"Elementary My Dear Holmes!"

Submitted by IN SEINE

Friday, 3 August 2012

Dr Watson, retired surgeon
October 13, 1899

I was staying at Sherlock Holmes' flat when he was called onto a case. I decided to accompany him to see if any strange circumstances might be involved and to record his unusual ways of successfully resolving problematic situation.

A man was discovered dead in his living quarters. No apparent cause was evident that I could observe, such as wound marks or any external bleeding.

Holmes stated that the situation was relatively easy to appraise. He noted empty liquor bottles strewn about the victim's parlor and bedroom. "The man obviously died as a result of heavy drinking," my friend casually commented. "But we can't be sure until the autopsy has been performed."

Several days later the autopsy report arrived at Holmes' dwelling.

"Ah, ha, I was right," exclaimed the world's most famous consulting detective.

The particular analysis he noted was of the dead man's blood. He handed me the report and pointed to the list of chemicals discovered in the man's circulatory system. The findings indicated: aluminum: 0.5%, cobalt: 0.24%, hydrogen: 14.6%, oxygen: 27.2%, lithium: 0.46% and carbon: 67.0%.

Confused by the report, I asked Holmes for an explanation.

He proceeded to write something on a piece of paper and as he handed the paper to me exclaimed: "My assessment of the sot's demise was accurate. As you can see, it's elementary, my dear Watson!"

The solution was obvious when I looked at what Holmes had written.

Aluminum-------- Al
Cobalt----------- Co
Hydrogen-------- H
Oxygen---------- O
Lithium---------- Li
Carbon---------- C

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