The Head And The Heart- A collection of Sherlock Holmes stories

A collection of stories about Sherlock Holmes, the well-known and well-loved detective, and his trusted friend and biographer Dr. Watson. "Reichenbach Feels" is set immediately after the unfortunate events of 'The Final Problem'. We follow the landlady of 221B, young Rebecca Hudson, on a quest to fill the void left behind by the untimely death of a lodger. In "A Case of Identity" a nightmare that has haunted our heroes becomes true: Professor Moriarty has finally outwitted them. And so we witness them planning a spectacular flight... "Both or None" depicts the best friendship in literature: Holmes and Watson have often saved each other's life- but what if nothing is safe, and no one is saved? Can one live without the other? Features two bonus stories: "Better Words Than These" describes what an impending war in the early 1900s might mean for a certain retired army surgeon, and his friend... In "The Fourth Wall" our heroes face the problem of an author vexed by his creations...


3. 2. Gloomy Sunday



10th of May, 1891

I was woken up by the sound of bells. "8 o' clock! I'm far too late!", I thought and practically jumped out of bed. In a rush, I made my bed and went to the bathroom to get ready. I didn't even have time for breakfast. Once I had made my hair and put on a nice dress, for it was Sunday, I was on my way to church.

I walked the London streets alone- I think have gotten used to this. But I still remember how it was living with them. This had been one of the reasons why I had decided to let some rooms in my house: I didn't want to live alone. I needed company, and renting a room to a consulting detective was a perfect way to make sure it won't become boring. In fact, it had never been, but sometimes I wished it were so. If it wouldn't be him... I probably wouldn't have to worry that much as I do now.

In the church, I sat down in one of the back pews and closed my eyes for a while. The reason why I almost had been late and why I was so tired now was the telegram, of course.
I had been staying up very late the last few nights, unable to sleep. I had sat by the fire and let my thoughts wander. I could recall very well the day I had met those two.
"The sleuth and the doctor... When I first saw them enter together, I somewhat knew they'd be a great team." I smiled softly.
When the organ started to play, I quickly opened my eyes again and rose. I was so distracted that I almost dropped my hymn-book trying to find the right page. When the vicar held his sermon, I hardly listened. I could only think of what might happened to Holmes.

"I should really not worry that much. He always proved to be a man being able to take care of himself..."
But that thought didn't calm me as much as it should have.

Somehow I seemed to be looked at by more and more people as the mass continued. I was starting to get uneasy. Why did they stare at me like that? I got so confused that when the mass was over, I left the church in a hurry. Outside I noticed that in my haste I had left my handbag inside. When I was about to turn, I suddenly was addressed from behind my back: "Excuse me, milady?"

I turned and saw a man stand before me, holding my bag in his big hands. He was stout, and had light and watery eyes which gave him a distracted look, but he focused me keenly as his massive face formed a smile. "You have forgotten something."
Handing me the item, his grin transformed into a more serious, yet friendly expression.
"Thank you, sir.", I replied and wanted to leave, but he continued to speak:
"Wait, aren't you the landlady of the famous Sherlock Holmes?" I stopped, and nodded reluctantly. "Well, may I ask you a question?- Where is he all of a sudden? No one has heard of him for longer. Quite unusual, no?"
At this question, I almost burst into tears. "Uhm, he's..." I hesitated. "He's sick."
The man looked a little surprised, then he said with a shrug of his broad shoulders: "Give him my regards and best wishes. It was nice talking to you, milady."
He disappeared into the crowd before I could even ask for his name, and left me a little stunned.

This incident had made it all clearer to me. So that's why people had stared at me during church. They saw me alone and obviously worried- I guess that you could tell from my face, without being one Sherlock Holmes, that I hadn't been sleeping much lately. And if it was so well known that I was Holmes's and Watson's landlady, then of course people could easily form the hypothesis that they must be connected with why I should look so worried. I felt exhausted.

"I should really get home, and get some sleep.", I thought. So I made my way through the crowd standing in front of the church chattering and returned to Baker Street.

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