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...


14. 2. The Warden

At last... Someone had lit up the room we were caught in.

How many hours have we already involuntarily spent here?

I put my right hand into my pocket, but obviously I didn't have my pocket watch with me. I sighed. Holmes had walked up to the door and was glancing out the little window it included. "Can you see anything, Holmes? Can you make out what's going on?" I asked. "I fear not, my friend." He sighed and lowered his head, but then pricked up his ears as a jingling sound was to be heard. He gave me a warning glance, a finger on his lips. Then he continued to watch the outside minutely. As quietly as I could, I stood up and went over to stand beside him. Suddenly he grasped my arm and excitedly pointed out the window. A shadow was to be seen on the floor, and it obviously was approaching us.

Maybe now we will finally find out what brought us here...

We stood still though I noticed that Holmes was occasionally quivering with suppressed excitement. Painfully slow, the shadow came closer. We could see the figure tilting their head from side to side, as if they were watching or checking something. "That could be a warden..." Holmes whispered.

And again Holmes' theory proved to be the correct one.

What happened? Who are you? Why...?

I felt the sudden need to shout all these questions out to the unknown man in charge of patrolling the hallways, but of course I got a hold of myself before my emotions got the better of my reason. If this man was an official, then we would get our answers- in a civilized, reasonable way. "Are you going to adress him?" I asked Holmes. He thought for a second, then he said: "I think so."

We waited until he was passing our cell, then I saw my friend lean forward and say: "Excuse me, sir?"

The guard slowly tilted his head towards us and then came closer. "What's the matter?", he said in a gruff voice.

"Might I enquire as to the reasons for me and my friend here to find ourselves unconscious in a rather unfriendly place as this is?" Holmes replied calmly. I found myself admiring him for being able to remain so polite in this situation, despite of the most uncourteous treatment we had experienced here.

"Well, mate, you gonna 'ave t' ask the Professor 'bout that. 'aven't got any facts in 'and, cause 'm not allowed to know, that's what they say. Only acting on orders by someone 'igher ranked, ya know? But being well paid for that, dealing with all the others 'round 'ere."

The... Professor? He can't mean...

I looked at my companion, but as always I could infer nothing as to his feelings or thoughts from his face. "The others?" Holmes asked.

"Listen, I know you're newbies, but that doesn't mean 'mma be your dictionary!" Obviously, the warden was getting angry. I wished that Holmes would end this conversation for it was getting unpleasant, but on the other hand I was anxious to know more. I suddenly spoke up: "Please, Mister, can you at least tell us how long we're here already?"

The guard glanced at me, then murmured: "Just like... the day before yesterday. 'ad to put ya to sleep, being all 'yper and stuff. Put up quite a fight, you two, wasn't easy to getcha." He laughed in a malicious way, and continued as he walked away, "Gotta look for the rest, I've duties... ya two with your all toff manner... but in the end... we'll see 'ow ya end up then."

Holmes shouted after him: "Would you mind to get the Professor? I think we'd like to talk to him!" Then he turned to me, and said: "Well, Watson?"

I couldn't help to burst out: "What a terrible person! But, Holmes: Do you think that- ...this Professor he mentioned..."
 He nodded.

"Yes, I assume- and fear- that it has finally come to this.
 Obviously we are prisoners... of Professor James Moriarty."

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