Sherlock Holmes: Another Bow (holmes_man.txt)



Being an Unabridged Reprint
from the Unpublished Portfolio
of the late

--The first three chapters of Dr. Watson's lost manuscript
--the annotated Passenger List of the S. S. Destiny
--General information for passengers

The manuscript of "Another Bow" came to us through channels as
mysterious as any Holmes ever 
encountered.  The pages, yellowed and dog-eared, were discovered in a
safety-deposit box in 
the vault of the National Newark and Essex Bank of New Jersey, where,
presumably, Dr. Watson 
had stored them for safekeeping.  For decades, someone in Neward, under the name
of J. H. 
Watson, had paid the rental on the box.  Suddenly the payments stopped.  Bank
officials opened 
the vault, and the manuscript, sold at auction, began its circuitous route to
our offices in 
California.  We blew the dust off the pages and checked their authenticity as
thoroughly as 
such things can be checked, including an unpleasant week with a cranky old paper
and ink expert 
in his musty San Francisco laboratory.  Since we are a software company and
since Holmes was 
characterized by his chronicler, Watson, as "the most perfect reasoning
machine that the world 
has ever seen," we thought it appropriate that the manuscript be translated
to the computer, 
instead of the usual book form.  Thus, "Another bow" has found its way
to a medium, which we 
are convinced, would have been of invaluable service to the Master had he been
fortunate enough 
to practice his craft amidst the golden age of computers.

P. A. Golden, Editor
Los Gatos, California
May 19, 1984


	"It canít hurt now," Mr. Sherlock Holmes would often remark when, a
case having been
	long completed, I sought his permission to record his professional activities.
	I can recall him wearing his purple dressing gown and sitting before the fire
in our 
	lodgings in Baker Street, drawing a bow across the fiddle on his knees and
smoking his 
	shag tobacco incessantly.  His haggard and ascetic face was nearly invisible in
	pungent cloud, his eyes were closed, and his black clay pipe thrust forward
from his 
	mouth like the bill of some strange bird.  "You see, Watson, but you do
not observe," 
	he would correct me on one point or another, and I would marvel at the keenness
of his 
	mind, and speculate on his place in history, knowing it was assured.
	Which brings me to the heart of this matter.  I have seldom drawn my narratives
	the brilliant twilight of my friendís career, yet I do so in this case because
	possessed such vital importance.  Not only did I require Holmesí leave to
record it, I 
	required that the world once again be at peace.  I required the conviction that
	planet would still spin safely on its axis.  For if my singular friend had not
	himself, had he not applied his prodigious talents to the task, not bent his
	intellectual shoulders to the wheel, the existence of the world as we know it
	would have had no more reality than a fever dream.
	It began innocently enough, in the latter days of June, that first summer
following the 
	Great War.  I awoke one morning to discover that the dreary rains had ceased,
and the 
	sun was shining.  At breakfast, Mrs. Watson suggested we take our holiday with
	widowed sister, who had secured for the season a home in Portofino.  Having no
	for Italy, and even less for my wifeís sister, I argued with some vehemence
	Violetís plan.  However, when she slid the ham and eggs from the pan, missing
my plate 
	but not my lap, I took it as an indication that my darling was in one of her
	stubborn moods--precisely her sisterís permanent state--and I brushed the food
to the 
	floor and fled out the door to Queen Anne Street.
	I wandered aimlessly.  By noon it was quite hot, a breeze having lifted the
veil of fog 
	from London, revealing a light blue sky with fleecy white clouds drifting out
	the Channel.  I thought enviously of Holmes living peacefully with Nature in
his villa 
	on the southern slope of the Downs, with a marvellous view of the Channel, and
of how 
	he revelled in the exquisite air whilst walking the pebbled beach.  There, if
one chose, 
	one could have a refreshing dip in the swimming-pools of curves and hollows
that followed 
	the contours of the coast-line and were filled by the tides.
	Although it was Holmes who had introduced me to the present Mrs. Watson, owing
	Violetís moods and a strong possessiveness whose charm had worn during the
	stormy years of our marriage, I had not seen my old comrade in a number of
	After strolling to a tobacconist and purchasing an ounce of Ďship's,í I
charged my pipe 
	and resumed my walk, wistfully remembering my decades of association with
Holmes.  Now 
	that the War was ended and the Allied and associated powers were negotiating
the terms 
	of peace at Versailles, Londoners appeared cheerful as they hurried about their
	as cheerful as Londoners are wont to appear.  I was lost in my reminiscences
when the 
	bells sounded in a church.  I opened my pocket-watch, and so as not be late for
	luncheon with my literary agent, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I rode, reluctantly,
in a cab 
	to Simpsonís.
	Sir Arthur had served as senior physician in a field hospital during the second
	War.  He had written a sterling defense of Englandís conduct in that campaign,
	had been widely read.  He had received his knighthood in 1902, and not long
after, his 
	first wife had passed away.  That was quite some time ago--roundabout the time
of my 
	marriage to Violet--and although, along with his re-marriage, the intervening
years had 
	been kind to him, the past six months had not.  That cold and bitter east wind,
	Holmes had predicted upon the capture of the German spy Von Bork, had withered
	its blast Doyleís beloved son, Kingsley, and Sir Arthurís brother, Innes.  Both
men had 
	died as a result of that Hun-inspired atrocity.
	In addition to his political writings, medical work, and literary agency, Sir
	owned an establishment in Westminster, The Psychic Bookstore, where he pursued
	passion for mysterious phenomena by authoring, publishing, and selling tomes on
	subject.  He had been working feverishly, adhering to the maxim that work is
the best 
	antidote to sorrow, but his passion was bankrupting the poor fellow.  He and
Lady Doyle 
	regularly attended seances, claiming to have contacted through them the dear
	boy, Kingsley.  I was skeptical of the subject of Sir Arthurís obsession, and
	agreed with Holmesí verdict in the matter, that the world is big enough for us,
and no 
	ghosts need apply.  I had written Sir Arthur a note to this effect, and
although I could 
	not concur with his logic--indeed, that is the very element which is absent in
	argument--the emotional content of his reply is etched in my memory:

	My dearest Dr. Watson:  In our agonized world, with the flower of our race
dying in the 
	promise of their youth, with their wives and mothers having no conception
whither their 
	loved ones have gone, I suddenly saw that this subject with which I had dallied
was not 
	merely a study of a force outside science, but that it was a breaking down of
the walls 
	between two worlds, a message from beyond, an undeniable call of hope and
guidance to 
	humanity at the time of its deepest affliction.

	Entering Simpsonís I spotted Sir Arthur at a small table in the front window. 
It was 
	precisely the table where Holmes and I solved many a knotty problem,
particularly during 
	the case of ĎThe Illustrious Client,í a draft of which was piled
unceremoniously on my 
	desk, crying for completion.  I was to have finished it that very morning, and
I cursed 
	my error in arguing with my wife.  She had read the draft the previous evening,
and had 
	accused me of making sport of her younger years.
	Sir Arthur was sipping from a glass of whiskey and gazing sadly out the window.
	agony of which he had written in his letter was plainly marked on his face. 
His gaze 
	seemed hollow and distant, as though he were regarding the fog across a dark,
	moor, and not the gay, sunlit ribbon of humanity unravelling through the
Strand.  His 
	great drooping moustaches, grey now as a winter sky, hid a mouth whose corners
	turned south in a perpetual frown, a mouth that could speak only of sadness.
	"Dear Watson," said he, bravely casting off his gloom rising, and
extending his hand 
	when I approached the table.  "Itís been too long."
	We shook hands vigourously, and he clapped me upon the back.  I was curious as
to the 
	purpose of our meeting.  He had been vague over the telephone, and he continued
to keep 
	his intentions to himself.  The waiter arrived.  I requested a gin and tonic,
and we 
	ordered our meal.  With the noose of German U-boats finally loosened from
	shores, food rationing was but an unpleasant memory.  The roast beef, Yorkshire
	and peas were delicious; the claret a dry, quiet complement to our fare.
	We made idle chatter, evading all talk of comrades and colleagues.  At our
advanced ages 
	it was no trivial matter to ask of old friends, as they might very well have
moved from 
	their houses to their graves on rather short notice.  I avoided asking after
Lady Doyle, 
	for I had heard the death of her step-son had horribly stricken her.  Sir
Arthur, on his 
	part, did not inquire about Mrs. Watson, the gossips of London having spread
the storm 
	warnings of my marriage from stern to bow.
	At last the waiter cleared the table.  Sir Arthur tossed me his cigar case, a
	that brought Holmes to mind, and passed me the gold end-cutter from his
vest-pocket.  As 
	we sipped the wine, and savoured the wonderfully slow-smoking Havanas, Sir
	proceeded to disclose his reason for inviting me to luncheon.
	"Watson," said he, clearing his throat, "you are familiar with
the American actor 
	William Gillette?"
	"Of course.  I saw him in London.  Believe it was in í97 or í98, in his
play ĎSecret 
	Service.í Marvellous actor.  And his Sherlock Holmes was magnificent.  The
Holmes of my 
	stories is a wan and shadowy creature compared to the vivid, flesh-and-blood
	that Gillette has written and brought to the stage."
	"Youíre too modest.  But allow me to continue.  You recall the party Lady
Doyle and I 
	gave last Christmas?  When I introduced you to Waldorf Astor, and his wife, the
	born in America, Nancy Witcher Astor?"
	"Certainly.  Astor is proprietor of The Observer.  A fine paper.  Topping.
 He served 
	as private secretary to Lloyd George.  Was hellís own amount of assistance to
the Prime 
	Minister.  Then he was something or other in the ministry of foods towards the 
	conclusion of the War.  And from what I understand, come the November election,
now that 
	Astorís a viscount and required to abandon his seat in the Commons, his wife
may very 
	well be the first woman every to sit in Parliament."
	"Excellent, dear boy," replied sir Arthur, excitedly drawing his
cigar from his mouth, 
	causing the long ash to topple on the tablecloth.  A few of the grey flakes
alighted in 
	his wine glass, floating like volcanic islands on the ruby surface. 
"Now," he 
	passionately continued, "you are undoubtedly acquainted with your American
	Isidore Doubleman?"
	"Really," said I, chuckling to mask my annoyance.  "You must
stop quizzing me like a 
	school boy.  Please, come to the point."
	"Yes, very well," he sighed, draining the wine from his glass.  I
thought it best not to 
	mention the ash.  It did not appear to bother him.  He said, "Mr. Gillette
wishes to 
	revive his Holmes play.  First in New York, then London.  Your Mr. Doubleman
has agreed 
	to finance the productions, if--and this is a rather large if--if he can
persuade Holmes 
	to allow Doubleman & Company to publish his early monographs in a
	"Ah," said I, "Holmesí writings on tobacco ash, the tracing of
footsteps, the influence 
	of a trade upon the hand, tattooing, cyphers, the human ear and I believe there
	several more."
	"Mr. Doubleman has heard rumblings that Holmes is completing a master-work
on the 
	science of deduction.  He wishes to publish this as well.  He feels that the
	coming on the eve of these publications, will assist in the selling of the
books."  He 
	paused and re-filled his wine glass.  "I donít need to tell you, Watson,
as the agent 
	in this affair, I stand to earn a tidy sum.  Of course, you do as well.  Not to
	Holmes.  My share will keep my Psychic Bookstore afloat."
	I puffed on my cigar, feeling my mouth twist in a wry expression.
	Sir Arthur responded heatedly, "As a public man of affairs I have never
shown myself to 
	be wild or unreasonable!  I hope my opinions in psychic matters have some
weight when 
	compared to those of my opponents, whose contempt for the subject has not
allowed them 
	to give calm consideration to the facts."
	"I apologise.  No offence intended.  What part am I to play?"
	"The Astors, now that the War has ended, are planning a cruise.  It will
originate in 
	New York, sail to London, and return to the States, where theyíll visit with
	American half of their family.  Gillette and Doubleman are scheduled to be
aboard.  As 
	are the inventors Edison and Bell; some avant-garde sort from Paris; a Spanish
	named Picasso; Miss Gertrude Stein, a critic or collector; the
automobile-maker, Ford; 
	the Baron de Rothschild; and Colonel T. E. Lawrence."
	"Lawrence of Arabia?" I exclaimed, profoundly interested.
	Sir Arthur nodded.  "Heís writing the memoirs of his campaign.  General
Phillip Ryan 
	and Lieutenant Cullum Jenkins will attend as well."
	"The heroes of Belleau Wood," said I, impressed.  "Brave
	"Rather," replied he.  "It should be quite pleasant.  The Astors
have engaged a band of 
	jazzmen from new Orleans, and a grand chef.  Many more distinguished guests
will be 
	aboard.  All to celebrate the peace."
	"And you wish Holmes to be on hand to discuss your proposition?"
	"Precisely.  As well as you and Mrs. Watson."
	I reflected for a moment.  "My dear Violet mentioned something about
taking her holiday 
	in Italy with her sister.  I could join her later."
	"Splendid," answered Sir Arthur.  "But what of Holmes?"
	I remembered my comrade as I had seen him last.  He was gaunt, his hair a white
	his shoulders stooped with rheumatism.  He followed his regimen of exercise,
	his bees, reading, and writing.  His years of excessive tobacco use had caused
	a disease that dimmed his keen grey eyes and had forced him to employ a
magnifying lens 
	whilst poring over his books and papers.  He had relinquished cigars and
cigarettes, but 
	had held fast to his beloved pipes and shag.  He had remained good old Holmes,
the most 
	singular man I have every known, but his powers had been lessened by lifeís
	thief:  Time.
	"Well?" asked Sir Arthur, anxiously.  "Would it persuade Holmes
to know that the 
	violinist Leopold Auer will be aboard?  He has re-located from St. Petersburg
to New 
	York.  I know Holmes greatly admires him."
	"As did Tchaikovsky.  I recall Holmes telling me that the composer had
dedicated a 
	concerto to Auer.  I believe it was after Holmes had lunched with Auer when he
	teaching in London."  The idea of being re-united with Holmes was
tempting, even though 
	it would concern money, not crime.  "I trust Holmes will agree to sail. 
He once said to 
	me, ĎI fear that I am like one of those popular tenors, who, having outlived
his time, 
	is still tempted to make repeated farewell bows to his indulgent audience.í  My
	could never resist a stage.  Iím certain heíll come!"
	"God bless you, Watson!  Iím very grateful."
	Sir Arthur settled the bill.  Although his finances were in disarray, he was a
proud man 
	and I did not offer my share, cringing as I remembered how my wife often
referred to me 
	as frugal.  Sir Arthur wrote some financial figures on a pad and asked that I
show them 
	to Holmes.  He stated that we were sailing on the S. S. Destiny, the day after
	which necessitated that I visit Holmes straight away.
	"Iíve had a letter from my friend Houdini," said Sir Arthur. 
"He assured me the ship is 
	I knew of his budding correspondence with the magician, and I wished Houdini,
who always 
	seemed like a clear-thinking fellow, would set Sir Arthur aright in the amount
	trickery required to simulate mysticism.  Ambling out onto the Strand, we shook
	and Sir Arthur removed a sheet of thick, pink-tinted note-paper from his jacket
	handed it to me, and said, "In my anxiety I nearly forgot this.  It
arrived at my office 
	from America.  Iím skeptical of its importance.  Clearly the work of some
	The note was dated June 10, 1919, and had a return address on a Lyons Avenue,
in Newark, 
	New Jersey.

	Dear Sir Arthur Conan Doyle,
	My mother, Irene Adler, told me a month ago that if I ever needed help I should
send a 
	note to you on this paper and youíd see that it got to my father.  As I have
only read 
	of him in the newspapers and in Dr. Watsonís stories, and heís never contacted
us, Iím 
	not counting on him, but mother and I are in real trouble and I beg you to pass
	note along.  Mother has said that father has a keen yet suspicious mind, that
he never 
	fails those in need, and that he will recognize the paper.  Please help.
					Jeffrey Adler

	"See, Watson," chuckled Sir Arthur, "itís nothing.  In ĎA
Scandal in Bohemiaí you 
	referred to the woman as the late Irene Adler.  Besides, you were Holmesí
	companion.  When would he have had a son?"
	"Quite true," replied I, hoping not to alarm him with the facts. 
"May I keep the note?  
	A souvenir."
	We each hailed a cab, and I promised to contact him as soon as I had Holmesí
	Riding towards Queen Anne Street, I read and re-read the note.  Was this thing
	What I had not told sir Arthur was that it had been Holmes himself who had
informed me 
	of Irene Adlerís death.  Perhaps he wanted it that way.  To say that he was not
fond of 
	the fair sex was to beg the limits of understatement.  Particularly, Irene, who
	beaten him at his own game, and who, to Holmes, was always the woman, eclipsing
	others in his eyes.  At the time, over thirty years ago, I had recently married
	frail Mary Morstan, dead now of a failed heart.  My complete happiness and
	interests had drifted Holmes and me apart.  I knew little of his comings and
	only that he alternated between cocaine and ambition, occasionally rising out
of his 
	drug-created dreams to take on a case.  Reflecting on the matter caused me to
	wearily, realising that Jeffrey Adler might very well be the son of Sherlock
	Fortunately, when I arrived at home, Violet was not in the kitchen, so as I
packed my 
	bag and leather briefcase, and informed her that I would join her in Portofino
	weeks hence, she was armed with neither a cooking utensil nor its contents. 
	when I mentioned that the matter with Holmes was urgent, she softened, and
kissed me, 
	and even assisted in the folding of my shirts.  In spite of the fact that we
did not 
	socialise, my Violet kept a warm spot for Holmes in her heart, for he had saved
	from the clutches of her ruthless ex-fiancť, Baron Gruner.  We kissed once more
	my departure.  I noticed tears glistening on my belovedís ivory cheeks, and
despite all 
	the raging waters under the bridge of our marriage, I marveled at the depth of
my love 
	for her.
	I motored out towards the Downs, revelling in how the dusk bathed the rolling
	countryside with gold and crimson light.  Drawing closer to Holmesí seaside
villa, I 
	inhaled the salt air, spied the chalk cliffs, and missed the turn-off for the
	tree-shaded lane where he lived.  I threw the gears into reverse, and
presently, found 
	myself parking my automobile beyond the hedges of a stone house, crossing a
slate path 
	which wound up a wide, sloped lawn, and knocking on the door of my dear old
comrade, Mr. 
	Sherlock Holmes, late of Baker Street.


	"Holmes, Holmes.  Open up.  Itís Watson."
	Holmes drew back the door.  I shouted my greeting, so glad was I to see him. 
As always, 
	his manner was reserved, and with hardly a word spoken, he rested his hand upon
	shoulder and we walked to the sitting-room.  It was large and airy, and
	furnished.  Beyond the windows, I watched the white-capped waters of the
Channel washing 
	against the chalk cliffs, and felt the heat of the sunset pouring past the
	unfurling over the wood floors like a bolt of scarlet satin.
	When we were seated in the comfortably sagging chairs, Holmes said,
"Watson, how is 
	Doyle?  And why is this matter so pressing?"
	I gaped at him in astonishment.  "How on earth did you know?"
	"Elementary, my dear Watson," replied he, picking up his Persian
slipper, from which he 
	removed fingerfuls of shag and proceeded to fill his calabash, the bowl of the
	curved pipe golden brown from endless hours of smoking.  "Your
briefcase," said he, "a 
	fine Spanish leather.  You employ it only on literary matters.  Ergo, your
meeting with 
	Doyle.  That the matter is urgent is clear.  We are both aware that your Violet
	you on a rather short rein.  For her to allow you out of the stable could only
mean that 
	the matter is serious, not social."
	Abashed at Holmesí description of my marriage, I was nonetheless awed by his
powers of 
	deduction.  I hurriedly explained Sir Arthurís situation and proposal, whilst
	ever the close and patient listener, blew great acrid clouds towards the beamed
	Finally, he said, "Thatís all well and good.  But Violet would not have
permitted your 
	journey to the Downs for this alone.  Come to the point, my boy."
	I handed him the note.  He read it, puffing madly on his calabash, the smoke
rising as 
	though from a steam engine.  Suddenly he dashed from the sitting-room, and I
followed at 
	his heels until we traversed a hallway and reached his study.  He removed a
	lens from the awesome clutter on his desk and examined the pink-tinted paper. 
Then he 
	switched on a lamp and held the note to the light.
	"Look Watson," said he.
	I did so and saw a large E with a small g, a P, and a large G with a small t
woven into 
	the texture of the paper.
	"My God, Holmes!" exclaimed I.  "Now I remember.  It is the same
paper from ĎA Scandal.í  
	The Eg is for Egria, a German speaking country once in Bohemia.  The P is for
	The G and t stand for Gesellschaft, which is the German contraction for
ĎCompany.í  It 
	is the identical paper the Bohemian king sent you when Irene Adler was
	blackmailing him."
	"Precisely," mumbled Holmes, "and this Jeffrey Adler is supposed
to be my son."
	Although the possibility was a simple question of biology, I had not the heart
to ask 
	him if it were true.  I remarked, "If Professor Moriarty were alive, one
might think he 
	was behind such a letter."
	"Yes, yes," answered Holmes impatiently, still studying the note. 
"Watson, be a good 
	chap and help yourself to some of the cold beef and beer in the kitchen, then
sleep in 
	the guest room.  I want to consider this to-night.  Iíll give you your answer
about the 
	cruise in the morning."
	I glumly went off to eat my supper.  Long into the watches of the night, whilst

	attempting sleep, I heard the mournful wailings of Holmes playing his violin, a
	that his mind was feverishly at work.
	Dawn came cold and foggy.  When I had dressed I entered the sitting-room, where
	poisonous haze of shag smoke and an empty coffee pot informed me that Holmes
had not 
	"Watson," said he.  "Iíve arranged for a neighbour to tend my
bees whilst weíre away, 
	and Iíve packed this blasted trunk."
	"Splendid," said I, and we hoisted the trunk, and left straight away
for the docks.


	At the dock, we met Sir Arthur and Lady Doyle.  They were overjoyed to see
	though he remained as pensive as he had been on the trip from Sussex.  Sir
	introduced us to Houdini, and I was not much impressed.  Yet seeing the Astors,

	T. E. Lawrence, the Baron de Rothschild, and the world-renowned art critic,
	Berens ascending the gangplank was quite invigourating, and even Holmes
brightened when 
	he was introduced to Thomas Alva Edison.  As we boarded the Destiny, I spied a
	elderly gentleman being wheeled round the bow in a wheelchair.  He had a white
	forehead, scant white hair, terribly hunched shoulders, and a scowling,
protruding face 
	which slowly oscillated from side to side in a curiously reptilian fashion.  He
	familiar though I could not place him.  Perhaps I had seen his picture in the
papers, or 
	had read a desciption of him elsewhere.  I asked Holmes if he recognised the
	My companion squinted towards the bow and replied, "I think not, Watson. 
But I didnít 
	see him too clearly.  My eyes are not what they were."
	"Same with my memory," chuckled I, as a porter showed us to our
stateroom, and I did not 
	give it another thought.
	The dining-room was grand, as was our meal, numerous Creole dishes which I
could not 
	pronounce yet managed to consume in extraordinary quantities.  A band from New
	played a rousing music I had never heard, and which my well-travelled friend
	explained was known as Dixieland Jazz.  I particularly enjoyed the tail-gate
	Kid Ory, and the cornetist, who the band referred to as Satchelmouth.  Holmes
and I were 
	seated with the Doyles; my distinguished, silver-haired publisher, Isidore
	and his rather homely wife, Becky; General Phillip Ryan, a short handsome man
of just 
	thirty-five, and his bride, Jenny, a slim, auburn beauty whom I overheard
	Scripture to her husband as he summoned the sommelier for his third bottle of
wine; and 
	Lieutenant Cullum Jenkins, whom, I speculated, because of his gangly appearance
	hairless cheeks, was no more than nineteen years old.  The General became
rather nasty 
	to his wife, sneering that he had heard enough of her Bible-quoting dribble to
last him 
	a lifetime.  I was eager to discuss the War with these heroes of Belleau Wood,
but would 
	not do so in the presence of the Doyles, and General Ryan appeared only in the
mood to 
	drink himself senseless.  Whilst dessert was being served, the General, quite
drunk by 
	now, stood, called for silence, raised a glass of Bordeaux and another of
brandy, and 
	shouted, "I like the wine of life with a little brandy in it!"
	He downed both glasses in rapid succession, announced he needed some air, then
	drunkenly from the room.  I noticed that Mrs. Ryan flashed a winning smile at
	Jenkins, and thought I detected her hand, hidden by the linen tablecloth, slide
into the 
	Lieutenantís lap.  Discreetly, I mentioned this to Holmes.
	"Very good, Watson," whispered he.  "You are learning to


Begin game.