The events about which I reminisce now are a component of my continuing chronicles which follow the activities of my most remarkable partner Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, whom I am most fortunate to be acquainted with, is a most singular individual. His incredible adeptness in reasoning, logic, and knowledge in all things perplexing, has made him the foremost private detective and general consultant of our era.
The case in question began, as so many others did, with the appearance of a soon-to-be customer of Holmes’ at our shared lodgings on Baker Street. The familiar sound of footfalls ascending our front steps preceded a sharp rap on the door.
“I dare say Watson,” observed Holmes from his sitting chair, “that our current quandary pertaining to a distinct lack of business is about to be rectified. Furthermore, I dare venture that the case to soon be presented will prove to be more than noteworthy. Be so kind as to get the door my dear fellow.”
With that I rose, being nearest the front entrance, and welcomed our guest in. He turned out to be a slight fellow of fair bearing. He entered the room confidently displaying a pallid smile.
“Pray thee sir, I have come seeking the consul of one Sherlock Holmes.”
Holmes spoke before I could answer, “Be that the case sir, then you have acquainted yourself with right place. I am Sherlock Holmes, and my partner here is Dr. Watson. Please have a seat. Might I venture that you are here representing the Conservative Party in regards to the misplaced governmental funds?”
At this comment our hitherto subdued guest jumped from his seat with a mighty start. I admit that I myself was startled by Holmes’ bold supposition.
“A beg of thee sir, how could you possibly know my business before I have stated it?”
Holmes leaned forward slightly and took a long pull on his ever present pipe, “It’s all rather rudimentary my dear man. The matter of your being involved in politics was made quite clear by the stately manner in which you present yourself. I garnered from your more than ample and high cranium that you are a learned man, and thus obviously associated with the Conservative Party. Had you arrived shabby and dark in garb, I would've assumed you to be of the socialist class. Likewise, had you come skulking about like some weatherbeaten snake oil salesman, I would've concluded that your association would have been with the governing party. These facts in hand, I understood that you would most likely come seeking my consul on the most pressing political matter of our time, which is of course, the missing money from the public purse.”
Our caller exclaimed, relief and amazement etched on the very creases of his face, “Fantastic! If I had reason before to doubt the rumors of your extraordinary abilities, I have reason no longer. Now, let me explain to you in detail the facts of the most pressing matter for which I am seeking your guidance. It seems to be that our current ruling party is heavily involved in the theft of great quantities of public capital. It being our rightful and God-given duty to serve the public, our party,her majesty's loyal opposition, has devoted its full efforts to the exposition of these thieving bandits. Unimaginably, we have ascertained that one of our own may very well be involved in the scandal. More than that, our very party leader has been implicated. Faced with this desperate situation, and in an immense state of befuddlement, my colleagues sent me here to acquire your help.”
“It is a most intriguing and singular tale you present to us, Mr...” ,Holmes mused.
“Indeed, indeed” Holmes paused, eclipsed now in profound thought, the like of which often encompassed his entire being while he pondered a peculiar perplexity of paramount proportions.
“Well, good sir, will you take the case?” Francois burst in, too impatient to outlast Holmes' contemplations.
“More than that my fine fellow, " Holmes entoned, "barring any unforeseen mystifications, I will solve it. But we must show most haste in our inquiry. If you would, Mr. Francois, run hither to the street below and hail a cab. Watson and I will promptly be on your heals and we shall be off at once.”
Francois quickly headed outside and Holmes turned to me.
“Might I presume, Watson, that you are at this moment disposed towards an investigation.”
“I most certainly am, Holmes. Shall we set off?” I said excitedly.
“Of course my dear fellow, but be so kind as to pocket your old service revolver, for we may well run into some rough fellows in this particular case.”
Following Holmes’ advice I acquired my revolver and followed him to the cab. We quickly set off on a westerly course, heading inexorably towards ol’ Ottawatown. Holmes, as he often is when immersed in a case , was mostly silent, providing neither Mr. Francois nor myself with any clues as to our exact destination.
Eventually, our ride ended. Emerging from the cab, I immediately recognized our surroundings to be none other than Acadia Avenue of Rockcliffe Park.
“My word Holmes, this is Stornoway, home of the leader of the official opposition, and the man concerned in the theft! Do you mean to accost him immediately?” I asked.
“Indeed I do Watson. Although, I might suggest, Mr. Francois, that you should stay out of sight. Should you be recognized, my intricately laid trap may very well be sprung too soon.”
“Very well sir, I shall stand to on this very spot and await your return and findings.”
With that Holmes and I approached the villa. I must confess that at this point I had no idea what clever scheme Holmes intended to execute. This was often the case in working with Sherlock, for he managed to surprise me often, even though I knew well enough to expect the unexpected.
We snuck, crouching like burglars ourselves, and approached the ornate front entrance. From insided, the warm hue of gas lamps emitted an inviting, but somewhat sinister glow. Then I startled, as from the back of the yard came the unmistakable creak of a door or window being heaved to.
“Quickly Watson," Holmes hissed, "we must hasten forth for the game is afoot, and much sooner than I anticipated. Ready your revolver, I fear the fellow we are about to waylay is of the most temperamental breed.”
In a mad scramble we rounded the corner of the residence to find Mr. Francois climbing through a low lying window. On seeing us, our customer went through a most unusual transformation. His collected façade quickly gave way to a look of unspeakable evil, as if the devil himself had grabbed hold of the fellow. He unleashed what I would best describe as a horrid succubus-like scream and then drew forth a weapon. Thanks to Holmes’ earlier warning I was ready, and quickly fired. At the same instance Holmes drew his own sidearm and our combined volley downed the fiend.
“My word Holmes, this is a most remarkable turn of events!” I stammered.
“Indeed it is Watson, and yet you will find it is also a most predicable occurrence. Let me now clear up any points about this event with which you are still unfamiliar. Our remarkably transforming Mr. Francois here is none other than the wealthy but infamous trollop, Belinda Stronach.”
At this point Holmes reached down and unmasked the fiend. Inconceivably, behind the multifarious disguise was Belinda Stonach, just as Holmes predicted.
“Remarkable!” I ejaculated. “But this begs many more questions than it answers.”
“Indeed. Let me explain. Our former client here came forth to us with a most conniving scheme in mind. Having established herself as a Conservative using this complex cranium enlarging mask and disguised her true identity, Belinda acquired our services. Her hope was thus, to lead us to the supposedly accused, and under our very noses plant a plethora of incriminating evidence. When this evidence was discovered by myself, a most renowned detective, it would be enough to sink the Conservatives and free the Liberals from an exceptionally embarrassing investigation. Still, there was one flaw in Madame Belinda’s plan. I took notice immediately upon meeting ‘Mr. Francois’ of the many traits of a common Liberal. Her pockets bulged with cash, her eyes darted craftily to and fro, and she wore a large Liberal Party sash of red silk. This was what gave her away. Fortunately, we managed to catch her in the act and stop the dastardly scheme.”
“Amazing Holmes, simply amazing," I cried out, "But a single matter still stymies me. How did you foresee the viciousness and deadly intent of the crook before we approached her... had we not had revolvers, there is no telling what may have befell us!”
“Its elementary Watson. Anyone involved in the study of criminology is obviously well read on the subject of Canada's Liberals. They are a most vicious and predicable beast. When money is involved, they are very nearly untamable. Having this knowledge in hand, I knew to prepare for the worst.”
And so the most singular case of the public funds pilfering was solved, for not long after, most of the Liberal vermin fled, with the Ottawa constabulary hot on their heels. Many were not caught though and they escaped to live abroad with their purloined loot. Rumor has it that most now reside in China.