A piece of fanfiction honoring the great Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Holmes had been studying the clear, glass box with more interest than it warranted. It was an empty box after all, how much evidence could be left behind? I wondered how much longer he might stare at the blasted thing when he pulled his black, clay pipe from the overcoat he was wearing and began to puff in earnest. You could almost see the clock work in his head – the gears turning.
“What we have here, my good fellow, is simple evaporation” stated my long-time friend Sherlock Holmes. He leaned closer, to the now infamous glass container, which should have held a magnificent, 10 carat diamond. The box, however, had been found empty and the question of how the clever thievery had occurred was one question which left all stupefied.
“Look closely, Watson, and you will see what I see”. I did as my colleague suggested. I studied the empty box and could only come to one conclusion- it was empty. I stood up slowly. “I’m afraid I don’t understand how a diamond disappearing can have a thing to do with evaporation – you’ve lost me Holmes”.
“Indeed”, Holmes proclaimed, “Notice the stain Watson, on the silk pillow -silk was such a foolhardy, fabric to choose- and then ask yourself why would anyone put a rare, African cut diamond, during it’s brief, first time debut, on a soiled, silk pillow?”
“My God man, are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?” I stated, my mouth agape at the possibility.
“The simplest answer is always correct, my dear Watson. It was a puzzle, surely, but not one that couldn’t be solved with deductive reasoning. You have a diamond in a locked glass box. The box has not been shattered, cut or manipulated in any fashion. We stand in a windowless room with only one entry and exit point which during the time in question was being guarded by two sentry’s. The viewing of the diamond was restricted to one half hour only, short and sweet. Finally, we have those”, Holmes made a sweeping gesture with his hand indicating the two security lights which at the moment had been turned off due to the heat they’d been emitting. “The question to the riddle Watson is not ‘how’ the jewel was stolen, but ‘when’.”
I rubbed my five o’ clock beard and chuckled, “So whoever stole the diamond did it before 200 people ever bore it witness”.
Holmes nodded and said,”The diamond those people witnessed was a forgery. A forgery created from ice – perhaps if the thief had chosen a different fabric for his pillow, it would have fooled even me. But the water stain was as obvious as a fingerprint and I dare say, too obvious for such a brilliant rouse and calculated criminal enterprise! Come now Watson, we have work to do – clues to uncover – the thief is leading us by our noses, and should we allow it, we may have this case solved by daybreak.”
We set out then, methodically investigating the box, dusting for prints and finally opening it’s lid and handling the soiled diamond cushion. When upon closer inspection of the pillow I noticed something odd. A piece of paper was carefully folded and inserted into an open seam. “Holmes!” I shouted, “By Jove I think I’ve found something”. With calm assurance Sherlock pulled the paper loose and unfolded it. I held my breath and listened as he read the note aloud.
“Out in the cold, Holmes?” “I’ll tell you what’s true” “Don’t melt from the pressure” “Freeze up for a clue”
My cheeks flushed red, my anger was barely containable, the deviant was mocking us! I glanced over at Holmes, expecting a similar outrage, but instead he smiled and said, “To the ice box then Watson?”
“Is that what he means?”I asked.
“Indeed, my dear fellow. The ice diamond had to be stored somewhere. To leave a note, hinting that the diamond was made of Ice, and must be kept “cold” so that it wouldn’t “melt” but instead remain “frozen” is the height of narcissism. He assumed we would not have gotten as far as we have. This bodes well for us. And my Dear Dr. Watson, his clue, has yielded more information than the crook originally intended”.
My ever confidant colleague, leaned towards me, note in hand, and revealed numerous points on the script where the writing was smudged. I smiled broadly as the weight of this clue pressed itself upon me.
“Excellent!” I cried, “Elementary” said he.
We made our way to the back pantry where the Ice Box was kept and it didn’t take us long to discover our next clue. There etched into the wall above the box was another anonymous note. Holmes withdrew his pipe, and re lit his extinguished tobacco. He ran a finger along the engravement and closely inspected the brick wall.
LII’ XXV N I’ LV W
“Cut into the wall by the very diamond we seek” stated he. I gasped in astonishment.”Indeed Watson, most surprising, but not unexpected from a criminal such as this”.
I studied the wall for a moment longer and suddenly knew what the numbers meant. “Good Heavens, Holmes! It couldn’t be”
“But it is, he has left us his destination, and it is not far from here”.
My eyes grew wide and I could not comprehend the motive behind such a clue. Surely now he would not escape. “Let’s get going then Holmes! Lets catch the blasted thief!”
Sherlock shook his head. “It would be pointless lest we know whom it is we seek”. I released a trapped breath in a heavy sigh and watched as Holmes pulled a measuring tape from my bag. From the bottom of the wall to the tip of the etchings, Holmes measured 5ft 8 inches in height. He quickly scribbled the measurements down in his note pad and turned to me.
“Inspector Lestrade has done the legwork on this case, gathered information and here say from the victim at hand. Now that I have dealt with the hard evidence and thoroughly processed the scene, I can now bother myself with the possibly inane suspicions of others. So what has Inspector Lestrade learned from the only victim in this interesting case?”
“According to the victim, Mr. Jones, who relayed his suspicions to Inspector Lestrade, the thief must be one among three individuals he once employed. He believes it was either the Butler, the Chef, or his Maid. But how are we to know which one it is, if it is in fact one of them?”
“The process of elimination, of course”, said Holmes. “It has long been my belief that the little things are infinitely the most important. With this in mind my stout fellow, please review the facts as Inspector Lestrade has gathered them”.
“Alright, Holmes, according to Inspector Lestrade’s thorough notes the three suspects in question are as follows: The Butler, Mario R. Carlito, 45 years old, dark coloring his unique feature is a missing limb. His left arm was lost in the War”, I glanced at Holmes who merely nodded, but the twinkle in his eye was not lost upon me. “The Chef, Thomas K. Anthony, is 32 years on, with light coloring and stands at the unusual height of only 5’2. And finally, the Maid, Jasmin, T. Raymore, who was described as “God awful in appearance, but brilliant at her job”. She was a brown haired, blue eyed lady whose height saw her tower above most other women, and some men. She was unusually tall, 6ft and a few inches; and here is the most peculiar part, all of them has left the employee of Mr. Jones and gone on an extended vacation”.
“Brilliant summation, and another perfectly executed move by the perpetrator!”
“Are you suggesting that the thief is the one who arranged the vacations?” I inquired.
“Why of course, Watson, to cast suspicion upon many person’s would create an easier means of escape, would it not? Why, I couldn’t have done it better myself! Except for a few glaring discrepancies that was purposely left to us, and some that were cleverly discovered by us, the thief might have well gotten away with it. But the answer should now be clear. By the process of elimination, one person is left” My friend looked at me as though all the pieces were as easy to combine as a Toddler’s six piece puzzle. I shook my head and tried to concentrate. Was there something else I was missing, something vital? By the look in my old friend’s eyes I knew I only had to ask, “Well Holmes, who is it then?”
Sherlock Holmes stamped out his pipe before returning it to the pocket of his overcoat and replying, “With a preponderance of evidence to guide us, and the final piece of the puzzle which has fallen into place, I must say Watson, the answer is obvious. But if the clues are not revealing themselves to you then I tell you this – it is the person whose ego got in the way – the one who used their true name…”
“I think I’m stumped, Holmes. By simple elimination, as you suggested, I have
determined that the thief could not possibly be the Butler. The note as we both
know, was written by a left handed individual. The smearing of the ink, points
to that fact rather blatantly, and since the Butler doesn’t have a left hand, or
arm for that matter, it could not possibly be him. I have also determined that
the thief is in Birmingham, England, the roman numerals are in fact latitude and
longitude coordinates.” I paused while gathering my thoughts, and finally
glanced at Holmes defeated and said, “As for the other two Holmes, I haven’t the faintest idea”
“Let me enlighten you, dear old friend. The thief carved his coordinates- you are correct about the location- into the brick wall above the ice box. He did so at a height of 5’8 inches. Although this may not be impossible for a person as short as the Chef, it is most improbable. But the final clue, and the one I could not ignore, was given to me by the thief himself. He used his true name you see”.
“Yes, Holmes, so you have said, but I still neglect to follow you in your
“Jasmin T Raymore is a clever anagram for James T Moriarty!”
I shook my head in astonishment. The thief was now known, and so we
would be off in search of the man who was Sherlock Holmes one painful thorn. If
all went well, Moriarty’s glaring arrogance would see him captured.