It is 11:30pm, December 31, 1880, and Sherlock Holmes is in his room in Montague Street, having been chased from the lab at Bart’s a few hours ago, much to his displeasure. He thought he’d get there today–that he’d finally be able to perfect his test for human blood, and he’d end the year as one of the great contributors to criminal science at the tender age of (still) twenty-six. He’d patent it (Mycroft could help), and he’d be able to finally move from this cold, cramped bed-sit which had no room at all for a proper chemistry lab. It could barely contain his books; he was pretty sure that the floor under the tallest pile was beginning to sag.
He should have been a bit quieter; he’d stayed this late in the laboratory before with no one the wiser, but once the watchman had heard him singing the final bit from Don Giovanni, the old man was apparently determined that he have no one to watch. Pity. Sherlock thought he’d been doing a good job of it. The lab had excellent acoustics, and he’d given the Commandatore’s part full voice.
He could play the violin, he supposed, but the boarders on either side of him were not particularly fond of music after 8 pm. Or ever, really.
He desperately needed a new flat.
He took up the first paper from his stack of dailies. To find a new flat, he needed more money, and to get more money, he needed new cases. He might as well see what was floating around out there….
Just how fatal? Probably not fatal enough, but he might as well put it in the brain-attic, just in case.
Well, he might try this. He would stop by the address to see if he could get more information. But why did they always say their lost papers were “useless to anyone but the owner?” Of course they had value to others. A clever criminal could do a lot with a deed, while an honest person would try to return it straightaway. People could be so foolish.
Perhaps he should make a practice of riding about on trains, looking for lost objects after every stop.
This inquest report looked promising, at first. But, unfortunately, he agreed with the Coroner. The young woman had not been drugged, but her fall had fatally damaged an already diseased liver. No one would ever be able to convince her mother otherwise, however; she would hold the tale of her daughter’s “murder” close to her heart until she died herself.
He could hear Big Ben chime in the distance. It was now the first day of January, 1881. Later this morning, he would go back to Bart’s. The Sherlock Holmes Test for Blood would surely be perfected today.
He wondered what else would happen.
Well, if you answer this, the last Giveaway question of 2017, I know what will happen….you’ll win this: 3 famous Sherlockian classics to usher in your most well-read 2018 ever!
And the quote:
Sherlock Holmes was, as I expected, lounging about his sitting-room in his dressing-gown, reading the agony column of The Times and smoking his before-breakfast pipe, which was composed of all the plugs and dottles left from his smokes of the day before, all carefully dried and collected on the corner of the mantelpiece.
As always, to enter the drawing, send your answers to me via blog comment or FaceBook messenger. See you next year!
Day 7 Winner!!!
Congratulations to Resa Haile!!! Yesterday’s quote came from the odd, but sad, “Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter.”