I was just reading the book my mentor Dr. Abraham gave me last week. It was the most interesting and I had no idea it was going to be so interesting. It was a May afternoon and a little shower of rain had just been over this city. However I had just had my lunch and was truly indulged into it.
And I hardly had a idea how quick time flew. The book grew most interesting and I had no idea that people from even our profession even liked these kind of thrillers. But just as everything was connecting, the doorbell rang.
It upsurged me totally. But keeping myself together I placed a bookmark on the 159th page of the book and went to the door. I peeked through the eyehole and saw nothing but smoke. I quickly opened the door expecting someone I knew to be there with a smile on his/her face.
But as I opened the door, the person who stood outside matched both my expectations but in a reckless way. Sure I thought I knew this man or at least the clothes he was wearing because it reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. The hat, his dress, and pants reminded me of the fictional figure. Even the pipe in his mouth, with a lopsided smile faintly visible gave one the idea that he was really Sherlock Holmes.
And before I could say anything he brought his pipe from his mouth and blowing a smoke ring downward, with a serious face said, “You’ve been suspected of the disappearance of a person”
I was too shocked for words because I was merely a human living his life normally and I was far from any crimes one could possibly imagine. But anyways gathering up some courage I asked,
“Who?” I asked nervously.
“John Watson” he replied with ever-growing seriousness on his demeanour.
“But..but..” I began but was struck and he looking on his either sides said, “May we talk inside?”
I nodded and he was in. I closed the door behind him.
As soon as he entered he began inspecting everything in the room. From my coffee mug on the table to the Bernouli Vase on the shelf, he touched and inspected everything. Even he knocked twice on my bed.
Meanwhile I gathered up some confidence to ask, “Are you Mr. She…Sherlock Holmes”
“Yes, its me” he said now knocking gently on the wall, “And please ask anything you want freely. You don’t need to be so scared”
“i…l’m” I began, “Okay” I said at last.
Now a lot of questions made my way from my mind to my lips and began asking.
“Mr. Holmes, I really don’t know anything about John and what really happened. Can you please tell me?”
He nodded and now took a seat on the chair beside the sofa. I sat on the sofa.
He took an inhale of his pipe and began, “Even though I’m not the one who narrates the incidents and cases of ours but John, in his absence I must tell you this one incident that really caused a lot of stir. As always on the afternoon of Thursday, 23th May I was reading a book and was really engrossed on it when Watson decided to take a walk. He went out at around 2 and said to be back by 4. So without worrying I just sat there reading my book. Little did I know that he would never return.
I completed the book by 8. And only than it fell upon me that he must be kidnapped or lost.
So immediately I began my investigation. And all the clues and things led me to you. So tell me what do you know of John Watson”
“I…I Nothing. I’ve only heard his name on the cases you and he solved”. Mystically I thought him to be more serious and frowning, but instead he just gave a smile and said, “What if I believe you?” he said and rose from the chair, and picked up the book I was reading, “You are a reader of thriller and crime fiction. Surely you should know better, about how to make a person disappear or should I say, kidnap” he said and looking at me said, “But you wouldn’t, I kind of have a idea of. But what bothers me really is how did you meet him”
“I promise I didn’t” I said.
He looked closely in my eyes. I wanted him to see the truth I wanted to tell in so many words. Surely, being Sherlock Holmes you could do that, I thought.
“Than where did you meet him. I mean, you surely know how John Watson dresses. His suit, his shoes, his pants. He is the only one in London who dresses in that way. And I know, even if you didn’t do any crime, you must have seen him. I’ve also gathered that you were seen talking to a man of this kind on Thursday evening near the Hicks Flower Shop. Tell me what did you go there for”
I strained my brain muscles and tried to remember everything of that day and some memories did come to me. I blurted them out immediately.
“I went to get some flowers a I went to meet my boss. Her wife liked flowers the last time I did so. So I thought and on the way…” I started thinking. “I met…” I thought an d thought, “a lot of people”
“Ofcorse you did. It was an International Fair on the outskirts of the city, and many people went to see it. Also the flower shop fell in the way of the street to reach the place. Now I need you to give me an account of all the people you’ve met that evening. And also give me their descriptions”
I coughed and closing my eyes began with what I an remember.
“First I met Mrs. Harrison. She was with her little girl wearing hats both of them. She wore a brownish coat with buttons up to her neck. She even had an umbrella. It was…I forgot the color”
“Go on” said Mr. Holmes.
“Her daughter wore…”
“Let her daughter pass. Let’s move on to the next one”
“Okay. Next was Dr. Smith. He too was smoking a pipe and looked pleasant. He smiled at me and asked how my shop was doing. I told him it was good. He went on. Next…”
“Details! Details! What did he wear?”
“Oh..Sorry. He wore a grey blazer and wore dark pants. I do not remember the color exactly. It must be dark blue or black. He also wore a watch. It was gold touched as it shone brightly”
“Hmm” said Mr. Holmes. I continued,
“And than I met the last person. Kevin. He was a hardworking teenager. And really nicely behaving boy. He works in the Jason’s Shop , a few blocks near me. He smiled broadly on seeing me. He wore a sweater and pants. And thats all”
“Thats all? Didn’t you see anyone else? Okay. Now remember, did you see John Watson? Try to remember? He wears a white suit and a bit dark pants. He wears lower boots. That day he was wearing Sahara boots. Can you remember?”
I closed my eyes and focused on everything. And as I kept frowning and thinking deeply, it did ring a bell.
I opened my eyes immediately and said,
“Yes, I did see him. He was wearing all those you mentioned. I saw him just after I met Kevin. He was looking all around in intervals. I think he was hiding from someone. But nobody recognised him really. I too didn’t really but his appearance striked me as strange. So I went near him and he said,
‘What do you see?’ I was too shocked for words and couldn’t really tell anything because than I couldn’t really connect this. SO I shaked my head and he nodded with a lopsided smile that really matched his face. And than went on”
Mr Holmes nodded and didn’t say anything for sometime. I too now realised his situation and how he felt but a few things seemed peculiar to me. Than I told myself that sometimes writers could exaggerate the most simple of cases.
Than unexpectedly, my telephone rang. It was in the same room. I went to it.
As I picked it up, a very deep voice said,
“Is Watson there?”
I was shocked and placing my hand on the mouthpiece turning to Mr. Holmes I said, “Someone is asking if John Watson is here?”
“What?” asked Mr. Holmes. “Ask him who is he?”
I nodded and than placed the phone back in my ears and said,
“No, but Holmes is here” I said with a confident air.
“Mr. Holmes? You mean Sherlock Holmes?” he asked and I really felt his surprise in the other end.
I felt more confident and said, “Yes”
“Oh. God, did he just spend 2 days dressed as the Sherlock Holmes”
“What!” I was shocked. “What are you talking about?”
“Anyways, what did he tell you, he came there for?”
“To look for John Watson. He disappeared, right” I said.
He laughed at the other hand. “Watson, Watson. He disappeared” he said laughing.
“Whats the problem?”
“Don’t worry, Just tell him his Watson returned. Tell him to be back home”
“Oh. Really. Thanks. But who are you?”
He didn’t say anything and my intuition told me he was smiling at the other end for some unknown reason.
The line cut.
I turned to Mr. Holmes and said, “I don’ know who he s but he said Watson returned”
“What!” he said rising. “That’s great. I think I should go too. It’s nice to meet you”
“Hang on” I said, my head was bursting with innumerable questions and I knew I needed to ask some of those.
“You are not Sherlock Holmes are you?” I asked, he smiled. “You are only dressed as him”
He nodded with the smile intact.
“So you must be John Watson?” I asked.
“That’s right” he said raising his cap.
“But you looked so like Sherlock. How can this happen. You must be looking like who you are and not like Holmes”
“Well, now don’t forget I was the one who let the world know what Sherlock really looked like and do you think after so many years of talking about him, being his friend, I couldn’t dress like him. Well, come on, he dressed like me that day”
“Exactly. On the afternoon of Thursday he wore my white suit and pants and shoes. He also wore my moustache. And when he didn’t return I had to find him and if I would be me, nobody would have listened to me. So I become Holmes for a couple of days. See, I also shaved my moustache for it”
I smiled, but still I had a few questions.
“So if you’re Watson, the person I talked to must be…”
“But I’m still wondering who told you about me. I mean, who is evil enough to make me a suspect i something like this”
“Well, I did my investigation and a few people pointed to other people and the last person told me you could shed some light on it”
“Who was this person?” I asked.
“Your boss. Dr. Abraham”
“What?” I asked.
“Yeah. He was the one who told me you may know something”
“But I didn’t tell him anything about that meeting. I wonder why he told you that”
Holmes alias. Watson coughed and said, “That must be because you impressed his wife that day. He must envy you for that”
“What! Complete Savage” I said. “But how did you guess it? Your observation skills must be great”
“They’re nothing compared to the person that called you. I learned only some solving cases with him”
“I think I should take my leave and sorry for the peace I disturbed”
“It’s okay. You don’t really get to meet someone like you everyday”
We shaked hands and than he bid goodbye.
I opened and closed the door for him. Than taking a deep breath, I sat on the sofa for reading and just picked the book when the telephone rang again.
Excited I went.
“Hello” the same deep voice started.
“Yes, Mr. Holmes” I said.
“Wow. So now you know about me. Did Watson leave?”
“Yes, just a minute ago”
“Hmm. By the way, tell me how was he? I mean as Sherlock?”
“Well, his appearance matched completely or at least with what he wrote about. And he seemed like one. But now, I realise you Mr. Holmes wouldn’t do some things he did”
“I see. What did he do wrong?”
“Well, like he was asking me about the people I met on Thursday. As I told him about a woman and her daughter, I began describing them. But as I started describing her daughter, he told me to move on. But being an avid reader of a crime fiction I know that it is the small details that matter the most”
“And there were also some other things. But how did you find my number and how did you know that Watson was here?”
“I found about you when I came home. I saw his investigation notes and in the last note I found your name, with a side note of your number”
“Oh. Now I see” I said, “You’ve cleared all of my doubts now”
“It’s nice to talk to you Mr. Holmes” I said.
“Hmm” he said.
“Goodbye, than. Hope you have a good day”
“Yes, ah..wait. What was your name?” he asked hastily.
“But you said you know my name from the note”
“Yes, but only your surname. I would want to know your full name”
“As you say, My name is Arthur Conan Doyle”
“Goodbye Mr. Doyle” Sherlock Holmes said.