Sherlock Holmes absently puffed on his meerschaum pipe and strode around the circle of actors gathered in the barrister’s generous office. I am merely a bystander and observation consultant to the sometimes baffling methods by which he arrives at an accurate conclusion. I exercise the grandest of restraint, taking the advice relayed by my great actor friend, Basil Rathbone: “Observe with careful scrutiny those who create a masterful make-believe self. For it is he that is the best actor of all.” Yet, it must be taken into account upon the final resolution of the most unnatural demise, Holmes is maddeningly correct by simple deduction that ‘when you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ My deep evaluation of each bit player in the room evaporates when Holmes points his pipe toward me and calls my name.
“Dr. Watson pried into each of your whereabouts for the deadly night in question. I now have some pointed questions that must be addressed.” Sherlock tosses his deerstalker cap into the air. Every eye traces its landing to the inner circle of unconventional if not inconvenient friends. He repositions himself into the midst of the troupe and ceremoniously retrieves his cap from the center of the dull fading Turkish rug. As if possessed by a gentleman’s soul, he bows graciously to Marriott Charlemagne and thanks her for her attendance.
“Mack, your intentions of matrimony toward Marla land you square in the hot seat, man. Your foreknowledge of Mr. Chastain’s plans to change the will that left his entire estate to her, which includes his lucrative tailor business clientele, give you clear motive to eliminate the threat. But alas, you were engaged in other romantic services at a certain questionable establishment in town whilst the ghastly knife was being plunged at 221B Baker Street.” Marla’s hands shook as they began to fan her blushing complexion. Even more so as Holmes focused his laser stare upon her.
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