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Thursday, 4 June 2009

image for 'A Study Of A Harlot' 'Want some fivers, guv?'

'Very mysterious thing happened to me on the way home today', Dr Watson said to Sherlock Holmes, lighting his pipe with a flame-thrower, 'I saw that harlot at the end of the street again today.' 'Really?' 'Yes, but the odd thing was that she wasn't begging for money, or - ahem - anything else, but wanted to give me her money! What can it mean, Holmes?'

'I think I know of the tiny, little, rag-headed, street urchin you speak of, Watson, come, we must deduce and define, deliberate and declinate, denominate and deciduate and debate, doo be doo be doo, doo be doo be doo be doo', which as so often happened left Dr Watson feeling rather baffled, and the pair left their house in Baker Street, like a pair of strangers in the night.

'What can it all mean, Holmes?, the doctor asked him, and exchanging glances the sleuth replied: 'There is the young, red-headed wenchling. The poor girl, she must be down to her last packet of cash from avoiding paying capital gains tax on her house's sale, let us speak to her anon.'

'Good evening, gen'lemen', the young lady said, 'want a bundle of fivers, no questions asked? 'Ere, help yerself', and passed a handful of bank notes to the even-more baffled Dr Watson.

'Bad case of the baffles you seem to have there', Sherlock Holmes pointed out to him, 'I'd go and see a doctor if I were you.' 'But -' 'Not time for any 'buts', we must act speedily. Taxi!', the detective shouted to a passing Ugly cab, and soon the two were speeding towards a suspiciously convenient patch of heavy fog at the start of Ripper Lane.

'I knew some heavy fog would appear in this tale', Holmes remarked, 'we simply had to hail a cab and go and find it.' 'Thank heavens for that!', Dr Watson said, 'but what about the harlot? And why are we driving through fog, sleet, hail, snow, rain, slush, strong winds, and higher than usual air humidity, that will be good for the crops? What has all this weather got to do with the case?'

'It's quite elementary, Watson, we are going to the Meteorological Office in Greenwich, all will be made clear there.' 'I hope so', muttered the cab driver, 'can 'ardly see a fing in all this fog', and soon the cab was pulling up at that building.

'Five shillings please, guv'nor', the driver said, and 'Daylight robbery!' came from Holmes in reply, 'pay the man, Watson', and soon they were in the office of Sir Reginald Gnarled-Gnarglebraggsley.

'We have come to expose you, sir', said Sherlock Holmes to that weatherman, 'for blackmailing a street harlot who was selling herself for anything she could - trees, horse manure, meals, cab rides, capital gains taxes - who until she met you was earning an honest, though immoral, living.'

' But it was you, sire, you, Your Excellency, you, Your High Priest of the Outer Reaches, you, you veritable Hound of the Baskervilles, who forced her to give most of her money away to you and others, to avoid the shame of you telling the newspapers about her shame and her disgrace.'

'Zounds, forsooth!', said a passing cleaning lady, and 'Verily 'Tis Mighty Those Neurological Thought Processes of the Famous and Celebrated Sherlock Holmes!' came from amateur weather forecaster Bill 'Hampstead Heath Hurricane' Giles, and 'But how did you work it out?', was added by Dr Watson

'Quite ornamental', the sleuth said. 'Don't you mean -' 'No, I mean ornamental. Round the harlot's tiny neck, hidden by her bright red hair, is a china necklace, made on the island of Corblimi. And it was in Corblimi that she met Sir Reginald.'

'Then she had to give her hard-earned money to him, and away in the streets, to try and cover up just how much, and how many free meals and holidays, she had earned as a harlot, if the bounder should tell all to the papers.' 'So the case is finished, then.'

'Yes, Watson, it is', and the pair walked out onto the street, the cleaning lady only remembering to unlock and open the office door for them after they had gone.

'What now, Holmes? Any more cases on the horizon?' 'There's still the Case of Unopened Champagne In My Cellar to be investigated, and the Case of the Mystery Of All Those Resigning Cabinet Ministers to ponder on.'

'But let us leave such trivialities for another day, Watson, it's nearly time for 'Coronation Street', and the pair made their way to the Granada Theatre to see that play, featuring the stars Bette Black-Pudding and Alf A. Oop.

'You've forgotten about The End again, Holmes.' 'Curses!'

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

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