Holmes rides again

Holmes rides again

‘To the Royal Society of Needlework — and drive like the wind!’ Sherlock is speaking, Watson narrating. In Competition No. 2435 you were invited to continue from here.

‘Not …’ I gasped as we careered on to the Edgware Road.
‘Exactly, Watson, our old adversary. Did you ever wonder in what subject the Professor gained his academic distinction? Crochet …’.

I enjoyed this Moriarty moment in Derek Morgan’s entry. Mycroft Holmes, however, didn’t feature in any of your scenarios: perhaps it would have been too difficult to get him out of his armchair in the Diogenes Club and into a bumpy hansom. The prizewinners, printed below, get £25 each, and the bonus fiver goes to Basil Ransome-Davies for a gloriously iconoclastic performance.

Holmes’s words were uttered in a delirium, for he sat in his lodgings, not a hansom cab, and the institution he spoke of had no existence. That keen mind, blunted by a fatal fondness for narcotics, now rambled dementedly. As a medical man I deplored his habits; yet I could not desert him. Once again, I summoned Mrs Hudson. ‘This is Mrs Snodgrass, Principal of the Society,’ I explained.
‘Ah yes,’ said Holmes. ‘A lady who once resided in the Malay Peninsula, has worked as a milliner, a pearl-diver and the corresponding secretary of a badminton club, breeds ptarmigan as an avocation and was successfully treated for St Vitus’s dance in Lisbon. I further observe that she has recently attended vespers at Brompton Oratory.’
‘Astonishing!’ we both gasped. ‘Uncanny!’ In truth it was a bitter charade, but performed out of love.
Basil Ransome-Davies

‘There, in one crewel stroke,’ Holmes confided, ‘I will disentangle the ravelled skein of a remarkable yarn for your somewhat embellished chronicles of our little adventures. I am immodest enough to confess authorship of a monograph elucidating how the Smyrna Cross, Algerian Eye, Bokhara Couching, Cretan and Chiara stitches might be used to convey coded messages of State.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in