Sherlock Holmes’s Secret


To Peg Egan, Director to the Offices of Jo Lee, this story is dedicated to you for your abiding assistance and your courage to live, laugh and love.  




Sherlock Holmes’s housekeeper Mrs. Hudson made a date to meet her childhood friend, clairvoyant turned stage actress Bessie Bloomer, for tea at London’s opulent Langham Hotel.  She had a secret and Bessie was always anxious to hear anything about the famous, mysterious detective.  Although she would have been more comfortable in the local pub, she made her way to Wellington Street, just off the Strand to the hotel.


At tea, she quickly asked her friend what was troubling her.  “The trouble began one morning, when Mr. Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson sat down together at a breakfast I had prepared: a sideboard of ham, bacon, grilled kidneys and eggs, porridge, toast, scones and tea.  I was in the kitchen when he shouted out, ‘Mrs. Hudson, where is the curried chicken?’”


“Holmes is very moody, his drug habit, you know.  When he is in my kitchen it is chaos, he makes a total mess.  I’ve asked him to stay out, but he insists he is a consummate cook and plans to create recipes to astound the British Empire.  I am at my wit’s end.  He has become, in his mind, a master chef. 


What am I to do?”


Her friend sipped her tea, took a deep breath, looked off into the distance and said dramatically, “Nothing!”


A forlorn Mrs. Hudson returned to 22B Baker Street, a couple of comfortable bedrooms and a large airy sitting room, with two broad windows looking down on the west side of Baker Street.  As she climbed the stairs, she suddenly stopped midway when she heard the strains of a fiddle and inhaled the smell of tobacco.  She silently crept the rest of the way, and listened at the door to the study.  Inside, there they sat on either side of the fire in the sitting room.


“You have never appreciated my merits as a housekeeper, dear Watson.  Tonight I have prepared quite an epicurean little cold supper, as I did not expect Mrs. Hudson to be back in time from her reunion with her old friend.  I’ve made a dish of curried mutton, Devils on Horseback, and a cheese pudding, my Cordon Bleu specialties.  You see, tomorrow I leave for Switzerland.  I have a rendezvous at Reichenbach Falls.  I now have other matters more pressing than practicing my talents as a chef.  I shall leave you in Mrs. Hudson’s capable hands.”


“You are a wonder, Holmes,” said Watson.


Mrs. Hudson went to her bedroom and collapsed on her bed.  Holmes’s secret passion would be safe with her.  Bessie was right!  “Elementary, my dear Mr. Holmes,” she whispered to herself with a sigh of relief.

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