The Three Holmes'
The Three Holmes’
“Do we really have to go?” said a familiar voice. “Apparently that’s the only choice we have.” Holmes said. I was at the edge of the entrance door to eavesdrop on this conversation but my cover was blown by an unknown voice, “Shush, someone’s outside. Ah Dr. Watson, please do enter.” Strange, how did he know? I went and opened the door and saw Holmes sitting down on his armchair, Mycroft standing beside the door and an unknown individual near my chair. “Good morning, Watson” Holmes said.
“Is there a problem?” I asked.
“A small one.” Holmes looked at Mycroft and the other man.
“Good to see you again, Mycroft, and you are?”
“Sherrinford Holmes, a pleasure.” said the man.
“ ‘Holmes’? Are you,”
“Yes, the eldest of the Holmes brothers.”
“Yes?” All three replied.
“I meant, Sherlock, you didn’t tell me you had another brother!”
“Why should I?”
“As much as I hate to say this but Sherrinford is much more distant than Mycroft is and I find no reason to even have the slightest mention of him.” Holmes confessed.
“Well it’s not my fault that I have to stay behind to look after mummy and daddy, Sherlock.” Sherrinford replied.
“Brothers, calm down, we have a matter to sort.” Mycroft interrupted.
“What’s the matter?” I enquired.
“There’s been murder,” Sherrinford said, “in Sussex, the place we were born.”
“Sussex? Why we had a few cases there didn’t we, Holmes?”
“Indeed Watson, there was the one on The Sussex Vampire, fascinating work as always.”
“So why is this a matter to discuss? Shouldn’t you all be off to Sussex already?”
“There is a problem,” said Mycroft, “Your companion, Sherlock Holmes and I don’t have any interest in going but then again Sherlock said we don’t have a choice.”
“You don’t have one, Mycroft.” said Holmes.
“Have you told them about the case, Sherrinford?” I asked.
“It would be better for them to see for themselves.” he replied.
Mycroft sighed, “Very well, go we must then go we shall.”
“By the way Watson, how was the tea?” Holmes asked.
“And the pasta was certainly delicious wasn’t it?” Mycroft uttered.
“Surely Longwork Cafe was a delightful place to be for a morning breakfast with your wife?” Sherrinford enquired.
“How the deuce did-” I stopped, “Nevermind, the Holmes family is full of wonders I suppose.”
“Not quite, Watson. Not quite.” Holmes said.
“What do you mean?”
“You’ll see when we get to Sussex. Now, shall we?”
We left for Sussex by train and on the way, there was very little conversation, just bits and pieces every now and then like “So Mycroft, how fares the British government?”
“It’s running fairly well, thanks for asking.”
Or “Did mummy cook us lunch?”
“I hope not, her cooking is awful.”
“Sherlock, we will be dining at a restaurant when we get there, and please, don’t tell mummy that her cooking is bad.”
“Well it is the facts.”
“I agree with Sherlock, Sherrinford.”
“As true as it is, it hurts her.”
“Fine, at least we get to dine out.”
We arrived at Sussex a little over two and as soon as we got down people stopped whatever they were doing and glanced at us, “Have no fear, Watson, we aren’t the most friendliest of faces here.” Sherlock implied.
“I can tell.”
“Let’s just get going, nobody here really likes us.” Sherrinford said.
“You don’t say.” agreed Mycroft.
We walked hastily to a restaurant and had a conversation amongst each other. “So, if you are smarter than them, why ask for them?” I directed to Sherrinford.
“I may be wiser than them but this case requires the intellect of all three of us.”
“Why leave us in suspense, Sherrinford? Do you perhaps have not been to the crime scene yourself or are you just a complete arse?” Holmes queried.
“Contain yourself Sherlock, I’m sure our brother here has a reason for this ‘unpleasantness’.” Mycroft explained.
“Well I hope the wait is worth it.” sighed Holmes.
“It will be brothers, now shush, our food is here.” Sherrinford said.
It was a pleasant meal and we dined quietly, once we were done Sherrinford brought us to the crime scene. We made our way to East Sussex and to the River Rother where we saw a body near the very muddy riverbank, I was about to walk up to the body when Holmes raised his hand up to shoulder height and stopped me. “Is something of the matter, Holmes?”
“Look at the crime scene and tell me what you see, Watson.”
I had a hard and long look and finally said “The body is on the mud and there are no footprints.”
“Well this certainly isn’t as compelling as I expected.” Mycroft declared.
“Really? Take a closer look.” Sherrinford protested.
“There are no footprints, no signs of a struggle, no murder weapon yet, nothing that is helpful yet.” Holmes murmured as he crouched down and put his hands together on his chin.
“Why but Sherlock, his head was bashed, look at the blood flowing from the back of his head.” Mycroft hinted.
“By something blunt yet nobody has been near the body.” Sherrinford added.
“Watson, search the river for anything suspicious.”
And so I did and I came across a boomerang which I happily showed them.
“A boomerang! We found the murder weapon, Holmes!”
“No, that was placed there on purpose.”
“Look at the place of impact, how can most the blood be on the flat surface of the boomerang and not the side of it? It was placed there by the murderer.” Mycroft said.
“I have checked on the boomerang, it is indeed placed by someone else but that leads to the questions who and how.” Sherrinford claimed.
“Were there any witnesses?” Holmes enquired.
“Who found the body?”
“A family who was having their evening walk on the road.”
“Do you happen to have their address?”
“Indeed I do.”
“Very well, then that is our next destination, Watson, get us a cab.”
“Has the police been informed about this, Sherrinford?” Mycroft asked.
“Yes they have. Though they didn’t like the idea of the both of you being here.”
“Quite.” Mycroft chuckled.
I called a cab and for the whole ride, nobody spoke anything, it was all quiet until we reached the household. The front porch was brightly lit with two statues standing by the door, it was a weird fashion but it didn’t bother the Holmes’ brothers. Sherrinford knocked on the door and in an instance, the door was pulled wide open, a man who was about the height of Holmes appeared by the doorstep and greeted us with a handshake and fear in his eyes. The inside of the house was murky and creepy in contrast to outside that it struck fear into my heart. I can’t say the same for my companions however, our host led us to the living room and we sat down, “Tell us everything, Mr. Franklyn.” Holmes finally said.
“I have already told the police everything I know.”
“But we work differently than the police Mr. Franklyn, we would prefer to have our interrogation.”
“I’m sorry but this is a waste of time.” our host muttered.
“Well played, Sherlock.” Mycroft mocked.
“Mr. Franklyn, I would like to have you know that we have never been to the police yet and don’t plan on doing so, we are in need of your cooperation.”
“How did you know my name then?” our host pointed out.
“Well, you have a certificate hanging on your wall but not yours, it belongs to your deceased father, Dr. Lawrence Franklyn, who was a smoker and had gambling problems maybe because he and your mother divorced so he was depressed and killed himself one day leaving all his inheritance to you.” Holmes blurted. Mr. Franklyn stared at Holmes in bewilderment, “How the deuce did you know all that?”
“This world is full of obvious things where nobody by any chance ever observes, Mr. Franklyn. Now, the murder.”
“Yes, of course,” our host stuttered. “It was about seven in the evening, my wife and I took the opportunity to indulge in the beauty of nature, we made our way to River Rother and heard a man scream, we turned towards the river and found a man laying down near the banks, we assumed he was dead so we ran towards the nearest police station to inform them about it.”
“Was there any other noises before or during the man screamed?”
“I believe there was a faint whooshing sound before.”
“Mycroft, Sherrinford, is there anything else you would like to ask?” Holmes turned to look at them.
“Did you see anybody else at the moment?” Mycroft questioned.
“No. Excuse me but are the three of you perhaps the Holmes’ brothers?”
“Indeed, is there a problem?” Sherrinford hastily asked.
“No, it’s just that about an hour ago, an old couple came by and asked if I have ever saw the Holmes’ brothers.”
“Well bugger me, look at the time now.” Mycroft looked at the clock. It was eleven o’ clock!
“Oh we better hurry, mummy’s going to be furious.” Sherrinford babbled.
“Thank you for your time Mr. Franklyn.” I said while the three brothers rushed out of the house, “I best be off then.”
I smiled and walked away. We got back to their parents’ house as soon as possible and when we got there, Mr. and Mrs. Holmes were inside waiting for us with a displeased look on their faces. “And where have you three been?” Mrs. Holmes asked with a very angry tone.
“Sorry mummy, we got carried away.” Sherrinford tried to explained.
“Well I can’t afford to get mad at the three of you anymore can I?” Mrs. Holmes sighed.
“Oh and who is this?” she asked looking at me.
“This is Dr. John H. Watson, he stays with me in Baker Street.” Holmes answered.
“Pleased to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Holmes.”
“The pleasure is all mine, darling.”
“Sherrinford, show them to their rooms and don’t stay up late.”
Mr. Holmes looked at me and said, “And what do you find of our little Sherlock, Dr. Watson?”
“He’s a great man, Mr. Holmes, certainly one of the best I have ever met.” I claimed.
“You like him then.”
“Not always.” I laughed.
“Well it’s good to see our young Sherlock have a friend.” Mr. Holmes said and retreating to his bedroom.
“You see what I mean, Watson? Not all the Holmes members have the same astute logical reasoning like my brothers and I.” Holmes said.
“They certainly are ordinary.”
“It’s a cross we have to bear.”
Holmes sighed and sat down on a chair in the living room, Mycroft and Sherrinford did the same, concentrating, they were all still thinking about the case which seems rather impossible. I then went to a guest room, settled myself down and hit the hay. I admit, I wasn’t able to sleep well because I too was thinking about the case, it was around six in the morning when I went down and saw the Holmes’ brothers having breakfast early, I joined them and then asked “Any progress?”
“None so far.” Sherrinford confessed.
“Data! Data! Data!” Holmes yelled. “I can’t make bricks without clay!”
“Brother dear, we will get what we need, let us finish breakfast first.” Mycroft commented.
I also have started eating my breakfast when I asked “The body was never moved you say?”
“I never said-” The three Holmes’ brothers stopped and look at me.
“Brilliant, Watson! Brilliant!” Holmes cheered.
“What is?” I gave a perplexed look.
“Your ordinary mind!” Holmes laughed.
At first I thought it was an insult but it turns out it wasnt, we headed back to the crime scene soon after we finished breakfast and Sherrinford went ahead and called a few policemen there.
“If what we have are right, there should be two arrows under the body. One near the neck, another near the thigh.” Holmes asserted.
The policemen lifted the body and placed it aside and there it was, two arrows, one near the neck and another near the thigh, the arrows had a queer head as it was blunt into a flat head. The Holmes’ brothers scrutinized the body and the arrows when Sherrinford said “A recurve bow, quite a few around Sussex but some are only for display.”
“We’re also looking for something that resembles that of a grindstone.” Mycroft added.
“Not only that, we are also looking for a woman.” Holmes continued.
“I’m sorry, a woman, Holmes?” I asked
“Quite so, Watson. If only the Baker Street Irregulars were here, I would be able to gain information while we’re busy investigating.”
“I’ll go around and look.” said a scruffy voice from behind, we turned and saw a tall man, bearded with strong facial expressions, his hands were quite large and overall a good looking man. “Inspector Anderson, the Holmes’ brothers I see, do you remember me?”
“Can’t believe I do, must have deleted you from my mind.” Holmes replied.
“Deleted?” Inspector Anderson asked.
“You see, I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.”
“Are you implying that I am of no use to you?”
“I didn’t say that now did I?”
Mycroft and Sherrinford chuckled.
“Well if you’re kind enough to help us inspector, we will very much accept this kind offer.” Sherrinford proclaimed.
Inspector Anderson glanced at Holmes then to Sherrinford and said “Very well, you’ll get your information by lunchtime.”
“At the restaurant we ate at then?”
“Of course.” Inspector Anderson turned around and walked away.
“What shall we do now, Sherrinford?” Mycroft enquired.
“Wait at the restaurant is what we must do now.”
At this moment I turned to Holmes, my companion was smiling then turned to me, “Ron Roswell, Watson, have you heard of him?”
“I don’t believe I have.”
“Ron Roswell was a soldier from Second Ashanti War, the latter then became a sergeant halfway through the war and ended the crisis by winning the war. The whole calamity was at first inspired people to be brave but then people started seeing what they want to see, ‘the truth’ they all wanted was that Sergeant Roswell has brutally murdered innocent people to win the war. He received death threats and has since hid himself from public view, many people wanted him dead.”
“And what does this have to do with the case?”
“It’s because our victim is Sergeant Roswell himself.” Mycroft answered.
“Are you suggesting that our murderer is one of the people who wants him dead?”
“Why not? It’s the only reasonable possibility, I’m sure Sherlock has asked you to do this before but imagine you’re the murderer, Watson, you receive death threats and one day outside would mean possible death.”
I stayed quiet and thought about it for a moment, it took me awhile but I finally agreed to that statement. We waited at the restaurant when finally Inspector Anderson came, “It wasn’t an easy task but I got the names and addresses of women who have in their possession a recurve bow and grindstone.” He placed the piece of paper on the table.
“Mrs. Marlot and Mrs. Crawford. Only two?” I questioned.
“You gave me oddly specific details on who to find and now I have, there are only two women in Sussex who has a recurve bow and grindstone.”
“Much obliged, Inspector Anderson.” Sherrinford stood up and shook his hand, “Now if you’ll excuse us.” We walked away and headed to the first address on the list. The apartment was the only one on the street which had a deer head hanged on the door so it was easy to tell she was a hunter. Sherrinford knocked on the door and it was swung open by a woman shorter than any of us and had a rifle on her back, “Mrs. Marlot I presume?” Sherrinford enquired.
“And what business do you have with me, squire?” Mrs. Marlot asked.
“We would just like to look around your place if it’s not too much to ask.”
“Why should I permit you to enter my apartment?”
“For no reason at all but how would you like it if I told you that your husband is having an affair at this very moment.”
“Oh yes, he is having an affair with your sister right now.”
“Oh I’ll teach him!” Mrs. Marlot left hastily and angrily leaving her door open.
“Shall we?” Mycroft asked.
“Wait, are we sure it wasn’t her?” I stopped and questioned.
“Oh Watson, it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data, insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” Holmes replied.
“Holmes, you are very wise.” I remarked.
We entered the apartment which was filled with animal ornaments and decorations everywhere, even the lights are animal-shaped. The Holmes’ brothers looked around and scrutinized the place, it was not long before they all came back and said “Moving on.” Yes, all three of them.
So we headed to the second address which was near the Holmes residence, once again Sherrinford knocked on the door and a elegant looking woman swung open the door, “Mrs. Crawford?”
“Yes, is something of the matter?”
“We would just like to take a view of your house, if it’s not a problem.”
“Certainly, please do come in.”
We entered the house and was brought to the living room, it was huge and had a few animal ornaments and decorations, “Pardon me miss but where is the restroom?” Holmes asked.
“On the top floor, the door near the window.”
“Thank you miss.” and Holmes just rushed up the stairs.
“May I ask, misters. Why are you here?”
“Why we are here to look through every house for ideas, miss.” Mycroft replied.
“You see we are no architects or decorators ourselves so we require help badly.” Sherrinford added.
“I see, so have you gentlemans decided on what style is the most preferable?”
“I believe so, Mrs. Crawford.” came the voice of my companion from the entrance of the living room, “We have got what we were looking for.”
“I’m sorry but how do you know my name?”
Holmes walked slowly towards our host with his hands on his back, “Your son was a soldier in the Second Ashanti War fighting for the British, he died in the war presumably by gunshot and everyone assumed that he died because he was fighting for his country,” Holmes stood infront of our host staring deep into her eyes, “except he wasn’t, he was fighting for another country, one he was supposed to fight against but you knew that didn’t you and you still supported him. The love of a mother can never be broken until the offspring has done something unforgiveable, but your son didn’t, didn’t he, Mrs. Adwoa?” Holmes cuffed our host to a hook on the fireplace. “Who are you?” our host looked towards Holmes with tears flowing down her cheeks, Holmes turned around and walked towards the door, “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective of Baker Street.”