Amock Comedy Magazine 1
“There have been indications.”
“And she repays your nobility with lies,” I snorted.
The young man reached out and patted my arm. “ Fabrication is beyond Connie’s nature and I am not so callous
that I would question her directly. I cannot but allow her this little secret but my desire to ensure her future means
I must discover the fellow’s identity by other means.”
“My means,” Holms said.
“Exactly,” Mr Holms. Your abilities are legendary throughout the land.”
“And large parts of Europe,” Holms added unexpectedly, showing a rare flash of bluster.
“Indeed,” the young man replied, with a small bow, “So you will take my charge?”
“We shall be at Wrigsby Hall on the morrow,” Holms answered, holding out his hand to the young veteran.
I helped the crippled man up with his canes and inquired, “What excuse shall we give for our visit, Holms?”
“You will simply be my house guests,” the young man insisted, taking hold of his sticks and pulling himself erect.
“But Sherman Holms is known as the greatest detective that ever lived,” I cried. “Someone in your household
must wonder at his attendance.”
The young man hesitated. “We must perpetrate a ruse then. There has been a deal of chicken rustling on my
estate. Perhaps I could say you were there to investigate that.”
“I doubt that stolen chickens would justify the presence of Sherman Holms.”
“They were prize chickens!” Sir Clifford insisted.
Holms waved a hand that calmed. “You shall be there attending to Sir Clifford’s medical needs, Wilson, and I
shall be there merely as your companion, taking the country air.”
It was settled and the squire of Wrigsby Hall departed, leaving Holms and I to our tobacco.
“I doubt there’ll be much mystery in this,” I said, “and no great need for your unique talents.”
But Holms’s brows furrowed. “There may be more to this than meets the eye, Wilson. It may take all of my
powers to discover the rogue who is Lady Shatterley’s lover.”
The following day, aboard the Virgin train to Derbyshire, Holms and I fell to discussing what had brought us to
the 21st century from the Victorian era into which we had been born.
“That brute Moriarty and his infernal time machine!” I complained.
“An idea he got from a novella by a certain Herbert George Wells. But, I don’t know, Wilson, old boy, I quite like
this modern age,” Holms confessed.
“But to throw us into the future just so he could continue his criminal career,” I insisted, still yearning for my dear
and long-gone Mary.
Holms grinned broadly, a rare sight. “Which he never did.”
“But how can you know?” I demanded.
“Because mention of him would be in the historical record,” Holms explained.
“And there is none?”
“Quite the contrary. According to Wikipedia, Professor Moriarty perished by eating an excess of shish kebabs
in a Turkish restaurant in Soho on the 12th of July 1897.”
“But that is the very day we were propelled into the future!” I exclaimed.