Barely kept in stride, Watson struggled to match the cadence of his old quaint friend. Not that it mattered much to the old chap. Escaping the dank, eerie gloom of London air this time of day was more than accommodating to one’s senses. The swift reciprocal gait of their feet was steady, even, and quickened his pulse with every stride. But he resisted showing his fatigue on the matter.
“Why on earth are you trotting so fast, Holmes? You’re like a damsel in distress about this vest of yours.”
Holmes, quick as a wink, continued his brisk pace without even as much as a nod. Watson unphased, continued knowing that his words had fallen by the wayside.
“We’re almost there by now, Holmes. There isn’t much need to rush it ol’ boy.”
“Watson, for a doctor you do breath rather heavily. I suggest you take up more exercise. Lest you develop a most dangerous predicament in your cardiopulmonary system, further compromising our expeditions.”
As they approached 221 B Baker street, Holmes opened his front door in anticipation of his meeting with Charles Caldwell Chastain, III.
“Oh dear. Watson, come quick! Here in the kitchen!”
Watson’s breathing grew even heavier at the cold shriek of the detective. Still out of breath, he was still able to mutter a few words in disbelief upon entering Holmes’s kitchen.
“There’s a dead body in your kitchen!”
He approached the body incredulously, kneeling down for a pulse. The skin was pale but not completely devoid of warmth. Hoping for signs of life, his senses only confirmed it departure.
As he stood and turned towards Holmes, he was already smoking from his briar-wood pipe in deep contemplation.
“Holmes! What are you doing? There’s a dead man in your kitchen. This is no time to pleasure yourself with indulgences.”
“Charles. His name is Charles Caldwell Chastain, III.” He said, flatly, as he removed the pipe from his mouth.
Now it was Holmes’s turn to approach the deceased tailor sprawled lifelessly on the kitchen floor. Inching close next to the body, he studied its position paying close attention to the location of the peculiar knife protruding out of the chest.
“Dear Watson, what a tragedy. I’m going to have to hire a new tailor. This is beginning to be quite the circus. The measurement’s of the vest are incomplete. How unbecoming despite the circumstances.”
Holmes opened his mouth to say something but decided against it. They both focused their attention to the victim lying before them. His future stolen abruptly. There he laid devoid of life, thought, feeling or passion.
“Watson?” He said quizzically. “The knife is precisely plunged into his heart.”
“Oh yes.” Watson confirmed. “The blade is precisely to the left of the sternum placed directly into the heart. Whoever did this was undoubtedly a professional of sorts.”
“Yes. I observed as much.”
“Yes, Holmes? What is it?” He responded while still looking at the dead tailor. Considering how they would notify his family members of the sudden loss.
“That knife was a gift from the Prime Minister’s wife, Marriett Charlemagne.”
They both turned and looked at each other with a deadpanned expression.