that you often like to take a kip at awkward times?" At that moment Sherlock grabbed Dickson's truncheon and swiftly hit him on the head with it. Dickson fell to the ground unconscious.
"Constables! Take him away."
Thus the case of Jack the Kipper was closed. "Kipper caught - Eel hang" said the Daily Grub the following day. The Scum went with the more obvious "Stitched up like a Kipper". In the Times, it read "Kipper in the (had)dock" - punning wasn't really their strong suit.
London breathed a sigh of relief, thanks to Sherlock Hunt. Of course, gruesome murders and mutilations continued in the East End, but they were all committed by completely different killers. Jack The Kipper would never strike again.