Written by matwil
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Sunday, 24 May 2009

image for 'Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Letter R' Doctor Watson's wristwatch

Sherlock Holmes ate another slice of toast, while Dr. Watson read The Times out loud to him.

''In the early hours of this morning, a window at 10 Downing Street was seen to open, and a hand quickly threw the letter R out into the street, before slamming the window shut again'', the doctor read. ''Police seem to be baffled.' Very strange, Holmes, don't you think?'

'Undoubtedly, Watson. Get my hat and pipe. And cape and violin and slippers. And a bowl of fruit, and a copy of National Geographic, and that grandfather clock over there, there's work to be done!',

and soon the pair left the building, and Watson, loaded down by the violin, fruit bowl and grandfather clock, just managed to hail a Hansom cab. 'Ave Hansom cab', he hailed it, and fortunately for him and his back the driver had a degree in Latin literature, and was soon driving through the fog towards Downing Street.

'Any inspiration yet, Holmes?', Dr. Watson asked the sleuth. 'I have an idea', he replied, 'but let us leave it 'til the end of this article, or else my public won't cough up the readies for it', and the cab pulled up at the end of Downing Street. The fog was even heavier now, but they could just make out an open window at Number Ten, and voices came from within.

'So you see, Alastair', came the familar voice of Prime Minister Lord Muchtermochty, 'I had to rid myself of it, it just wasn't helping my popularity in England.' 'But Gordon, you have no popularity! Shouldn't we go and look for it outside? Even the Scots have turned against you, since you threw it away.'

'Aha!', cried Sherlock Holmes, bursting into the living room where the politicians were talking, 'so it was you that threw the letter R away!', and the Prime Minister hanged his head in shame, silently admitting his guilt.

'But how did you work it out?', Dr. Watson asked Holmes, who was finishing a banana and then started eating a tangerine. 'Elemental', he said. 'Elementary', Alastair Darling corrected him. 'Yes yes, elementary, if you insist.'

'The first clue was in the hand being attached to an arm of someone in 10 Downing Street, narrowing it down to one of thirty Ministers.' 'Might have been the cleaner', Darling pointed out, and pausing briefly to crack the Chancellor's head open with the fruit bowl, Holmes continued.

'The second thing I deducted -' 'Deduced', groaned Darling from the floor, before passing out - 'was the unusual shape of the letter. Even though I've never actually seen it, it could only be an R.' 'But how?', Watson asked, looking bafflingly baffled.

'Quite simple. An R is rarely used in refined circles, there was little chance of anyone throwing, say, an S or even a W out of a window. No, my reasoning led me to this spot, let's just call it X, and now the cuprit has been revealed. Watson, call Inspector Blooters of the Yard on your mobile, an arrest must be made immediately.

And so the doctor, wondering how he owned what looked like a Nokia 44DZ in the late 19th. century, telephoned Scotland Yard, but of course as landlines hadn't been invented yet there was no reply. 'Fools!', cried Holmes, as Lord Muchtermochty started laughing.

'Buffoons! Amateurs! Charlatans!' 'Jacks of all trades', suggested Alastair Darling, who was coming round. 'Incompetents!', Holmes yelled, 'Gadzallions! Ne'er-do-wells! Clowns!' 'Useless gits', the Prime Minister put in, and 'Johnny-come-lately-and-leaving-soon-then-returning-from-the-pub-at-closing-times', came from Dr. Watson.

But Sherlock Holmes was not to be outwitted by such rapscallious treachery. 'This rapscallious treachery will not outwit me!', he announced to the room, though the room had already left the room, 'guards, seize the Prime Minister!',

and some Roman soldiers, who had been hanging around the building for years waiting to get their Britannia chariot expenses forms signed, took the Scot into custody, and custody left with the room and marched to New Scotland Yard police station.

'Strange', muttered Dr. Watson, 'wonder what happened to the old one?', and Lord Muchtermochty was handed over his feet and inches to desk Sergeant Muttle-Thrunket.

'Sergeant', said Sherlock Holmes, 'this Prime Minister was the one that threw the R away. Kindly deal with the matter, if it's not beyond your barely adequate abilities', and the case was solved.

But a few paragraphs too soon. 'Nasty weather, what?', said Dr. Watson, to get the final paragraphs started. 'Undeniably, if there's such a word', replied Holmes. 'I'll look it up in my dictionary', added Sergeant Blooters.

'You fool!, rasped Holmes, 'you're looking up 'Weather'! Try finding your brain cell.' 'Yes, sir.' 'I never knew that', Holmes said, noticing the definition of aardvark in the book, 'South American animal, eh? Most illuminating.'

'Most', said Dr. Watson. 'Mostly, er, most', added the policeman, and the tale ended satisfactorily.

But 'Wait!, yelled the Prime Minister, 'you've forgotten to put in 'The End!', but the end had left the building, to go to a Spurs match at White Hart Lane.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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