The power of deduction

25. july 2013 at 23:42 | Thalia Contostavlos
An old Sherlock Holmes story I've just found amongst my school papers. I hope you'll take the time to read this and enjoy it :)
Disclaimer: I don't own any recognizable characters. Obviously. I would be rich had I owned them, right?
Warnings: none

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......We were sitting in the third row at the local Opera House enjoying a marvellous violin concert. Holmes was leaning back in his seat, his eyes closed and his face formed into an expression of pure bliss. Truth be told, I enjoyed looking at him just as much as listening to the music. I couldn't help but wonder what was running through his busy mind.
......I smiled adoringly at him and shifted my gaze back to the stage, when I noticed a familiar woman sitting a few seats away from us.
......"Holmes."
......My friend ignored me though I had no idea whether it was intentional.
......"Holmes, isn't that Miss Hunter sitting over there? It simply must be her."
......Holmes let out a deep breath. "Watson, I fail to see any reason for you to disturb me. Sit still and enjoy the concert, would you?"
......I nodded but couldn't help it and wonder about the reason for our former client's presence.
......Miss Hunter was wearing a very nice evening dress but the bottom hem seemed to be slightly dirty - didn't arrive in a carriage then. The Opera House is just a few paces from the train station though, so she most likely travelled by train.
......Now, why would she come here? As far as I knew, she didn't have any relatives in this town and she certainly wasn't that fond of violin as to travel two hundred miles to hear it play like Holmes did. There must be some other reason then.
......I ran through my mental list of places she might be visiting: a doctor, a lawyer, a bank, a post office ... none of that seemed likely. There is no doubt she would be able to find all that back in London.
......Holmes shifted in his seat slightly and looked at me.
......"Watson, stop."
......I was confused. " I wasn't doing anything, my friend."
......He pursed his lips. "You were thinking. Rather loudly, if I may say."
......I tried not to sound offended. "I was only trying to figure out the reason for Miss Hunter's visit here."
......Holmes smiled. "That is quite elementary, my dear Boswell. Elementary, indeed. She's here for a job interview and decided to spend her free time listening to some quality music. Obvious, if you ask me."
......I stared. "Excuse me, obvious?"
......Holmes nodded, closed his eyes and leaned back into his seat again. I was tempted to observe Miss Hunter some more to try and figure out how was Holmes able to arrive to his conclusions but decided against it. I spent the rest of our evening listening and not thinking.
.
......We were getting ready for bed in our hotel room, when I lost my patience. "Holmes, would you mind telling me how you'd deduced that Miss Hunter was here for a job interview? I fail to see the obviousness you were talking about."
......Holmes smiled and patted the spot on the left of where he was sitting on his bed. I sat down and looked at him expectantly.
......What I got instead of an explanation, was a question: "What have you deduced so far?"
......Well, I assume that she arrived by train, because there were splatters of mud on her clothes. I fear that's as far as I got."
......"Good, very good, Watson. Your observation was very skilful, your deduction however was wrong. Had you looked more closely at the pattern of the mud splatter, you'd notice its inconsistence. There was quite a lot of mud on the sides but almost none on the front or the back of the hem of her dress. That is the exact pattern you'd get while riding a bicycle."
......"Oh, but surely she hadn't arrived on bicycle. We're good two hundred miles from London."
......Holmes smiled again patiently. "Of course not, my dear. She came by train just like we did."
......"But you just said my conclusion was wrong!"
......"No, I said your deduction had been wrong. The splatter on her dress has absolutely no ability to imply the way of arrival of dear Miss Hunter. There is no real mud on the way from the train station to the Opera House - there is actually only one muddy path in this town, it leads towards the Brixmore Manor and the only way to access it, if you don't want to pay for a carriage, is bike. Not even I would dare to walk through the dirt in my evening attire."
......I nodded, trying to sort out my thoughts. "But she did come by train?"
......My friend nodded, leaned over me to reach his pipe and lit it. "Of course, the rest of her train ticket was still in her glove as she was sitting at the concert, you haven't noticed?"
......I hung my head in embarrassment and Holmes nudged my shoulder in some kind of support.
......I smiled at him. "Would you tell me now, how were you able to deduce Miss Hunter went for a job interview?"
......"Ha!" Holmes exclaimed happily and leaned against me as if what he was about to tell me was somehow intimate. "Why else would she go to the Brixton Manor? The only people who live there is a middle-aged widower and his twelve-year-old daughter who needs a tutor. People like that don't socialize unless completely necessary. Then take Miss Hunter, her father has recently passed and she's trying to find some grounds in her life. Tutoring a young girl would most certainly help to fulfil her benefactorness."
......"Is that even a word, Holmes?"
......He shrugged, not caring about proper English.
......I sighed. "Your intellect never ceases to amaze me. That was brilliant, my friend. But how did you find out all that in such a short period of time?"
......Holmes smiled softly, which was very rare to see, leaned his head on my shoulder, which was even rarer, and closed his eyes. "That's for me to know and for you to wonder about."
......I scowled slightly and decided to mentally go over our evening and find out what I'd missed. We arrived at six o'clock and decided to take a stroll around the town. We passed the office of the local doctor, lawyer, the local bank and post office. I could probably rule out the doctor and the lawyer right away. Then there's the bank in front of which a group of people was standing and chattering as we went by. They were talking about something, someone, if I can remember correctly. Of course! I heard one of them say something along the lines of: "That poor sod Brixton, all alone with little Maddie." I smiled, one mystery solved, now how did the genius, who was now sleeping curled against my side, find out about the tutoring? We went around the post office and I showed Holmes one advertisement on the information table next to the post office door. It was about an elderly woman searching for an interesting companion. I laughed then and told him to answer it because he certainly fit the description "interesting", Holmes snickered and said he was more eccentric and bizarre than interesting.
......"Aha!" I exclaimed aloud, when I figured it out. "it was the information table in front of the post office, wasn't it, Holmes?"
......Holmes awoken by my sudden outburst laughed. "Precisely, my dear friend, precisely."
 


Comments

1 Be secret | Email | Web | 26. july 2013 at 1:01 | React

ÓÓÓÓ..Proč se i to nechce překládat?! :D Ale udělám to.. :D

2 Thalia Contostavlos | Email | Web | 26. july 2013 at 12:37 | React

[1]: To mě těší :)

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