OK folks, here is the first part of this new adventure:
"The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses" : PART ONE
Ben holds up the psychic paper:
"Hello Sir, my name is Ben Chatham and this is my... I mean Constable Scott. "
Holmes takes an elegant drag on his pipe:
"Hmmm Scotland Yard. Most interesting. I presume that they have found what may be a very old skeleton since they have sent a trained archaeologist round to see me."
Doctor Watson, sitting in the armchair in the corner lets out a gasp:"
By jove Holmes, how did you know that this fellow is an archaeologist?"
This thought echoed Ben's own:
"Why its elementary my dear Watson! Young Ben here has a speck of soil under his right index-fingernail. Since his general attire and demeanour are so refined and well groomed, I deduced that this could not be the result of carelessness or lifestyle. Therefore it must be his work. Since the work involves digging and he is a police Inspector, then he must be an archaeologist, since an Inspector would not involve himself in the general digging around bones, but would get his constable to do it."
Watson claps his hands:"Holmes you're a genius. *To Ben* Come in and sit by the fire."
Ben and Kyle sit in the elegant Victorian chairs by the coal fire. Watson offers them each a brandy and winks at Kyle.Holmes stands aloof, smoking his pipe:
"So what can we do for you?" Ben improvises:
"Er we are not actually on a case sir. I am preparing an article for the a new police periodical, to be called 'The Blue Lamp'. And I was wondering if I could take a small amount of your valuable time to conduct an interview with you for inclusion. I was hoping that you could rell us about some of your most difficult cases and how you solved them."
Holmes stays silent for a long time, looking out of the window into the foggy night. Then he springs to life:
"Of course! Ask away. Only it will have to wait, for a carriage has just drawn up outside."
Sure enough, there is a knock on the door and they hear Mrs Hudson showing someone in. Eventually the door opens and Mrs Hudson bustles in:
"Mr Oscar Wilde to see you, with a young lady."
"Show them in Mrs Hudson, show them in".
In walks the elegantly clad Oscar Wilde, wearing a long, fur-lined coat and waving an expensive walking cane. He is in a state of panic
My dear dear Sherlock, something terrible has happened. Something monstrous"
"Now Oscar, don't get excited. Come and sit by the fire and Watson will pour you an absinthe. And who is this most beautiful young lady?"
"This is my goddaughter, Lady Arabella Framcombe."
Holmes kisses her hand:"It is a delight to meet you."Oscar meanwhile has noticed Ben:
"And who is this? Sherlock it is most neglectful of you not to have warned me that you have such... charming company."
Ben introduces himself and Kyle. Oscar stares at him, spellbound and transfixed:
"I had no idea that the police employed such young Inspectors. There are few things more perfect than youth my dear boy. It is so tempting. And the only way to remove a temptation is to give in to it *strokes Ben's hair*"
Watson pours the drinks and Ben asks for an absinthe as he notices that it is a bottle of the finest kind. He is most impressed and nearly gives himself away:
"mmmm this is impeccable. You don't get absinthe this good in my century..... I mean in my club."
"You should join the Albermale Club", Oscar comments, "I would love to see more of you."
Meanwhile, Holmes is offering Lady Arabella a piece of lemon cake. She flashes her deep, dreamy eyes.
"Please. In your own time, tell us what this is all about." Holmes says.Lady Arabella elegantly nibbles a tiny piece of the cake and wipes a tear from her face.
"For the last twelve years, every birthday, I have recieved a gold cross in an envelope through the post. The envelopes are postmarked Eastbourne. There is no note and my family had no connections with that town. My mother and father were killed in India by a malaria outbreak twelve years ago just before the first cross arrived. I have been brought up in England by my nanny Mrs Holfstead, with Mr Wilde's support. "
Ben is intrigued:"Please get to the point. Where is this leading?" He asks.
"Well last night another package arrived. It is my 21st birthday today. It contained another cross... and something else."
She takes a box out of her elegant handbag. Oscar is shocked:"You brought the thing with us? In a handbag? A HANDBAG??"
"I'm sorry, but I thought that Mr Holmes would need to see it."She opens the box and slowly removes..... a severed hand, already green-tinged and putrefying. Everyone gasps.
"Seems we have a murder to investigate Constable Scott" Ben comments.Holmes frowns:
"Oh it is more than that. I suspect that what we have here is a threat so foul and so monstrous that the entire British Empire is in danger! Ben, Watson, Oscar; THE GAME'S AFOOT..........
...............to be continued